This is the perfect fall party food. It’s easy to make. It’s loved by everyone (at least everyone with tastebuds). It’s only six ingredients. Did I mention it is super easy to make? So if you’re planning a game day watch party, tailgate or seasonal gathering, add this to the menu.
When I made this cheese ball to photograph for this post, my starving 3rd grader was stalking the cheese ball. I was afraid I wasn’t going to get a photo before he made a huge divot in the freshly shaped ball. Yes, he was a hungry kiddo, but it’s also that good. I highly recommend making this when you have a crowd to feed, otherwise you might find yourself staring at a half eaten ball and in need of your “fat pants.”
In fact if you have any leftover cheese ball, which I seriously doubt you will, but hypothetically let’s say you do. This mixture makes an insanely decadent grilled cheese sandwich. Yes, I had to test it. I wore my “fat pants” and promised to sweat like crazy in the yard and hit the gym…. it was worth it. I took a photo that I share at the bottom of this post— it’s of the grilled cheese… not my “fat pants.”
So here’s the ingredients:
1 8 0z. package of cream cheese
1 tub of garden vegetable cream cheese spread
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 pkg. of ranch dip/ dressing mix ( I think the whole pkg. is just too much ranch.)
1 or more red or yellow banana pepper (These are from the garden, but you could also use a red or yellow bell pepper.)
fresh chives, diced (These are also from the vegetable garden. It’s so nice to add ingredients that you’ve grown.)
Mix the cream cheeses and them add all the other ingredients. You could use a food processor, but I just use some muscle. I really hate the clean-up when using the processor.
After you’ve combined the ingredients thoroughly, form a ball and wrap the ball in saran wrap. Use rubber bands to form the pumpkin. Here’s a photo example.
After you’ve formed a pumpkin shape, place the cheese ball in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes or until your gathering. You can serve this with any cracker, but I recommend toasted baguette slices.
Optional: For a pumpkin stem, you can use crispy breadsticks like I did, twisted pretzels or even form a stalk out of dough and bake it.
Here’s a quick tip on making your own toasted baguette slices:
Slice up a a store bought baguette. I like to add a little melted butter and garlic powder. (I melt two to three tbsp. of salted butter and mix in 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder). Just brush this mixture on the slices.
Broil the slices in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes and serve warm.
So, as promised here’s a photo of the grilled cheese that I mentioned earlier. I highly recommend adding a couple of slices of bacon. This would be so good with a light, broth-based soup.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on other ways to make a really decadent, gourmet grilled cheese!
Until next time, happy eating!