When I entertain, I try to keep things simple. I like recipes that are easy and that can be made a day ahead, so I don’t have to stress about the food right before the party.
That’s why I love to make mini cheese balls. They’re super easy, the base is just four basic ingredients. And they’re very versatile: you can use just about anything for the outer coating, customizing your appetizer to fit the holiday. And they’re not expensive, either. I picked up everything I needed at Walmart for under $15.00 (and I had plenty of Parmesan cheese and bacon bits left over).*
And of course, mini cheese balls are a great appetizer for diabetics, as they are very low in carbs! You don’t even need to spread the cheese on crackers, as these cheese balls are so small, you can just pop them in your mouth!
For Christmas, I opted to make mini cheese balls in festive Christmas colors. I rolled one third of the cheese balls in bacon followed by paprika, one third in parmesan cheese, and one third in chopped fresh chives. Of course those aren’t your only options. You could use sliced almonds, chopped pistachios, or even chopped sun dried tomatoes!
Serve your mini cheese balls on their own or alongside various crackers. If you eat low carb, like I do, you might want to try Sourdough Wasa Crackers. They’re only 7 net carbs per large cracker.
Mini cheese balls are elegant enough to serve as an appetizer at a fancy dinner party, yet easy enough to serve at a casual open house. And with a food processor, they’re quick to prepare, too. That means you have more time to spend doing other party prep.
Curious as to how easy it is to make these cheesy bits of goodness? Here’s the recipe!
*Note: Dollar amount doesn’t include Worcestershire sauce or paprika, which I had on hand.
- 16 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix (NOT the dip!)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Bacon bits
- Parmesan Cheese
- Chopped fresh chives
- In a food processor mix cream cheese, cheddar cheese, dressing mix, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Shape cheese mix into one inch balls. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Place each coating ingredient on it's own plate. Roll one third of the cheese balls in bacon, followed by paprika. Roll another third in parmesan cheese and the final third in chopped chives.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be made a day ahead. Makes about 50 one inch cheese balls.