Mini Cheese Ball Holiday Platter

mini cheese ball holiday appetizer platter.

My mini cheese ball holiday platter is made with bite sized cheese balls arranged like a festive tree. This adorable appetizer is easy, delicious, and fun!

mini cheese ball holiday platter

mini cheese ball appetizer platter

Let’s be honest, cheese balls can be downright…cheesy. Not to mention unattractive and awkward to eat. Unless, that is, you do them right, like I do. These little minis are perfect little bite sized portions, and each one is a unique combination of cheese spread and topping. I got a little crazy with the combinations, but you can pare it down to one cheese and one topping for a simpler platter. Who knew cheese balls could be so glam!!

spreading a mini cheese ball on a cracker

what you’ll need for a mini cheese ball appetizer platter

I use ready-made cheese spreads or flavored soft cheese like cream or goat cheese because the flavor and texture is superior to bland homemade cheese ball mixtures. It’s so much easier, too.

  • spreadable cheese of your choice. You can go with just one, or a selection. I used Boursin, a cheddar spread, and a couple of other gourmet spreads, one with gorgonzola cheese, and one with hot peppers. If you like you can use flavored cream cheese or soft goat cheese for a subtler flavor. Just make sure your cheese is firm enough to roll into a ball.
  • toppings for rolling the cheese balls. I raided my spice cabinet and pantry for my assortment which includes dill, chives, Everything Bagel blend, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, za’atar, sumac, ground almonds, walnuts, and pecans.
  • a small scoop comes in handy for portioning out the cheese spread so all your balls are equal sized.
ingredients for mini cheese balls

how to make mini cheese balls

  1. Use a small scoop or tablespoon to scoop out equal portions of cheese spread and roll into small round balls with your hands.
  2. Toss each ball in the toppings of your choice.
  3. Use right away or set on a plate and chill in the fridge until serving.
scooping out a small ball of Boursin cheese for mini cheese balls

creative topping ideas for cheese balls

  • dried green herbs like thyme, dill, chives.
  • spice blends like everything bagel, Italian seasoning, za’atar, etc.
  • finely ground nuts like pistachio, walnut, almond, hazelnut, or pecan.
  • seeds like sesame, poppy, fennel, celery, or anise.
  • dried spices like sumac, black or pink pepper.
  • bacon bits or dehydrated onions or garlic.
  • finely crushed snack chips like Fritos, Doritos, and Cheetos.
small cheese balls on a plate

to assemble your holiday cheese ball tree

  • Choose a flat oblong platter, preferably rectangle. You can also use a cutting board for more space.
  • Start at the top of the tree, with one cheese ball.
  • Use two balls for the next level, then three, and four, etc. as your tree gets wider.
  • Add as many levels as your platter can accommodate. My tree is made from 36 cheese balls.
  • Finish with a ‘trunk’ of cheese spreaders, and a couple of herb sprigs along the bottom of the tree.
  • Fill out the plate with crackers.

how to eat your cheese balls

  1. Pop a cheese ball on a cracker.
  2. Use a spreading knife to ‘schmear’ it. The cheese and the coating will mingle beautifully.
  3. Devour!
making a mini cheese ball Christmas tree

helpful hints for making mini cheese balls

While they do look festive, my multi-colored balls are best for adventurous eaters. If you’ve got a pickier bunch to feed, stick to a tried and true cheese spread for your base, and a simple coating like crushed nuts or everything bagel seasoning.

Dried coatings are best. Fresh herbs won’t work well.

The cheese balls can be made ahead and refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap, earlier in the day. If you’re using crushed chips to coat your balls, do that just before serving so they stay crunchy.

The best way to serve mini cheese balls is with plain crackers or thin slices of toasted bread. Be sure to provide plenty of spreading knives.

One mini cheese ball is a single serving. Allow 3 per person.

placing a mini cheese ball on a cracker

more easy and festive appetizers

a holiday cheese ball platter in the form of a tree
mini cheese ball holiday appetizer platter.
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5 from 5 votes

Mini Cheese Ball Appetizer Platter

My mini cheese ball holiday platter is made with bite sized cheese balls arranged like a festive tree. This adorable appetizer is easy, delicious, and fun!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Calories 131kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • large platter, preferably rectangle
  • tablespoon sized scoop

Ingredients

  • 1 lb spreadable cheese of your choice, either one kind or a variety. Note: amount is approximate, you may not need it all, depending on how large you make your balls.

topping ideas

  • dried herbs like dill, tarragon, thyme, chives
  • bacon bits or dehydrated onions or garlic.
  • finely crushed snack chips like Fritos, Doritos, and Cheetos
  • spice blends like everything bagel, Italian seasoning, za’atar, etc.
  • dried spices like sumac, paprika, black or pink pepper.
  • finely ground nuts like pistachio, walnut, almond, hazelnut, or pecan.
  • seeds like sesame, poppy, fennel, celery, or anise.

Instructions

  • Scoop rounded tablespoons of cheese and roll into smooth balls with your hands.
  • Toss each ball in the toppings of your choice, making sure to get the whole ball evenly coated.
  • Either serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to enjoy. Note: I don't recommend making these more than about 6 hours before serving.

to assemble a cheese ball tree

  • Start at the top of the tree, with one cheese ball. Use two balls for the next level, then three, and four, etc. as your tree gets wider. Add as many levels as your platter can accommodate. My tree is made from 36 cheese balls. Finish with a ‘trunk’ of cheese spreaders, and a couple of herb sprigs along the bottom of the tree. Fill out the plate with crackers.
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Cook’s notes

See additional tips in post for more details.

Nutrition

Serving: 3balls | Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 205mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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6 Comments

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  • Reply
    Glenda
    December 13, 2021 at 9:25 am

    5 stars
    The tree is very festive Sue! Christmas 2019, I made your ‘Festive olive wreath’ appetizer and our guests were amazed at the clever and festive way to arrange a platter. I know the tree will get the same reaction. For larger gatherings it would be fun to put both on the table. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us Sue!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      December 13, 2021 at 9:32 am

      I’m so glad you made the wreath, that was definitely in my mind when I created this! Happy Holidays <3

  • Reply
    Ellen Easton
    December 13, 2021 at 9:21 am

    Fabulous presentation!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    December 13, 2021 at 9:04 am

    This is an ingenious idea – easy to eat, attractive and easy to prepare!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      December 13, 2021 at 9:19 am

      We had a lot of fun doing this post, Cathy, hope you try it 🙂

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