Football season is coming to an end. Sigh. But, we still have one more party that is heavy on the snacks. The Big Game on February 5th calls for some tasty, shareable dishes. What is more shareable other than a cheese ball? This one is a take on the popular fried dish, a jalapeno popper. While those would be a great addition to your game day party, this is way easier and doesn’t require hot oil.
Before diving into this recipe, I had actually never made a cheese ball! Which seems crazy to me because I usually gravitate to them at parties. When I say gravitate, I mean that I eat half of the cheese ball before anyone else has a chance to dig in. As I was searching for some inspiration, the great thing I noticed is how creative you can get with a homemade cheese ball. I feel like the store bought version is always scary processed cheese with some bacon or nuts on it. No need to waste your money on those babies anymore! You can make this delicious jalapeno popper version instead.
Speaking of scary processed cheese, I have a weird aversion to pre-shredded cheese too. When I learned that cellulose is basically sawdust, I just couldn’t handle eating it anymore. Plus, it’s SO easy to shred your own cheese and then you still have the block of your cheese for other uses. Promise me you won’t buy pre-shredded cheese anymore, okay?
Since there are so many ways to get creative with a homemade cheese ball, feel free to switch up this version too! As you all know, I don’t eat pork. Which means no bacon. I know, it seems crazy. That’s a story for another time. I used crushed almonds for the exterior of this cheese ball but you could totally use crumbled bacon. That would probably make you the hit of the party. You know how at an office party, they always talk about “that one time Sally made the best dip.” You could be Sally!
Mmm. I give this tip in the recipe, but I highly suggest letting your cream cheese get to room temperature. It will be way easier to mix your cheese ball. Unless you are into getting a bicep workout while trying to make this. It took me about 5 or 6 minutes to feel super comfortable with the consistency and to ensure that the ingredients were distributed evenly. While this recipe is super easy, it can get messy. Make sure you give yourself a solid 2-3 minutes to mold your cheese ball into a literal ball. Then, roll it around in your chopped almonds or bacon. When you finish up, toss it in the fridge for at least ten minutes and up until you are ready to share with your party people.
- 2 - 8oz packages of cream cheese
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped jalapeno
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- Combine shredded cheese, chopped jalapeño and cream cheese.
- Mix well until completely combined with ingredients evenly distributed.
- Form mixture into ball then roll around in almonds to cover completely.
- Leave in fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy with your favorite cracker or veggie.
- Let your cream cheese soften a bit while you are chopping your jalapeños and almonds. It will be easier to mix when its less cold.
- Replace the chopped almonds with chopped bacon to appease all your pork loving friends.