Bold and flavorful cheddar bacon jalapeño cheeseball is the perfect balance of savory and heat in one easy, make ahead appetizer.
My mother makes a cheeseball every single year for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, and sometimes in between if we have holiday parties, which we always do. So I get my mother’s classic cheeseball probably 3-5 times during this time of year, and I never get sick of it. Cheeseball is such a crowd-pleasing appetizer since it’s basically a grown-up version of cheese and crackers you can serve guests and still feel like a sophisticated host, you know?
It’s kind of a joke in my family – a joke that is really not a joke, you know those jokes right? – that the day after Thanksgiving we always have to go out for Mexican food because we crave something spicy after all of that even-toned comfort food. It’s become kind of a tradition, Spicy Friday. Heaven knows spicy is my favorite genre of food flavors. <—is that even a thing? Food flavor genres?? Sure. Just go with it.
But if Thanksgiving Day could include that spicy kick I love so much? Pretty much all of my dreams would come true. Which is exactly what is happening right now….
Classic holiday cheeseball, meet your spicy match. So many things I love are happening here. Sharp cheddar cheese and BACON together in one bite can only be made better by one thing: French’s® (new!) Crispy Fried Jalapeños. Honest to goodness I’m obsessed. This is coming from a jalapeños straight from the jar eater. I adore jalapeños, and possibly even more-so when they are fried. I’d eat them plain all day long, but I especially love how they transform a classic or everyday dish into something kind of over-the-top wonderful with that crunchy spicy goodness.
This is the perfect appetizer or side dish for your holiday meal – especially when it can be whipped up in about 5 minutes and you can even make it ahead so your holiday season will be less stressful and more delicious than ever.
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 16 ounces cream cheese (light or fat free are okay), at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅔ cup bacon bits
- ⅔ cup finely crushed French's Crispy Jalapeños
- crackers, for serving
- Combine cheddar cheese, cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and garlic powder in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
- Lay a 12 by 12 inch piece of plastic wrap out on a clean, flat surface. Transfer cheese mixture to the center of the plastic wrap. Wrap plastic wrap around the cheese mixture and use your hands to shape into a ball (you can do this on the counter or a plate so that one side of the ball is flat).
- Unwrap cheeseball. Place crushed crispy jalapeños on a place. Roll cheeseball in the jalapeno pieces so that the outside is covered. (The flat side does not need to be covered).
- Place cheeseball on a plate and serve with crackers OR cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve (can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in fridge).
This spicy-licious recipe is in partnership with French’s. #holidaywithfrenchs