I love jalapeno popper anything – the combination of spicy peppers, bacon, and cooling cheese is irresistible, and this Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball is amazing! Everyone loves this recipe, and it’s such a great dip to take to parties and events. Easy to make and so good, this party cheese ball is a must-try!

round cheese Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball

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When you’re craving flavor and an appetizer that’s sure to impress, this is it. Cheese balls are all the rage right now, but say goodbye to boring cheese balls and hello to flavor! Loaded with jalapenos, bacon, garlic, onions, and more, every bite of this dip is amazing!

Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball

I’ve also modernized the recipe a bit by using a combination of cream cheese and tangy goat cheese. Trust me on this – these two cheeses are fabulous together. The ball is rolled in bacon, herbs, and shallots, so there’s even more flavor packed onto the outside.

Why I love this recipe

  • Packed with flavor and color – not a boring cheese ball.
  • You can serve it with veggies and crackers (or baguette).
  • Easy to make ahead – great for the holidays or game day!

a Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball

The only question is, what will you serve with it? Chips? Crackers, Crudite? I’ve got all sorts of suggestions below. Ready for a show-stopping appetizer? This Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball is it! 

Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball with herbs and crackers and veggies

Gather these ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Shallots – Minced.
  • Garlic – Minced.
  • Jalapenos – About 4, finely diced.
  • Cream cheese – Softened.
  • Goat cheese – Softened.
  • Parmesan cheese – Crumbled or shredded.
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Honey
  • Chives – Fresh chives, finely chopped.
  • Cilantro – Fresh cilantro, finely chopped.
  • Bacon – You need about 1 cup of cooked and chopped bacon.

making a Popper Cheese Ball

How to make a Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball

  1. Add the olive oil to a medium skillet and heat it over medium-high heat, then add the finely diced shallots and cook until they’re almost translucent—about 5 minutes.
  2. Season the shallots with salt, then add the minced garlic and finely chopped jalapenos. Cook for about 6 more minutes, then transfer the vegetables to a plate and let them cook to room temperature.
  3. Whip the cream cheese and goat cheese together in a bowl with an electric mixer or use a stand mixer. 
  4. Add ⅔ cup of Parmesan cheese, ½ cup of chives, ½ cup of chopped cilantro, a few grinds of black pepper, and the honey and mix well.
  5. Stir in ½ cup of the cooked and crumbled bacon as well as ¾ of the total jalapeno-shallot mixture and mix until just combined. 
  6. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter, add the cheese mixture to the center of the plastic wrap, and pull the plastic up over the sides to form a ball, using your hands to shape it as needed.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. You need the cheese to be nice and firm for the next step.
  8. Spread the remaining bacon, herbs, shallots, and Parmesan on a plate. Unwrap the chilled cheese ball and roll it in the bacon and herbs to fully cover it.
  9. Serve the cheese ball on a pretty plate with chips, crackers, and crudites. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes at room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

Jalapeno Cheese Ball

Tips & substitutions

  • To save some time, use pre-cooked bacon or cook the bacon in advance so it’s ready to go.
  • Make sure to save some of the herbs, Parmesan and bacon to roll the cheese ball in. It looks so pretty and tempting!
  • You can pop the jalapeno-shallot mixture into the fridge to help it cool down. Don’t add it hot to the cheese or it could melt the cheese and your cheese ball will take even longer to set up.
  • When wrapping your cheese ball, you can also line a bowl with plastic wrap and then add the soft cheese mixture to the bowl. Refrigerate it and it’ll firm up in the size and shape of the bowl. 
  • Make sure to let your cheese ball sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving so it softens up.
  • You can make several smaller cheese balls or one large one. Smaller cheese balls will firm up faster in the fridge.

Jalapeno Cheese Ball with crudite

Serving suggestions

You can serve anything with your jalapeno cheese ball. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Kettle chips – These chips are harder and can hold up to scooping the dip better than other chips.
  • Crackers – Any kind!
  • Baguette slices
  • Pita chips or wedges
  • Fresh veggies – For anyone who wants a low-carb cheese ball, serve it with celery sticks, radishes, cucumber slices, broccoli, and even carrot sticks.

I also love serving this easy cheese ball on game day with other appetizers like Tuna Melt Sliders, stuffed mushrooms, and glazed meatballs.

bite of cheese balls

Storage

Store any leftover cheese in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Let it soften before serving.

Check out these awesome jalapeno popper recipes while you’re here

round cheese Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball
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Get the Recipe:

Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball

Loaded with bacon, jalapenos, garlic, and onion, this Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball is so good that everyone will want this recipe!  Cut in half and make 2, or 4, etc. smaller balls (for several parties or game days)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
fridge time to harden the cheese ball: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 32 minutes
Yield: 10
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Ingredients
 

  • ¼ c olive oil
  • ¾ c minced shallot
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 c jalapeños, finely diced (about 4 large jalapeños)
  • salt to season
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 6 oz one small log goat cheese, softened
  • 1 c parmesan cheese, crumbled or shredded, divided
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ¾ c chives, finely chopped, divided
  • ¾ c cilantro, finely chopped , divided
  • 1 heaping cup bacon, cooked and chopped, divided

Instructions
 

  • In a medium skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium high. Once shimmering, add the shallot. Cook until almost translucent, 5 minutes, then season with salt and add the garlic and jalapeño. Cook for another 6 minutes, then transfer and spread onto a plate, or into a wide bowl, to cool to at least room temperature (place in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling time).
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer, or using a stand mixer, whip the cream cheese and goat cheese together on medium speed until just combined. Add 2/3 cup of the parmesan, 1/2 cup chives, 1/2 c cilantro, back pepper, and honey and mix. Finally, gently mix in 1/2 cup of bacon and 3/4 of the total, cooled jalapeño, garlic, and shallot mixture. Mix until just combined. Reserve the remaining cilantro, chives, parmesan, cooked shallot mixture, and bacon to roll the ball in before serving.
  • Lay a sheet of plastic wrap onto the counter. Dollop the cheese spread into the center of the plastic and wrap the sides around the cheese to form a ball, gently shaping with your hands as needed. An alternative method is to set the plastic into a bowl that is large enough to just fit the cheese—this will help to shape and hold the cheese ball as it firms in the refrigerator. Refrigerate the ball for at least 6 hours, preferably up to overnight. Reserve the remaining cilantro, chives, parmesan, and bacon to garnish.
  • To serve, spread the remaining bacon, herbs, shallots, and parmesan onto a plate. Roll the ball in the garnish then place on a serving plate and let sit for 20 minutes before serving to soften.

Notes

NOTES
-used pre cooked bacon that just needs to be lightly reheated to save time, OR you can cook thick cut bacon in the oven (link to previous oven recipe?) 
-add additional herbs like basil or marjoram 
-some of the chives, parmesan, and bacon will be set aside to garnish the cheese ball before serving, so be sure to take -note of the quantities that are mixed in and the ones that are set aside. 
Cuisine: American
Course: Appetizer
Calories: 202kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.003g, Cholesterol: 39mg, Sodium: 592mg, Potassium: 160mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1017IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 183mg, Iron: 1mg
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holiday cheese ball with veggies