Mini Cheese Balls are the adorable, bite-size appetizer for your next party served with crackers, crostini or veggies!
These Mini Cheese Balls are always a hit at every potluck, holiday party, Game Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years! They are quick and easy to whip up and can be made days in advance for stress-free entertaining. Best of all, these tasty little cheese ball bites are loaded with the ingredients of antipasto/Italian cheese board! Cream cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives and peppered salami are rolled together into mini balls then coated in pistachios and pecans then finished off with a pretzel stick for easy single-serving. Enjoy the cheese balls with crackers, crostini or veggies!
We love a good cheese ball for an easy party appetizer! Don’t miss Bruschetta Cheese Ball, Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball, Hawaiian Cheese Ball, Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log and Garlic Herb Goat Cheese Log.
How to Make Mini Cheese Balls Video
Ingredients in this cheese ball recipe
These Mini Cheese Balls have an irresistible Italian flair to them thanks to the antipasto-inspired ingredients mixed into the filling. Here are the easy-to-find ingredients you’ll need (full measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
for the cheese ball mixture
For the coating
HOW TO MAKE mini cheese Balls
Mini Cheese Balls are one of the easiest appetizers you can prepare for parties, family gatherings, and potlucks! Here’s an overview of how the cheese ball bites are made (full printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
- Step 1: Mix. Stir all of the ingredients together in a large bowl except the nuts.
- Step 2: Chill. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Do not skip this step! The ingredients need time for their flavors to meld. Most importantly, the cream cheese has to firm up so you can easily form balls from the mixture.
- Step 3: Make balls. Once the cheese mixture has chilled, use a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop to roll the mixture into balls.
- Step 4: Coat. Roll the balls in the chopped nut mixture to coat, pressing firmly so the nuts adhere.
- Step 5: Add pretzels. Place a pretzel stick into each cheese ball and then chill on a tray until ready to serve. The pretzel sticks makes it easy for individuals to pick up their own bite-size serving.
WHAT to serve with cheese balls?
The Mini Cheese Balls are served with a pretzel stick, so guests can easily transfer them to their plates and serve alongside one or more of the following:
Tools Used in This Recipe
Mini Cheese Balls
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CHEESE BALLS MIXTURE
- 12 ounces cream cheese (1 ½ blocks), softened to room temperature
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 cup finely freshly shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup finely freshly grated Parmesan
- 15 thin slices peppered salami, chopped (about 2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, dried, chopped
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed, dried, chopped
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (or 1 ½ tsp dried)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil (or 1 ½ tsp dried)
- 1 tsp EACH onion powder, garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste (at least ⅛ tsp each)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios (I use shelled, roasted with sea salt)
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced parsley
- 24 pretzel sticks
- pita chips
- bagel chips
- crudite (carrots, celery, bell peppers, etc.)
- Mix all of the Cheese Ball Mixture ingredients together in a large bowl until evenly combined (except coating/nuts). Cover and chill for 30 minutes, up to 1 day,
- Combine the Coating ingrdients together in a shallow dish. Once chilled, use a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop to roll the cream cheese mixture into mini balls, then roll in the nut/parsley mixture to coat, pressing to adhere.
- If serving within 2 hours, insert a pretzel stick into each mini cheese ball, then chill on a tray until ready to serve. If not serving within a couple hours, wait to add the pretzel sticks, otherwise they will become soggy.
- Serve alongside your choice of crostini, crackers, crudite, pita chips, bagel chips, etc.
- Make ahead: You can prep the mini cheese ball recipe entirely in advance, except for adding the pretzel sticks. Place them on a serving tray, and tightly cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate up to 24 hours in advance, then add the pretzel stick just before serving. If serving within a few hours, the nuts will remain top notch crunchy. If serving the next day, they won’t be quite as crunchy, but still close. For a crunchier coating, omit the nuts, and chill until ready to serve, then let the cheese balls sit for 10 minutes or so at room temperature to soften then roll in the nuts.
- Storage: Remove the pretzel sticks before storing, because they will get soggy. Wrap the tray of cheese balls tightly in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container. They’ll last up to 4 days, noting that the nuts will lose some of their crunch.
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