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Mini Cheese Balls Appetizer

Mini cheese balls have the perfect ratio of cream cheese to crunchy outer layer of bacon, chopped nuts and herbs.

I love a good cheeseball during the holiday season. But once the outside layer is gone, I tend to lose interest.

This mini cheese balls recipe takes an already easy party appetizer to the next level.

holding cheese ball with bite

Now, instead of scooping cheese onto your plate, you have individual finger foods that are easy to grab off the holiday party table with no mess.

And these party plates with cupholders make stepping up to the food table even easier.

What could be better?

What I Love about Mini Cheeseballs

  • Perfect appetizer
  • Savory
  • Crunchy
  • Variety of flavors
  • Make-ahead recipe

Ingredients

Similar to a large cheese ball, this mini cheese ball appetizer starts with a cream cheese mixture that is rolled in various toppings to create these delicious little guys in just 30 minutes.

Finish out the appetizers with Air Fryer Pepperoni Pizza Balls, Air-Fryer Hot BBQ Wings, and Air Fryer Pigs in a Blanket for one amazing tasting experience.

cheese ball ingredients in bowls

Here’s what you need:

  • Cream cheese, softened
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Mayonnaise
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Pecans
  • Bacon bits
  • Fresh herbs (like parsley, basil, or cilantro)
  • Pretzel sticks

How to Make Them

Easy appetizers are my jam and I especially love savory flavors. So basically everything in this recipe.

Start with a medium mixing bowl and add softened cream cheese, shredded cheese, mayonnaise, onion powder, and garlic powder.

add cheeses and seasoning to bowl

Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, gently stir the mixture until the ingredients are well combined.

Transfer the cheese mixture to the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.

stir cheese mixture until well combined

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Then in a shallow dish, stir together finely chopped pecans, chopped bacon, and parsley.

TIP: If your toppings aren’t chopped to your liking, add them to a food processor and pulse 2-3 times to combine before transferring to the plate.

mix coating together on a shallow plate

Use a cookie scoop or roll balls with your hands, about 1 inch in diameter.

Then coat the outside of the cheese balls with the pecan bacon mixture by rolling them on the plate. Arrange them on the parchment paper.

roll balls in coating and set on wax paper

Gently press a pretzel stick into the center of each mini cheese ball and you’re done.

Eat right away or put the little cheese balls on a serving platter and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until serving time.

gently press a pretzel stick into each bite size cheeseball

Recipe Variations

This is a great party appetizer because it can be made with so many different flavors. Choose your favorite flavors and have fun with it.

Here are a few more combinations to try:

  • Separate the toppings so there is only one type per bite.
  • Add green onion to the cheese mixture
  • Try using goat cheese and roll it in dried cranberries
  • Serve with pita chips or crackers
  • Spice it up with some red pepper flakes
  • Swap the cheddar for pepper jack cheese
  • Use another soft cheese like Boursin if you prefer
place on a platter and serve

Print the Recipe

This mini cheese ball recipe is a delicious bite-sized appetizer that’s perfect for holiday time or New Year’s Eve.

The creamy texture compliments the crunchy toppings for a combination that will keep your guests coming back for more. Enjoy!

mini cheese ball recipe

Mini Cheese Balls Appetizer

Andrea Updyke
I love this fun twist on a classic cheese ball appetizer. Making individual bite size cheese balls allows you to customize flavor for the perfect holiday party food.
4.67 from 3 votes

Be sure to check out my tips and tricks in the post. Scroll up to read!

Prep Time 15 mins
Chill Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 20 mini cheese balls
Calories 144 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 12 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup shredded cheese sharp or any cheddar blend
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup pecans finely chopped
  • ¼ cup bacon bits or small bacon crumble pieces
  • 2 tbsp. parsley chopped
  • 20 pretzel sticks

Instructions
 

  • In a medium mixing bowl, fold together cream cheese, shredded cheese, mayonnaise, onion powder, and garlic powder. This will take several minutes, but keep folding the mixture until everything is well combined and distributed.
  • Move the cheese mixture to the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Then, in a shallow dish, stir together finely chopped pecans, bacon, and parsley.
  • Roll the cheese mixture into 1 inch balls, and roll to coat the outside of the cheese balls with the pecan bacon mixture. Place them onto the parchment paper.
  • Place a pretzel stick into the center of each mini cheese ball.
  • Chill until ready to serve.

Notes

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cheese ballCalories: 144kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 4gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.004gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 163mgPotassium: 66mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 395IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is estimated. For the most accurate info, always doublecheck with your ingredients.

Recipe Rating




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