Mini Cheese Ball Bites ~ with Recipe Video!

Mini Cheese Ball Bites are studded with dried cranberries and blue cheese, rolled in pecans, and skewered with pretzel sticks for fun, easy party appetizers!

Mini Cheese Ball Bites ~ easy appetizer recipe featuring dried cranberries, blue cheese, toasted pecans, and pretzel skewers, perfect for the holidays or any party or get-together! | FiveHeartHome.com

‘Tis the season for holiday get-togethers, potlucks, and parties! That means that this time of year, from Thanksgiving right on through New Year’s Eve, there are ample opportunities for delicious and creative appetizers. And today I’m sharing one that’s not only quick and easy, but also fun and just a little bit different.

Mini Cheese Ball BitesEveryone enjoys a good cheese ball, and this recipe simply miniaturizes that concept. After all, who doesn’t love cute, bite-sized party food? Skewering each cheese ball with a pretzel makes these little gems easy to serve and eat. Furthermore, you can always customize the flavors to your liking.

Mini Cheese BallsAs written, this recipe is simply softened cream cheese flavored with blue cheese crumbles and sweetened dried cranberries. After forming the mixture into bite-sized portions, each ball is then rolled in toasted pecans and inserted with a pretzel. The cream cheese neutralizes the blue cheese so that it’s a bit less overpowering, and the cranberries provide a nice sweet contrast while the pecans lend some toasty crunch.

Cheese Ball RecipesHowever, if you’re not a fan of blue cheese, feel free to swap it our for a less pungent variety of cheese, like feta or even grated sharp cheddar. For that matter, you can substitute different dried fruit and nuts as well. Dried cherries with pistachios would be tasty, as would dried apricots with almonds.

Holiday Cheese Ball RecipeAnother yummy alternative would be to scatter these mini cheese balls (sans pretzel sticks) over a salad. I think that doing so would elevate a simple salad to something really special for a fancy holiday meal or dinner party.

So the next time you’re asked to bring a munchy to a potluck or party — or you’re hosting a soirée yourself — do yourself (and the other party guests) a favor and make these Mini Cheese Ball Bites! They require just a few ingredients and minimal effort for an impressive presentation and maximum flavor. Now tell me…what more can you ask of an appetizer than that?

Mini Cheese Ball Bites ~ easy appetizer recipe featuring dried cranberries, blue cheese, toasted pecans, and pretzel skewers, perfect for the holidays or any party or get-together! | FiveHeartHome.com

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Yield: Approximately 2 dozen cheese balls

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Bite-sized cheese balls -- studded with dried cranberries and blue cheese crumbles -- are rolled in toasted pecans and skewered with pretzel sticks for fun, easy appetizers!


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (about 3 ounces) blue cheese crumbles
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • Pretzel sticks


  1. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, blue cheese, and dried cranberries until smooth. Dampen hands to prevent sticking and form cream cheese mixture into approximately 24 tablespoon-sized balls. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or until firm.
  2. In the meantime, toast the pecans by spreading out on a sheet pan and baking in a preheated 350°F oven until lightly toasted and fragrant, for 7 to 10 minutes. Allow pecans to cool and finely chop them.
  3. Roll chilled cheese balls in chopped pecans, pressing nuts so that they adhere. Keep cheese balls refrigerated until ready to serve. Just before serving, skewer each cheese ball with a pretzel stick.


You can make the cheese balls ahead of time, but don't insert the pretzels until just before serving or they will become soggy.

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Recipe rewritten from Family Fun magazine, December/January 2014.
Post originally shared on November 24, 2013. Video added in December of 2017.

♥More festive recipes for the holidays

Christmas Ornament Cheese Balls
Christmas Ornament Cheese Balls ~ a fun, festive addition to your holiday party menu in three mouthwatering flavors -- Cranberry, Blue Cheese, & Pecan; Garlic, Feta, & Dill; and White Cheddar, Rosemary, & Pomegranate! | FiveHeartHome.com

Holiday Honeycrisp Salad
Holiday Honeycrisp Salad ~ full of flavor and texture, this gorgeous salad is loaded with fresh apple slices, crunchy candied pecans, chewy dried cranberries, and salty blue cheese, all dressed with a tangy-sweet apple cider vinaigrette atop a bed of your favorite salad greens...so vibrant and tasty you'll want to make it an annual addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas menu! | FiveHeartHome.com

Slow Sugar Brown Sugar Ham
Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Ham ~ an effortless way to cook your Easter ham with a glaze of pineapple juice, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, Dijon, and honey | FiveHeartHome.com

50+ Recipes for a Rockin’ New Year’s Eve: Cocktails, Mocktails, Appetizers, & Sweets
50+ Recipes for New Year's Eve ~ Cocktails, Mocktails, Appetizers, and Sweets | FiveHeartHome.com

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  1. Lovely concept, I can see making the base, and then making a variety of cheese balls for different tastes. Really like the use of pretzel sticks.

  2. Yum, yum, yummy! Saving this link for later. Will be bringing this dish out for the next get-together. Love your photography too. Will be back!

    Maw ~

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Maw! Hope this recipe is a hit if you have a chance to try it. 🙂


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