Thanksgiving Turkey Cheese Ball Recipe


2 cans (11 oz each) refrigerated Pillsbury™ original French loaf

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened

1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (4 oz)

1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup Progresso™ plain panko crispy bread crumbs

1 large red bell pepper (for head and feathers)

1 large yellow bell pepper (for feet, beak and feathers)

2 large candy eyeballs

3 small pretzel twists

3 large pretzel twists 


1. Make both cans of French loaf as directed on cans; cool completely on cooling rack. Reserve 1 teaspoon cream cheese; cover and refrigerate for later. 

2. In large bowl, mix remaining cream cheese, the shredded cheese, bacon and green onions. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed 1 to 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally, until mixed well. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until mixture is firm enough to shape into ball. 

3. Meanwhile, in 8-inch nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add bread crumbs; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Spread onto large piece of waxed paper; cool completely. 

4. Shape cheese mixture into large ball. Roll in toasted bread crumbs; place on serving plate. Discard any remaining crumbs. 

5. Using photo as guide, decorate turkey cheese ball. Cut head and three feathers from red bell pepper. Cut 2 feet, 2 feathers and small beak from yellow bell pepper. Attach candy eyeballs and beak to head using reserved cream cheese to secure, and carefully insert head into cheese ball. Carefully insert feet and 3 rows of feathers and pretzels into cheese ball to look like a turkey. Cut each French loaf into 12 slices. Serve cheese ball immediately with sliced bread and leftover bell pepper, or loosely cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.