When I think of the upcoming Super Bowl, I think of one thing….what kind of food will I fix.
My husband will say it’s all about the football. I say, Nah! It’s all about the food lineup.
One of my all time favorite appetizers is jalapeño poppers. I’ve been making and eating them for years. I remember when I was in college I would buy a box of the frozen kind and eat the whole thing at once. I would stuff the empty box down in the trash, hiding it under other stuff so no one would know I had ate them all. I really liked them a lot. And, I really didn’t want to share them with anyone.
Some things have changed for the better. These days, I tend to share with others, and I like to make my own poppers homemade instead of the frozen kind. I just think they’re so much better that way.
When I was brainstorming new appetizers for the Supper Bowl I thought, why not turn my love for jalapeño poppers into a cheese ball.
I was so excited, and with good reason. It turned out great! Probably one of my favorite cheese balls I’ve ever tried. It was so good.
Now here’s the real kicker. I used Greek cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese.
Now wait a minute, before you log off of this post. Here me out, haha. I know some of you may be thinking, no way! She had me up until she threw in the healthy stuff. Right?
I’m not always a fan of replacing full fat and high calorie options with healthier alternatives. Sometimes it simply doesn’t taste good. But in this case it works. If you’ve never tried Greek cream cheese you are missing out. It taste just as good as the original, but with half the fat, double the protein, and nearly half the calories per serving.
Hmmmm, worth thinking about isn’t it. Tastes the same, but better for you. Sounds crazy but it’s true.
Of course you can make this recipe with standard cream cheese and it will be amazingly good. But, I promise using the Greek cream cheese is equally amazing. I’m all about saving a few calories here and there. That means I can eat double the portion, right?
I had my husband taste the cream cheese and he couldn’t even taste the difference. Trust me, if anybody can pick up on low calorie or low fat products, it’s him. If I hadn’t told him what he was eating, he would have never known.
This recipe is creamy, spicy, cheesiness at its best. We couldn’t stop eating it. I made mine a little spicy because we love things on the hot side. So if you would like it a bit more mild add only 3/4 cup jalapeños instead of a full cup.
Ok, I know I say this all the time, but this jalapeño popper cheese ball is soooo good you just have to try it. It’s simply delicious!
- 2 (8ounce) packages Greek cream cheese or standard cream cheese, softened
- ¾ to 1 cup pickled sliced jalapeños
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 3 thick cut slices of bacon
- ¾ cup Panko bread crumbs
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Fry bacon until crisp, set aside to cool
- In a food processor pulse jalapeños, and cooked bacon, until finely diced
- Using food processor or in a separate bowl, mix together jalapeños, bacon, garlic powder, salt, cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Continue mixing until all ingredients are completely blended
- Form mixture into ball and wrap in cling-wrap. Place in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes, or until ready to serve
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Place Panko unto a non greased baking sheet
- Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until Panko is browned. Be careful not to burn
- Once Panko is cooled, remove cheeseball from refrigerator. Remove plastic wrap and roll cheese ball into the toasted Panko. Coat evenly.
- Serve immediately, with your choice of cracker