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!
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!
This is a great make-ahead appetizer that can be made up to 3 days in advance. 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.
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1 8oz 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.
- Serving Size: 10-12