Vegan Cheese Ball
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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 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!
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!
- Start by adding all ingredients for the cheeseball (except water) to a blender or food processor.
- Add in the water starting with just 1 tablespoon and blend until smooth. Add more water as needed for the right consistency.
- 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.
- To make the topping, combine the parsley and the pecans (+ the bacon if using) in a shallow bowl.
- 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.
- Store in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve with crackers and enjoy!
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.
Cheese balls are typically served with crackers, but they can be served with a variety of different sides. Here are some serving option ideas:
- Raw veggies (mini peppers, baby carrots, cucumber slices, celery)
- Pretzels or pretzel crisps
- Toasted mini bagels or bagel crisps
- Pita bread or pita chips
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!
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:
This easy and delicious vegan cheese ball is a show stopping appetizer for your next party or holiday gathering!
- 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
- 1–3 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
- ¼ cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ cup of pecans chopped
- Vegan bacon, cooked and finely chopped OPTIONAL*
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Before serving, combine the parsley and the pecans (+ the bacon if using) in a shallow bowl and set aside.
- 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.
- 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!
* 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.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: vegan appetizers, vegan cheese ball, easy cheese ball