This fun recipe for pumpkin cheeseball makes the perfect Halloween or fall appetizer!
Cream cheese, shredded cheddar, ranch dressing mix and bacon bits are creamed together and rolled into a ball with a bell pepper stem top for the pumpkin “stalk.”
Make your spooky season extra tasty with this cheesy Trick-or-Treat “pumpkin” on the snack table.
Cheesy Autumn Appetizer
- Pumpkin cheeseballs are appropriate for any fall gathering! Bring it on for Thanksgiving, Halloween, Sunday football with the gang, or any time.
- Rich and full flavored cheeseballs like this will keep guests satisfied all night long.
- Double up the recipe for the freezer and make-and-take occasions. Pumpkin cheeseballs will always be a welcome addition to any party! Give this versatile appetizer a different shaped “hat” for other holidays!
- Decorative cheeseball pumpkin gives a party visual appeal. Combine it with other pumpkin decorations that the kids can help out with. Arrange with other treats and sweets on a table, such as pumpkin pie, and pumpkin bars for the perfect festive spread.
Ingredients & Variations for Pumpkin Cheeseball
Cream Cheese – Full-fat will give the best, creamy flavor and rich mouthfeel. If low-fat is a must, it will work too! The other ingredients have so much flavor, that they’ll compensate!
Cheddar Cheese ‑ To keep the pumpkin theme going, choose orange colored shredded cheddar instead of white, and extra-sharp for the best and fullest cheesy flavor.
Ranch ‑ Use powdered ranch dressing mix and adjust the amount to taste. Onion soup mix is another option, or your favorite dip mix.
Bacon ‑ For the best flavor and convenience, use real – not imitation — bacon crumbles from a package. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, fry up some bacon and crumble away! Diced ham will also provide that smoky layer of flavor.
Stem top ‑ Shop for a bell pepper that has a long stem still attached. If you can find an orange bell pepper, even better!
Variations ‑ As long as you’re cutting the top off a pepper, why not dice up the bottom and add in for extra crunch? Diced onion, roasted garlic, or a can of well-drained Rotel are other options. Want a spicy cheeseball? Try this homemade taco seasoning blend.
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesball
This easy cheeseball pumpkin is for any fall celebration.
- In a large bowl, use a mixture to whip the cream cheese until fluffy.
- Mix in ranch seasoning, bacon, and ½ the shredded cheddar.
- Form into a ball, and roll in the remainder of the cheese (as per the recipe below).
- Slice the stem top from a bell pepper and place on top of the ball. Flatten the ball slightly if necessary to make it fit.
- Chill for a minimum of an hour.
Serve with crostini, crackers, or breadsticks.
Tips for Best Pumpkin Cheeseball
- Room-temperature cream cheese will mix more easily. To warm it up quickly, remove the foil and pop it in the microwave for a few seconds, or warm it in a toaster oven.
- Dampen your hands before shaping the ball to prevent the cheese from sticking.
- Give your arm a break and use pre-shredded cheese.
- Be sure to chill the cheeseball well so it will hold up as the party goes on! You could even partially freeze it and try your hand at carving some pumpkin lines.
- Pumpkin cheeseball will keep in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped, for up to 4 days. To freeze, wrap in foil, then plastic, and store for up to two months. Thaw at room temperature.
Pumpkin Cheese Ball
- 16 ounces cream cheese room temp
- ½ cup bacon bits
- 1 packet Ranch mix
- 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese shredded, divided
- 1 top from a bell pepper
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese with a mixer and mix until fluffy.
- Add in a packet of ranch dip mix, bacon bits, and ½ cup shredded cheese. Mix until just blended.
- Form into a ball and roll in 1 cup of shredded cheese.
- Press the cheese ball down just a bit until slightly flat to form a pumpkin shape. Add lines, if desired.
- Press the top from the green pepper firmly down into the cheese ball.
- Place in fridge for 1-2 hours or until firm. Serve with crackers
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
©The Shortcut Kitchen. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.