How to Make a Pumpkin-Shaped Cheeseball With Leaf-Shaped Tortilla Chips
Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving or looking for an appetizer to bring to a Halloween party, you can’t go wrong with this easy ham and cheese hors d'oeuvre served with leaf-shaped chips.
Bring some seasonal fun to the table with this delightful pumpkin-shaped cheeseball recipe. It’s paired with colorful leaf tortilla chips for extra fall flair. This recipe makes for an eye-catching centerpiece for a Thanksgiving table or an addition to your autumn charcuterie board. With creamy, sharp and herbaceous flavors, it's sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Forming the cheeseball into a pumpkin takes no special culinary skills, but you will need plastic wrap and rubber bands to achieve the shape. For the leaf-shaped tortilla chips, you’ll need 3” leaf-shaped cookie cutters.
- plastic wrap
- 5 rubber bands
- 3” leaf-shaped cookie cutters
- 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning mix
- 5 oz. (1 can) smoked ham
- 1 cup cheese flavored crackers
- 1 bell pepper with an attractive stem, intact
- 10 yellow corn tortillas
- 6 sun-dried tomato flour tortillas
- 6 spinach flour tortillas
- olive oil
- sea salt, optional
1. Make the Cheeseball
In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar and smoked ham. Mix well with an electric hand mixer until creamy and thoroughly combined.
Add the ranch seasoning and mix again until it is well dispersed. This will give it an herbaceous, tangy flavor.
2. Shape the Cheeseball
When all the ingredients are well combined, place a large sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface. Transfer the cheese mixture to the center of the plastic wrap.
Gather the ends of the plastic wrap and shape the cheese into a ball. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap and press the ball down slightly so that it has a squat pumpkin shape. Use a rubber band to tightly close the ends of the plastic wrap. Wrap four rubber bands around the cheeseball so that they intersect, creating triangular-shaped sections that mimic a pumpkin shape.
Refrigerate the cheeseball for at least four hours or preferably overnight.
Carefully remove the rubber bands from the cheeseball and gently pull the plastic wrap away.
3. Coat the Cheeseball
Place the cheese crackers in a food processor and grind to fine crumbs. Alternatively, place the crackers in a zip-top bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
Place the cracker crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and place the cheese ball on top; use your hands to lightly press the crackers into the cheeseball. Spoon crumbs over top of the cheeseball and press them on with your fingers.
4. Add the Stem
Using a small sharp paring knife, cut out the stem of the bell pepper. Place the stem into the top center of the cheeseball to create the pumpkin stem. Reserve the bell pepper for another use or slice it into long pieces and serve alongside the cheeseball.
While the cheeseball sets, prepare the tortilla chips.
5. Cut the Leaf Chips
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Use leaf motif cookie cutters to cut out leaf shapes from flavored tortillas and flour wraps. These leaf-shaped chips will not only complement the cheeseball's theme but also add a delightful crunch to your spread.
6. Bake the Leaf Chips
Place the leaf chips on parchment-lined baking sheets and brush them lightly with olive oil using a pastry brush. You may also spritz them with olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle with pinches of sea salt, if using.
Bake the chips for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
7. Serve + Enjoy
Serve the chilled pumpkin-shaped cheeseball with the chips arranged on the side as a festive centerpiece for your fall table or as a tasty addition to your charcuterie board.