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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42 Comments

  1. These were great little treats. But I think maybe mixing all the ingredients except for the pecans may work better. Or at least I want to try it next time and even just make a huge cheese ball.

  2. 5 stars
    OMG these cheese ball bites are so delicious, and my family love them. I'll definitely add them to our next party menu. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Made these for a holiday party and they were a hit! Everyone liked the use of pretzel sticks for the skewers. I'll be making these again.

    1. I'm so happy to hear that, Lizzard...thanks for coming back to let me know that these were a hit! And I agree...it's always fun to be able to eat the skewer. 😉

    1. Hi Mar! I'm always a little leery of freezing cream cheese-based recipes for fear that the consistency will change upon thawing. So I haven't tried doing so with this particular recipe. Good luck if you decide to try it, and definitely don't insert the pretzel until just before serving!

  4. I would love to make these a day ahead. The crispy bacon doesn't get soggy if made a day ahead? Thanks for the great recipe

    1. Hi Jayme! Well, since the bacon gets chilled when you make this recipe, it definitely doesn't stay crispy in the sense that it just came out of the oven. But it doesn't turn soggy in an unpleasant way either. I don't really notice a difference in the bacon whether I make these a few hours ahead of time or a couple of days ahead of time, so I think you should be fine. 🙂 Enjoy!

  5. This was delicious! I made them for a small bites wedding shower and everyone loved them. This recipe was a big hit. Everyone needs to try this one.

    1. It makes me very happy to hear that these were a hit at the wedding shower, Tracy! Thanks for taking the time to come back and share that. 🙂

  6. Can I give you my address so you can send me this?! Wow. These look delicious! I've never made anything like this. Can't wait to try it! I'm going to share this. Thanks for linking this up at Totally Terrific Tuesday last week. It is live right now! Can't wait to see what else you have to share! Hope to see you there!

    Sharon
    herorganizedchaos.com

    1. Ha, Sharon...I'll send you a dozen of them right away! 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by to say 'hi,' and I hope you're having a fabulous week! 🙂

  7. You always bring the most delicious things to our party! Thank you. Pinned and tweeted. We feel honored that you take the time to stop by our party. I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm. We love to party with you! Happy Sunday! Lou Lou Girls

    1. Thanks, Lisa! It's nice to be able to eat the pretzel stick when you're done instead of having to worry about throwing away a toothpick. 😉 I appreciate the pin!

  8. So stinkin' cute! What a fabulous idea..and the thought of using a pretzel stick to spear them just blows me away. More work for you..but that only means more AAAHHH's & OOOHHH's too. Brilliant! Again, so happy you share your creativity with us at Weekend Potluck. XO

    1. Thanks for hosting, Sherry, and thanks so much for hopping over to say 'hi!' 🙂 Happy Friday!

  9. I live in Seahawks country----so if you don't have a team---GO SEAHAWS!!! These little guys are adorable. And yes I am looking for appetizers!!!!!

    1. Congrats on your team making it to the Super Bowl, Carol! My SIL is from the Seattle area, so I guess that's more of an allegiance than I have to New England. 😉 Enjoy these little cheese balls if you have a chance to try them, and I hope you're having a fabulous January! 🙂

    1. Ha, Audrey...well, if anything can improve pimento cheese, it's bacon (and pecans, and jalapenos)! 😉 Thanks so much for hopping over...hope you're having a great week!

  10. I do love the look of these and the addition of the Pretzel sticks as holders - brilliant.

  11. You know what any pimento cheese recipe means in my house? More for me!! I'll definitely be adding this to our game day menu just so I don't have to share 😉 I'm a football lover too but had my heyday during college bowl games!

    1. Ha, Meaghan...sounds like a pimento cheese recipe in your house means ALL for you! 😉 And I'm with you...college football is my absolute favorite, but since that's over for now , I'm making due with NFL for a few more weeks... 😉