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Meaningful Eats

Vegan Party Cheeseball

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


  • 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
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ½ 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