This jalapeno popper cheese ball is creamy and cheesy with the best flavors and textures from crumbled bacon and pecans. This appetizer is a crowd-pleasing hit for holidays or game days!
Why I Love This Recipe
- Flavorful with the best texture: The combination of creamy cheese, spicy jalapenos, smoky bacon and sweet green onions do not disappoint in this jalapeno bacon cheese ball!
- Party pleasing favorite: Jalapeno popper cheese ball is unique twist on bacon ranch cheese ball! Serve this party appetizer on game day or at potlucks and it will be a hit.
- Make in advance: Cheese ball is perfect to prep in advance! Make up to 24 hours in advance then store in the refrigerator. Save adding the outer toppings until right before serving.
Substitutions and Variations
- Nut free: Use crushed crackers, Panko bread crumbs, pretzels or additional bacon as the crunchy topping in jalapeno popper cheese ball.
- Cheesier: For an extra cheesy jalapeño popper cheese ball, mix in 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese with the cream cheese. Try pepper jack cheese for extra kick!
- Softer cheese ball: Just 1/4 cup sour cream helps the cheese ball from being too thick. You can use up to 1/2 cup if you like a softer texture.
- Seasoning: Instead of a dry ranch mix, use seasoning salt. You can also add garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper.
How to Make Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball
Combine softened cream cheese, sour cream and ranch seasoning in a large bowl. Use a hand mixer to mix until smooth.
Combine shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, jalepenos and bacon in a shallow bowl. Pour half the mixture into the cream cheese and stir until combined. Reserve remaining topping for rolling the cheese ball before serving.
Place cream cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap. Cover and form into ball. Refrigerate for one hour. Remove from fridge, add pecans to reserved topping. Coat cheese ball with mixture, place on serving tray with crackers, bagel chips and veggies.
It really doesn’t have that much heat! The cream cheese helps balance any heat from the jalapenos. Removing the seeds of the jalapeno and all of the inside membrane / pith helps, too.
Jalapenos can range from mild to spicy! For a mild jalapeno taste, pick jalapenos that do not have white lines, blemishes or flecks as these are hotter! Choose ones that are young peppers with smooth green skin.
No, unfortunately that will ruin the texture. Let the cheeseball sit out at room temperature to soften it instead.
This cheeseball looks great as the centerpiece to any veggie tray with bell peppers and carrots. Other items I usually serve with it include crackers, pretzels or pita chips.
Make Ahead, Storing and Freezing Instructions
- Make-ahead: Assemble jalapeno popper cheese ball recipe without rolling in topping. Cover and chill in fridge overnight. Before serving, roll in reserved topping mixture with added pecans until well-coated.
- Storage: If covered or stored in an airtight container this cheeseball will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Toppings may become soft but still be tasty.
- Freeze: Assemble without rolling in toppings and wrap in extra plastic wrap. Store in a freezer safe bag. When ready to serve, thaw in the fridge overnight and then roll in toppings before serving.
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Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball
- 16 ounces cream cheese , softened
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 Tablespoons ranch dressing dry mix
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese , more if desired
- ¼ cup green onions , sliced
- 2 Jalapenos , seeds/stems removed and finely chopped
- 6 strips cooked bacon , finely chopped
- ⅓ cup pecans , chopped
For serving: Favorite snack crackers or vegetables
- Combine the cream cheese, sour cream and ranch seasoning in a large bowl. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Combine the cheddar cheese, onions, jalapenos and bacon in a shallow bowl. Then pour half the mixture into the cream cheese bowl and stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate the remaining mixture in the bowl to use as a topping when rolling the cheese ball.
- Place cream cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap. Cover and form into ball. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Remove ball from plastic wrap and add pecans to the reserved topping mixture in the shallow bowl. Roll cheese ball in pecan mixture until well-coated. Press into the ball if needed.
- Place on a platter with crackers and serve.
- If you don’t want to use nuts, you can use chopped bacon or crushed crackers instead (similar to my bacon ranch cheese ball).
- If you’d like more cheese, you can mix in 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese with the cream cheese.
- Make-ahead: Follow steps 1 & 2, then let chill in fridge overnight. Before serving, roll in reserved topping mixed with pecans until well-coated.
- Storage: Will keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks if covered or stored in an airtight container.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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