Pumpkin Cheese Ball with Bacon & Ranch

This pumpkin cheese ball is a fun appetizer recipe for Thanksgiving or a Halloween party. Mix bacon, cheddar, ranch, and cream cheese and form into a pumpkin shape for a cute and yummy snack.

pumpkin cheese ball on a plate surrounded by crackers.

If you're looking for a fun appetizer for a Halloween, Thanksgiving, or fall-themed party, I've got a super easy and super cute one for you today!

Why You'll Love This Pumpkin Cheese Ball

You've got to love a creative party idea that requires minimal effort. This pumpkin cheese ball looks like it takes a ton of effort, but it's as easy as mixing a couple of ingredients together, forming into a ball, and using a simple secret to make that pumpkin shape.

And let me tell you - the flavor in this one is out of this world. The richness of bacon and cheddar combine with the bite of ranch and pimento to give it a great flavor contrast. All of that tastiness is mixed in creamy cheese, making it the perfect dip.

Ingredients

ingredients for pumpkin cheese ball.

(See recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact ingredient measurements.)

  • cream cheese - If you'd like to lighten the recipe up a bit, you can use light cream cheese with pretty minimal flavor difference.
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese - You need standard shredded cheese or the cheese ball and finely shredded cheddar to use as an orange covering for the cheese ball after forming.
  • dried minced onion - This can be found in the spice section of your grocery store.
  • ranch dressing mix
  • jarred diced pimento
  • bagged real bacon pieces - If you'd rather use real bacon, go for it! You'll need 5-6 pieces of crumbled bacon if you're using the real deal.
  • 1 bell pepper stem - This will make the cute pumpkin stem on top of your cheese ball. Tip: Next time you chop a bell pepper, just save the stem in a plastic baggie and pop it in the freezer to use for this recipe.

Supplies Needed

In addition to the ingredients, you'll need the following supplies...

  • stand mixer with a paddle attachment (Can be mixed by hand if needed; the mixer just makes it much easier.)
  • large sheet of plastic wrap
  • rubber bands

Variations & Additions

  • If you want to add a crunchy element to your cheese ball, cover it in finely crushed pecans or walnuts instead of shredded cheese.
  • Make it a sweet cheese ball! Mix 2 packs of cream cheese, 1 cup of powdered sugar, and 1 cup of chocolate (or pumpkin) chips for a sweet variety.
  • Make this recipe vegetarian by leaving out the bacon.

What to Serve with the Cheese Ball

If you can dip it, you can serve it with this recipe! A few ideas...

  • crackers
  • tortilla chips
  • toast points
  • pita chips
  • raw vegetables (carrot sticks, celery, broccoli)
  • pretzel chips
  • bagel chips

Try more great cheesy appetizers: Cheesy Sausage Rotel Cups and Baked Avocados.

Step-by-Step Recipe Instructions

Step 1: Mix the cheese ball ingredients.

cheese ball ingredients in a glass bowl.

Add cream cheese, 2 cups of shredded cheddar, minced onion, ranch dressing mix, pimento, and bacon to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment on low speed, mix these ingredients together. Remove from the bowl and form this cream cheese mixture into a ball.

Step 2: Form a pumpkin Shape.

cheese ball wrapped in plastic wrap and rubber bands.

Remove the mixture from the bowl and spoon onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Cover in plastic wrap and form the mixture into a ball.

Wrap 3 rubber bands around the plastic wrap-covered cheese ball to make indents in the cheese ball, giving it those vertical grooves to make it look like a pumpkin.

Refrigerate the wrapped cheese ball for at least an hour. Once set, cut the rubber bands off of the cheese ball.

Step 3: Give it an orange color and a pumpkin stem.

Gently unwrap the plastic wrap. Use the remaining finely shredded cheddar to cover the outside of the cheese ball. Put bell pepper stem on top of the cheese ball for the pumpkin stem.

Step 4: Serve.

holding small amount of cheese ball on a cracker.

Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, or raw vegetables.

Instructional Video: How to get the pumpkin shape

Leftover Storage

Leftovers for this pumpkin cheese ball should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I recommend enjoying this within 3-4 days of preparation.

Can I freeze this pumpkin cheese ball?

Yes, this cheese ball freezes really well! Once you make your indents with the rubber bands, keep the cheese ball wrapped in plastic wrap. Put this in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months.

Once you're ready to enjoy, remove from the freezer and gently thaw in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. Remove plastic wrap and roll in the finely shredded cheddar.

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • If you don't have rubber bands, you can also use kitchen twine, unscented dental floss, or yarn to make the pumpkin indents. Just wrap 3 pieces around the plastic-wrapped cheese ball and gently pull to make the indents.
  • You can also make mini pumpkin cheese balls with this recipe! Use the same recipe and make 8-10 mini pumpkin balls wrapped in plastic wrap and indented with rubber bands or string. This is a great alternative if you need single-serve appetizers.
  • Yield: You will be able to serve roughly 8-10 guests with this appetizer.

Let me see those pumpkin cheese ball pictures! Show off your creations on Instagram 📸 and tag me in your pictures (@lambertslately). You can also rate and review ⭐️ this recipe in the comments!

xo, Leslie - signature at the end of blog post.
pumpkin cheese ball on a plate surrounded by crackers.

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

This pumpkin cheese ball is a fun appetizer recipe for Thanksgiving or a Halloween party. Mix bacon, cheddar, ranch, and cream cheese and form into a pumpkin shape for a cute and yummy snack.
5 from 36 votes

Affiliate links used.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 226 kcal

Equipment

  • stand mixer with a paddle attachment (Can be mixed by hand if needed; the mixer just makes it much easier.)
  • large sheet of plastic wrap
  • rubber bands

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 pack ranch dressing mix
  • 4 oz jarred diced pimento drained
  • 2.5 oz bagged real bacon pieces
  • 1 cup finely-shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 bell pepper stem
  • crackers for serving

Instructions
 

  • Add cream cheese, 2 cups of shredded cheddar, minced onion, ranch dressing mix, pimento, and bacon to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment on low speed, mix these ingredients together.
  • Remove the mixture from the bowl and spoon onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Cover in plastic wrap and form the mixture into a ball. Wrap 3 rubber bands around the plastic wrap-covered cheese ball to make indents in the cheese ball, giving it those vertical grooves to make it look like a pumpkin.
  • Refrigerate the wrapped cheese ball for at least an hour. Once set, cut the rubber bands off of the cheese ball.
  • Gently unwrap the plastic wrap. Use the remaining finely shredded cheddar to cover the outside of the cheese ball. Put bell pepper stem on top of the cheese ball for the pumpkin stem.
  • Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, or raw vegetables.

Notes

  • If you don't have rubber bands, you can also use kitchen twine, unscented dental floss, or yarn to make the pumpkin indents. Just wrap 3 pieces around the plastic-wrapped cheese ball and gently pull to make the indents.
  • You can also make mini pumpkin cheese balls with this recipe! Use the same recipe and make 8-10 mini pumpkin balls wrapped in plastic wrap and indented with rubber bands or string. This is a great alternative if you need single-serve appetizers.
  • Leftovers for this pumpkin cheese ball should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I recommend enjoying this within 3-4 days of preparation.
  • This cheese ball freezes really well! Once you make your indents with the rubber bands, keep the cheese ball wrapped in plastic wrap. Put this in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months.
    •  

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 226kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 18gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 965mgPotassium: 190mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 665IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 402mgIron: 0.4mg
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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Made the cheeseball for a church event and it turned out so cute. Delicious as well!