Copycat “Rattlesnake Bites” are balls of cheese with lots of jalapeno peppers mixed in for just the right amount of kick in each cheesy, lightly fried bite. For another appetizer with a kick, try my Jalapeno Popper Cheesy Fries.
Cheesy Jalapeno “Rattlesnake Bites”
Texas Roadhouse restaurants are certainly known for their rolls, but their rattlesnake bites are another popular item on the menu. The round bite-sized balls of cheesy goodness in these Copycat Rattlesnake Bites are filled with diced jalapenos, but the heat is not too overpowering. You actually get the flavor of the jalapeno pepper, rather than just the spice from it.
Cheesy Jalapeno Bites Recipe
This bite-sized appetizer is sure to be a hit at your next party or gathering. So, get out what you need to get these cheesy bites made.
Ingredients (full recipe below)
- Shredded Monterey jack cheese
- Shredded pepper jack cheese
- Jalapeno peppers
- Kosher salt
- Bread crumbs
- Garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
Once you have all the ingredients, the first thing you will want to do is seed and dice the jalapeno peppers.
How to Seed and Dice a Jalapeno Pepper
Jalapeno peppers are hot peppers, so be careful when you cut them! If you have any cuts on your hands, I would suggest to wear food-safe gloves, or be prepared to feel some pain if some oil gets in those cuts! If you don’t have gloves, just be sure to wash your hands with white vinegar and cold water when you are done with the jalapenos.
There are a couple of ways you can seed and cut a jalapeno. One way is to simply slice the jalapeno down the middle, vertically, and carefully remove the seeds with a spoon. Another way to remove the seeds is to hold the jalapeno up by the stem–you can always cut across the bottom of the pepper so it can stand a little flatter– and slice along the sides of the pepper, hopefully leaving the seeds attached to the core.
Then, simply stack the pepper strips and chop them into pieces, throwing away the core and seeds, of course. Remember, the capsaicin (what makes the pepper hot) will be on your hands, so don’t touch your fingers to your mouth or eyes until you wash your hands.
How to Make Cheesy Jalapeno Bites
After you have seeded and diced the jalapeno peppers, shred the two kinds of cheeses. I like to buy blocks of cheese and shred them myself for the best results. Next, mince the garlic and combine the jalapenos, cheeses, and garlic in a large bowl.
Once you have the cheeses mixed with the peppers and garlic, scoop out about a tablespoon of the mixture and form it into a ball. Place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet, repeating with the rest of the cheese mixture. I was able to make 13 bites with this recipe. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and chill for about 30 minutes before continuing with the recipe.
Coating the Cheesy Jalapeno Bites
Remove the cheese balls from the freezer and prepare them for frying. Take out three deep plates or bowls. On the first plate, mix together the flour, salt, and pepper. On the second plate, whisk the two eggs with water. Finally, combine the bread crumbs, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper on the third plate.
Dip the cheese balls in the flour mixture, followed by the egg and water mixture, and then, the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure the cheese balls are well coated after each step.
Frying the Bites
Once the cheese balls are coated, heat up the oil in a large skillet. The oil should measure about 1/4-inch in depth. Heat the oil to 350°F, checking the temperature with a candy thermometer. A candy thermometer, also known as a deep-fry thermometer or sugar thermometer, is used to measure the temperature of a sugar solution. It is definitely an important tool to have when making candy or checking hot oil temperatures.
If you don’t have a thermometer, it usually takes 12-15 minutes for the oil to reach a temperature of 350°F. You can always try a few testing methods as well:
- One method to test the oil temperature is to put the handle of a wooden spoon into the hot oil. The oil will start to bubble steadily when it’s good to go. If you are seeing the oil bubbling like crazy, it’s too hot and needs to cool down a bit. If there are only a few to no bubbles, it’s not hot enough.
- Another method is using a 1-inch square of bread. Carefully put the bread into the oil and if it browns in 60 seconds, the oil is ready.
- My favorite method is the popcorn test. Put a kernel of popcorn into the pan of oil as soon as you begin heating up the oil. As soon as that kernel pops, the oil is ready!
Once the oil is hot enough, fry the cheese balls for about 3 minutes, making sure to get each of the cheese balls a golden brown. Place the lightly fried cheese balls on a plate with a paper towel to soak up extra oil. Serve hot, with a side of ranch dressing or a dipping sauce of your choice.
Looking for More Appetizers?
Cheesy Jalapeno Bites
Copycat Rattlesnake Bites are balls of cheese with lots of jalapeno peppers mixed in for just the right amount of kick in each cheesy, lightly fried bite
- 1 cup Monterey jack cheese, freshly shredded
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese, freshly shredded
- 3 medium jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- vegetable or canola oil
In a large bowl combine cheeses, jalapenos, and garlic.
Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of the mixture and form it into a tight ball. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining cheese mixture.
Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and chill for about 20-30 minutes.
Set out three wide and deep plates.
On plate one, whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper.
On plate two, whisk together the eggs with water.
On plate three, whisk together the bread crumbs, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
Dredge each cheese ball into the flour first, then the eggs and water mixture, and finally the bread crumb mixture. Ensure that the cheese ball is well coated after each step. Repeat with remaining cheese balls.
In a large skillet, heat a 1/4 inch of oil over medium heat (should register about 350°F).
Working in batches, fry the cheese balls until golden brown on all sides (about 3 minutes).
Set on a paper towel to soak up excess oil.
Serve hot. (If bites cool, reheat before serving.)