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RITZ Jalapeño Popper Bites

Crushed RITZ crackers give these gooey, cheesy bites a crunchy coating and jalapeños give them a flavorful kick!

Serves 10
Ready in 80 mins
Prep time 60 mins
Cooking time 20 mins
260 calories per serving


> 1 (8 oz) brick cream cheese, softened
> 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
> 1 cup shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese
> 2 large fresh jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
> 1 tsp garlic powder
> 1 egg
> 2 tbsp flour
> 28 RITZ Crackers, crushed
> Oil, for frying


Mix cream cheese, shredded cheeses, peppers and garlic powder until blended; roll into 30 (1-1/4-inch) balls. Place on parchment-covered rimmed baking sheet.
Freeze 20 min. or until firm enough to easily handle.
Beat egg in shallow dish until blended. Place flour in separate shallow dish, then place cracker crumbs in third dish.
Dip cheese balls, one at a time, in flour, turning to evenly coat each ball with flour. Shake cheese ball gently to remove excess flour, then dip cheese balls in eggs, then cracker crumbs, turning to evenly coat each cheese ball with each ingredient. Gently press crumbs into cheese balls to secure. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat oil in deep fryer to 350°F. Add cheese balls, in small batches, to hot oil; cook 1 min. or until golden brown. Remove from oil with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Cool slightly.


Recipe Sponsored by RITZ


Use Your Air Fryer
Heat air fryer to 325°F. Spray crumb-coated cheese balls with cooking spray if desired. Place, in batches, in single layer in air fryer basket, leaving spaces between cheese balls. Cook 3 to 5 min. or until cheese balls are crisp and golden brown. Place on paper towel-covered cooling rack; cool slightly.

Make Ahead
These fun-to-eat cheese poppers can be partially prepped ahead of time. Coat cheese balls with ingredients as directed. Place in single layer on baking sheet. Freeze 1 hour, then transfer cheese balls to freezer-weight resealable plastic bag. Freeze up to 1 week. Refrigerate frozen cheese balls overnight to thaw before cooking as directed. Note: If cooking the cheese balls in an air fryer, no need to thaw them before cooking.

Prepare using Neufchatel cheese and/or shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese.

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