Jalapeño Popper Cheese Football

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This make-ahead Jalapeño Popper Cheese Football is the perfect game day appetizer to share with your family. This post is sponsored by Mondelēz International. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Easy make-ahead jalapeno cheese ball appetizer for game day! This adorable football cheese ball is perfect for bringing to your next tailgate.

Football season is back!! The moment my family has been waiting for since February is finally here. My mom and husband are the biggest football fans in the family and they love to get together on Sunday afternoons to enjoy {yelling at} the game together.

I love having dedicated weekly family time together even if I'm not a huge football fan myself. My main job is to provide awesome snacks and treats. It's my chance to try out some new fun appetizers and desserts knowing we'll have people around to taste test them for me.

Even though it is just our little family gathering for the game, I love making that time feel special for everyone. I wanted to share 3 easy tips for making the most out of Sunday afternoons with your football fans, too.

3 tips for hosting a simple football party for your family:

The easy jalapeno cheese ball requires just a few easy ingredients: Wheat Thins, 2 green onions, a jalapeno pepper, 2 packages of Neufchatel Cheese, and some shredded sharp cheddar.

1. Make the food ahead of time:

I'm always looking for ways to get food on the table faster. Make-ahead recipes are some of my favorites.

Growing up in the Midwest, it's not game day without cheese on the table. You can probably guess the team my parents avidly root for each week. To honor that, I went looking for a fun make-ahead cheese ball I could try.

I personally LOVE jalapeño poppers but I think Tim might panic at the sight of such a huge pepper on the plater. Instead, I decided to make this awesome jalapeño cheese ball shaped like a football with WHEAT THINS Original Snacks crumbled over the top and served on the side. The jalapeños are diced finely, hidden inside, and just give the cheese a bit of a kick without being too spicy.

A jalapeño cheese ball is the perfect make-ahead appetizer because you can do all the prep work in the morning or the day before and let it just chill in the fridge until game time.

I took the easy one-step further and ordered all our groceries through Harris Teeter's online shopping service. I love that I can pick out everything we need online and then just drive through the Harris Teeter pick-up lane when the time works right for my schedule. Their shoppers always pick the best produce for me!

Easy Make-ahead football cheese ball is made out of a jalapeno cheese ball recipe.

2. Let the kids help make the food:

This adorable football-shaped jalapeño cheese ball is the perfect kid-friendly recipe. Your little chefs could absolutely make the entire thing all by themselves if you wanted to let them (with supervision, of course.)

BLEND & PAT: They simply blend together the cheeses, onion powder, minced jalapeño, and chopped green onions in a bowl. Then scoop it out onto the platter and gently pat it into a football shape with their hands.

CRUSH & SPRINKLE: Place 15 WHEAT THINS Original Snacks in a plastic baggie. Seal it and use a kitchen mallet to crush them into crumbs. Mix with some reserved green onions and pat them all over the top of the football.

SNIP & DECORATE: Place 2 tbsp of sour cream in a plastic baggie and snip a small corner off the bottom. Pipe the sour cream over the football to make the laces.

Just like I did with my husband, you can assure the kids the peppers are not too spicy. There's so much creamy cheese for them to scoop up with their crackers instead!

This easy make-ahead jalapeno cheese ball is perfect for game day!

3. Make sure clean-up is a breeze:

Just because I'm in charge of the snacks doesn't mean I have to slave away in the kitchen all by myself. I want to enjoy my family, too.

I keep an eye on the clearance section of the store and snap up cute and colorful paper plates and napkins when I spot them. I keep them in a tub in my pantry and use them for special events like game day.

If you make the Jalapeño Popper Cheese Football ahead of time and then use paper plates, there's virtually no clean-up when the party is done!

The kids love how festive such a small and simple thing makes our viewing party.

3 tips for hosting the best family game day party!

If you're heading to a game day party out of the house, this is a perfectly portable appetizer to bring, too. Bring an extra box of WHEAT THINS Original Snacks since they'll go with just about any appetizer on the table!

📖 Recipe

A football-shaped jalepeno popper cheeseball has a sour cream decoration for the laces and is surrounded by Wheat Thin creackers.

Jalapeño Popper Cheese Football

5 from 1 vote
This easy make-ahead jalapeño cheese ball is perfect for Game Day fun! Have the kids pat it into a football shape and top it with sour cream laces. Serve with tasty WHEAT THINS Original Snacks for crunch.
TOTAL TIME 15 minutes
PREP TIME 15 minutes
YIELD 24 servings


  • 2 (8 oz.) packages Neufchatel cheese softened
  • 7 oz shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped jalapeño peppers
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 green onions chopped, divided
  • WHEAT THINS Original Snacks
  • 2 tsp light sour cream


  • Beat Neufchatel cheese, cheddar cheese, peppers, garlic powder and 3 tbsp onions in medium bowl with mixer until blended. Shape into oval to resemble a football.
  • Crush 15 WHEAT THINS finely; mix with remaining onions. Press into football until evenly coated with crumb mixture.
  • Spoon sour cream into small resealable plastic bag. Cut small tip off one bottom corner of bag; use to pipe sour cream onto football to resemble laces. 
  • Serve with additional WHEAT THINS.

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