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Crunchy Keto Cheese and Ranch Pinchos

The bite-size Spanish snack goes keto.

Pinchos are bite-sized snacks typically served in the Basque region of Spain. And we love the idea of bite-sized food so much, we decided to make a keto version of a pincho, featuring a creamy cheese ball rolled in a finger-licking coating of bacon, nuts, and chives.

This stress-free snack hits all the right savory and salty notes from the ranch-flavored center to the crunchy exterior. Cheese balls are an easy recipe base to switch up with different flavors. Want it spicy? Add chopped jalapeño or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Like more herbs? Add chopped dill!

Makes 16 pinchos

Ingredients

8 oz full-fat cream cheese
1 Tbsp full-fat mayonnaise
2 Tbsp full-fat sour cream
1 cup shredded Colby jack or cheddar cheese
1 oz Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix
4 slices cooked bacon, finely chopped
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
3 Tbsp minced chives

How to Make It

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, shredded cheese, and ranch seasoning.
  2. Using the paddle attachment, mix until ingredients are fully incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl edges occasionally.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  4. In a second small bowl, combine the bacon, pecans, and chives.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Once the cheese mixture is chilled, use a small scoop or two small spoons to portion out small cheese balls and place on the baking sheet.
  6. Roll each ball in the toppings until evenly coated on all sides.
  7. Place the balls on a plate or platter and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving with toothpicks.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

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Carlene Thomas, RDN
Carlene Thomas RDN, LD is a registered dietitian, nutritionist, and culinary creator. Read more