recipe

Pumpkin Cheese Ball: a delicious festive party appetizer to make this autumn

Total time: 15 Min + Refrigerating time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 10 people
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Searching for an easy appetizer that's sure to impress your guests? Look no further than this incredible pumpkin cheese ball recipe! It's made with two types of rich, smooth, tangy cream cheese, crunchy red bell peppers, and spring onions, a splash of ranch dressing rolled in sharp cheddar cheese. Super creamy on the inside, this fantastic fall appetizer is not only delicious, it's sure to wow your guests.

Despite its name, the pumpkin cheese ball isn't pumpkin flavored. It gets its name from the fact the cheese ball is molded to look like a festive pumpkin, a fall twist on classic cheese ball. It's the perfect centerpiece for a party such as Halloween or Thanksgiving, especially served with a selection of crackers, tortillas, sliced vegetables, and flatbread.

Pumpkin Cheese Ball Ingredients

Freshly grated cheddar cheese is a must for this recipe. It makes a huge difference in terms of the pumpkin cheese ball holding its shape.

Two types of cream cheese give this cheese ball its rich, creamy texture. You'll need regular cream cheese and vegetable or herb cream cheese.

Chopped bell pepper and scallions add a bit of crunch, while ranch adds a mouthwatering layer of flavor. Don't forget to keep the bell pepper stem to set on top of the pumpkin cheese ball as a finishing touch!

While you don't need any special equipment, you will need several rubberbands and plenty of plastic wrap to shape your cheese ball into a pumpkin.

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How to Make Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Making this beautiful appetizer is incredibly easy, and it doesn't take much time to prep. Your first step is to beat the two types of cream cheeses until they're smooth. Use an electric mixer to make things easier.

Next, fold in the ranch dressing, bell pepper, green onions, and one cup of cheese. Mix well to combine. Set a piece of cling film on your work surface and spread 1/4 cup of cheese over it. Transfer the cream cheese mixture to the center of the plastic wrap. Coat each side with the rest of the cheese, then wrap it up tightly in the cling film. Wrap it in a second layer. This will help prevent any of the cheese ball from leaking out.

Place two rubber bands around the cheese ball to form a cross shape. Turn the cheese ball 90 degrees and place two more rubberbands around it to form a second cross. The cheese ball should now roughly resemble a pumpkin. Pop it in the fridge for at least two hours or up overnight. The longer you leave it, the better it will taste, and the more it will look like a pumpkin.

Carefully take off the rubberbands and plastic wrap. Set the cheese ball on a serving platter. Place the reserved bell pepper stem on top, gently pushing it into the cheese ball to secure it in place. Serve with crackers, flatbread, artisan sourdough, and chopped veggies.

Tips for Making a Pumpkin-Shaped Cheese Ball

While buying pre-shredded cheese is more convenient, shredding the cheese yourself means the cheese will be less dry, and the cheese ball will hold its shape better.

Be gentle when removing the rubberbands so you don't break the cheese ball.

You can try out different cream cheese flavors. Herb and garlic, and chive are fabulous in a cheese ball.

To make a vegan-friendly cheese ball, swap out the cream cheese for plant-based cream cheese and use shredded vegan cheese instead of cheddar.

Instead of a bell pepper stem, you can use a thick pretzel and some fresh herbs like basil or sage as a stem.

For a sharper flavor, add chopped red onions to your cheese ball.

For a crisp exterior, use crushed tortillas for decorating this pumpkin-shaped cheese ball.

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How to Store Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Wrap your pumpkin-shaped cheese ball in cling film and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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Ingredients
cream cheese, softened
8 ounces
vegetable cream cheese, softened
8 ounces
Ranch dressing
2 tbsp
green onions, sliced
3
red pepper, finely diced, stem reserved
1
shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups
tortillas, for serving

Instructions

Blend the two cream cheeses until smooth.

Mix in ranch dressing and bell pepper.

Add green onions.

Add one cup of cheddar cheese.

Mix well.

Lay out a piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Spread out ¼ cup of cheese on the plastic wrap.

Set the cream cheese mixture on top of the cheese.

Coat with the remaining shredded cheese.

Tightly wrap the cheese ball in the cling film. Wrap in a second layer of plastic wrap.

Place two rubber bands around the cheese ball to form a cross shape. Turn the cheese ball 90 degrees and place two more rubberbands around it to form a second cross.

Refrigerate the cheese ball for at least two hours up to overnight. Remove the rubber bands and plastic wrap. Set on a serving platter. Place the reserved bell pepper stem on top, gently pushing it into the cheese ball.

Serve the pumpkin cheese ball and enjoy!

Notes

Make sure to soften the cream cheese to room temperature before you get started.

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