Full of cheesy flavor, guests will not even know that this holiday cheese ball is vegan!
The Perfect Vegan Cheese Appetizer
The holidays are full of delicious dishes. The first thing you usually see at any holiday party is food! My favorite part is seeing the appetizer table full of delicious dishes. It is the first sign of the food coma to come!
Sadly, I find that there always a ton of vegan options on the table. Sometimes, we think the best holiday dishes can’t be changed. But that is not true! There are plenty of ways to transform a holiday recipe into a vegan one. It sometimes can be a challenge, but it nevertheless has a tasty and healthy outcome. Plus, you can sneak a little more nutrients and veggies into your feast.
To be honest, I love cheesy appetizers. So, I knew I wanted to create a vegan cheese recipe that had all the festive appeal. And, I am not afraid of a challenge! This ambition resulted in a gorgeous vegan cheese ball I am so excited to share the recipe for.
This cheese ball recipe features a creamy cashew core, decorated with pistachio nuts and sweet cranberries. This gives it the traditional green and red colors to suit any holiday table. Just don’t forget to finish it off with a pretty honey drizzle.
Super Simple Cashew Cheese
There is one secret in this recipe and I am giving it away. Cashews make all the difference. They are the perfect base for vegan cheese. Their natural creamy texture just needs a few ingredients to enhance the flavor. These ingredients are all plant-based. Most importantly, they create a deliciously cheesy flavor we can’t resist.
The key to this recipe is nutritional yeast. This amazing condiment is full of flavor. Made from dehydrated yeast, it has a naturally cheesy-nutty flavor. Plus, you do not need much to get the flavor you need. Just two tablespoons of this stuff are enough to give this vegan cheese ball classic cheese flavor. Also, we cannot forget the importance of aromatics. Garlic and lemon give just the little kick we need to bring the cheese ball flavors together.
I also snuck in some cranberries too. A classic holiday ingredient, these dried fruits have the perfect balance of tartness and sweetness. With just a few tablespoons, the cranberries add a nice touch to the dish and even make it just a little prettier when cut on your plate.
How to Make a Vegan Holiday Cheese Ball
The recipe is simpler than you think. It requires a few basic steps that are very easy to follow. You can even make this recipe ahead of time too!
First, we need to make our cashew cheese. You need to soak your cashews for at least 2 hours prior to starting the recipe. This will soften them and make them much easier to blend. After the cashews are soaked, you can blend them (I used a nutri-bullet as it is super handy!) with garlic and lemon juice. Keep on blending until the mixture has an even and paste-like consistency. Then, scoop out the mixture into a mixing bowl.
In the bowl, add the rest of your cashew cheese ingredients. I suggest adding your nutritional yeast and coconut oil first. Make sure these are evenly incorporated into your cheese. Then, sprinkle in the cranberries and do the same. Now, it’s time to form your cheese ball!
Using your hands, roll the cheese into a ball. Then, place it back into the mixing bowl and lightly press down on the top to give the ball so that it has a flat base. Your fresh cheese ball will need to be refrigerated for at least 3 to 4 hours.
Now, it’s time for your cheese ball toppings. If you have whole pistachios, it’s time to grind them up in your food processor. Once your pistachios are ground, mix them in a new bowl with parsley and dried cranberries.
When your cashew cheese ball is ready, place it on a plate. Pour the toppings on it and gently press them to mold them to the cheese. Make sure that the ball is uniformly covered and, most importantly, pretty!
To serve, place your vegan holiday cheese ball on your favorite festive plate. Garnish it with an elegant rosemary sprig and a hefty drizzle of honey.
Don’t be surprised by how fast this vegan cheese ball disappears!
Vegan Holiday Cheese Ball
- 150 gr Cashews raw
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 50 gr Dried Cranberries
- 2 tbsp Coconut Butter
- 50 gr Pistachios ground
- 50 gr Dried Cranberries
- ½ bunch Parsley fresh
- Fresh Rosemary
- Blend the raw cashew, which has been soaking in water for 2 hours. Add lemon juice, garlic cloves and blend until fine paste is achieved.
- To the paste add the dried yeast, dried cranberries and coconut butter. Mix the ingredients with your hands
- Shape and refrigerate for ¾ hours.
- In a bowl mix the ground pistachios, red cranberries and fresh parsley.
- Cover the cheese ball with the mixture of dried fruits. Garnish with honey and decorate with fresh rosemary.
- Serve with crackers.