Prosciutto & Fig Cheeseball Bites
I’m sure that many people consider cheeseballs “old school” or “retro.” I’d agree that they’re probably both of those things. But really, I think they’re a holiday tradition. Along with sugar cookies and homemade Chex mix, it’s just not Christmas without a cheeseball. My grandma had been in charge of holiday cheeseballs for years, until she announced last year that it would be her last year making them. She handed out her recipes for them and called it quits.
I mean, I really don’t blame her. When I’m grandma-aged, I’m probably not going to be cooking anything around the holidays. I’ll let other people cook for me while I sip sherry or something. I don’t even know what sherry is. It just sounds like something an old lady would drink, right?
If I wanted a cheeseball, it was up to me to make it myself this year. Rather than one big cheeseball, I decided to make a bunch of little ones. For a nice balance of flavor, I would recommend choosing one salty ingredient (like prosciutto), one sweet ingredient (like dried figs), and a fresh herb (like chives). You’ll also need cream cheese and some kind of shredded cheese (like Gouda). A nutty coating on the outside of the cheeseball bites is optional, but you’ll probably want mini pretzel sticks for easy serving and eating.
The great thing about this recipe is how you can completely adapt it to suit your own tastes and use ingredients already in your kitchen. Don’t want to spend the money on prosciutto? Just use regular ham. Not a big fan of figs? Try dried dates or dried cherries. Can’t find Gouda? Use Swiss cheese instead. However you choose to make them, enjoy these little bites of cheesy goodness!
Prosciutto & Fig Cheeseball Bites
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 ounces Gouda cheese, shredded
- 3 ounces prosciutto, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup finely chopped dried figs
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
- 24 pretzel sticks
- In large bowl, use electric mixer to beat cream cheese, Gouda, prosciutto, figs and chives until well combined. Roll mixture into 24 tablespoon-size balls. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
- If desired, place walnuts on small plate and roll cheese balls in walnuts; pressing so nuts adhere to cheese balls. Immediately before serving, skewer each cheese ball with a pretzel stick.
The folks at Milk Means More made a fun little video of this recipe! Check it out here:
Disclosure: This post is part of an ongoing relationship I have with The United Dairy Industry of Michigan for recipe development. Posts like this help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.
My parents always buy cheese ball for the holidays, and we can’t have New Year’s Eve without it! I’ve been on a cheese ball making kick lately. Maybe they are starting to make a come back 😀 Love how you can customize this recipe with what you have on hand.
Cheeseballs are so awesome that my grandma apparently FORGOT she said she wasn’t going to make them anymore, and made them again this year! We’re going to have ALLTHECHEESEBALLS this year!
I have very real concerns about how many of these I could eat! 🙂 Pinned.
Oh, it’s the holidays. No counting allowed 😉
I don’t care if these are old school or retro, lol, they sound amazing!! Prosciutto and figs is an awesome combination!
Thanks Jess! Once a classic, always a classic 🙂
I love it! This combination of flavors is just PERFECT.
Sherry is wine + booze (I think brandy). Basically, a socially acceptable way to get loaded. It’s the lady version of port or alternatively the high class version of vermouth or Wild Irish Rose.
I’m so glad to have an outlet for my useless trivia. Oh and thank you for always being a great source for my wine and cheese night recipes. The next one isn’t until February, but I know what I will be doing 🙂
“A socially acceptable way to get loaded.” So yes, I will DEFINITELY be drinking sherry when I’m an old lady. I’m jealous of your wine and cheese nights. Sounds like so much fun!
These are adorable! What a fantastic combination of flavors!
Thanks so much, Lauren!
I love that we were just talking about cheese balls and then boom! Here you go with this awesome recipe. I’m all for the gouda, in fact, I have some in the fridge right now. Made a grilled cheese with it the other night. Pretzel sticks on top is the perfect touch too.
Haha yeah, I was secretly making these while we were chatting about cheeseballs 🙂 I also love Gouda, but it’s a cheese I don’t seem to buy/use enough. I always seem to forget it exists until I look in the Flavor Bible and see it as a flavor pairing for prosciutto or whatever 🙂
Would it be possible to sub bleu cheese? I love the combo of that cheese with figs and proscuitto
Oh, absolutely, Darlene! Bleu cheese would be GREAT here!
Oh I love the combo of these cheeseball bites. I think I’m deeply in love with all the ingredients you add in. Yum!
Thanks so much, Linda!
I’m a huge sucker for any kind of cheese ball (it’s always on my holiday spread!) and I NEED these! They are pretty much the cutest appetizer ever.
Thanks so much, Faith! I agree, I must have a cheeseball at Christmas!
I adore prosciutto and figs. Such a great combination, too! These could easily be made gluten free with GF pretzels, too!
Definitely, Anne-Marie! Thanks so much for pointing that out. I wasn’t sure if GF pretzels existed, but I figured they did 🙂