If cheese is what keeps you from going fully plant-based, then this vegan herb cheese ball with a pistachio and thyme crust is just what you need! Perfect for snacking, eating with bread or serving at any party, this secretly vegan beauty is always a hit.
Truth be told, we had stayed vegetarian for far too long because of dairy-based cheese. It’s delicious and everyone has such a hard time letting go of this one food item!
Luckily, not only is store-bought dairy-free cheese available at many grocery stores these days, but you can create much healthier and cheaper homemade versions like this almond-based vegan cheese ball!
Featuring mostly easy to find plant-based staple foods, the creamy, cheesy and spreadable result is sure to swoon any dairy-lover.
While it does require some resting time, the actual vegan herb cheese ball takes only about 10 minutes of hands-on time and is based on healthy nuts. Serve it at any dinner party, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Game Day or potluck!
The Best Vegan Cheese Ball Recipe
- Based on healthy plant-based ingredients
- Flavorful, customizable & so pretty
- Creamy, oil-free & cheesy
- Requires just 10 minutes of prep time
- Perfect appetizer or snack
- Undetectably vegan & crowd-pleasing
- Kid-friendly and super festive
Although the thought of making your own vegan cheese ball might seem a bit intimidating, you don’t really need any advanced kitchen skills or expensive equipment!
Let’s go over the basic ingredients for this delicious dairy-free appetizer.
Vegan Herb Cheese Ball Ingredients
- Almonds — these nuts are our go-to for the base but they can be replaced with cashews.
- Cashew Cream Cheese — any vegan cream cheese will do, homemade or store-bought!
- Lemon Juice — for that zing and to reduce the amount of added salt needed.
- White Miso — while more uncommon compared to the other ingredients, it’s key for the best flavor!
- Nutritional Yeast — no vegan cheese recipe without a good pinch of these delicious flakes.
- Herbs — our vegan cheese ball is coated in fresh thyme, chives and some crushed pistachios; find lots of delicious coating ideas below!
Adding white miso is really key to make this appetizer super flavorful! Not only does it taste salty, it’s much healthier than salt and adds the mysterious umami — known as the fifth flavor, oftentimes associated with animal-based food.
While dairy cheese is known to be super high in saturated fat, some store-bought vegan alternatives are made with coconut oil and won’t give you much of a health advantage.
That’s why we created this easy vegan herb cheese ball that’s based on wholesome nuts, offering a decent amount of fiber and more unsaturated fats instead.
How to Make This Healthy Vegan Cheese Ball
Start by soaking your whole almonds for a few hours and draining them well once you are ready to create your homemade vegan cheese ball.
Place the almonds alongside your cashew cream cheese, lemon juice and water into a food processor and blend until smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides here and there if needed.
Now, add the white miso, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and salt, then process again to incorporate until a homogenous mixture forms. Taste test to see whether you need to make any flavor adjustments at this point.
Get either a clean tea towel or, better yet, a cheesecloth and place it into a medium-sized bowl. Gently scoop your vegan cheese mixture with a spatula or spoon into the center of your bowl, then gather the cheesecloth sides and twist the top.
Place the bowl with the wrapped vegan cheese ball in the refrigerator and let it rest for at least 4 hours, better overnight.
Once you’re ready to serve your vegan cheese ball, crush some pistachios and place them into a bowl together with chopped chives and thyme. You can use a plethora of nuts, herbs or dried fruit (suggestions below!)
Unfold the cheesecloth and gently place the almond cheese ball into the bowl. Roll it until it is evenly coated with crushed pistachio and herbs. Your dairy-free appetizer is now ready to serve with some crackers or fresh produce!
Tips Around This Dairy-Free Recipe
If your vegan cheese ball seems a bit too soft in the beginning, be aware that it will harden considerably during its time in the refrigerator. That’s why it’s suggested to wait overnight to serve it!
Try not to keep your herb cheese ball out for more than a few hours before storing any leftovers in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
Delicious Flavor Ideas
- Dried tomatoes
- Smoked paprika
- Dried figs
- Crushed crackers
- Minced smoked tofu
- Tempeh bacon
You can also get creative and form or decorate your spreadable vegan cheese in a funny and kid-friendly way if you like!
How to Serve This Vegan Cheese Ball
Our vegan cheese ball also makes an appearance on this colorful appetizer platter and pairs wonderfully with raw veggie sticks or baked goods.
You can also spread it on vegan pizza rolls!
More Vegan Cheese Recipes
Vegan cheese is where it’s at! Since dairy-based cheese is oftentimes the hardest to replace for those looking to follow a completely plant-based diet, try these vegan recipes next.
- 2 cups almonds, soaked (260 g)
- 4 oz cashew cream cheese (115 g)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tsp white miso
- ⅓ cup water (80 ml)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Crushed pistachios
- Chopped chives
- Fresh thyme
- Drain the soaked almonds and place them into the food processor. Add water, lemon juice and cashew cream cheese, then blend everything until smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides if needed.
- Add the white miso, salt, nutritional yeast and garlic powder and process again to incorporate until a homogenous mixture forms.
- Place a clean cheesecloth or tea towel into a bowl, and gently scoop the vegan cheese mixture into the bowl.
- Gather the cheesecloth sides and twist the top.
- Place the bowl with the wrapped vegan cheese ball in the refrigerator and let it rest for at least 4 hours, better overnight.
- Once you’re ready to serve your vegan cheese ball, crush the pistachios and place them into a bowl together with chopped chives and thyme.
- Unfold the cheesecloth and gently place the almond cheese ball into the bowl. Roll it until evenly coated with crushed pistachio and herbs.
- Serve immediately with crackers, fresh bread or on an appetizer platter! The cheese ball will stay good for a few hours at room temperature.
- Keep any leftovers refrigerated, wrapped in foil, for up to 5 days.
- You can use any vegan cream cheese, homemade or store-bought, for this recipe.
- Other coating ideas include pecans, almonds, parsley and dried cranberries! Find more in the article above.
- To make this recipe soy-free, go for chickpea miso instead of classic miso.
- For a sharper taste, replace the lemon juice with white vinegar!
- Nutritional values have automatically been calculated without any coating.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 14
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 462mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!