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This Great Pumpkin Cheeseball is a perfect appetizer for your fall festivities or just because. With only six ingredients, including real pumpkin, it’s easy to whip up this seasonal appetizer. Bonus: it’s make ahead too!
I’m a big fan of making themed holiday foods, especially fun foods like this Pumpkin Shaped Cheeseball! I originally shared this recipe over ten years ago. Back then, I was new to blogging and participated in a bunch of themed blogging challenges. That month, the theme was to create something pumpkin shaped so this pumpkin shaped cheeseball was just the thing!
I’m not even really sure where the original recipe came from. I do remember coming across it and thinking I could easily mold it into the right shape. I like that this recipe also has actual pumpkin as an ingredient! It may sound strange to have pumpkin puree in a savory appetizer like this but I promise it totally works!
This pumpkin cheeseball is perfect for festive Halloween or Thanksgiving tables and is so super easy to make. It only has six ingredients and can also be made ahead. It’s best to chill at least one hour so that the flavors can blend and form the cheeseball more easily.
What Ingredients Are Needed To Make This Recipe?
Another thing I like about this cheeseball is the mixture of savory and sweet flavors. All ingredients are easily found at the grocery store. I like to buy store brand when I can to save a little money.
Crushed pineapple is easily found at the grocery store. Make sure you look for the crushed as I once bought the pineapple bits by accident and they were just too chunky for this recipe.
When I have time, I bake up a big batch of bacon in my oven. I’ll then chop it up and keep it in the freezer to use in recipes like this recipe. Other favorites are my Loaded Baked Potato Dip, Bacon Lettuce and Tomato Soup or Easy Copycat BLT Chicken Salad Sandwich.
To bake bacon, lay out the bacon strips on large baking sheet with sides (affiliate link) and a baking rack (affiliate link). Bake for 20 minutes in a 400°F oven, flipping once halfway through. Bake a little longer if you like crisper bacon.
This pumpkin shaped cheeseball also calls for canned pumpkin puree. Make sure you are buying the plain pumpkin and not the pumpkin pie mix that comes in a can. Otherwise you will have cheeseball that may taste more like pumpkin pie!
We like to serve this cheeseball appetizer with pretzels or cut up vegetables. This makes it a healthier recipe option for the holidays, too.
For the pretzels, the larger pretzel rods work well but so do the pretzel squares (called “snaps” by one brand). The more traditional mini-pretzel shape works well too! You can also use any type of cracker that you like.
Easy Steps To Make This Recipe
There’s not too much to putting this cheeseball recipe together. Just combine the ingredients in a large bowl and chill for an hour or overnight.
When ready to serve, scoop out all the cheeseball mixture onto a platter. Then use your hands or a rubber spatula (affiliate link) to form the pumpkin shape (shown here). Next, use the back edge of a knife or the spatula to “draw” the lines in the ball to make a pumpkin shape. Top with part of a pretzel rod, leafy part of a stalk of celery or even the stem of a bell pepper to make it look more authentic!
Make Ahead Preparation Tips
Since this cheeseball recipe needs to chill at least an hour, it is naturally make ahead. You can make it up to a day in advance, too.
Freezer friendly tips
In the ingredients section, I mentioned making a batch of bacon in bulk to chop up and use in other recipes. It’s so easy! After you’ve cooked your bacon, let it cool slightly then chop it into small pieces. I like to store my bacon in a ziptop bag as it’s less likely to freeze in one big piece. Then I can pull out just what I need for different recipes. I will sometimes use a reusable silicone bag (affiliate link) if I have one handy.
Don’t forget to date and label (affiliate link) the bag before putting it in the freezer! The bacon will be good for up to three months in the freezer.
I have never tried freezing the cheeseball mixture itself. Sometimes freezing a recipe with cream cheese can be hit or miss but I should give this a try! If I do, I will come back and update this post. Or if you give it a try, leave a comment below to let us know how it worked out.
Other Recipes Using Pumpkin
I love all things pumpkin and have collected a ton of ideas on my Pumpkin-palooza Pinterest board.
If you like all things pumpkin like I do, be sure to check out these other posts using pumpkin:
Pumpkin Waffles with Whole Wheat (and No Added Sugar!)
All-Natural Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa
5 Ingredient Creamy Pumpkin Dip
Delicious Pumpkin Pie Dessert Squares
They’re a great way to enjoy the flavors of the season!
Easy Pumpkin Cheeseball
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¾ cup canned pumpkin NOT canned pumpkin pie mix
- 1 cup crushed pineapple well drained
- 2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup bacon cooked and chopped
- 1 tablespoon yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 cup pretzel rods
- 1 cup vegetables carrots, celery, bell peppers, etc., sliced into finger food size
- 1 cup crackers variety of your choosing
- In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, pumpkin and pineapple.
- Stir in cheddar cheese, beef and onion.
- Chill mixture for at least one hour or up to 24 hours in advance.
To Form Pumpkin Shaped Cheeseball
- Using clean hands or a flexible rubbe spatula, shape entire mixture into a ball and place on a serving platter.
- Score sides with a knife to resemble a pumpkin and add celery leaves for a stem.
- Serve with pretzels, crackers and/or vegetables.
This pumpkin shaped cheeseball recipe was originally published in October 2011 and updated in September 2020 with new photos, content and video.
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