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Culinary staffer Grant Melton shares his jalapeno popper-inspired cheese ball that's sure to spice up any party.


  • 1 8-ounce brick cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded sharp white
  • 1 cup Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pickled cherry peppers, or jalapeños, finely chopped plus 1 tablespoon of their pickling liquid
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup fried onions
  • 1/2 cup dehydrated jalapenos
  • Crackers, chips and crudité, for serving


Serves: 8


In a stand mixer or using an electric hand mixer, combine cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar, Pepper Jack, scallions, jalapenos, pickled peppers and juice, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Form the cheese mixture into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill until firm.

Place fried onions and dehydrated jalapenos in a bag and smash into small pieces with a rolling pin.

Once cheese ball is firm, remove from plastic wrap and roll in the fried onion-jalapeno mixture to coat.

Serve with crackers, chips and crudité.