This jalapeno cheddar cheese ball is full of zesty Mexican flavor and takes just minutes to make. The perfect snack for game day!

This is no ordinary cheese ball! It’s a cream cheese base loaded with cheddar cheese, jalapenos and salsa. The whole thing is rolled in crushed tortilla chips for a unique appetizer.

A jalapeno cheese ball coated in tortilla chips and topped with diced tomatoes.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Ball Recipe | Cheddar Cheese Ball | Best Cheddar Cheese Ball | Best Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Ball | Cheese Ball

We love a good cheese ball in my house – back in the day we used to buy those shrink wrapped almond coated cheese balls that they sell in the deli section of most grocery stores. One day I stumbled across a recipe for a homemade cheese ball and I’ve been making different varieties ever since. It’s so much more delicious than the store bought kind and surprisingly easy to make! One of my favorites is this jalapeno cheddar cheese ball.

This cheese ball is absolutely perfect for game day. For more ideas on how to make game day special, check out my lists of 30 Game Day Recipes and 45 Super Bowl Appetizer Recipes.

A chip scooping out a portion of cheese ball.

How do you make a jalapeno cheddar cheese ball?

This cheese ball couldn’t be any simpler to make – cream cheese and cheddar cheese are mixed with Picante Sauce, fresh cilantro and minced jalapenos. I remove the ribs and seeds from the jalapenos to tone down the heat a bit, but if you don’t like things spicy you can substitute green bell pepper. You can also use jarred pickled jalapenos if you prefer the flavor.

This cheese ball is delicious as is, but you can add other ingredients if you like, such as bacon, red bell pepper or corn.

A cheese ball filled with jalapenos and cheddar cheese.

This jalapeno cheddar cheese ball is the ultimate snack for any party, especially a football party. There’s nothing better than watching the game with some fun appetizers and this recipe definitely fits the bill. I like to serve the cheese ball with assorted crackers, chips, pretzels and vegetables. This one is definitely going on the menu for the big game coming up!

A cheddar cheese ball served with vegetables, chips and pretzels.

More delicious game day snacks

5 from 9 votes

Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Ball

AuthorSara Welch
This Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Ball is full of zesty Mexican flavor and takes just minutes to make. The perfect snack for game day! #KickUpTheFlavor Ad
This Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Ball is full of zesty Mexican flavor and takes just minutes to make. The perfect snack for game day!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Serves 8 servings


  • 8 ounces of cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup Medium Pace® Picante Sauce
  • 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of minced jalapenos seeds and ribs removed. Alternatively you can use 1/4 cup of minced green bell pepper for less heat.
  • 1/2 cup minced cilantro divided use
  • 1 cup of crushed tortilla chips
  • Chopped tomatoes for garnish optional


  • Place the cream cheese and Picante Sauce in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. You can use a spoon or a mixer for this step.
  • Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeno and 1/4 cup cilantro.
  • Place the cheese mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a ball with your hands.
  • Wrap the plastic wrap around the ball of cheese and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to one day.
  • Just before serving, combine the crushed tortilla chips and remaining 1/4 cup cilantro on a plate.
  • Remove the plastic wrap from the cheese ball and roll it in the tortilla chip mixture.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with chopped tomatoes if desired.


Calories: 262kcal

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5 from 9 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I’ve never tried making or eating these although have seen countless, they just don’t really exist as a thing in Europe, but I gotta give this a try, it sounds delicious and so simple.

  2. OK, you talked me into to. LOL I would have to make 2 when planning for a party–one for the guests, and one all for me!! Yummy!

  3. I am a huge cheese ball fan, too. I love them in any flavor; coated with nuts or not. Your spicy version sounds like it would be a big hit with my family. I bet the leftovers, if there were any, would be great in a grilled cheese sandwich, too!

  4. I’m a sucker for cheese balls. We used to eat them all the time during holidays when I was a kid. I really need to start making them again because they are so amazing. #client