Vegan “Cheese” Ball with Cranberry and Pistachio Coating

by | Updated: October 26th, 2018 | Read time: 2 minutes

Main courses and desserts are important components of any get-together or feast. But it’s the appetizers that welcome guests and set the tone for the festivities. Starters are the opening act, warming up party-goers for the main feature. Here’s a fuss-free appetizer that will kick your celebration off right. It’s made with healthy, vegan ingredients and packed with I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-real-cheese flavor. This recipe is a 10 in my book—it uses less than 10 ingredients and occupies less than 10 minutes of your valuable time!

Vegan Cashew Cheese Ball with Cranberry and Pistachio

Vegan “Cheese” Ball with Cranberry and Pistachio Coating


“Cheese” Ball

¼ cup nutritional yeast
3 cups raw cashews, soaked 2-4 hours or up to overnight
3 Tbsp. coconut oil, solid
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
Water, as needed to blend (1 Tbsp max.)
¼ cup lemon juice
Pinch of salt


⅓ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped (to coat)
⅓ cup pistachios, crushed (to coat)


  1. In food processor, combine cheese ball ingredients and pulse until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.
  2. Remove mixture from food processor and use plastic wrap to mold it into a ball. (You can divide mixture into two smaller portions, each wrapped in plastic, if needed.) Chill for 1-2 hours.
  3. Combine coating ingredients and roll cheese ball in mixture.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap again and chill until serving.
  5. Store wrapped and refrigerated. Will keep for 7-10 days.

Margaret’s tips:

  1. Try serving with brown rice seaweed crackers and black mission figs.
  2. Get creative with the outside coating! Suggestions include dried cherries and pecans or dried apples and walnuts.
  3. This would also make a delicious pairing with cranberry chia seed jam.