Bacon and Chives Cheese Balls

5 from 9 votes
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These creamy mini cheese balls are coated in smoky bacon and crunchy chives for the perfect appetizer. Every bite has an irresistible combination of creamy, crunchy, salty and sweet.

A close-up of mini cheeseballs sprinkled with bacon and chives and a pretzel stick going through the center of each cheeseball.


Why You’ll Love These Mini Cheese Balls

  • Quick and Easy. Roll the cheese mixture into balls and then cover them with crispy bacon and chives. They’re fail-proof!
  • Stove and oven-free. This recipe is completely no-bake. You only need the fridge.
  • Great for gatherings. They’re easy for guests to munch on as they walk around because of the pretzel sticks.
  • Colorful. The red bacon, green chives, and white cream cheese make these cheese balls a festive and colorful holiday appetizer.
Platter of homemade mini cheese balls with pretzel sticks stuck through the center of each for easier snacking.

Cheese Balls Ingredients

  • Cream cheese – Choose full-fat or low-fat.
  • Cheese blend – Mexican cheese blend is my favorite, but any sharp cheese mixture will do.
  • Garlic – Finely chopped garlic or garlic powder are great for this.
  • Chili powder – If you don’t like spicy, use sweet paprika.
  • Onion powder Feel free to swap it for garlic powder.
  • Salt and pepper Use kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  • Bacon – I prefer turkey bacon, but use your favorite. Bacon bits are fine as well.
  • Fresh chives Chopped green onions work too.
  • Pretzel sticks Thick pretzels are best for this.

How to Make Mini Cheese Balls

All you will have to do is shape the balls and then roll them in bacon and chives. That’s it! Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.

  1. Make the cheese mixture. Combine the cream cheese, cheese blend, chives, garlic, chili powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper until smooth. Chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll them. Use your hands to roll the mixture into 18 evenly-sized balls. Refrigerate them until firm.
  3. Add the bacon. Mix the bacon and chives in a bowl. Insert a pretzel into each cheese ball. Roll the balls in the bacon-chives mixture.
  4. Serve. Remove them from the fridge. Set them on the counter 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Overhead photo of mini cheese balls rolled in bacon and chives.

Recipe Tips And Variations

  • Grease your hands. Lightly spray your hands with cooking spray so that the cheese mixture doesn’t stick to your fingers when rolling the balls.
  • Line it. Place the cheese balls on a lined baking sheet so that they don’t stick as they chill.
  • Chill the mixture. Don’t chill the cheese mixture for less than the time suggested. The colder it is, the easier it is to handle.
  • Use more toppings. Mixing 1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or mini pretzels to the bacon-chives mixture will add more crunch.
  • Make them buffalo-style. Stir 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken and 2-3 tablespoons buffalo sauce into the cheese mixture.
  • Make them Italian. Swap the onion powder and chili powder for 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. The bacon can also be swapped for chopped salami or pepperoni for extra Italian flair.

Serving Suggestions

These cheese balls are great party appetizers. I love to serve them with other finger foods like my Cranberry Brie Puff Pastry Pinwheels and Pinwheel Sandwiches. My Crispy Potato Skins, these Cucumber Sushi Rolls, and Baked Mozzarella Sticks are other party favorites. A simple charcuterie or cheese board works, too. A Spiked Apple Cider or a light Sorrel Drink can offer a sweet and tart balance to the savory flavors.

Platter of homemade mini cheese balls with pretzel sticks.

Proper Storage

These mini cheese balls are best the day they’re made to keep the bacon crispy. Place leftovers in an airtight container and keep them refrigerated for up to 3 days. If you’re making them in advance, roll the cheese balls, but don’t cover them in bacon and chives until right before serving.

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5 from 9 votes

Bacon and Chives Cheese Balls

This creamy and delicious mini cheese balls recipe, packed with bacon and chives, is the perfect no-bake appetizer for all your gatherings.
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 18 cheese balls


  • 12 ounces cream cheese,, room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded four cheese Mexican blend
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 clove garlic,, minced, or use about ⅛-teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper,, to taste
  • 6 slices bacon,, cooked to a crisp and finely chopped
  • cup finely chopped fresh chives,, for rolling
  • 18 pretzel sticks
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  • Mix together the cream cheese, shredded cheese, 1 tablespoon of chopped chives, garlic, onion powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper; mix until well blended and smooth. Taste and adjust for seasonings. Cover and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the fridge; lightly grease hands with cooking spray and form 18 small cheese balls.
  • Pop back into the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • In a shallow dish, combine the chopped bacon and chopped chives.
  • Insert a pretzel stick on each cheese ball and roll the balls in the bacon and chives mixture.
  • If not serving right away, keep them in the fridge.
  • Take the cheese balls out of the fridge about 15 minutes before you are ready to serve. 


  • Cream Cheese: This recipe works with any cream cheese, including Neufchatel cheese.
  • Shredded Cheese: I like to use Mexican cheese blend for this recipe, but any sharp cheese mixture will do.
  • Garlic: If you’d like to use garlic powder, you’ll need about 1/8 teaspoon or to taste.
  • Bacon: I’ve made this recipe using regular and turkey bacon, and both options work. I also experimented with bacon bits; although the flavor was somewhat more intense, the recipe still turned out great.
  • Grease your hands. Lightly spray your hands with cooking spray so the cheese mixture doesn’t stick to your hands when shaping the balls.


Serving: 1cheese ball | Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 379IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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5 from 9 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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  1. Catherine Gunter says:

    They were great and so fun to make

  2. Jeannine M Buskuhl says:

    I am having a wine pairing party. The wine I would serve with this will be a cabernet sauvignon, do you think I could put some cambozola or blue cheese in it?

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I love cheese, so to me, the more cheese the better. 😁 I think bleu cheese would be great in these!

  3. Carolyn says:

    Hello Cheeseballs! Get in my belly!

  4. Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert says:

    These would disappear in our house!

  5. Rachael Yerkes says:

    My new favorite thing to add to our gameday spread! This sounds delicious! You had me at bacon!

  6. Julie says:

    Brilliant idea! I love anything on a stick and this cheese ball looks amazing!