Mini Cheese Balls (Cheese Truffles)

Turn this classic recipe into mini cheese balls for individual servings that are easy to eat. Three kinds of cheese, ranch seasoning, and pantry staples create a delicious party appetizer for any occasion. Roll each one in chopped pecans, and serve in the shape of a grape cluster for a cute presentation.

tiny cheese balls coated with chopped pecans and placed on white dish, in a grape cluster display.

Say goodbye to one big cheese ball (that’s so retro) and say hello to mini cheese truffles! It wouldn’t be an appetizer party without a cheese item on the menu, but people sometimes seem intimidated by one large cheese ball – no one wants to be the first one to cut into it!

Here’s the solution: make this cheese ball recipe and roll it into tiny balls that are single serving size. The small portions will have everyone digging in!

I like to form the mini balls into a “grape cluster” display for a fantastic and whimsical party presentation. Serve with toothpicks or party picks for easy pickup.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Make ahead. Prep is a breeze and can easily be done the day before. Roll together a batch of cheese balls, then chill in the fridge until guests arrive.
  • Party friendly. Each cheese truffle is an individual serving and is easy to snatch up with a toothpick. They’re also a perfect cold appetizer, or room temperature for a couple of hours.
  • Customize. Use different cheeses, different nuts, or other toppings as you like.

PARTY TIP: Take these out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving so they can come to room temperature and soften a little.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Cream cheese. Set the block on the counter for about 20 minutes before using to soften. This makes the cream cheese easier to stir.
  • Sharp cheddar. I suggest hand shredded vs bagged cheese because it tastes better and texture holds together better. Shredded Monterey jack, pepper jack, or Colby cheese are good substitutes. You can also add in creamy cheeses like goat or pub cheese.
  • Parmesan cheese. You want shredded and not grated parm for the right taste and texture.
  • Ranch dressing seasoning mix. This convenient blend has the right proportions of spices to make the most flavorful cheese truffles. Other tasty options include taco seasoning, Cajun seasoning, or Italian seasoning.
  • Chopped and toasted pecans. These add a great crunch and you can buy small bags of pecan chips in the baking aisle to save time on chopping. Swap them out with sliced almonds or chopped walnuts, or leave off the nuts and roll in crispy bacon bits. You could also roll in fresh chopped parsley.
  • Worcestershire. A dash of this savory sauce adds super umami flavor to the party. It’s not overpowering, but does nicely balance the tanginess and richness of the cheese.
  • Tabasco. I love to include a kick of heat. However, this can be omitted if your guests aren’t fans of spicy flavors.
  • Mayonnaise. Rich and creamy mayo is a great binder. It adds tang and helps keep the texture a little softer.

Serving Suggestions 

Feature them on a charcuterie board or mezze plates. Serve mini cheese balls with any of these accompaniments.

  • Water crackers
  • Club crackers
  • Ritz crackers
  • Wheat Thins
  • Triscuits
  • Pretzel crisps
  • French baguette slices
  • Crostini
  • Pretzel sticks (cheese lollipops!)
  • Apple slices
  • Grapes
  • Celery sticks

How to Make Mini Cheese Balls

  1. Combine ingredients together and form into mini balls 1-inch in diameter. Use a mini scoop for easy uniform sizing.
  2. Roll in chopped nuts to coat the outside and chill for at least 2 hours so flavors can develop.
  3. To make the grape cluster, start placing several mini truffles at the top and taper down to a single truffle at the bottom. Let them curve so it looks natural.
  4. Begin placing more truffles on top to form the cluster. Top with celery leaves for the perfect presentation.


Keep the truffles in a container with a lid or wrapped in plastic wrap. Store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To freeze, wrap each ball individually in plastic wrap before placing all together in a sealed ziploc bag. Freeze for up to 2 months and thaw in the fridge overnight.

Quick Tip

The recipe makes a lot so split the prepared mixture into two and freeze one for last minute entertaining. Simply thaw in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

More Cheese Party Appetizers

If you like this recipe I hope you’ll try these other party-perfect dishes!

Try this foolproof cheese balls recipe for your next celebration, and I’m sure it’ll be a regular on your go-to list for easy and quick party snacks! 

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tiny cheese balls coated with chopped pecans and placed on white dish, in a grape cluster display.

Mini Cheese Balls with Ranch Seasoning

Yield: 2 large balls or 34 minis
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Traditional cheese ball with Ranch seasoning, coated with crunchy nuts. Shape into 2 large balls or make mini cheese truffles that are perfect for parties.


  • 2 (8 ounce) blocks cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons of Ranch dressing seasoning mix (from 1-oz packet)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • Dash of Worcestershire
  • Dash of Tabasco
  • 2 cups chopped pecans, lightly toasted and divided in half


  1. Combine all ingredients together, saving half the pecans for coating the outside. 
  2. Form into 2 large balls or mini truffles and roll in chopped pecans to coat.
  3. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours so flavors can blend together.
  4. To make the grape cluster, start placing several mini truffles at the top and taper down to a single truffle at the bottom. Let them curve so it looks natural.
  5. Begin placing more truffles on top to form the cluster.
  6. Top with celery leaves, or grape leaves if available.
  7. Serve with crackers or baguette slices.

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. Super cute idea! Great way to keep the platter looking tidy instead of tearing into a larger cheese ball spread! Thanks for the idea!

  2. Love the cheese truffles! It’s great because I am always paring something crunchy like crackers or nuts with my cheese and these have the crunch built right in!

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