This pumpkin cheese ball recipe is a cute and tasty addition to your Thanksgiving spread or Halloween Party. This is no ordinary cheese ball : A bit of Dijon, a splash of wine, judicious use of garlic .. Done up to look like an adorable pumpkin!
We’ve been busy developing all kinds of Halloween recipes, Thanksgiving appetizers, etc and just having so much fun with all of it!
Last year, we didn’t really do much in terms of finger foods and other appetizer recipes, so we’re trying to make up for that, this year.
Today’s delicious appetizer recipe is not your average cheese ball, and is sure to be a huge hit at any fall party: my pumpkin cheese ball!
It starts out with the best cheese ball base, IMHO: A mix of cheese, wine, and a fair amount of garlic - no actual pumpkin.
So, next time you’re planning your Thanksgiving dinners and Halloween parties, consider making this cute appetizer
PS: I have a trashier version of this party appetizer over on Celebration Generation: Bacon Jalapeno Cheese Ball.
This is a really simple recipe, with really basic ingredients - you’ll have no trouble finding these in any local grocery store.
This recipe uses 3 types of cheese: Cream cheese, “shredded cheese of choice”, and finely shredded cheddar.
Cream cheese is pretty self explanatory.
For cheese of choice, we’ll usually go with a white cheddar, usually sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese.
While you want the finely shredded cheese to be a nice orange color for the outside of the pumpkin, you can really do whatever you want for the inside.
Sometimes we’ll use a Swiss or Jarlsburg for some or all of the “cheese of choice”, sometimes we’ll go kind of Fromage Fort with it, and use up a bunch of whatever.
When it comes to the “Finely shredded cheddar”:
The best way to make this is with cheese that’s shredded right before serving, rather than pre-shredded cheese.
Pre-shredded with either sticks together with time (home shredded), or is coated in agents to prevent caking (Retail shredded cheese).
Once you’ve got the base cheeses together, you’ll be adding some great flavor in the form of:
Dry White Wine
Salt and Pepper
... and I have no real notes on any of them.
There’s no broccoli IN the cheese ball, but I like to use part of the stem - from right below the crown - to make a cute pumpkin stem.
You can make use a green pepper to make a bell pepper stem, if you prefer - just cut the top off and trim the excess.
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, this is the pictorial walk through, with step by step instructions.
In a stand mixer or mixing bowl, beat room temperature cream cheese until smooth. Add mustard and wine, stir to combine.
Stir the chopped green onion and pressed garlic into the cream cheese mixture until well combined.
Add shredded cheese, stirring well to combine. Note: I’ll usually do this in two batches, half the cheese, get that stirred in, then add the rest.
Lay out 2 rectangles of plastic wrap, in an X shape. Using clean wet hands, form the cheese mixture into a ball, place in the middle of the large sheet of plastic wrap.
Use 3 wide-ish, large rubber bands to divide the cream cheese ball into 6 segments, forming a pumpkin shape. The vertical grooves don’t have to be perfectly even, pumpkins rarely are!
Immediately before serving:
Trim and peel your broccoli stem, if necessary. I like to shape it a bit, with a knife and vegetable peeler.
Remove cheese ball from the fridge.
Carefully peel off the plastic wrap, gently pack the shredded cheddar over the exposed surface of the entire cheeese ball, taking care to work it into the long indentations without *filling* them.
You can go as heavy or as lightly as you’d like, we sort of gave it a light coating.
Place cheese ball on serving plate, stick the broccoli stem into the top of the cheese ball.
Leftovers can be wrapped in cling wrap or transferred to an airtight container and chilled for up to a week.
We love this recipe as-is, but ... it’s a cheese ball. There’s always room for customization!
A few ideas:
Swap the green onion for finely chopped shallot.
Make mini pumpkin cheese balls!
Divide the cheese mixture into smaller portions before wrapping, and use smaller elastics. Everyone gets their own cute little pumpkin!
Want a little bit of kick? Add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
A dash of Worcestershire sauce can bring a hit of umami flavor to the mix.
More Gluten-Free Holiday Recipes!
Looking for something festive - for the whole family? Here are some great gluten-free recipes perfect for your holiday table!
Gluten-Free Candy Cane Cookies
Gluten Free Fruitcake
Gluten-Free Fruitcake Cookies
Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie
Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Mini Doughnuts
Gluten-Free Paska [Easter Bread]
Gluten Free Sauerkraut Buns [Pyrizhky]
Gluten Free Stuffing Recipe
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Pumpkin Cheese Ball
- 16 oz Cream Cheese Softened
- 2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- Splash Dry White Wine
- 2-3 Green onions finely chopped
- 5 Garlic cloves pressed
- 1 ½ lb Cheddar cheese, finely shredded
- Salt and Pepper To Taste
- 1 cup Finely shredded cheddar
- Broccoli stem
- Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add mustard and wine, stir to combine.
- Stir in the chopped green onions and pressed garlic until well combined.
- Add shredded cheese, stirring well to combine. Note: I’ll usually do this in two batches, half the cheese, get that stirred in, then add the rest.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Lay out 2 rectangles of plastic wrap, in an X shape. Using clean wet hands, form the cheese mixture into a ball, place in the middle of the plastic wrap.
- Gather the plastic wrap up around the ball of cheese, securing at the top with a twist tie, elastic, or twine.
- Use 3 wide-ish elastics to divide the cheese ball into 6 segments. They don’t have to be perfectly even, pumpkins rarely are!
- Chill for at least two hours.
Immediately before serving:
- Finely shred the cheddar cheese.
- Remove cheese ball from the fridge. Carefully peel off the plastic wrap, gently pack the shredded cheddar over the exposed surface of the entire cheeese ball. You can go as heavy or as lightly as you’d like, we sort of gave it a light coating.
- Place cheese ball on serving plate, top with the broccoli stem, and serve with crackers.