Nutty Vegan Cheeseball

This beautiful vegan cheeseball is the ultimate festive appetizer. It is creamy, flavorful and perfect for any dairy-sensitive guests. You can easily make it a few days ahead of time and serve it with crackers or fresh vegetables just as your guests arrive.

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Reprinted with permission from Vegan Holiday Cooking by Kirsten Kaminski, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019.




  • 1 cup (134 g) raw macadamia nuts, soaked for 6 hours (or overnight) and drained 
  • 1⁄2 cup (75 g) raw cashews, soaked for 6 hours (or overnight) and drained 
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 1⁄2 tbsp (23 ml) fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp (5 g) nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) melted coconut oil 
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1⁄2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or rosemary
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp black pepper 


  • 1⁄4 cup (30 g) raw pecans, finely chopped 
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme 


1. To make the cheeseball, place the macadamia nuts and cashews in a food processor or high-speed blender. Add the water, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, oil, mustard, maple syrup, thyme, salt and black pepper. Process until the mixture is very creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides and using the tamper tool as needed if using a blender. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

2. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl, and line the strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth or a clean, fine-textured, absorbent towel. Transfer the cheeseball mixture to the cheesecloth. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth and twist the top gently to form the cheese into a ball. Secure the cheesecloth with an elastic band. Use your hands to squeeze out any extra liquid. Place the cheeseball in the fridge for 12 hours.

3. To make the coating, combine the pecans and thyme on a plate. Unwrap the cheeseball from the cheesecloth and place it on the plate. Use your hands to gently roll the ball around until it is coated on all sides. Once the cheeseball is fully coated, transfer it to a serving platter. Shape it with your hands as needed and arrange fresh vegetables and crackers around it. Store the cheeseball, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.