We all could use a few crowd-pleasing party snack ideas this time of year, and this Mini Cheese Ball Recipe served in crispy little fillo shells is fun to serve and even more fun to eat!
Cheese balls, the quintessential holiday party snack.
I could probably count on one hand the times I’ve been to a Christmas party and the Cheese Ball was not represented.
After all, what’s not to love about a big ball of soft cheese rolled in nuts?
If a good cheese ball recipe is your thing, I am going to make you supremely happy today by offering you itty-bitty, cherry stuffed, white cheddar, cheese balls rolled in pistachios.
These teeny-weeny cheese balls are the perfect finger food, each with a soft savory interior and a crunchy exterior to keep your fingers clean.
The base of this 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 over powering the cheesy essence.
After rolling the cheese balls in a nutty coating, this mini cheese balls recipe is perfected by pressing each ball into it’s 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.
Mini Cheese Ball Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 8 ounces shredded white cheddar
- Zest of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme leaves (1 teaspoon dried)
- 3 dashes cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
- 1 cup chopped pistachios (or 1/2 cup pistachios + 1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon)
- 3 boxes Athens Mini Fillo Shells
- Place both cheeses in the food processor and puree until smooth. Add the lemon zest, thyme, cayenne, and cherries and pulse until the cherries are chopped and evenly distributed.
- Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Place the pistachios (and bacon) in small bowls. Scoop a 2 teaspoons portion of cheese mixture into your hands and roll into a smooth ball. Then place the ball in the pistachios and gently shake until the ball is covered with nuts. Press the cheese ball into a mini fillo shell and place on a platter. Repeat with the remaining cheese mixture.
- If making ahead, cover the platter well and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be made 1-2 days ahead.
Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Athens Foods. All opinions are, of course, my own.