12 Servings
2 hr 15 min

This spicy cheese ball recipe is a great party or game day appetizer. This easy appetizer recipe is great served with your favorite crackers, pretzels, or fresh veggies for dipping.

Cheese balls are a classic party appetizer that are classically made with mellow cheeses and rolled in nuts. This tex mex cheese ball is a zingy twist on this classic appetizer for those who like it a little spicy. This easy cheese ball recipe without nuts is the perfect party appetizer, great for a game day watch party, and a fun option for a movie or game night too!


Level of difficulty: Easy.

Flavor: Spicy and creamy, with pops of fresh pepper and cilantro

Time: It will take you approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes to make your tex mex cheese ball. This includes prep time and two hours of chill time.


Cream cheese - regular or low fat will both work

Cheddar cheese

Pepper jack cheese

Red bell pepper

Fresh cilantro

Hot sauce

Taco seasoning


  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until well blended
  2. Pour blended ingredients onto a piece of plastic wrap, wrap tightly, and roll into a ball
  3. Refrigerate the cheese ball for at least two hours to firm up and hold it’s shape
  4. Serve with crackers, pretzels, fresh veggies, or anything else you'd like to use for dipping and enjoy!


This spicy cheese ball recipe is vegetarian and gluten free as written.

  • If you are serving this tex mex cheese ball to someone with a gluten intolerance, there are a few things you will want to confirm:
  • Verify the hot sauce selected is certified as gluten free (most are naturally, but not all are certified to be gluten free)
  • Ensure there are gluten free crackers or gluten free pretzels available for them to dip into this appetizer. Fresh veggies are another great option that could be enjoyed by someone with a gluten intolerance
  • Due to the high quantity of dairy in this recipe, I do not recommend trying to modify this specific recipe into a vegan or dairy-free appetizer.


Serve your spicy cheese ball with a variety of things to dip in it! Great options include:

  • Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Fresh Veggies (bell peppers and carrots are my go-to)
  • Pita Bread
  • Pita Chips
  • Naan Crisps

I also recommend setting out a small butter knife to help spread the cheese ball onto the crackers if desired. Because depending on the cracker, diving right in sometimes results in a broken cracker.


You can make your spicy cheese ball ahead of time, making your party planning easier!

In the fridge: you can store this tex mex cheese ball in the fridge for up to one week. If kept in the fridge longer than one night, place in an airtight container to maintain freshness.

In the freezer: you can also store a formed cheese ball without nuts in the freezer for up to one month. To do this, wrap it in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer save zip top bag. Place the cheese ball in the refrigerator overnight to thaw prior to serving.


Use block cheese and shred it (do NOT use packaged shredded cheese). This may seem like a strange tip, but packaged shredded cheeses often have additives to prevent it from clumping, which can translate to a cheese ball that does not stick together very well. Shredding your own cheese avoids this potential issue.

If you do not have a food processor, you can mix your ingredients by hand. Instead of placing all ingredients into a food processor, beat cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Then mix in the remaining ingredients until well distributed throughout. Then follow the same instructions to form and chill your tex mex cheese ball.

Let the cheese ball sit out at room temperature prior to serving. Letting your tex mex cheese ball sit out for about 10 minutes before serving allows the cheese ball to soften up just enough for easier dipping!


Measuring Spoo ns

Measuring Cups

Box Grater

A Food Processor


*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. However, please know that I strive to provide links to products that I actually use and wholeheartedly recommend whenever possible.

Recipe details
  • 12  Servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 2 Hours Total time: 2 hr 15 min
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  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 4oz cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 C finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning

Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until well blended
Pour blended ingredients onto a piece of plastic wrap, wrap tightly, and roll into a ball
Refrigerate the cheese ball for 2-hours (up to overnight) to firm up and hold it’s shape
Serve with crackers, pretzels, fresh veggies, or anything else you'd like to use for dipping and enjoy!
Meredith | Our Love Language is Food
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  • Arline Kay Arline Kay on Feb 18, 2022

    This looks exactly what I'm looking for - I'm excited to try this cheese ball! Thank you. What round chips/crackers with the little lip on them are depicted? I looked up naan chips and clearly those are not these. Searching didn't help me.

    • Hi Arline, I'm so glad to hear it, I hope you love it!! The chips shown in the picture are Kibo Lentil Chips (you can order on their website or Amazon). Otherwise, this cheese ball will be great with any of your favorite crackers or even on a tortilla chip.