Gluten-Free Cheese Balls

Gluten-free cheese balls are loaded with Monterey Jack and Parmesan cheeses, milk, butter, eggs and tapioca starch. Then baked for 20 minutes. These bite-size cheese balls in Brazil are traditionally called Pao De Queijo.

Since the Soccer World Cup is hosted in Brazil, I wanted to honor our Brazilian friends around the world with these delicious cheese treats.

My blogger friend Marcellina made them, and the recipe looked so easy, I was inspired to try them. 

These cheese balls make a great little snack.  The original recipe calls for tapioca starch or tapioca flour with Monterey Jack cheese.  I decided to add some Parmesan cheese in there as well, but you can add a mixture of your favorite cheeses.  They were very tasty!  One thing you must remember, you cannot over bake them or they will turn hard and bitter. 

To all the Soccer fans, we wish you the very best of luck in this year's World Cup!
Have a great weekend everyone, and thanks for stopping by!

Gluten-Free Cheese Balls
  • 4 cups tapioca starch (or tapioca flour) 
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups (9 ounces) of Monterey Jack Cheese (or any cheese to your liking, even a mix of cheeses), coarsely grated
  • 2 to 3 large eggs

Heat milk, butter and salt in a small sauce pan until it comes to a boil.
Watch closely as it may boil over.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Sift tapioca starch into a large bowl.

Slowly pour the hot mixture over the tapioca and start stirring with a fork.

The milk mixture will not be enough to form a dough yet. You will have a lumpy, crumbly mixture, and that's what its supposed to be.

Keep stirring with the fork and breaking down the lumps as much as you can, until the mixture cools down to warm.  You can also use your hands to do break down the lumps.  At this point preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add the grated cheese to the tapioca mixture and mix well with your hands.

Add one egg at a time, mix with your hands until dough comes together.  The dough will come together into a soft but pliable dough.  You will only knead it a bit, and the dough will be slightly sticky.

Form balls with the dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or silicon mat, or lightly greased with cooking spray.  The size of the balls may
vary from very small bite-sized to ping pong balls. They will puff up while baking.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, (if you use corn starch, bake for 13 to 17 minutes), or until
they just start to brown on the bottom.  Don't over-bake as they will get hard, dried out and bitter.

Yields: 54 balls

Recipe adapted by Marcellina in Cucina
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  1. I'm not really into the world cup but I'm totally into these cheese balls - wonderful!

  2. These are exceptionally cool! I will share this with my sister-in-law who just came back from living in Brazil for the last 30 years - I wonder if they made these! Yum! Have a great weekend :)

    1. Thanks Tricia! I think they will be better next time with the tapioca starch. I overbaked the first pan and they turned out to be dry- but very tasty!
      Have a great weekend!

  3. Ooooooh, your cheese balls look amazing!!! Thank you for your kind comments and linking back to my blog! Much appreciated! Love your blog and what you do. Great idea to sub corn starch. Have a wonderful weekend!


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