Everyone loves a good cheese ball, and this is our favorite one yet! This Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball has all the flavors you know and love in a deliciously dippable appetizer that’s guaranteed to be the star of the show!
When it comes to party appetizers, cheese balls are king. They’re easy to make, packed with everyone’s favorite (cheese!), and perfect for feeding a crowd. And the very best thing about them? The flavor possibilities are endless!
This Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball is one of our favorite flavor combos ever, and if you ask me, pretty much the ultimate in cheese ball variations. Because it has a little bit of everything… from the cheese to the bacon to the spicy jalapeños and crunchy panko crumbs. In other words, it’s fully LOADED. And so insanely delicious.
It’s the perfect appetizer for parties, game days, or family nights in. It’s easy to make in advance, keeps well in the fridge, and the leftovers make a delicious addition to omelets, burgers, or pretty much anything you can think of.
So really, the only question is when are you making it??
What you’ll need for this recipe
Cream cheese – Like any good cheese ball, this one starts with cream cheese! I used 16 ounces of full fat plain cream cheese. I would NOT recommend substituting flavored or whipped cream cheese since both have a softer texture and won’t hold up well in a cheese ball.
Shredded cheese – In addition to the cream cheese, this recipe uses 8 ounces of shredded cheese. I used finely shredded cheddar jack, but you can feel free to substitute any flavor you’d like.
Bacon – Another key component in any jalapeño popper recipe is, of course, bacon! I used 12 ounces of crispy, crumbled bacon in this cheese ball, divided between the inside and the outside coating.
Jalapeños – You can’t have jalapeño popper without the jalapeños! The exact number is up to you, but I used 4 in this recipe. I also decided to include the seeds and membranes for extra flavor and heat.
Ranch seasoning – 1 packed of dry ranch seasoning gives this recipe all the extra flavor it needs. Ranch seasoning packets can be found near the salad dressing at your local grocery store.
Panko bread crumbs – Panko bread crumbs are an optional but delicious ingredient in this recipe. They add a little extra bit of crunch to the cheeseball and make a delicious coating, as well.
Sour cream – Just 1/4 cup of sour cream, combined with the cream cheese, helps keep this cheese ball from being too thick. Feel free to add up to 1/2 cup for an even softer consistency.
Green onions – Green onions combine with jalapeños, bacon, cheese, and panko crumbs for the ultimate cheese ball garnishes! I used one green onion, thinly sliced.
How to make a Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball
Combine the ingredients using a hand mixer – The best thing about this recipe is how EASY it is to make! Simply combine (almost) all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to combine. Here are the exact proportions I used for the cheese ball mixture:
- 16 ounces cream cheese
- 6 ounces shredded cheese
- 8 ounces of bacon
- 3 minced jalapeños
- 1/4 cup of panko crumbs
- ranch seasoning
- sour cream
Form the mixture into a ball – Spoon the mixture into a large piece of plastic wrap, then pull the sides up and wrap it tightly, forming a ball.
Refrigerate – Refrigerate for 1 hour until slightly firm.
Garnish – Combine the remaining shredded cheese, bacon, jalapeños, panko bread crumbs, and sliced green onions on a large plate. Remove the cheese ball from the plastic wrap and roll it in the mixture, gently pressing the ingredients into the cream cheese mixture to stick.
- Start with softened (room temperature) cream cheese to make sure it blends smoothly
- Be sure your bacon is cooked until crispy since it will soften up a bit with the other ingredients
- Taste the jalapeños before adding so you know how spicy they are! Jalapeños can vary a great deal in terms of spice level, so this way you can adjust the amount according to your tastes
- Use finely shredded cheese if possible since it blends in better with the other ingredients
- Be sure to add the garnishes after refrigerating and just before serving
- This recipe tastes best and is easiest to dip when it’s slightly chilled or at room temperature
Make-ahead & storage tips
This recipe is easy to make ahead for stress-free entertaining! To do so, combine the ingredients as directed, wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before serving to allow the cheese ball to soften slightly, then roll it in the garnishes as directed and enjoy!
More Jalapeño Popper recipes you’ll love
- Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers
- Jalapeño Popper Wonton Cups
- Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese
- Jalapeño Popper Sliders
- Jalapeño Bacon Avocado Toast
- Bacon Jalapeño Nachos
- Jalapeño Popper Baked Chicken
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 8 ounces finely shredded cheddar jack cheese
- 12 ounces bacon, cooked & crumbled
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 packet dry ranch seasoning (1/4 cup)
- 4 jalapeños, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 green onion, sliced
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, ranch seasoning, 6 ounces of shredded cheese, 8 ounces of bacon, 3 minced jalapeños, and 1/4 cup of panko crumbs.
- Spoon the mixture into a large piece of plastic wrap, then pull the sides up and wrap it tightly, forming a ball.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour until slightly firm.
- On a large plate, combine the remaining shredded cheese, bacon, jalapeños, panko bread crumbs, and sliced green onions. Remove the cheese ball from the plastic wrap and roll it in the mixture, gently pressing the ingredients into the cream cheese mixture to stick.
- Transfer to a serving plate; serve with crackers, pretzels, bread, veggies, or any of your favorite dippers!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 193Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 478mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 9g