mini cheese balls

I love making cheese balls for parties and holidays, but if you really think about it, the communal dish is a little weird. Having everyone dip into the same plate repeatedly can be slightly less than appetizing. I like to make mini cheese balls so everyone has their own, individualized serving. Plus, they make a neat little display among all the other appetizers.

Mini Cheese Balls
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
4 hr 20 mins
  • 1 cup First Street Cream Cheese
  • 3/4 cup First Street Mexican Style Cheese Blend
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp grates lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 lb bacon cooked and diced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts finely chopped
  • 1 package First Street Classic Baked Snack Crackers for serving
  1. Mix together the cheeses, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest and garlic salt.
  2. Form the cheese into 3/4-inch balls.
  3. Refrigerate mini cheese balls for four hours to harden.
  4. Roll half the balls in bacon and half the balls in the walnuts.
  5. Serve with crackers.

mini cheese ball recipe

In a food processor, mix together the cheeses, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest and garlic salt.

mini cheese balls

With slightly moistened hands, form the cheese into small balls, approximately 3/4-inch in diameter. Refrigerate for four hours to harden.

mini bacon cheese balls

Roll half the balls in bacon and half the balls in the walnuts. If the topping doesn't stick well, use your fingers to press it into the ball slightly.

cheese balls appetizer

Serve with crackers.

cheese brand comparison

Nate has a weird hangup about name brand food. He swears that pricey brand name stuff tastes better, and it's a constant battle in our house with me trying to reduce our grocery bill by buying store brand items. Smart & Final's First Street brand is by far the best store brand I've ever found, so just for fun I made half of the cheese balls with First Street brand ingredients and half with Nate's brand name equivalents.

taste testing

A blind taste test ensued, and Nate was surprisingly vague when it came to picking a favorite. “They're both good,” he admitted. “I don't know, I'll eat anything with bacon!” Brian was more decisive, immediately declaring the one on the right (the First Street brand) to be the victor. “The cheese on this plate seems creamier.”

first street

So there you have it! First Street: 1, Brand name: 0. For more info on First Street prod­ucts or Smart & Final, check them out on Twitter or Facebook 

Dis­clo­sure: This shop has been com­pen­sated as part of a social shop­per insights study for Col­lec­tive Bias. #CBias #Com­pare­andSwap. All opin­ions are my own.