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Jalapeño Popper Cheeseball (+Video)

This creamy Jalapeño Popper Cheeseball has a fun texture combo from the shredded cheese, bacon crumbles and green onions and is always a hit!

A CREAMY CHEESEBALL WITH A KICK OF FLAVOR

Need a unique appetizer to make for a potluck or upcoming party? This delicious Jalapeño Popper Cheeseball is where it’s at! This flavorful and creamy creation is sure to please your guests. It’s simple to make and uses simple ingredients like cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles, and diced jalapeños. Plus, it can easily be customized with additional ingredients!

Jalapeno cheese ball with a chunk taken out.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Is this cheeseball spicy?

It really isn’t that spicy (and I am pretty sensitive to spice.) I think the smooth cream cheese helps to offset any heat or spice. Plus, I remove all the insides of the jalapeño which removes the parts where the heat is located in a jalapeño.

Where does the heat come from in a jalapeño?

Many people think the heat comes from the seeds but it actually comes from the pith and the ribs of the jalapeño – not the seeds like many folks think. So if you want to add more heat to the cheese ball, leave some of the pith on. 

Can I use store-bought bacon?

Want to save some time? You can use store bought bacon pieces if needed. You can find bags of bacon pieces usually near the salad dressing in your grocery store. However, I feel like using freshly cooked bacon brings a nice, contrasting crunchy flavor to the creamy cheeseball texture.

What other cheese can I use?

Cheddar cheese is the most common choice but you can try pepper jack, white cheddar, Colby Jack, Monterey Jack or a Mexican cheese blend in its place.

What else can I add?

Try adding some chopped nuts! Chopped pecans would bring another nice crunch alongside the freshly cooked bacon.

Can I make this cheeseball ahead of time?

You bet! You can make this up to a day in advance. Keep it in the fridge until about 30 minutes to an hour before you want to serve it. This way the cheeseball can soften a bit and this makes it easier to dip into and spread.

Can I microwave a cheese ball to soften it up?

No. If your cheeseball is too stiff, do not try to microwave it. It will change the consistency and change texture of the ingredients on the outside of the cheeseball. Instead, just let the cheese ball sit out at room temperature until it softens up a bit.

How to store leftovers?

You can keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Just remember that the bacon will soften as it sits in the fridge so it’s best to enjoy it as soon as possible.
Additionally, you can freeze this for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge and then at room temperature if necessary before serving.

Crackers surrounding a cheeseball with jalapeno flavor, bacon, and chives.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • cream cheese – it’s really important that the cream cheese be at room temperature. If it isn’t fully at room temperature then it won’t whip up smoothly and will have lumps that you won’t be able to get out no matter how ling you beat it.
  • ranch dressing – you can use a store-bought ranch dressing or if you’d like, you can make it homemade or you can use a packet of ranch dressing mix.
  • garlic powder and onion powder – this just adds an additional punch of flavor.
  • smoked paprika – I like the smokiness this adds but if you don’t have it then you can use regular paprika or just leave it out altogether.
  • bacon – you can cook some bacon up from scratch (which I like to do because I like the crunchiness from it) or you can use the store-bought bacon pieces.
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese – you can play with the different kinds of cheese here. If you want it more spicy, try using pepper jack cheese. I think it’s important to freshly shred it because it helps it stick better.
  • diced jalapeño – if you want this less spicy, remove the ribs completely from the inside of the jalapeño and this will significantly cut down on spice. If you want it more spicy then leave those in.
  • green onions – you could also use chives instead of green onion.
Cream cheese, ranch dressing, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, bacon, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, jalapeno, and scallions.

HOW TO MAKE A JALAPEÑO POPPER CHEESEBALL

Place the softened cream cheese, ranch dressing, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and pepper in a large bowl. Whip to combine until smooth with an electric hand mixer.

A mixing bowl with a few ingredients for a cheeseball waiting to be mixed together.

Add 3/4ths each of the bacon, cheddar cheese, jalapeño, and green onions and stir in until combined. Place the remaining ingredients to the side.

A glass mixing bowl of cream cheese, ranch seasonings, and other spices.

On a large work surface, lay out 3 large pieces of plastic wrap overlapping each other. Spoon the cheeseball mixture into the center of the plastic wrap.

A ball of cheese on a few pieces of plastic wrap.

Start to fold the edges of the plastic wrap up around the mixture, helping to form it into a ball, and seal well. Place the cheeseball into the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to overnight to set up. 

A rolled up cheese ball.

When you are ready to serve, place the remaining bacon, cheese, jalapeño, and green onion onto a large plate and mix it up a bit.

A plate of chives, shredded cheese, and crumbled bacon.

Unwrap the cheeseball and place it on the plate, roll it around, so the additional ingredients stick to the outside. You will then have to press them in to stick and try to cover as much of the exposed cheeseball as you can, you may have a little leftover topping but that’s okay.

Rolled up cheese ball sitting on a plate with shredded cheese, bacon, and chives.

Serve immediately with crackers or whatever you would like to serve with it.

A full ball of Jalapeno Popper Cheeseball with a ring of crackers around it.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

A hand holding a cracker with a serving of Jalapeno cheeseball on it.
A jalapeno popper cheeseball with crackers surrounding it.

Jalapeño Popper Cheeseball (+Video)

This creamy Jalapeño Popper Cheeseball has a fun texture combo from the shredded cheese, bacon crumbles and green onions and is always a hit! 
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Jalapeno Popper Cheeseball
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 190kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 blocks cream cheese, softened to room temperature (16 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons prepared ranch dressing
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (if you don't have smoked, just use regular paprika)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 16 ounces bacon, cooked crispy and finely crumbled
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cups finely diced jalapeno (seeds, ribs and stem removed)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (green part only)

Instructions

  • Place the softened cream cheese, ranch dressing, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and pepper in a large bowl. Whip to combine until smooth with an electric hand mixer.
  • Add 3/4ths each of the bacon, cheddar cheese, jalapeño, and green onions and stir in until combined. Place the remaining ingredients in small containers and put back into the fridge until ready to use later to cover the cheeseball).
  • On a large work surface, lay out 3 large pieces of plastic wrap overlapping each other. Spoon the cheeseball mixture into the center of the plastic wrap.
  • Start to fold the edges of the plastic wrap up around the mixture, helping to form it into a ball, and seal well.
  • Place the cheeseball into the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to overnight to set up.
  • When you are ready to serve, place the remaining bacon, cheese, jalapeño, and scallion onto a large plate and mix together.
  • Unwrap the cheeseball and place it on the plate, roll it around, so the additional ingredients stick to the outside. You will then have to press them in to stick and try to cover as much of the exposed cheeseball as you can, you will have a little leftover topping but that’s okay.
  • Serve immediately with crackers or whatever you would like to serve with it.

Video

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
  • It really isn’t that spicy, I think the cream cheese helps to offset the spice. The pith and the ribs of the jalapeño is where the heat is (not the seeds like many people think) so if you want to add more heat, leave some of the pith on. 
  • If making the day before, I would take it out for 30 minutes to an hour so the cheeseball can soften slightly and make it easier to spread.
  • Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 1 week. Freeze for up to 3 months, but note that the bacon may become soggy.
  • Don’t try to microwave the cheese ball or you’ll mess the texture up.

Nutrition

Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 397IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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