This vegan cheese ball is smoky, creamy and so flavorful! It makes an impressive centerpiece on a vegan charcuterie board. It's perfect for sharing at parties and holiday gatherings.
Cheese balls are a holiday must! Not only are they gorgeous, they're a wonderful appetizer, just meant for sharing. So, who says that vegans can't have an equally delicious cheese ball?
This cashew cheese ball will get the stamp of approval from vegans and non-vegans alike. Liquid smoke and nutritional yeast give it a nice smoky flavor and slivered almonds provide a satisfying crunch.
All you need are nine simple ingredients and 10 minutes hands-on time to create a showstopping centerpiece for your next holiday party...Or, if you're like, me...why wait for the holidays? They're so easy to make that you can enjoy them any time of year! If you need a nut-free cheese for your centerpiece cheese, use my vegan ricotta recipe.
What You'll Need
- Cashews: Cashews are naturally soft. When blended they become perfectly creamy. Really, try it!
- Liquid Smoke: Liquid smoke adds so much flavor to so many dishes. I use it all the time for vegan cooking. Get a bottle, and I promise it won't languish in the back of your cabinet. You could even try my Vegan BBQ sauce.
- Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast is a vegan staple. It's full of all the nutrients you need for a healthy vegan diet. But, the main reason it appears in so many vegan recipes isn't its numerous health benefits - it's that it has a funky umami flavor that's reminiscent of cheese. If you're new to the vegan lifestyle and are looking to stock your pantry with the essentials, check out my Vegan Shopping List Downloadable PDF.
- Garlic Powder: I've used garlic powder here as it's less aggressive than raw garlic, and it also blends in well. If you love your garlic, feel free to substitute 3 cloves of finely minced garlic.
- Dijon Mustard: Tangy, sharp and spicy, Dijon mustard adds a bit of bite to this vegan cheese ball.
- Smoked Paprika: Spicy and smoky smoked paprika adds the perfect note here.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice gives this dairy free cheese a bright tangy note.
- Salt: Salt makes all the flavors pop.
- Coconut Oil: Use unrefined coconut oil. If you use the refined variety, your vegan cheese ball will taste like coconuts, which is not what we're looking for! You can substitute olive oil, if needed.
How To Make The Perfect Vegan Cheese Ball
- You'll need to soak your cashews. There's a few ways to do this. You can put them in a bowl, cover with water and leave them overnight. Or, if you're pressed for time (and who's not?) try the quick soak method. Put your cashews in a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Take the pan off the heat, put the lid on the pan and allow them to soak for fifteen minutes. Done!
- Next, drain and rinse your cashews. Put them in the bowl of your food processor along with all the other ingredients. Blend until the mixture is creamy (not gritty!) This should take about five minutes. Scrape the sides down a few times to make sure all the ingredients get mixed in.
- Now, take your vegan cheese out of the food processor and shape it into a ball. Wrap the ball in cling film and put it in the fridge to chill for 1-4 hours. You can also put it in the freezer for an hour. I've found that this method works really well.
- Finally, roll your vegan cheese ball in the slivered almonds. Press almonds in with your fingers to cover any spaces that aren't covered.
- Serve with crackers, bread and crudites. Enjoy!
Did You Make This Recipe?
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it is but make sure that the liquid smoke you choose is gluten free (most are).
You can actually store this cheese ball in the fridge for up to two weeks. That's one of the reasons it makes such a great party appetizer - there's nothing better than a make ahead recipe!
Yes, you can, just be sure to pop it in the fridge for a few hours before serving it.
Craving More Easy Vegan Recipes?
Smoky Vegan Cheese Ball
- 1½ cups cashews
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice *approximately juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoon coconut oil *unrefined
- 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- Soak cashews using one of these methods: Overnight: Put cashews in a bowl, cover with water and soak overnight. Quick Soak: Put the cashews in a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and put the lid on. Allow the cashews to soak for 15 minutes.
- Drain and rinse the cashews.
- Add the cashews and the rest of the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Blend until the cashews are creamy (about 5 minutes). Scrape the sides down a few times to ensure all the ingredients are evenly blended.
- Shape the cashew mixture into a ball and wrap in cling film. Chill in the fridge for 1-4 hours, or in the freezer for 1 hour.
- Roll the vegan cheese ball in the slivered almonds. Cover any remaining spaces by pressing the almonds into the cheese ball with your fingers.