Easy Vegan Cheese Ball

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This vegan cheese ball is so delicious that no one will even realize that it’s dairy-free. It is perfect for parties, family get-togethers, the holidays, and game nights. You don’t even need a special occasion to enjoy this amazing vegan appetizer; simply eat it as a snack anytime!

white platter with a vegan cheese ball in the middle that is covered with nuts and surrounded by veggies and crackers.

When I first made this oil-free vegan cheese ball using my homemade vegan cream cheese for a gathering during the Thanksgiving holidays, my family couldn’t believe it was vegan. They liked it so much that they asked me to make another one for Christmas!

The family made such a big deal over it, they were all enthusiastically gathered around the counter talking about it and spreading it on crackers as if there might not be any left if they walked away. Seriously!

And, if you are looking for other crowd-pleasing vegan appetizers, be sure to try our vegan sliceable cheese and our beautiful and healthy charcuterie board ideas as well as our easy stuffed dates and little smokey BBQ carrots.

vegan cheese ball on a white plate after a slice has been cut from it.

This cashew cheese ball recipe idea came from Monkey & Me Kitchen Adventures because they have a vegan pineapple pecan cheese ball that is out of this world! When I saw that it had pineapple in it, I was skeptical but, after trying it, I couldn’t believe how good it is. The secret ingredient for this version is my homemade vegan cream cheese.

Looking for more amazing vegan appetizers?

Make these delicious crowd-pleasing oil-free vegan appetizers and snacks for your next game night or get-together to impress everyone. These recipes are so good, they will be a hit with all types of eaters!

ingredients for vegan cheese ball on white counter-cashews, tofu, pecans, green onions, and seasonings labled on white background.

Ingredients Needed for a Dairy-Free Cheese Ball

You won’t need a lot of fancy ingredients to make this recipe, and you’ll be amazed by how easy it is. This is a list of ingredients, and the complete list with measurements, instructions, and a print button in the recipe card is at the bottom of this page.

  • Raw cashews
  • Soft tofu
  • Green onions
  • Lemon juice
  • Pimentos
  • Spices (garlic powder, onion powder, salt, & pepper)
  • Vinegar
  • Nutritional yeast flakes
  • Vegan Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce)
  • Chopped pecans

How to Make this Vegan Cheese Ball

  • Begin by soaking the raw cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. Don’t skip this part just because you have a high-power blender that can handle the nuts. My Vitamix can blend up raw cashews without a problem and do it often, but soaking is necessary for getting the right creamy texture for this recipe.
  • Once the cashews have softened, drain the water, and add the nuts to your blender or food processor along with the tofu, lemon juice, white vinegar, vegan Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce (optional), nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Do NOT add the green onions, pimentos, or pecans.
vitamix blender with ingredients for a vegan cheese ball including cashews, tofu, and spices before being blended.
  • Blend until nice and smooth. Because it’s such a small amount, at approximately 2 cups, you’ll likely need to stop and scrape down the sides as needed to keep it processing smoothly. If needed, add a tablespoon of your favorite plant milk to make the blades spin.
vitamix blender with ingredients for a vegan cheese ball including cashews, tofu, and spices after being blended into a spread.
  • Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and stir in the green onions, pimentos, and 2 tablespoons of the pecan pieces.
glass bowl filled with vegan cream cheese, pecan pieces, pimentos, and green onions before being stirred.
  • Line a small bowl with plastic wrap. It needs to be the size you want your cheese ball to be. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the crushed pecan pieces into the bottom. This will be a nutty topping for your cheese ball.
  • Spoon the mixture into the bowl on top of the nuts and gently press it to help form the roundness of a ball. I have included some process photos to help visualize this procedure.
small bowl lined with plastic wrap with a dairy-free cheese ball mixture poured in ready to be chilled in the refrigerator.
  • Cover the bowl with the excess plastic wrap or tear off another sheet to cover it. Place the bowl in your refrigerator and chill for at least 5 hours or overnight.
small blue bowl with plastic wrap and cheese ball covered with a white plate to be inverted onto a platter.
  • After the cheese ball has had plenty of time to chill, remove it from the refrigerator, open the plastic wrap that was folded over the top, and place a serving plate on top of the bowl.
  • Invert and remove the bowl then gently remove the plastic wrap. The ball will already be topped with crushed nuts, and if you want to add a little more around the ball base for decoration, it makes it look even prettier. See the photos I have included. I also chopped up some fresh parsley and sprinkled it over the top for the green flakes.
  • Serve with your favorite crackers, crusty bread, or fresh veggie sticks. If you are looking for a good option for oil-free crackers, Mary’s Gone Crackers is my go-to. They are the ones pictured in my photos for this recipe.
white plate with a vegan cheese ball topped with pecan pieces after being chilled and dumped out of bowl.

Pro Tips & Variations

Soak the cashews: Don’t skip soaking the raw cashews even if you have a Vitamix like mine or another high-power blender. Soaking is necessary for getting the right creamy texture for this recipe.

Nutritional yeast flakes: Some of the cheesy salty flavor comes from using nutritional yeast, but if you are allergic or simply don’t care for it, try replacing it with 1 teaspoon of white miso paste.

Soy-Free Option: The tofu can be left out, but I do feel like it adds a lot to the texture. The rest of the tofu block can be used to make low-fat vegan mayotofu sour Cream, or even vegan chocolate mousse. If you don’t use it, add a tablespoon or 2 of plant milk.

Let it Chill: Allow enough time for the cheese ball to set up and get firm. My preference is to make it a day ahead so it can chill in the refrigerator overnight. At a minimum, allow 5 or more hours before serving.

Keep it Firm: The cheese ball will maintain its firmness for several hours at room temperature, but it’s best not to leave it out for an extended period. To preserve its freshness, return it to the refrigerator and cover it with plastic wrap.

Adding Color: I also chopped up some fresh parsley and sprinkled it over the top for the green flakes.

Serving Suggestions

This cashew cheese ball is a fantastic appetizer choice, pairing perfectly with crackers, melba toast, or an array of breads. For a fresh twist, try dipping raw veggies or oil-free tortilla chips into it – the options are endless and endlessly delicious! Try serving it on an impressive vegan charcuterie board for parties and game nights.

Make Ahead Storing & Freezing

Prepare this vegan cheese recipe in advance and store it in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours or more until you’re ready to serve – it’s a convenient make-ahead option. It will stay firm at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Leftover cheese can be kept in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week, or frozen for up to two months. Simply thaw it in the fridge when you’re ready to enjoy it again.

wooden board filled with cucumber slices, baby carrots, and crackers with a vegan cheese ball topped with pecan pieces in the middle.

More Delicious Vegan Cheese Recipes

We love vegan cheese and these homemade vegan cheese recipes prove that dairy-free cheese can still be delicious and satisfying whether you’re topping a baked potato or drizzling it over meatless bean nachos.

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

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white platter with a vegan cheese ball in the middle that is covered with nuts and surrounded by veggies and crackers.
5 from 3 votes

Vegan Cheese Ball

This vegan cheese ball is so delicious that no one will even realize that it’s dairy-free. It is perfect for parties, family get-togethers, the holidays, and game nights.
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 15 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1.5 cups raw cashews
  • 8 oz firm tofu drained and pressed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 dash hot sauce (optional)
  • 1.5 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup green onions diced
  • 2 tablespoons pimentos drained
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces

Instructions

  • Begin by soaking the raw cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes to 1-hour. Don’t skip this part just because you have a high-power blender that can handle the nuts. My Vitamix can blend up raw cashews without a problem and do it often, but soaking is necessary for getting the right creamy texture for this recipe.
  • Once the cashews have softened, drain the water, and add the nuts to your blender or food processor along with the tofu, lemon juice, white vinegar, vegan Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce (optional), nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Do NOT add the green onions, pimentos, or pecans.
  • Blend until nice and smooth. Because it’s such a small amount, at approximately 2-cups, you’ll likely need to stop and scrape down the sides as needed to keep in processing smoothly. If needed, add a tablespoon of your favorite plant milk to make the blades spin.
  • Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and stir in the green onions, pimentos, and 2 tablespoons of the pecan pieces.
  • Line a small bowl with plastic wrap. It needs to be the size you want your cheese ball to be. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the crushed pecan pieces into the bottom. This will be a nutty topping for your cheese ball.
  • Spoon the mixture into the bowl on top of the nuts and gently press it to help form the roundness of a ball. I have included some process photos above to help visualize this procedure.
  • Cover the bowl with the excess plastic wrap or tear off another sheet to cover it. Place the bowl in your refrigerator and chill for at least 5 hours or overnight.
  • After the cheese ball has had plenty of time to chill, remove it from the refrigerator, open the plastic wrap that was folded over the top and place a serving plate on top of the bowl. Invert and remove the bowl then gently remove the plastic wrap. The ball will already be topped with crushed nuts, and if you want to add a little more around the ball base for decoration, it makes it look even prettier. I also chopped up some fresh parsley and sprinkled it over the top for the green flakes. See the photos I have included above.
  • Serve with your favorite crackers, crusty bread, or fresh veggie sticks. If you are looking for a good option for oil-free crackers, Mary's Gone Crackers is my go-to. They are the ones pictured in my photos for this recipe.

Video

Notes

Pro Tips & Variations
  • Soak the cashews: Don’t skip soaking the raw cashews even if you have a Vitamix like mine or another high-power blender. Soaking is necessary for getting the right creamy texture for this recipe.
  • Nutritional yeast flakes: Some of the cheesy salty flavor comes from using nutritional yeast, but if you are allergic or simply don’t care for it, try replacing it with 1 teaspoon of white miso paste.Soy
  • Free Option: The tofu can be left out, but I do feel like it adds a lot to the texture. The rest of the tofu block can be used to make MayoSour Cream, or even Chocolate Mousse. If you don’t use it, add a tablespoon or 2 of plant milk.
  • Let it Chill: Allow enough time for the cheese ball to set up and get firm. My preference is to make it a day ahead so it can chill in the refrigerator overnight. At a minimum, allow 5 or more hours before serving.
  • Keep it Firm: The cheese ball will maintain its firmness for several hours at room temperature, but it’s best not to leave it out for an extended period. To preserve its freshness, return it to the refrigerator and cover it with plastic wrap.
  • Storing & Freezing: Prepare this vegan cheese recipe in advance and store it in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours or more until you’re ready to serve – it’s a convenient make-ahead option. It will stay firm at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Leftover cheese can be kept in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week, or frozen for up to two months. Simply thaw it in the fridge when you’re ready to enjoy it again.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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4 Comments

    1. Sue- In many of my other vegan cheese recipes, people use white beans such as navy or northern to replace the cashews. I haven’t tested it for this recipe, but it would definitely be worth a try.

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