You will definitely be the hostess with the mostess, when you bring out this Vegan Cheese Ball! It’s a tasty appetizer that’s easy to make and always a hit at parties! The recipe is made with a mix of soaked cashews, dairy free cream cheese, nutritional yeast and seasonings, that all comes together in the food processor and is then rolled in chopped pecans. The perfect make-ahead appetizer for the holidays!

vegan cheeseball covered in chopped pecans and served with Ritz crackers

Vegan Cheese Ball Recipe

Entertaining during the holidays is the best! Whether I’m hosting a simple get together with friends or a full holiday dinner, you better believe I’ll be serving a cheeseball (or two). They are the perfect way to please a crowd (or, while I’m writing this in 2020: my little immediately family of 3)!

Cheese balls are one of my absolute favorite vegan appetizers for parties, holiday gatherings, potlucks or game day. I simply can’t resist the creamy texture, delicious flavor, and the crunch of the pecans. Serve with your favorite crackers and you’ve got a bunch of happy guests!

dipping into cheese ball with Ritz cracker

Vegan Cheese Ball Ingredients

The ingredients needed for this cheese ball recipe are probably items you already have in your kitchen. Here’s the lineup:

  • Cashews – be sure you allow enough time for soaking.
  • Dairy free cream cheese – my favorite brand is Violife, but any dairy free brand works.
  • Nutritional yeast – gives your vegan cheeseball tons of cheesy flavor.
  • Olive oil – for the perfect texture.
  • Seasonings – a delicious blend of seasonings for the tastiest cheeseball!
  • Pecans – for added crunch. You could also sub these for another favorite nut.
  • Parsley – gives this cheeseball color.
  • Vegan bacon – optional, but highly recommended!

How do I make a cheese ball?

This cheeseball recipe is awesome because it looks impressive, but is made with very little effort. It doesn’t get much better than that!

  1. Start by adding all ingredients for the cheeseball (except water) to a blender or food processor. 
  2. Add in the water starting with just 1 tablespoon and blend until smooth. Add more water as needed for the right consistency. 
  3. Pour the mixture into the center of a cheesecloth (or other lint free towel) and wrap it tightly into a ball. Place in a bowl and let sit for 4 hours or preferably overnight. 
  4. To make the topping, combine the parsley and the pecans (+ the bacon if using) in a shallow bowl.
  5. Remove the cheese mixture from the cloth. Roll the cheese into a ball and place it into the bowl with the pecan and parsley mixture. Using a spoon, pour the pecan mixture all over the ball and lightly press it into the cheeseball with your hands. Continue until the ball is fully covered.
  6. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve with crackers and enjoy!

Pour the cashew mixture into the center of a cheesecloth

Top Tips For Making:

  • I like to use Violife cream cheese for any recipe calling for cream cheese. It’s my favorite vegan cream cheese, but any brand of dairy free cream cheese will work. 
  • You can leave out the cream cheese, if desired, but the cheeseball won’t hold its form as well. I tested it that way and it’s still good, but works better as a log instead of a thick ball, as it will just be too mushy and soft as a ball without the cream cheese.
  • Adding the optional vegan bacon really mimics the cheeseball that I grew up eating and loved so much. However, this recipe is still really delicious without the bacon.
  • One of my favorite things about this recipe is how great it is for making in advance. Makes holiday meal planning a cinch! If you do make ahead of time, I recommend waiting to roll the cheeseball in the pecan mixture until right before serving. Pecans will become a bit soft as the cheeseball sits in the fridge. 

Serving Options:

Cheese balls are typically served with crackers, but they can be served with a variety of different sides. Here are some serving option ideas:

  • Crackers
  • Raw veggies (mini peppers, baby carrots, cucumber slices, celery)
  • Pretzels or pretzel crisps
  • Toasted mini bagels or bagel crisps
  • Crostini
  • Pita bread or pita chips

cheeseball with a ring of crackers around it on a serving plate

How do you store a cheeseball?

To store the cheeseball, place on a plate and cover tightly with Saran wrap or place it in an airtight container. The cheese ball should stay fresh up to 5 days, if refrigerated and tightly wrapped. I’m sure it will get eaten up before then because it’s so irresistible!

using a cheese spreader to dip into a cheeseball

This cheeseball is sure to become a new favorite. It comes together quick and easy and is packed with flavor! If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. Also, please snap a quick photo and tag me on Instagram @foodwithfeeling! I always LOVE to see what you’re making from the blog.

More Vegan Appetizers to try:

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”xDbmeLUp” upload-date=”2020-11-04T23:02:15.000Z” name=”Vegan Cheese Ball” description=”Vegan Cheese Ball” player-type=”default” override-embed=”default”]

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
vegan cheeseball covered in chopped pecans and served with Ritz crackers

Vegan Cheese Ball


  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cheeseball 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This easy and delicious vegan cheese ball is a show stopping appetizer for your next party or holiday gathering!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup of cashews soaked overnight (at least 4 hours) (or see notes for quick soaking)*
  • 4-oz of vegan cream cheese (softened)
  • ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil
  • 13 tablespoons of water (start with 1 tbs and go from there- directions below)
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • For topping:

  • ¼ cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup of pecans chopped
  • Vegan bacon, cooked and finely chopped OPTIONAL*

Instructions

  1. In the base of a blender or food processor, combine the soaked (and drained) cashews, cream cheese, nutritional yeast, olive oil, soy sauce, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt + pepper. Add in the water starting with just 1 tablespoon and add a little more if your mixture becomes too thick to properly blend.
  2. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, and little to no grains of the cashews are visible (see video for reference). Add more water, ½ tablespoon at a time, if your mixture gets too thick to properly blend.
  3. Pour the cashew mixture into the center of a cheesecloth (or other lint free towel) and wrap it tightly into a ball. Place in a bowl and let sit for 4 hours or preferably overnight. There won’t be any excess liquid leftover in the bowl but the towel will help to really absorb moisture.
  4. Before serving, combine the parsley and the pecans (+ the bacon if using) in a shallow bowl and set aside.
  5. Unwrap the cloth and remove the cheese mixture. A decent bit may stick to the towel but you can use a spatula to scrap it all off. TIP: this is best done with slightly wet hands as the cheese will be less likely to stick. Roll the cheese into a ball and place it into the bowl with the pecan and parsley mixture. Using a spoon, pour the pecan mixture all over the ball and lightly press it into the cheeseball with your hands. Continue until the ball is fully covered.
  6. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. If you want to firm it up a bit, you can put it in the freezer for about an hour and then back in the fridge. Serve with crackers and enjoy!

Notes

* you can quick soak your cashews by covering them in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Let boil for a few minutes and then take off of the heat. Let sit for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse.

* if using the vegan bacon, sub out 2 tablespoons of the pecans for 2 tablespoons of the bacon bits

*TO STORE THE CHEESEBALL: place on a plate and cover tightly with Saran wrap. You can also place it in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

You can very easily make this ahead of time as desired but I recommend waiting to add the pecan mixture topping until you’re ready to serve it.

 

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegan appetizers, vegan cheese ball, easy cheese ball