Vegan Party Cheeseball! So flavorful and crowd-pleasing you’d never guess it’s vegan!

Vegan Party Cheeseball! So flavorful and crowd-pleasing you'd never guess it's vegan!

Every year at the holidays my Mom used to make a cheeseball appetizer to be served with all kinds of crackers, veggies, and crudite. I love, love cheeseballs, but these days can’t eat that much dairy.

I made this cheeseball for Thanksgiving this year and it was such a hit! Even my non-dairy-free, and highly skeptical Dad and brother who love to tease me about my dairy-free creations had to admit this was delicious.

This cheeseball is perfect for parties because it can be made up to 3 days in advance. In fact, the flavors just get better as it sits a little longer!

I like to coat it in the pecans only a few hours before serving so they stay crisp. This cheeseball tastes delicious with any kind of gluten-free cracker.

This recipe makes quite a large cheeseball, so half it for a smaller crowd or enjoy the leftovers. I happily ate “cheese” and crackers for a few days after I made this last time. It is such a great snack! It would also be a delicious addition to this grazing table.

Vegan Party Cheeseball! So flavorful and crowd-pleasing you'd never guess it's vegan!

If you’re dairy-free, this cheeseball is a great thing to bring to a party to slip onto the cheese platter. I am usually unimpressed by vegan cheese creations, but this cheeseball is seriously delicious.

The flavors are spot-on and you’d never guess it’s dairy-free. Even your skeptical family members will have to agree!

For more appetizer ideas check out how to make a vegetarian charcuterie board!

Vegan Party Cheeseball! So flavorful and crowd-pleasing you'd never guess it's vegan!

5 from 3 votes

Vegan Party Cheeseball

Prep Time 15 minutes
Chilling time 6 hours
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 -12 servings
This is a great make-ahead appetizer that can be made up to 3 days in advance. 


  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 8 oz container vegan cream cheese I like Kite Hill or the BLUE container of Tofutti - not the yellow container - it's not as good
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4-5 tablespoons lemon juice (juice of 1-2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 oz black olives
  • 2 cups pecans toasted and finely chopped


  • Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit at room temperature for 6 hours or cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Place the soaked cashews, cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt in the food processor. Process until completely smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the olives and pulse to combine, about 10 pulses. Place a strainer over a bowl and line it with a thin dishcloth or cheesecloth. Scoop the cheese mixture out into the bowl and shape into a ball. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight. (This can be made up to 3 days in advance.)
  • Coat the cheeseball in the toasted pecans, pressing them lightly into the surface. Serve with your favorite crackers. Enjoy!


MAKE IT SOY-FREE: Use Kite Hill Almond Milk Cream Cheese instead of a soy-based cheese.
Coat the cheeseball with the pecans only a few hours before serving so they don't get mushy. I love serving this with gluten-free crackers! The cashews need to be soaked for the cheeseball to have the correct texture. If you're in a hurry, you can pour boiling water over the cashews and let them sit at room temperature for 1 hour to speed up the soaking process.


Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 306mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 70IU | Vitamin C: 3.5mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2.7mg
Vegan Party Cheeseball! So flavorful and crowd-pleasing you'd never guess it's vegan!

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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  1. What would happen if this was made without the nutritional yeast? My doctor has advised me to avoid it based on blood tests and high Vit B 12 levels. Plus I’m not a big fan of the taste.

  2. 5 stars
    I can’t believe how well this went! I was nervous, but definitely a great party appetizer. Even for people that like dairy.

  3. 5 stars
    I am a 75% vegetarian, but vegans now abound in my life. I made the Vegan Cheese Ball and it REALLY passed muster with everyone. Me too.
    I shared the recipe and will probably eat it forever at other homes. I made it a day ahead and loved that part. Taste? It’s a 10. I am going to make it again soon and will make little cheese balls and freeze them for myself (I am a one person household) and thank you forever. I have shared other Spruce recipes (successfully) but this time I got to see one eaten in front of me. The men thanked me for not making a “girly” appetizer.

    1. Hooray! So glad it was a 10/10 for you and your friends! Such a great idea to make mini ones to enjoy for yourself 🙂

  4. I was wondering where you found the tofutti cream cheese in the blue the only one that i have seen was the sour cream in the blue

  5. 5 stars
    I made this. It was delicious. Massive though. This recipe makes A LOT of cheese ball. I suppose that would be perfect for a party but I just made this for myself. It’s so good that I’m sure my family and I will eat the entire thing though.

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