It’s Super Bowl week, which means it’s time to talk party food! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Dessert is my favorite meal of the day, with appetizers coming in a close second. Dips, chips, spreads, little bites… I love it all. Which naturally makes this one of my favorite weeks of the year. To get you ready for the big game, I’ll be sharing some new favorite appetizers this week, starting with this amazing cheese ball. You may remember that I broke my cheese ball dry spell last year with a recipe I got from my grandma, the world’s best pimento cheese ball. Later on in the year, I came across this bacon and jalapeño-loaded cheese ball and have been dying to try it ever since. I finally got around to it and realized that I had waited much, much too long to make it. In order to make up for lost time, I proceeded to eat almost the entire thing in one sitting. True story.
Even though I’ve been seeing more recipes for cheese balls recently, I still feel like they give off a little bit of a retro vibe. They remind me of my parents having company over in the 80’s. I am all for making the cheese ball the coolest thing since sliced bread once again. Seriously, what’s not to love? You mix together a ton of cream cheese, shredded cheese, then an assortment of other add-ins and seasonings. Chill, then slather on cracker after cracker, after cracker. You might call it an appetizer. I might call it lunch. Tomato, tomahto.
This particular cheese ball is what I’d refer to as the ultimate cheese ball. In addition to the cream cheese and cheddar cheese, it’s also packed with bacon, chopped jalapeños and seasonings and spices like cumin, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce that make it the crème de la crème of cheese balls… if there were such a thing. It is most definitely a cheese ball that is perfectly fitting for your Super Bowl get together!
Bacon-Jalapeño Cheese Ball
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
A good old-fashioned cheese ball gets the works with bacon, jalapeños and lots of flavor!
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (about ½ cup)
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped, divided
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon lime juice
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch cayenne pepper
¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted
1. In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, half of the bacon, half of the jalapeños, the garlic, parsley, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, ground cumin and cayenne pepper until well combined.
2. On a large plate, stir together the remaining bacon, the remaining jalapeños and the toasted pecans until evenly combined. Shape the cream cheese mixture into a ball. Roll the ball in the pecan mixture until coated on all sides.
3. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Serve with your favorite crackers. Leftovers should be wrapped tightly and can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.