This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. Full Disclosure Policy.
Make this easy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball recipe for your next party or gathering, and watch it disappear fast! This is a great make-ahead appetizer!
Update: This was originally posted in 2018, and has been updated to improve reader experience, and now includes video!
We LOVE jalapeno poppers, so I decided to create this cheese ball to resemble those! It’s bacon, jalapenos, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon… I mean…
Obviously, there’s salt, pepper, and a few other spices in it too – but man, it’s so easy to make (and needs zero oven time). Perfect when you’re craving these flavors, and SUPER easy to make ahead and bring out when needed.
I love to have this cheese ball hanging out in the fridge ready for whenever the mood strikes. It’s a wonderful party appetizers, and never lasts long – it is devoured fast!
I also make a DELICIOUS ham and pineapple cheese ball, if you are looking for an alternative!
Cheese Ball Recipe ingredients:
- Panko Breadcrumbs – Japanese breadcrumbs, known for their crispy crunchy texture when cooked!
- Almonds – finely chopped
- Cream Cheese – this is easier to work with if it’s softened a little. You can use low fat, or fat-free if that floats your boat.
- Cheese – I use freshly grated sharp cheddar.
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder – fresh garlic is a great sub, if you wish!
- Ground Cumin – Rich and earthy, and perfect for deepening the flavor
- Jalapeno – deseeded and chopped finely (leave in some seeds if you love heat)
- Bacon – cooked until crisp, then crumbled.
How to make a Cheese Ball
Full, printable recipe below – just scroll down to the recipe card!
Finely chop the almonds.
In a large non-stick skillet, toast the panko and almonds over medium-high heat, moving constantly so the breadcrumbs and nuts do not burn. They’re done when they’re golden brown! Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and salt.
Fold in the jalapeno, bacon, and cilantro.
Form the cheese mixture into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for an hour.
Remove from the fridge and roll in the toasted panko and almonds.
Refrigerate until needed.
Remove from the fridge about 15 minutes before serving, so it’s somewhere between room temperature and super chilled (you want it to be easy to scoop!!)
Serve with crackers.
Want more appetizer recipes?
- Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls – sweet corn, black beans, spinach, and cilantro. These are as tasty as they sound!
- Chicken Taquitos – Baked in the oven, not fried – easy to make, super delicious, and freezer friendly.
- Ham & Cheese Savory Palmiers – Easy to make, and fast to disappear, these Savory Palmiers will be the star of any table!
- Mexcian Street Corn Empanadas from Take Two Tapas
- Italian Pinwheels from Tornadough Alli
Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball Recipe
- Crackers (you choose!)
FOR THE NUT COATING
- Finely chop the almonds.
- In a large non-stick skillet, toast the panko and almonds over medium high heat, moving constantly so the breadcrumbs and nuts do not burn. They’re done when they’re golden brown! Set aside to cool.
FOR THE CHEESE BALL
- In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin and salt.
- Fold in the jalapeno, bacon and cilantro
- Form the mixture into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate for an hour.
- Remove from fridge and roll in the toasted panko and almonds.
- Refrigerate until needed.
- Serve with crackers.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.