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Jalapeño Pimento Cheese Balls

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Jalapeño pimento cheese balls are made with real cheddar cheese, cream cheese and chopped pecans. They are such a great party appetizer for the holidays. They’ve got the same classic cheese ball flavor, in bite sized form. 

jalapeno and pimento cheese ball with pretzel sticks.
Jalapeño and pimento cheese ball with pretzel sticks

Love these jalapeño pimento cheese balls? Try my Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cookies and my Cinnamon Sugar Muffins for more great recipes!

These jalapeño pimento cheese balls are served “on a stick” with a pretzel stick stuck in the middle of them. They have the same great flavor of a classic cheese ball, but this way they’re even easier for guests to enjoy. These little mini cheese balls are not only cute, they’re totally practical.

They are an ideal party snack or appetizer because they are made in advance and you don’t need to heat them up.

individual jalapeno pimento cheese balls.
Individual jalapeño pimento cheese balls

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • These cheese balls make the perfect holiday appetizer for any occasion! It is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
  • Perfectly seasoned and so easy to make!
  • Perfect to share with your friends and family at all of your holiday parties!
  • Made with real cheddar cheese, cream cheese, jalapeños and chopped pecans.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese – I like sharp cheddar the best. Grate the cheese instead of buying the pre-shredded kind. It makes a big difference on flavor and texture.
  • Cream Cheese – the key ingredient to a good cheese ball.
  • Mayonnaise – use a good quality brand since it is the base of the spread.
  • Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Onion Powder, Salt and Pepper – for added seasoning.
  • Jalapeños – seeded and finely chopped.
  • Pimentos – usually found in the condiment isle.
  • Bacon – cooked and chopped.
  • Pecans – chop them finely so the cheeseball is easier to serve.
  • Pretzel Sticks – makes a great handle for the cheese balls.

How To Make This Recipe

six image process making jalapeno pimento cheese ball.
Jalapeño pimento cheese balls process

Step 1:

In a large bowl mix cheese, cream cheese, mayo, all seasonings, jalapeño, and pimentos until well combined. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Step 2:

In a shallow dish, combine bacon and pecans and mix well.

Step 3:

Roll cheese mixture into a ball and roll in the bacon pecan mixture until well coated.

Step 4:

Insert a pretzel stick in the center just before serving.

cheese ball inside view.
Delicious cheese ball appetizer

Recipe Tips

  • If you don’t like mayo, you can substitute for sour cream.
  • Be sure the cream cheese is at room temperature or you’ll have a really hard time mixing.
  • Purchase a block of cheese and shred it for better flavor without additives.
  • Chop the pecans into small bits, that way they’ll coat better.
  • Don’t skip the chill step or you likely won’t be able to shape the mixture into a ball.
  • Keep the cheese balls uniform in size is by scooping them with a cookie scoop.
  • Be gentle pushing in the pretzel sticks or they’ll snap in half.

Variations

  • Add a dash or two of hot sauce or sriracha for a kick if you enjoy spice.
  • Try changing up the types of cheese. Mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, Mexican, Colby Jack or Monterey Jack cheese are all great options.
  • Adding scallions, cranberries and bell pepper give extra flavor.
  • Try rolling the balls in a variety of topping like finely chopped parsley, chives, dried cranberries, or crumbled bacon.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: Place covered cheese balls in the refrigerator. They should last up to a week.

Freezing: Wrap the cheese balls well in plastic wrap (without pretzels) and place it in a freezer safe zip top bags. Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and add pretzel sticks once completely thawed.

FAQ

How long can the cheese balls sit out?

Since there is dairy in this it shouldn’t be left sitting unrefrigerated for longer than two hours.

Can I make this recipe into one big cheese ball?

Absolutely! Follow the first two steps, then mold the cream cheese mixture into one big ball. Then cover the whole thing in the pecan bacon mixture.

What else can I roll these cheese balls in?

Different nuts, like walnuts, almonds, or pistachios, or even chives.

Can I use reduced-fat cream cheese?

Yes, it should work fine.

Can I use different cheeses in this recipe?

Absolutely! Use your favorite cheeses!

Yield: 18 Servings

Jalapeño Pimento Cheese Balls

individual jalapeno pimento cheese balls.

Jalapeño pimento cheese balls are made with real cheddar cheese, cream cheese and chopped pecans. They are such a great party appetizer for the holidays. They’ve got the same classic cheese ball flavor, in bite sized form. 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 or 2 jalapeños, seeded & minced
  • 4 ounces pimentos, diced and drained
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and finely diced
  • 1 cup pecans, finely diced
  • Pretzel sticks

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl mix cheese, cream cheese, mayo, all seasonings, jalapeño, and pimentos until well combined. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. In a shallow dish combine bacon and pecans and mix well.
  3. Roll cheese mixture into ball and roll in bacon pecan mixture until well coated.
  4. Insert a pretzel stick in the center just before serving.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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Enjoy!

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