Mini Cheese Ball Recipe

Amazing Mini Cheese Ball Recipe in Phyllo Shells | #recipe #partyfood #appetizersWe 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!

Mini Cheese Ball Recipe in Phyllo Shells | #recipe #partyfood #appetizers

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?

Mini Cheese Balls Recipe in Phyllo Shells | #recipe #partyfood #appetizers

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.

…or bacon.

You’re welcome.

Mini Cheese Balls in Phyllo Shells | #recipe #partyfood #appetizers

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.

Mini Cheese Ball Recipe in Fillo Shells | #recipe #partyfood #appetizers

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!

Mini Cheese Balls Recipe in FIllo Shells | #recipe #partyfood #appetizers

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

Yield: 40

Total Time:20 minutes

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  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. If making ahead, cover the platter well and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be made 1-2 days ahead.
All images and text ©

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.


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47 comments on “Mini Cheese Ball Recipe

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  4. Trupti Parekhposted August 23, 2015 at 6:33 am Reply

    Very innovative receipes .I am a foodie & lk to Mk different things.I lkd the receipe of Thai coconut hummus.

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  16. Chrisposted December 19, 2012 at 10:04 am Reply

    What a great idea! Quick, adorable, make ahead, and flexible. You nailed the perfect holiday party food, Sommer.

  17. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchenposted December 16, 2012 at 5:55 pm Reply

    So darn cute, is what these are! I love the idea of doing a mini cheese ball. That way, you don’t have to commit to just one flavor!

  18. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cookingposted December 16, 2012 at 11:21 am Reply

    These are super cute and creative, Sommer! I know I’d gobble up more than a few myself!

  19. Sheree Knappposted December 15, 2012 at 8:39 pm Reply

    Thank you for all your delicious recipes and your generosity with the giveaways throughout the year. Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year to you and yours.

  20. Marlyposted December 15, 2012 at 10:38 am Reply

    I love the idea of these mini cheeseballs. Can’t wait to make a vegan version!

  21. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugarposted December 15, 2012 at 5:19 am Reply

    Mmm what an awesome appetizer idea!

  22. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.posted December 15, 2012 at 12:45 am Reply

    I love everything about these!!

  23. kaleposted December 15, 2012 at 12:07 am Reply

    i cannot think of one thing i do not like about a cheese ball!

    then again, i’m not lactose intolerant. (how sad for them…)

  24. Ashley - Baker by Natureposted December 14, 2012 at 10:14 pm Reply

    Ahem – this is brilliant!!!

  25. Anita at Hungry Coupleposted December 14, 2012 at 8:59 pm Reply

    This recipe contains two words I’m extremely fond of: cheese and fillo. Everything else is just gravy. :)

  26. Nancy Longposted December 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm Reply

    great idea – I love finger food for parties

  27. Colette @ JFF!posted December 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm Reply


  28. Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmetposted December 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm Reply

    So CUTE!!! And delightful :) Loving this cheese ball idea, Sommer!

    Hugs <3

  29. Hollyposted December 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm Reply

    The bacon and cheese balls might be my new favorite food! I wish I had the ingredients to make them for a party tonight. Next time for sure!

  30. [email protected] Food Ramblingsposted December 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm Reply

    yum! perfect to bring to a holiday party!

  31. Joyposted December 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm Reply

    These look lovely. I love recipe. I have to pin it :D

  32. Bev @ Bev Cooksposted December 14, 2012 at 11:52 am Reply


  33. Cassie | Bake Your Dayposted December 14, 2012 at 10:23 am Reply

    These are definitely a crowd pleasing treat. I love everything about these!

  34. DessertForTwoposted December 14, 2012 at 10:08 am Reply

    I was looking for these tart shells in my small-town grocery store and couldn’t find them, so I had to make my own shells. Not as easy, but definitely still delicious! Love fillo! :)

  35. Carrie @ Kiss My Whiskposted December 14, 2012 at 10:04 am Reply

    These look so fun for a party! And they’re cheese ball so they’re obviously delicious!

  36. Mikeposted December 14, 2012 at 10:01 am Reply

    Sommer … these are such a wonderful creation of the old favorite cheese ball. I have a special adaptation I’ll have to try, and yes, my Spicing Pecans web page is coming soon and I hope I can link to your work often. Again, these Mini Cheese Balls in the Filo Cups are great! Thanks.

  37. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesposted December 14, 2012 at 9:54 am Reply

    I’m in love with cute food, too. And these are definitely cute. And they look fabulously delicious, AND perfect for the holidays!!

  38. Jennifer @ Mother Thymeposted December 14, 2012 at 9:35 am Reply

    These are so clever! Absolutely love this idea!

  39. JulieDposted December 14, 2012 at 9:24 am Reply

    How cute and with pistachios!! Love this!!

  40. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookieposted December 14, 2012 at 9:15 am Reply

    Such a great way to serve them!

  41. Heather (Heather's Dish)posted December 14, 2012 at 8:50 am Reply

    I adore the little cups! So cute – and perfect for parties!

  42. Brian @ A Thought For Foodposted December 14, 2012 at 8:48 am Reply

    Ok… these aren’t JUST cheese balls. I was expecting a big hunk of orange something in the middle. These are so much more.

  43. Angieposted December 14, 2012 at 8:47 am Reply

    These are just about the cutest little appetizers ever!

  44. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppersposted December 14, 2012 at 8:22 am Reply

    Sommer these lok fabolous!! Everytime I go to a [arty and they have cheese, it’s brie and it hardens up, so it’s hard to cut and breaks on a cracker! I love this idea with cheese balls! Your photos look fabolous!!

  45. Cookin' Canuckposted December 14, 2012 at 7:58 am Reply

    This is flippin’ brilliant, Sommer! I HAVE to make these when my family visits this Christmas…or maybe for New Year’s Eve…or maybe both.

  46. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinchposted December 14, 2012 at 7:24 am Reply

    Love everything about these!

  47. Jeanetteposted December 14, 2012 at 6:46 am Reply

    How cute are these Sommer! I love bite size appetizers and those little fillo cups definitely make it easier to pull off for a big party. We’re having a big holiday open house this year – these mini cheese balls would be perfect!