Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball (Football Snack Board!)

Appetizers  |  Published Jan 26, 2021  |  Updated Apr 8, 2021  |  By Tawnie

a jalapeno popper cheese ball on a cutting board with game day snack foods

If you’ve never tried a Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball I’m about to change your life!

This cheese ball is incredibly simple to make, is of course super delicious and so fun for parties, game day, potlucks or if you’re just having some friends over to hang out. 

This post has been sponsored by Sprouts. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Kroll’s Korner running!

a close up image of jalapeno cheese ball

Of course, you don’t have to shape it into a football if you aren’t planning on serving the cheese ball for a game day event. You can simply shape it into a traditional circular ball and let everyone dig in!

This Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball is:

  • Spicy and addictive!
  • Simple to make
  • Uses simple ingredients
  • Delicious with your favorite crackers or pretzels
  • Always a crowd favorite!

I bought all of my ingredients for this football snack board at Sprouts Farmers Market because they have all of the game day goodies I needed to make this board!

I love shopping there not only because it’s a one-stop shop for all of my items but because the staff is always so helpful and kind. I always have such pleasant conversations with the staff in the checkout lines and they always ensure I found everything I was looking for!

Sprouts always stocks my routine favorite products but they also stock the latest trending products as well too so there’s always something new and fun to try.

For this snack board I made sure to load up on plenty of fresh crunchy vegetables and snagged some delicious grapes too.

For fun finger foods, I found some yummy mozzarella sticks and everything bagel hot dog bites in the freezer section!

What’s fun about a snack board like this is that there are no rules. Add your favorite crackers, dips and snacks and simply arrange it all on one board!

Ingredients needed for the Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball

*Scroll all the way down for full printable recipe and ingredient list*

ingredients needed to make a jalapeno popper cheese ball
  • Cream Cheese: needs to be softened
  • Bacon: we like a good-quality, thick cut bacon
  • Jalapeños: use as many as you like, depending on how spicy you want your cheese ball
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: try to avoid the pre-shredded stuff for the recipe if you can. Freshly shredded cheese is always better in our opinion.
  • Breadcrumbs: Italian breadcrumbs work for a little more flavor added.
  • Mozzarella string cheese (to make the laces for the football)

Step by step directions

step by step photos of making a cheese ball
  1. Use a hand mixer to blend together the cream cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper until smooth and blended.
  2. Stir in the cheddar cheese, bacon, green onions and jalapeños. Stir until fully incorporated.
  3. Shape the cheese ball into a football shape. Flattening it out, and somewhat pinching the edges.
  4. Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  5. Toast the breadcrumbs. Once browned, add to a small bowl and combine with the jalapeño, parsley, green onions and bacon.
  6. Press the breadcrumb mixture into the cheese so it sticks. Make sure the cheese is completely coated!
  7. For the football “laces” simply slice a mozzarella string cheese into strips and decorate on the cheese.
  8. Serve on the snack board with chips and crackers and all of your favorite football snack foods! (veggies, fresh fruits, dips, wings, potato skins, mozzarella sticks, etc.)
a jalapeno popper cheese ball on a cutting board with game day snack foods

Tips for making a cheese ball

  • Make sure you remove the cream cheese from the fridge 30-60 minutes prior to creating the recipe so your cream cheese can soften. *Pro tip: cut the block into small cubes so it softens faster!
  • Using a hand mixer to process the cream cheese helps to make the cream cheese light and fluffy.
  • The base cheese is cream cheese and the second cheese is a sharp cheddar. However, feel free to switch up the cheddar cheese and use a pepper jack, Colby jack, Havarti, gouda, Monterey jack, etc.
  • A crunchy topping to the cheese ball is SO good. For this recipe you’ll use toasted breadcrumbs and crunchy bacon. However, crushed nuts are also a good option too!
  • Hold off on rolling the cheese ball in the breadcrumb topping until just before you’re ready to serve. This ensures everything stays fresh and crunchy.
  • Before you’re ready to serve the cheese ball, let sit on the counter for ~15 minutes so the cheese is spreadable for everyone to easily dig in!

PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow me on Pinterest or InstagramSign up for my email list, too!

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a jalapeno popper cheese ball on a cutting board with game day snack foods
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Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball (Football Snack Board!)

This Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball (err, football) is such a fun party appetizer and festive for game day! It’s SUPER easy to make, filled with cream cheese, green onions, bacon and of course some spicy jalapeños.
No reviews yet
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Refrigerator time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 10 people (varies)

Ingredients

For the cheese ball:

  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder (or 1 garlic clove, minced)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2-3 stalks green onions, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2-3 small jalapeños, seeded and diced finely (depending on how spicy you want it!)

For the breadcrumb coating:

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (Panko or Italian)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bacon, cooked and chopped (~3 strips cooked)
  • 1 string cheese (for the laces on the football)

Ideas for the snack board:

  • Fresh veggies: cucumber slices, mini bell peppers, baby carrots or carrot sticks, celery, cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh fruit: grapes, berries, apple slices, anything in season!
  • Boneless buffalo chicken wings or your favorite chicken wings
  • Pretzels, chips, crackers
  • Fun finger foods like mozzarella sticks, potato skins or corn dogs
TEXT INGREDIENTS

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to blend together the cream cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper until smooth and blended.
  • Use a rubber spatula or spoon to stir in the cheddar cheese, bacon, green onions and jalapeños. Stir until fully incorporated.
  • Form the cheese into a ball and transfer to a small baking sheet (or small cutting board) lined with foil or parchment paper.
  • Shape the cheese ball into a football shape. Flattening it out, and somewhat pinching the edges.
  • Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  • In a small sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter and toast the breadcrumbs for 3-5minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn. Once browned, add to a small bowl and combined with the jalapeño, parsley, green onions and bacon.
  • Remove cheese from the fridge and slightly press the breadcrumb mixture into the cheese so it sticks. Make sure the cheese is completely coated!
  • For the football “laces” you can slice a mozzarella string cheese into strips and decorate on the cheese.
  • Serve on a snack board with chips and crackers and all of your favorite football snack foods! (veggies, fresh fruits, dips, wings, potato skins, mozzarella sticks, etc.)

Notes

Store leftover cheese ball in the fridge, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 1 week.
 
Recipe inspired by Peas & Crayons. 
Find Kroll’s Korner on Instagram!Mention @krolls_korner or tag #krollskorner

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