- Dish type
- Starters with cheese
My version of cream cheese balls with olives is a bit on the unusual side - I like to add some wine to the cheese and coat the cheese balls with a mix of nigella seeds, paprika and pistachios.
1 person made this
IngredientsMakes: 15 to 20 cheese balls
- 300g cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons white wine
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 onion, minced
- 80g olives, minced
- 100g Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
- salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons nigella seeds
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
MethodPrep:20min ›Extra time:30min › Ready in:50min
- In a bowl stir cream cheese and wine till smooth. Add garlic, onion, olives and Pecorino and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
- Shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls. Mix herbs and pistachios on a plate and dredge cheese balls till coated all around. Chill till serving.
Use other spices or herbs to your liking, or try adding minced smoked salmon or prawns to the cream cheese.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)
Mini Cheese Balls Recipe
Mini Cheese Balls are delicious and versatile. Not to mention incredibly easy.
I’m not a fancy hostess. It’s not that I don’t enjoy entertaining, I truly do. But I would rather spend time hanging out with my family then stressing out about the fact that the appetizers aren’t ready. Or even worse, the appetizers are ready too soon and are now unappetizingly cold. I think folks often underestimate how tricky it can be to properly plan a meal where everything is ready at the same time and all of the food is the appropriate temperature. Entertaining can be tricky stuff.
This is precisely my point. Parties are supposed to be fun, right? I don’t need that kind of stress in my life and I’m positive you don’t either. I love the holidays and this year, I am putting my foot down and refusing to do things the hard way. I’m all about simple, comforting and family time this year.
I’m online shopping, almost exclusively. I actually adore choosing the right gift for each person on my list, but I like to browse and truly consider each person and perhaps think on an item for a night or two before I decide. That kind of shopping just isn’t possible in the stores right now. Especially when the lady behind me is giving me the stink eye in the checkout line because it takes me an extra five seconds to retrieve my wallet out from under a pile of half eaten lollipops and a handful of mini My Little Ponies.
Stink eyes don’t put me in the holiday mood. Do you know what does put me in the holiday mood? Cheese, and lots of it. Who doesn’t love a good cheese ball, am I right?
Yes, I’m aware you can buy a perfectly fine cheese ball at the store, but if you’ve never made your own cheese ball you will be shocked and delighted at how simple it is. You can make it out of any combination of cheeses that you like. I used a base of onion and chive cream cheese but added in a healthy amount of cheddar cheese and freshly grated parmesan to round out the cheesy flavors. Some diced bacon and herbs finish off these simple little appetizers.
In our house, we skip the traditional nuts on the outside due to C’s peanut allergy, but you can roll these mini cheese balls in any toppings you like: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, chopped nuts, or herbs. Plus, these are the perfect make ahead snack, and I actually find making these little cheese balls easier than making one giant cheese ball. Rolling a cheese ball the size of a soft ball in poppy seeds is harder than it looks.
Simply serve a pile of these mini cheese balls with a variety of crackers - whichever you like best - and some other little snacks for the perfect party appetizer tray. Plus, you can make these up to three days ahead of time. Talk about a stress free party, and stress free party food!
A New Kind of Cracker?
The base of this mini cheese ball recipe is equal parts shredded white cheddar and cream cheese. It’s then mixed with lemon zest, herbs and spices, and a little punch of cherry flavor from tart dried cherries. The cherries provide color, sweetness, and a touch of holiday flair without overpowering the cheesy essence.
After rolling the cheese balls in a nutty coating, this mini cheese balls recipe is perfected by pressing each ball into its own crunchy fillo (phyllo) shell.
Crackers-shmackers, who needs’em.
In fact, Athens Mini Fillo Shells are a great choice for holiday party snacks because they are fully baked and ready to fill, so you can open the box and use them immediately.
Plus they make all your party nibbles look so cute!
My mini cheese ball recipe fills each fillo shell like it’s holding a little pearl of holiday cheer. Plus they provide crunchy contrast, to boot.
Here&rsquos what you&rsquoll need to make our Mini Cheese Balls Appetizers
Cream Cheese. This is the base ingredient for just about any cheese ball you&rsquoll ever create. I love cream cheese because it&rsquos easy to work with and is the &ldquoglue&rdquo that keeps the rest of the components playing well together.
Parmesan. Romano. Asiago. I love cheese blends, and this particular one is a favorite because the flavors are all kinds of savory. However, do you and use whatever cheeses blow your hair back.
Garlic. Peppers. Green Onion. Parsley. Adding lots of fresh ingredients goes a long way to up the ante and take an ordinary cheese ball to flavor town.
Seasoning. I kept the seasoning simple and added OLD BAY® 30% LESS SODIUM SEASONING and freshly cracked black peppercorns for this recipe.
Mixed Nuts & Wasabi Peas. Yes, instead of one particular kind of nut, I used a cupful of mixed nuts to switch things up. I also tossed in a half cup of Wasabi peas to give these cheese balls a barely-there pinch of heat.
Cheese Truffles (Mini Cheese Balls)
I have a theory that everything tastes better in mini form. Which is why I share so many “mini” versions of things. Though my friends will have you believe that I prefer small food because I have such small hands. “Baby Hands”, they call me. I regularly remind them that it’s not size that matters, it’s what you can do with them!!
“I like these mini cheese balls because there’s a higher ratio of coating to cheese than with giant cheese balls. Plus, everything tastes better in mini form!”
As New Years’ Eve approaches and the summer holidays continue, I’m regularly digging into my recipe stash for quick make ahead party food ideas. Cheese balls are a crowd pleaser, and they’re really versatile so you can always pull one together using things you’ve already got in stock. I usually make a giant one. But the thing is, it looks really impressive when you put it out but it gets destroyed really quickly as soon as people start digging into it!!
The other thing with giant cheese balls is that you need to have a decent amount of flavouring mixed through the cheese because the ratio of coating to cheese is quite low so you can’t rely on the coating to provide flavour.
So that’s how I came to try my hand at these mini versions. I love the kaleidoscope of colours you can get by using different coatings for the balls! The coatings I used are just what I had on hand – mixed fresh herbs, parmesan cheese, walnuts and cranberries. I’ve provided a fairly lengthy list of suggestions for other coatings in the recipe below. The possibilities are endless!
I’ve changed up the filling too. You can’t tell from the photos because the filling looks the same, but I made 3 different types – cream cheese, feta and goats cheese – so you could make these using the cheese that you prefer. The feta and goats cheese versions are slightly sharper than the cream cheese one.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Here’s to a great year filled with fun, laughter and LOTS of great food!
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How to make Bacon Cheddar Mini Cheese Balls
In general, three-ingredient recipes have to be simple. What can you do with just three ingredients that is hard? Not much. And these mini cheese balls are as simple as can be.
You mix together softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar, and roll it in bacon. That's it but they are SO good.
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Tricolored Savoury Mini Cheese Balls
We’ve all been there you’re rushing to get your food ready for a party but your fiddly appetisers are taking an age to make, and you’re still wondering what you’re going to wear for the occasion. Take a tip from us and go for a recipe that’s not only simple but is lightning quick too – and the best thing of all? No cooking involved!
Preparation time: 20 Minutes (plus chilling time if required).
Servings: 6 full sized portions or 12 tasty bite-sized morsels.
Twelve ounces of Original Cream Cheese. We used Philadelphia, but other versions would work just as well.
One Tablespoon of Poppy Seed
Two crushed cloves of garlic stored separately
Two tablespoons of finely chopped fresh parsley
Two teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme leaves
One teaspoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary
A quarter of a cup of finely chopped dried cranberries
Two tablespoons of finely chopped pecans
Three small bowls
A plate to serve
Step 1: Cut your cream cheese into six equal pieces, and roll each of these into a small ball.
Step 2: In one of the three bowls, combine the sesame seed, half of the garlic and poppy seed.
Step 3: In a second bowl mix the herbs and the remaining garlic together.
Step 4: In the last of the bowls combine the cranberries and the nuts.
Step 5: You then need to roll two of the cheese balls in each of the mixtures until fully coated. Be careful not to use too much pressure as the cheese balls will become misshapen.
Step 6: Arrange the six balls on a plate and place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve. Either serve whole or cut in half for smaller portions.
- 2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup butter
- 36 pimento-stuffed green olives, drained
Place Cheddar cheese, flour, and butter in a food processor. Blend until cheese is finely ground and a crumbly dough forms.
Wrap each olive with a piece of the cheesy dough, covering the olive completely. Place olive balls on a cookie sheet and freeze for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spread frozen olive balls on a baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Eat with caution as olives will still be hot.