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
WHY WE LOVE THIS CHEESE BALL RECIPE
-So tasty. It’s bursting with the CREAMINESS of cream cheese and buttery mozzarella, the MEATINESS of salami all balanced by the ZIPPY sun-dried tomatoes, and briny olives and sweet red bell peppers.
-More crunch! There’s a larger ratio of nuts to cheese in these Mini Cheese Balls so you get more crunch!
-It’s uber versatile. Swap in any ingredients you like!
-Quick and easy to make. Chop, stir and roll!
-100% make-ahead recipe. Make them days in advance!
-Kids and adults loves them! Perfect appetizer for any gathering, Game Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve etc.
-Easy to serve and easy to eat. Place an adorable mini cheese ball bite on your plate, surround it with dippers, and you’re set to roam the room.
-Can be made in a variety of flavors. Use the recipe at the bottom of the post, or turn any of my other cheese ball recipes into minis!
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
What Can Be Substituted for the Cream Cheese?
You can replace the cream cheese with another soft cheese, such as goat cheese. Buy a log of goat cheese rather than goat cheese crumbles. You want to use the creamiest, most pliable cheese you can.
What Can Be Substituted for the Nuts?
Nothing stays quite as crunchy as nuts on a cheese ball, so I recommend not substituting unless necessary for a nut allergy. If that’s the case, you can try panko toasted with a little butter like I do in my bruschetta cheese ball recipe or toasted sesame seeds, crushed crackers, crushed pretzels or crushed potato chips – or a combo. I recommend adding these coating options last minute so that they stay crunchy.
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:
CAN THESE CHEESE BALLS BE MADE AHEAD OF TIME?
Yes, 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.
HOW TO STORE Cheese Balls
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.
Can I freeze mini cheese balls?
I don’t recommend freezing your Mini Cheese Balls. The consistency of the creamy cheese will become grainy.
WANT TO TRY THIS Cheese Ball RECIPE?
PIN IT to your Appetizer, Thanksgiving or holiday recipe BOARD TO SAVE FOR LATER!
FIND ME ON PINTEREST FOR MORE GREAT RECIPES! I AM ALWAYS PINNING :)!
©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com
Tools Used in This Recipe
Mini Cheese Balls
Save This Recipe To Your Recipe Box
You can now create an account on our site and save your favorite recipes all in one place!
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.
Did You Make This Recipe?
Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs
Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!
leave a review