Cheese balls are the perfect easy appetizer to throw together for your Super Bowl party. For this cheese ball, we used smoky green chiles, pepper and Monterey jack cheese and seasoned pecans as the crust. This recipe is easily doubled to handle any size crowd.
Green chiles come in different shapes, sizes and hotness. For this recipe, we decided to use Anaheim chiles. Anaheim chiles are long green peppers that have a rather mild, sweet flavor. In Scoville units, these peppers have a large range from 500 to 2,000 while jalapenos have a range of 3,500 to 8,000. In the end, Anaheim peppers are a great choice to please all heat levels at your party.
The chiles are definitely the star in the recipe; however the outer crust is just as delicious. Typically, cheese balls have some kind of nut crust that cuts through the creamy, and sometimes heavy, cream cheese ball. For this recipe, we’ve decided to use pecans that have been flavored with a creative mixture of spices including cumin and paprika.
Like most cheese ball recipes, they are easily adaptable! Feel free to change up the cheeses, peppers or nuts for a completely different flavor!
Green Chile Cheese Ball – makes 1 cheese ball
- 3 Anaheim chiles
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 1, 8oz, package cream cheese – softened
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup pecans – finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
First begin by charring the Anaheim peppers. This can be done on a grill or on a gas burner stove. Place the peppers on the heat and char until skin is black and blistered. Immediately place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let sit for 10 minutes. Once cool, remove the stem, seeds and skin. Chop into small pieces.
In a large bowl, combine the peppers, cheese, cream cheese, and spices. Mix with a spatula until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Form into a ball and place on a piece of parchment paper; freeze for 20 minutes until firm but not completely frozen.
Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the pecans and remaining spices. Toss the pecans continuously until both the pecans and spices begin to toast; about 5 minutes. Spread on a plate to cool completely. Once cool, roll the partially frozen cheese ball in the pecans until evenly coated on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Serve with tortilla or pita chips.