These vegan cheese balls are smooth, creamy, and full of flavors, and make an excellent party appetizer! Made with cashews, vegan cream cheese flavored with jalapeno pepper, and a touch of Cayenne pepper, you would never believe it is dairy-free!
I finally got around to doing a cheese ball, just in time for the Christmas holiday.
My cranberry cheese ball is a combination of the cheesy taste of cashew cheese. Creamy vegan cream cheese with added green onions, and jalapenos and coated with festive cranberries. The perfect blend of sweet, savory, and spicy!
My friends, if you have never tried cheese ball appetizers then you are in for a surprise, they are so addictive and your guests will be blown away by this mouthwatering treat.
Serve this cheese ball recipe with my dairy-free Spinach Artichoke Dip, Vegan Cheese
Burger Dip and your non-dairy-free guests will be amazed!
Scroll down for the detailed recipe, but I request you don’t skip reading the important information included in the blurb.
What Special In This Recipe?
I’m sure you’ll want to add this recipe to your kitchen cookbook or wanna save its recipe card in your phone gallery for a variety of reasons. Look at my recipe it is:
- Based on nutritious plant-based ingredients.
- Flavorful, customizable, and so lovely.
- Cheesy, creamy, and oil-free.
- It is easy to make, it just needs 10 minutes of preparation excluding refrigeration time.
- Perfect for a snack or appetizer.
- Unnoticeably vegan and well-liked by all.
- Incredibly festive and kid-friendly.
- It makes an excellent appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other occasion.
- There is no wastage!
- Cashews: In order to make this recipe, they must be completely raw. Roasted cashews will completely change the flavor! In order to soften them for blending, make sure to soak them for a few hours in water as well. If you forget, you can boil them for around 15 minutes in its place; but, the result won’t be as smooth.
- Vegan cream cheese: I used Daiya Chive and Onion. You can use your favorite one.
- Lemon juice: For adding a little zing and lessen the need for salt in the dish.
- Nutritional yeast flakes: No vegan cheese dish is complete without a generous pinch of these delectable flakes.
- Garlic powder: Garlic powder gives the cheese ball a richer flavor. It has a strong, savory flavor.
- Salt: I use sea salt but any natural salt is great
- Green onion (white part only): You get a grassy yet savory flavor by adding the green onion.
- Jalapeno pepper: For an extra kick of heat.
- Cayenne pepper: I have used cayenne pepper to add a little bit of heat to the ball. You can, however, use red chili powder as per your liking.
- Dried cranberries: For serving, I’m using dried cranberries. During the holiday season, they’re easily accessible in grocery stores.
How To Make Vegan Cheese Balls?
Soak Cashews for about 4 hours or cook in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Place soaked cashews in a food processor with cream cheese, lemon juice, yeast flakes, garlic powder, salt and process until smooth and creamy.
Add green onion, jalapeno, and cayenne pepper, and pulse. Scrape out the cheese ball onto plastic wrap or cheesecloth, form it into a ball, and wrap the plastic wrap securely around the cheese ball.
Refrigerate for about 4 hours. Remove plastic wrap, coat the cheese ball with dried cranberries and serve.
Serve them on a platter with Simple Mills Gluten-Free Vegan Crackers. This vegan cheese ball goes great with warm bread, apple slices, pretzels, and toasted pita triangles. It also goes well with raw vegetable sticks!
You will also love enjoying these cheese balls with my dairy-free Spinach Artichoke Dip, Vegan Cheeseburger dip, or Vegan Skillet Cornbread along with Mixed Vegetable Masala.
You can spread it on vegan pizza or serve it at any dinner party, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, Game Day, and potlucks.
- Make sure to use high-quality ingredients. Undoubtedly, the best flavor comes from high-quality vegan cheese, cashews, and spices. To get the most for your money, choose your ingredients carefully.
- Use raw cashews, not roasted ones, for this vegan cheese ball. They must be raw to combine into a creamy texture.
- I highly recommend using a high-speed food processor such as Vitamix or Ninja.
- If you are in countries where nutritional yeast flakes are not readily available (or you are allergic to it/dislike it) then you can substitute it with an equal amount of noni juice to get that cheesy taste. You can also omit it, it will still taste yummy but it won’t have as much cheesy flavor as the one with the nutritional yeast flakes.
- Before using the cashews, they must be soaked for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably closer to 8. I usually soak mine in water the night before I intend to use them.
- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for optimal flavor.
- In case you forget to soak the cashews, you may cheat by bringing some water to a boil and soaking them in the hot water for Thirty minutes. The consistency isn’t as nice this way, but it’ll do in a pinch!
- Keep in mind that the vegan cheese ball will harden significantly in the refrigerator, so don’t worry if it seems a little soft at first. That is why it is advised to wait overnight or at least 4 hours before serving!
- The ball shouldn’t be left out for longer than a few hours. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
- You can make this cheeseball the day before and the flavors meld even better.
Delicious Flavor Ideas
You can also get creative and customize your vegan cheese ball with the following options:
- Dried tomatoes
- Dried figs
- Smoked paprika
- Minced smoked tofu
- Crushed crackers
- Tempeh bacon
Should Vegan Cheese Balls Be Refrigerated?
Yes! It is preferable to keep this ball recipe in the refrigerator in an airtight container, just like conventional dairy cheese balls. You can keep this cheese for up to five days.
Freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet until solid, then store them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Freezing, I know from experience, may cause a change in texture that makes everything looking grainy.
Cheesecloth Substitutes And Recipe Variations
- Substitutes for cheesecloth: No cheesecloth? No issue. Any other airy, thin cotton cloth will work fine. If you don’t have any of those things on hand, you can use a clean and thin tea towel, flour sack, nut milk bag, pair of tights or pantyhose, muslin cloth, medical gauze, or a coffee filter. Get creative!
- Food Processor replacement: Vegan cheese can be made in a blender, but keep in mind that the consistency will be more smooth.
- Cashew replacements: If you can’t eat nuts because of an allergy, consider sunflower seeds in place of raw cashews.
- Garlic substitutions: I used garlic powder but if you have any leftover roasted garlic, it would work amazingly well in this recipe and give this vegan cheese ball a ton of flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions:
You’ll love reading the following frequently asked questions concerning this recipe:
What is Vegan Cheese?
Vegan cheese is plant-based cheese that is basically made from the coagulation of proteins. In traditional cheese, this protein is casein which is derived from animal milk.
Rennet, a group of enzymes that are produced from the stomach of cows, is added to coagulate the casein. This is what causes curdling and cheese production.
However, vegan cheese doesn’t contain any animal protein. Instead, thickeners, oils, and plant proteins are used to produce firm vegan cheese.
It is good for people who are avoiding animal products in their diet. It is also great for people who are dairy-free or lactose intolerant, those who are transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, and those who are exploring non-traditional foods.
What Do Vegan Cheese Balls Taste Like?
These vegan cheese balls taste exactly like the original dairy cheese balls. They are very rich, velvety, smooth, and ohh so flavorful.
Can You Freeze Vegan Cheese Balls?
Sure! Although the texture may soften slightly after thawing, you should still feel free to freeze them. I suggest freezing them in a single layer on a baking tray until solid, then storing them in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag.
Is There A Substitute For Cashew In This Recipe?
However, I haven’t tried this recipe with raw sunflower seeds or macadamia nuts, I’m sure they’ll work well in this recipe.
What Can I Roll A Cheese Ball In Besides Dried Cranberries?
Although there are other options, dried cranberries are fantastic for wrapping cheese balls. For example, you could roll a cheese ball in chopped green onions, nuts, or seeds like pumpkin seeds.
You can also roll them in finely chopped crackers.
How Many Days Ahead Can You Make A Cheese Ball?
A cheese ball is the ideal party food because it can be prepared a day or two in advance and served just in time for the event. Properly refrigerated, a cheese ball can last 3 to 4 days or a week.
Are Cashews Good To Add Into Your Diet?
Yes! Cashews are very healthy and nourishing. They’re a good source of plant protein and fiber, they’re also low in sugar and rich in heart-healthy fats. Additionally, they are high in magnesium, copper, and manganese, all of which are necessary for bone health, immunity, brain health, and energy production.
Because of their high levels of carotenoids and polyphenolic antioxidants, cashews may help to reduce inflammation while also protecting against disease.
Give these Vegan Cheese balls a try. They’re incredibly delicious and super easy. I hope you like them.
As always, I would love to hear from you. So if you tried this recipe or any other from my website, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below!
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- Course: Appetizer
- Cuisine: American
- Seasons: Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, Superbowl Sunday, Thanksgiving
- Energy: 104 kcal / 435 kJ
- Fat: 7 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Carbs: 7 g
- Preparation: 4 h
- Ready in: 4 h
- For: 16 Servings
- 1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
- 4 ounces vegan cream cheese, (I used Daiya Chives and Onion)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 green onion, white part only chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- dried cranberries
- Soak Cashews for about 4 hours or cook in boiling water for about 10 minutes.
- Drain cashews and add to a food processor with cream cheese, lemon juice, yeast flakes, garlic powder, salt, and process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides.
- Add green onion, jalapeno, cayenne pepper, and pulse. Scrape out cheese ball onto plastic wrap or cheesecloth, form into a ball and wrap the plastic wrap securely around cheese ball.
- Refrigerate for about 4 hours. Remove plastic wrap and coat the cheese ball with dried cranberries. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve, add crackers.
This vegan cheese ball looks really hearty