It’s my favorite thing ever, appetizers. Haha, I don’t know why little cream cheese balls make me happy but these Mini Cheese Ball Pretzel Bites especially do!

mini cheese ball bites with pretzel sticks

I love a good cheese ball recipe, but stick it in mini form that you can grab and go without ever needing a plate to balance on your lap, that is the best!!! And if it makes you feel better you can totally pretend that you’ll eat less since these are mini appetizers, but the truth is, Mini Cheese Ball Pretzel Bites are irresistible.

What Appetizers Can I Make with Cream Cheese?

Not only is cream cheese perfect for holiday party food, or any party food, but it’s especially awesome because it can be made ahead of time.

Here are some ideas of what appetizers you can make with cream cheese:

mini cheese ball bites with pretzel sticks

Mini Cheese Ball Pretzel Bites

These mini cheese ball pretzel bites are one of our favorite appetizers to make with cream cheese. There’s little bits of pecans and chopped up craisins to give you that creamy, crunchy, cheesy, sweet and salty combo we all love.

Sometimes mini appetizers and desserts take ten times longer to make, but because you can quickly roll these in your hands and in the nuts prep work is a breeze.

It’s especially easy to have the kids do that labor and stick the pretzels in the top.

Oh, and can we just mention that for a minute? You see, the pretzels are more important than they may seem.

What Kind of Pretzels to Use

There are a few kinds of pretzels sticks out there, the normal, the huge which you often see dipped in caramel and white chocolate around the holidays and the middle ground pretzels. These are a slightly thicker stick called, old fashioned dipping sticks.

You can buy these at any grocery store. You’ve probably just not noticed them before.

The smaller pretzels sticks are a little too thin for the cheese balls, in other words you’re eating a mouthful of cream cheese and not enough pretzel to go with it.

mini cheese ball bites with pretzel sticks

Can You Make Mini Cheese Ball Appetizers Ahead of Time?

Not only can you make mini cheese ball appetizers ahead of time, we totally think you should! These are great to sit in the fridge for a day, or even 2-3 days if you wait to roll them in the nuts.

Absolutely do not stick the pretzels in unless you’re ready to serve the appetizer or they will become too soft. No one wants a soft pretzel.

What Appetizers to Bring to a Party?

We love variety at a party but it seems like a lot of people go for chips and salsa or store bought cookies. Which is absolutely fine, but because I like wandering up to the table and seeing a lot of goodies we’ve started bringing something from a classic appetizer list to mix things up.

mini cheese ball bites with pretzel sticks

How Many Appetizers for a Party of 25

That’s so tricky to figure out how many appetizers for a party of 25, huh.  Usually think about each guest eating around 10-12 appetizers over the course of an evening. If you’re serving a dip or salsa it’s even harder to figure out so check out how many servings the dip covers and buy triple the chips to keep things replenished. Better to have an extra bag than to have dip without a way to eat it.

Appetizer RECIPES

Mini Cheese Ball Pretzel Bites

4 from 18 votes
Servings: 30
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes


It’s my favorite thing ever, appetizers. Haha, I don’t know why little cream cheese balls make me happy but these Mini Cheese Ball Pretzel Bites especially do!


  • 16 ounces Cream Cheese, Softened (2 of the 8 ounce cream cheese boxes)
  • 1 Jar Kraft Old English Sharp Cheese, found by the crackers
  • 1 1/2 Cups Medium Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Salt, scant
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Salt, scant
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise, heaping
  • 2 Cups Pecans
  • 1/2 Cup Craisins, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • Medium Pretzel Rods


  • Finely chop the pecans and set aside.
    2 Cups Pecans
  • In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir together until smooth.
    16 ounces Cream Cheese, 1 Jar Kraft Old English Sharp Cheese, 1 1/2 Cups Medium Cheddar Cheese, 1 teaspoon Garlic Salt, 1 teaspoon Onion Salt, 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice, 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • Form into small balls and place on platter and cover with saran wrap.
  • Place the cheese in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to firm back up. You can prepare this up to 48 hours ahead of time and leave it like this until you’re ready to serve.
  • Meanwhile, mix the chopped pecans, craisins and parsley together and place on a plate.
    1/2 Cup Craisins, 1 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, 2 Cups Pecans
  • Unroll the cheese balls and place in the nuts. Roll to cover and shape with your hands if necessary to keep the shape.
  • Serve immediately with a pretzel stuck in the top or store for a few hours in the fridge.
    Medium Pretzel Rods


Mini cheese ball pretzel bites can be made 2-3 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator.  Roll them in nuts just before serving them.


Serving: 1cheese ballCalories: 130kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 3gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.001gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 248mgPotassium: 54mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 276IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 0.2mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 200+ Easy Appetizers Recipes

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mini cheese ball bites with pretzel sticks