Jalapeno Bacon Cheese Ball Recipe

I haven’t made a cheese ball in years! But when I saw Lisa’s creation over at Homesick Texan, I knew the hiatus was over and this had to be included somewhere in my Holiday Menus. I decided to make this part of my contribution for a Christmas Day Dinner at our friend’s Greg and Cauleen’s. It was an overwhelming hit. The only thing that made it home was a shiny clean plate and spreader.

In true Lisa Fain style, she takes a traditional cheese ball recipe and turns it into a wonderful Southwestern treat. This is not your run of the mill cheese ball.  Cream cheese and shredded cheddar, kicked up with diced jalapenos, savory with bits of bacon, spiced with cumin and cilantro and finished with a squeeze of lime and you’ve got yourself a Texas sized winner.  You must give it a try.

The only thing I did different was sprinkle the finished product with Aleppo pepper flakes. That’s what you see scattered on the plate in the photos.   Aleppo pepper flakes are Mediterranean in origin and bring a moderate heat level with some fruity and mild undertones. Its flavor is similar to the ancho, but oilier and slightly salty. I’m in love with Aleppo these days and seem to sprinkle it on about everything.  The only place I can find it is our local spice shop. Savory Spice.  If you’ve got a specialty spice shop near you, look for it and give it a try.

Bacon Jalapeno Cheese Ball
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 12
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 jalapeños, stems and seeds removed, diced, divided
  • 6 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled, divided (about 6 ounces)
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans, roasted
  • Crackers for serving
  1. Mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cilantro, garlic, cumin, cayenne, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, half of the diced jalapeños and half of the crumbled cooked bacon. Taste and adjust seasonings and add salt.
  2. Place the roasted pecans and remaining diced jalapeños and bacon on a plate. Stir together so well mixed. With your hands, roll the cheese mixture into a ball, then place on the plate and roll in the jalapeños, bacon and pecans until covered.
  3. Chill covered for at least an hour before serving. Serve with crackers.

Jalapeno-Bacon Cheese Ball Recipe…It’s What’s for a Great Pot Luck Appetizer.


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  1. says

    Oh boy, I know what I’m making for New Year’s day. I have some dried aleppo peppers that I got from Marx Foods some time ago for one of their contests so I’m going to sprinkle them over this. Have a great New Year celebration. Hope to get together with you early in 2012!

  2. says

    Like you I haven’t had a cheese ball in a very long time; it’s funny how things like this seem to go out of favor but for no particular reason. I can see the appeal…no one made a cheese ball back in the day with this measure of heat! I know I would love the combination of cool and creamy cheese combined with the heat of the peppers. YUM!

    • Lea Ann says

      I agree Barb. Remember when cheese balls were all the rage. Every once in a while I’ve purchased them over the years, but haven’t made one in a long time. This is a good recipe, you should give it a try.

  3. says

    You always find the neatest spices Lea Ann. I’ve never heard of aleppo pepper flakes. Besides a lot of fabulous flavors, they make the cheese ball look so pretty. I didn’t make a cheese ball this year, probably because (come close I’ll whisper ……a diet) it’s hard not to resist eating some before you present it to your guests.

    I hadn’t thought of it being a southern thing, but now that you mention it, it probably is. I’ve made or eaten cheese balls all of my life and if you could hear my accent, there would be no doubt that I’m from the south.

    Happy new year to you and your family.

  4. says

    I’ve never met a cheese ball I didn’t like and with the kicked up southwestern flavors, I’m sure I’d love this one – great shot of it as well. Hope you and Bob ring in the new year in fine fashion and I look forward to another year with you.

  5. says

    Normally when I see a cheese ball, I’m like, “Meh” but this one would definitely get my attention. It’s an ABT (smoked stuffed pepper) in ball form, how could I not love it?

  6. says

    Your pictures are gorgeous :) Happy New Year! And thanks for the info on the spice shop … I never knew there was one by me! I am definitely going to check that out!

  7. says

    Saw bacon, jalapeño, and cheese call out to me on erecipecards and had to come check it out!! Looks absolutely perfect and I love your addition of the Aleppo pepper. This would not last long at my house!

  8. says

    I MUST make this one – it has all my favorite flavors and you can bet I’ll be on the look out for aleppo pepper flakes. Thanks for the tip on a new way to heat up my dishes. I really like that purdy plate and spreader. It’s no wonder we have so many darned dishes when they photograph so beautifully. 😉

    • Lea Ann says

      I thought you might like this one! It has your name written all over it. I’ve had that plate for several years, think it came from Crate and Barrel.

  9. says

    This cheese ball would be really nice for entertaining holidays or otherwise. It really brings the traditional cheese ball up a few notches. Very nice.

    Happy New Year to you.


  10. says

    I haven’t made a cheese ball in ages either but this is a recipe that makes me want to make one again. Love the spices and peppers and the bacon is always a winner. I see the Penzey’s carries aleppo pepper so I’ve added it to my next trip there to buy some!

  11. says

    This looks and sounds soooo yummy! I need to take an appetizer to a wine tasting party this weekend. Both red and white will be tasted. Will this recipe work??

    • Lea Ann says

      If you’re talking about the bites, yes, it would work great. Just preassemble on a baking sheet at home, cover with plastic wrap and then bake when you arrive at the party.

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