Pimento Cheese & Bacon Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Mini cheese balls of homemade pimento cheese are rolled in a coating of crispy bacon, toasted pecans, and minced fresh jalapeños and then speared with a pretzel stick for fun, easy-to-eat appetizers!

Pimento Cheese and Bacon Mini Cheese Ball Bites with text overlay.


 

The Super Bowl countdown is officially on! And in anticipation of the big game, today I bring you Pimento Cheese & Bacon Mini Cheese Ball Bites!

For me, one of the most exciting parts about Super Bowl is all of the game day FOOD. But where to even begin? Does one go for slow cooker soups and/or chili? Sliders? Pizza? Chips & dip? Cheesy bread? All of the above?

Or how about something a little bit fun and a little bit different, but with a combo of flavors that's still very Super Bowl-ish?

Pimento Cheese Cheese Balls lined up.

The Inspiration

If you've been following Five Heart Home for awhile, you may already be familiar with the Mini Cheese Ball Bites that I shared a few Christmases ago, flavored with blue cheese and dried cranberries.

That post has actually become one of my most popular recipes of all time, and I recently noticed that it was getting included in various Super Bowl recipe round-ups around the web. It was being coined as a "slightly more upscale" football-watching snack, and that got me to thinking...what if I kept the mini cheese ball bite concept but ditched the blue cheese and cranberries for some classic game day flavors?

Soooo…say hello to mini cheese balls formed out of scrumptious, homemade pimento cheese, rolled in a tantalizing coating, and skewered with pretzel sticks for perfect little bites!

Tray of Pimento Cheese Balls with pretzel skewers.

The Ingredients

So what does it take to make these cute little pimento cheese balls?

Labeled ingredients.

For the homemade pimento cheese:

  • Cream cheese + mayonnaise. These form the base.
  • Cheddar cheese. Freshly grated and extra-sharp, if you please.
  • Flavorings! Specifically, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic salt, onion powder, a dash of cayenne, and salt & pepper, to taste.
  • Diced pimentos. Drained.

Now, you could always just stop with pimento cheese for game day. After all, it would be perfectly delicious slathered on crackers or as the star of a grilled cheese sandwich.

Homemade pimento cheese as a sandwich and on crackers.

But while I realize that pimento cheese is pretty hard to top, I think that rolling it in a special coating takes it up a notch...or twelve!

So to turn that pimento cheese into mini cheese ball bites, you'll need the following:

  • Bacon. Cooked until crisp and finely diced.
  • Pecans. Toasted (for extra flavor and crunch) and finely chopped.
  • Fresh jalapeños. Minced. Remove the seeds and membranes for flavor with mild heat, or leave them intact for extra spice.
  • Pretzel sticks. To spear each mini cheese ball for festive and simple serving! (But not until just before serving...so they don't get soggy in the fridge.) 😉

I'm telling you, the saltiness of the bacon, the crunch of the nuts, and the heat of the jalapeños combine with the creamy pimento cheese to throw a little fiesta in your mouth!

Pimento Cheese and Bacon Mini Cheese Balls on plate and platter.

How to Make Them

(The below photos are intended to be helpful, but please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for FULL DIRECTIONS.)

These pimento cheese balls are super simple to make, but you do need to work ahead of time to allow everything time to chill.

The first step is to make the pimento cheese:

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the mayonnaise.
Cubed cream cheese in bowl.
Cream cheese and mayonnaise blended together.
  1. Blend in the Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic salt, onion powder, and cayenne.
  2. Scrape the bowl and add the grated cheddar and diced pimentos.
Adding Worcestershire sauce and spices to bowl.
Adding grated cheddar and pimentos to make pimento cheese.
  1. Mix all ingredients until well combined. Season with salt and/or black pepper, to taste.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until firm.
Homemade pimento cheese in a bowl.

After the pimento cheese has had time to chill, it's time to roll the cheese balls!

  1. In a medium bowl, combine diced bacon, chopped pecans, and minced jalapeños.
  2. Using a small cookie scoop (or a spoon), form heaping tablespoons of pimento cheese into balls.
Mixture of bacon, pecans, and jalapeños.
Scooping pimento cheese into balls.
  1. Roll each ball of pimento cheese ball in the bacon mixture, firmly pressing the coating so that it sticks.
  2. Refrigerate the cheese balls until firm, and keep them chilled until ready to serve.
Rolling pimento cheese ball in coating.
Pimento cheese balls lined up on pan.
  1. Just before serving, skewer each cheese ball with a pretzel stick.
Mini Pimento Cheese Balls lined up on platter.

So do you tune in on Super Bowl Sunday? And if so, do you care about the game or are you just in it for the snacks?

Whether you're a football fan or not, I hope you have a chance to try these Pimento Cheese & Bacon Mini Cheese Ball Bites sometime! They're easy to make, fun to serve, and tasty to eat. Oh, and in case I neglected to mention it, they're bursting with cheese and bacon.

Make 'em for the big game, make 'em for another party, make 'em for breakfast...just make 'em. 😉

Pimento Cheese and Bacon Mini Cheese Ball Bite on white plate.

More Super Bowl Snacks

Tray of Pimento Cheese Balls with pretzel skewers.

Pimento Cheese and Bacon Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Mini cheese balls of homemade pimento cheese are rolled in a coating of crispy bacon, toasted pecans, and minced fresh jalapeños and then speared with a pretzel stick for fun, easy-to-eat appetizers!
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
CHILLING TIME: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 12 servings (2 to 3 dozen mini cheese balls (depending on how big you make them)
Calories: 437kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

For the Pimento Cheese:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 4-ounce jar diced pimentos, drained
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

FOR MINI CHEESE BALL BITES

  • 18 ounces bacon (about 1 ½ cups diced), cooked until crisp and finely diced
  • 1 ½ cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños, minced (seeds & membranes removed)
  • Pretzel sticks

Instructions

TO MAKE PIMENTO CHEESE:

  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic salt, onion powder, and cayenne. Scrape bowl and mix in grated cheddar and diced pimentos until well combined. Season with salt and/or black pepper, to taste. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until firm.

TO MAKE MINI CHEESE BALL BITES:

  • In a medium bowl, combine diced bacon, chopped pecans, and minced jalapeños. Using a spoon or a small cookie scoop, form heaping tablespoons of pimento cheese into balls. Roll each pimento cheese ball in the mixture of bacon, pecans, and jalapeños, pressing coating into cheese so that it adheres.
  • Refrigerate cheese balls until firm, and keep them chilled until ready to serve. Just before serving, skewer each cheese ball with a pretzel stick.

Video

Notes

  • To toast pecans, spread out on a sheet pan and baked in a preheated 350°F oven until lightly toasted and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Allow pecans to cool before finely chopping them.
  • As long as you remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapeños and very finely dice them, they shouldn't be too spicy. Use as much jalapeño as you wish, however, based on your personal preference.
  • If you'd like to use the Pimento Cheese recipe for purposes other than mini cheese balls, increase the mayonnaise to ½ cup. The reason the amount of mayo is slightly reduced for these cheese balls is to make sure the mixture isn't too soft to roll into balls.
  • You can make the cheese balls ahead of time, but don't insert the pretzels until just before serving or they will become soggy.

Nutrition

Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 593mg | Potassium: 192mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 520IU | Vitamin C: 4.4mg | Calcium: 166mg | Iron: 0.7mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Mini Cheese Ball Bites adapted from Five Heart Home.
Pimento Cheese adapted from All Recipes.

Post originally published on January 18, 2015, and updated on February 11, 2023.

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Recipe Rating




42 Comments

  1. These look amaze-balls! I'm thinking about serving them at my 60s-themed wedding reception. If I make them a day or two ahead, do the nuts start to get less crunchy? and if they sit for a few hours do the pretzel sticks get soggy or is it just if they are in the fridge? Just trying to figure out the timing....Thanks so much!

    1. The nuts do lose their crunch the longer they spend in the fridge. You could always assemble the mixture and roll it into balls ahead of time, then roll in nuts and spear with pretzels just before serving. As for the pretzels, they seem to be fine while the cheese ball bites sit out for serving, but once they've been speared for a good while, the pretzels do become soggy. Hope this helps and enjoy! 🙂

    2. 5 stars
      These are so dang good. I've made them a few times. Never imagined I would like pimento cheese until I tried these at a baby shower. Since then, I've discovered my favorite little secret. Walmart sells a candied pecan and cranberry mixture. I use it to roll the balls in, and CHEF'S KISS!

  2. Hi. Absolutely love these. Can they be frozen overnight and then thawed before a bridal shower the next day? I will be traveling with them in an ice chest. I just don’t want them to end up mushy or runny

    1. Hi Deborah! Making these a day ahead of time should be fine, but I would just store them in the refrigerator overnight. I would not freeze these since the texture of the cream cheese could be affected as they thaw. If your ice chest has plenty of ice and is very cold, they should be just fine traveling chilled (and not frozen) in an airtight container. Just remember not to spear them with pretzels until just before serving so the pretzels don't get soggy! Hope they're a hit at the bridal shower. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    My family enjoyed these cheese snacks. I will try the other recipes and make them again. They are fun to eat and make.

  4. 5 stars
    We made these for the Super Bowl and they were the perfect appetizer! Loved that they were mini, perfect for grab and go!

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is so tasty and super easy to make. Such a nice appetizer for gameday, board game night, etc. And of course, love the bacon haha.

  6. 5 stars
    The pimento cheese ball bites were a hit for our Pot-Luck Barn Christmas Party! Thank you for a fun and covid safe delivery system! I pulsed the roasted nuts,
    chopped bacon and chopped pepper fine in the food processor to save time.