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Football Cheese Ball Recipe – Bacon, Jalapeño Appetizer Super Bowl Food

This football cheese ball recipe is spicy and fun with a shape that all Super Bowl fans will appreciate.

Do you like to entertain friends for the big game? So do I, and I am always looking for new ways to delight my friends with recipes that I have not served in the past.

This year I will treat them to this easy football shaped cheese ball.

I can’t wait to see them dig into this spicy bacon and jalapeño appetizer! Who would have thought this football started with packages of cream cheese?

The recipe is one of my favorite easy appetizers for the Super Bowl.

Cheese ball in the shape of a football with drinks, crackers and red pepper and text reading Spicy Football Cheese Ball.

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Do you have your menu ready for the big game? This easy jalapeño spiced cheese ball in the shape of a football is the perfect choice. Head to Recipes Just 4U to find out how to make it. 🏉🧀🏉 Click To Tweet

Making this easy jalapeño spiced football cheese ball

Cream cheese balls are one of my favorite appetizers to prepare. Since most of my party guests also love spicy food, I decided to amp up the heat for this recipe with the addition of some diced jalapeño peppers.

I love the simplicity of this recipe. It only has five ingredients that combine into a great tasting cheeseball that you can then decorate. Your guests will love the way it looks!

When I am having guests for a big game night party, I want to make sure that the food I serve is very easy to make. However, I also like to throw in a bit of creativity, too.

Making this cheese ball in the shape of a football really appeals to my artistic side, and I know my guest will think it’s great, too.

Ritz crackers are perfect to serve with this cheese ball!  These small crackers are so tasty and perfect for dipping into the deliciously spicy mixture.

Ritz crackers, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, red pepper, jalapeno and garlic.Making the cheese ball is a cinch. Start by dicing your peppers and garlic.  

I removed the seeds from my jalapeño pepper. If you like the cheese ball more spicy, just leave some (or all – you spice fiend, you!).diced peppers and garlic with a sharp knife on a cutting board.

Everything gets combined in a large bowl. I used my stand mixer and quickly mixed all the ingredients except for the bacon.

The spicy cheeseball mixture came together easily in my big mixer, but a hand mixer will work, too.Cream cheese and cheddar in a stand mixer with chopped peppers, garlic and jalapenos.

Be sure that you start with room temperature cream cheese that is soft to make it easy to mix.

Mix well so that the peppers and garlic are well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times, too.Spicy cream cheese mixture in a mixing bowl

Making the football shape

Use your hands to form the mixture into a football shape and wrap it in plastic wrap. The cheese ball needs to sit in the fridge for several hours so that it will set.

If you add oil to your hands it’s easier to form the football shape. It forms quite easily if you do it right after you mix the ingredients.Cheese ball mixture in the shape of a football.

I love that you can make this football cheese ball ahead of time, even several days before, since it will keep for about a week in the fridge.

Finishing the football decorations

Decorating the cheese ball so that it looks like a football is easy and fun.

Take the formed cheese ball out of the fridge about 30 minutes before your guests arrive. Coat it with bacon bits and add some mozzarella cheese strips to resemble the lacing on a football.Football shaped cheese ball with cheese to resemble lacing.

Use two wide strips of white cheddar cheese to make the end decoration on the football. Stick them to the cheese ball by adding a small amount of the cream cheese on the back of the strips.

For the laces, use two long pieces to make the seam and 8 shorter pieces to make the laces. The laces are just laid them on the top of the cheese ball and your decoration is done.cheese ball covered in bacon with cheese strips to look like a football.

This football cheese ball looks wonderful on my long platter surrounded by the crackers, also in the shape of a football. Spicy football cheese ball on a platter with crackers, garlic and red pepper.

Coke Zero is the perfect drink to go with this appetizer without adding any extra calories. Win Win.

I love to serve drinks in mason jar mugs. This adds a casual touch to the evening.

The football cheese ball is creamy, spicy and so, so tasty. It’s the perfect appetizer to sit on a coffee table while you all watch the game on TV.  Coffee table display of football cheese ball and coke zero in front of a TV

Appetizers are the perfect food for a party like this and this one is one of the neatest ones I have ever made.  

You should have seen my husband’s face when he saw it. He fell right in love with me all over again!!

I know my party guests will love it, too.

The crackers make it easy to dip into the cheesy mixture. What could be more perfect on game day than the spicy taste of this delicious cheese ball?close up of the spicy football cheese ball on crackers

What is your favorite food to share for the big game?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Pin this football shaped cheese ball for later

Would you like a reminder of this spicy bacon, jalapeño cheeseball appetizer? Pin this image to one of your appetizer boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.Cheese ball and crackers on a plate with words reading Football shaped cheese ball.

Admin note: This post first appeared on the blog in January of 2016. I have updated the post to add new photos, a printable recipe card with nutrition and a video for you to enjoy.

Yield: 30

Easy Jalapeno Spiced Football Cheese Ball

Spicy football cheese ball

This spicy cheese ball is covered in bacon bits and shaped and decorated like a football for the ultimate in Super Bowl party food.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes


  • 16 ounces of light cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8-ounces of extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 medium red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of bacon bits
  • 2 slices of white cheddar cheese, to make the lacing on the football
  • 30 Ritz crackers


  • In a large bowl, combine everything except the bacon.
  • Stir to combine well. Make sure cream cheese is very soft before adding the other ingredients.
  • Place a small amount of oil on your hands to keep the cheese ball from sticking to them.
  • Lay the cheese ball mixture on some plastic wrap.
  • Form the cheese mixture into a football shape and wrap with the plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for at least three hours (longer is fine).
  • Remove the plastic wrap and coat the outside of the football with the bacon bits.
  • Add strips of mozzarella cheese to form the lacing on the football and two thicker strips to decorate the ends of the football (some cream cheese will help these to stick to the bacon coated cheese ball).
  • Serve with Ritz classic crackers.
  • Enjoy!
  • Notes

    The cheese ball will keep for about 1 week in the fridge so it can be made before the party; but don't roll on the bacon until the day of serving.

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:

    1 cracker and cheese

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 95Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 178mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g

    Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.

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    Renee Fuller

    Monday 8th of February 2016

    My family likes a bit of spice. Thanks for sharing a dip idea for a party.


    Wednesday 10th of February 2016

    Mine does too, this was a big hit with them.


    Friday 5th of February 2016

    Carol, I might just have to stick around for the super bowl if this was being served. Looks delicious Karen


    Sunday 7th of February 2016

    LOL. It is really tasty!

    Nicole Elliott ~ Client

    Wednesday 3rd of February 2016

    This is so much fun!!! We love all these flavors so I think this would be a huge hit at our house, I will definitely have to try it out for the Big Game this weekend.


    Thursday 4th of February 2016

    Thanks Nicole. Our guests really loved the taste!

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