Need a spooky, impressive finger food to take to a Halloween potluck? This take on Paula Deen’s cheese ball goblin is the ghoulish dish for you!
Scarily scrumptious, this easy cheese ball is made with cream cheese, Mexican-style shredded cheese, butter, and milk. Green-hued tortilla chips, a pepperoncini, olives, bell pepper strips, carrot sticks, and shredded cabbage turn the seemingly innocent ball of cheese into the ominous head of a goblin. Your family and friends will fight for the first stab at this gruesomely irresistible cheese ball goblin.
New to making cheese balls? Once you see how easy it is, you’ll look for more creative ways to serve cheese balls for every festive food occasion. This cheese ball is a mouthwatering mass of softened cream cheese beaten with shredded cheese, butter, and milk, then formed into the shape of a head.
Generously slather whipped cream cheese around it to give it that sinister pale face — and to make it cheesier, of course! At this point, the basic cheese ball has been made. But don’t stop there. It is Halloween, after all.
Like every other ghoul at the party, the cheese ball needs a costume. Tortilla chips tinted with green food coloring become unsightly big ears, a pepperoncini hangs from the face as a nightmarish nose, green olives masquerade as blood-shot green eyes and goblin toes, red bell pepper strips give the goblin a frightful expression, carrot sticks become rotten teeth, and shredded red cabbage is piled on top of the head to form an unruly mess of hair.
Showing up to the potluck with an assortment of creepy crackers and vegetables, this cheese ball goblin will take first place in any costume contest.
Beat together the cheeses, butter, and milk
Let’s get the Halloween party started with the cheese! In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, softened butter, and milk. Use a handheld mixer to beat the ingredients until smooth.
Add the Mexican shredded cheese and beat until well-combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Chilling the cheese mixture will make it firm up so you can shape it into a ball.
Form the cheese mixture into a ball
Transfer the cheese mixture to a sheet of waxed paper. Using your hands, form it into a headlike shape.
Transfer the cheese ball to a serving platter
To keep the serving platter clean, place three strips of waxed paper in a diagonal fashion around the edges of the serving platter, leaving a space in the center. Place the cheese ball in the center space and use a spatula to spread the softened whipped cream cheese around the cheese ball.
Paint the tortilla chips green
Tortilla chips transform into cheese ball goblin ears. To tint them green, mix together a few drops of green food coloring and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to paint the tortilla chips green. Set them aside for a few minutes to dry.
Make the goblin face
This is where the frightening food fun begins.
Once the chips are dry, press them into the sides of the cheese ball to form ears.
Use a toothpick to skewer the pepperoncini in the middle front of the cheese ball to form a long, lecherous nose.
Press pimiento-stuffed olives to form eyes.
Use the two red bell pepper strips to make eyebrows formed into an upside down “V” shape.
Insert the small pepper triangles in each of the pitted green olives and press them into the bottom of the head to form goblin toes.
Press the carrot sticks into the goblin head to form unsightly orange teeth. Carefully remove the waxed paper strips as you go.
Finish the cheese ball goblin with red cabbage
Press shredded red cabbage into the top of the goblin head to form a mess of hair.
Serve the cheese ball goblin
Arrange assorted crackers and vegetables on the serving platter and bring this ghoulish dish to the table.
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
2 cups Mexican shredded cheese
2 (8-ounce) packages whipped cream cheese, softened at room temperature
green food coloring
2 large tortilla chips (similar shape and size)
1 whole pepperoncini pepper
2 pimiento-stuffed green olives
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2 thin strips and 6 small triangles
6 pitted green olives
10 small carrot sticks
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 packages of cream cheese, butter, and milk. Beat with a handheld mixer until smooth.
Add the shredded cheese and beat until well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
Transfer the cold cheese mixture onto a piece of waxed paper.
Form the cheese ball into a headlike shape.
Place 3 strips of waxed paper at diagonals around the edges of a serving platter, leaving a space in the center. Place the cheese ball in the center of the platter on top of the edges of the waxed paper.
Using a spatula, spread the whipped cream cheese over the cheese ball.
In a small bowl, mix together a few drops of green food coloring and 1 tablespoon of water.
With a pastry brush, paint the tortilla chips with the food coloring until they are the desired color. Set the chips aside to dry.
Once the chips are dry, press into the sides of the cheese ball to form ears.
Skewer the pepperoncini with a toothpick and attach it to the center of the head to form the nose.
Press the pimiento-stuffed olives into the head to form eyes.
Use the 2 red bell pepper strips to make eyebrows formed into an upside down “V” shape.
Insert small pepper triangles into the holes of the pitted green olives. Press the olives into the bottom of the head to form the goblin toes.
Press the carrot sticks into the goblin head to form teeth. Leave them sticking out of the mouth.
Hold the head onto the platter with a spatula and gently pull away the waxed paper.
Finally, press the shredded red cabbage into the top of the head to resemble hair.
Serve the cheese ball goblin with crackers and assorted vegetables.