This will be the first year in many years that Betsy and I won’t be trekking to Wyoming to spend the holiday season with my family. Having to delivery an emergency baby on the side of the Interstate isn’t exactly my idea of a great time.
So we are staying local in case baby decides to make an early appearance (hopefully, for Betsy’s sake).
This Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball combines the two appetizers that I always look forward to during the holiday season. The first is my Mom’s cheese ball. It’s nothing fancy and I’ve made a version of it on the blog. It’s a classic though and if I’m not careful I can eat an entire one while watching a movie or something.
The second appetizer is my Dad’s jalapeno popper recipe. He always makes huge batches of them and they are gone in minutes no matter how many people are there. I think I’ve eaten like ten before. No joke.
As an homage to both, I decided to smash them together into this Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball recipe . It turns out sometimes that 1 + 1 = MAGIC.
Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball
- 6 strips bacon, crispy
- 2-3 jalapenos, 2 roasted, 1 raw
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 4 oz. cheddar cheese
- ½ lemon, juice only
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- Lay out bacon on a wire rack or baking sheet. If you can fit it, you can put the jalapenos on the same sheet or just stick them on a smaller sheet. Bake the bacon and jalapenos at 375 degrees F. until bacon is crispy and jalapenos are blistered, about 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mash together cheeses, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, chili powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
- Dice ½ of a fresh jalapenos and mix it together with chopped pecans. When bacon is done and crispy, stir in one strip of crispy chopped bacon to the pecan mixture also.
- Chop rest of bacon and 1-2 of the roasted jalapenos (depending on your heat level) and mash that into the cheese mixture.
- Use a spoon to make a big ball out of the cheese mixture and then roll it around in the pecan mixture until it’s completely coated.
- Serve the cheese ball with crackers. Store extra wrapped tightly in the fridge. Cheese ball can be made a few days in advance without issue.
Did you make this recipe?
Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball – your new favorite appetizer
The thing that makes jalapeno poppers (whole jalapenos wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cheese) so delicious is the almost intoxicating combo of crunchy, salty, and spicy. (Or maybe the four bourbons is the intoxicating part?)
Anyway, it’s very important to have both in this jalapeno cheese ball. You need really crispy bacon. I prefer to bake mine on a wire rack at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. I went ahead and tossed my peppers on to roast as well.
The Cheese Ball
I kept my cheese ball mix pretty standard (because it ain’t broke). I just left out the green pepper since I’ll be adding a lot of jalapeno.
Normally, I just roll my cheese ball in toasted pecans but for this version I added some fresh jalapeno and crispy bacon to the coating. This not only shows off the ingredients in this jalapeno popper cheese ball but really boosts the flavors.
When the bacon is crispy and the roasted jalapenos are blistered, just give them a rough chop. I didn’t even bother peeling the jalapenos (but do remove the seeds).
Whether you use one or two jalapenos for this is your call. I recommend tasting them after roasting them and adjusting. Remember that all the cheese will drastically cut down the heat. Personally, I like two but if I’m feeding others I’ll do one.
Make a big ball of the cheese ball mixture and then roll it around in the topping until it’s really nicely coated.
This jalapeno popper cheese ball is an excellent appetizer to make in advance. It actually gets better if it sits in the fridge for a night.
But, if you’re me, you can’t wait that long. I dug in immediately. This Jalapeno Cheese Ball will disappear in a flash at your next party!
This Jalapeno Cheese Ball will disappear in a flash at your next party! Chomp time!