Cool lime and peppery sriracha combine in this spicy cheese ball recipe to create a perfect party appetizer or snack. Bonus: it’s vegan!

spicy Cheese ball on a plate with crackers

Lately, I’ve been on the search for an easy, fast vegan cheese. A lot of recipes I’ve seen lately involve making a culture from sprouts grains (which takes days) or using gums, thickeners, and a myriad of ingredients that all involve a special trip to the grocery store, which really, I’m usually just not in the mood for. Cheese balls usually conjure up images of Chiristmas parties and office potlucks, but I found that this spicy cheese ball recipe just reminded me that vegan cheese can be, a) really delicious, and b) super easy, the perfect combination.

I took the sriracha/lime flavor combination from a favorite popcorn seasoning recipe, which seems odd, I know, but it totally works. The spicy kick from the hot sauce and mellow flavor of the lime combine to make a perfect cheesy snack or spread. I squeezed this version out with a nut milk bag, just to give it a bit more firmness, but you can leave it as more of a soft spread mixture or add more liquid to give the cheese more of a cream cheese texture as well. I just made this over the weekend and it’s almost gone, and my fiancé is a fan too, which is really saying something, since he is far from vegan.

spicy cheese ball

How to make a vegan cheese ball

If you’re familiar with regular homemade cheese balls, then you likely have a rough idea of how they’re usually made. Normally, you take cream cheese and a few other cheeses and mix-ins of your choice, form them into a ball, and pop it into the fridge to harden. Easy, right? Well, making a homemade vegan cheese ball isn’t that different!

To make this spicy cheese ball, you’ll first need to soak some cashews for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight. Soaking the cashews makes them easier to blend and gives this vegan cheese ball a more authentic texture. I’ve seen some recipes suggest soaking the cashews in boiling hot water to speed up the soak time, but I think taking the time to soak the nuts for a few hours is better.

Once the cashews have finished soaking, all you have to do is add all the cheese ball ingredients into a high powered blender and blend everything together. If things aren’t blending well, add in water a tablespoon at a time to help things along. After you’ve reached your desired consistency, scrape out the blender and squeeze the cheese ball ingredients in a nut milk bag or cheesecloth until firm. Then, roll the spicy cheese ball in some toasted walnuts and refrigerate!

The key ingredients in this homemade cheese ball recipe are the nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, and lemon juice. These ingredients work together to give this vegan cheese ball a lovely cheesy flavor—it’s kind of crazy how realistic this cheese ball tastes!

spicy vegan cheese ball

How to serve this spicy cheese ball

Like I mentioned before, this isn’t your average holiday cheese ball! You can whip up this spicy vegan cheese ball any time of year. It’s incredibly versatile and can be served with everything from crackers to tortilla chips to pretzels. You could even use it as a dip for celery and carrots, as a sandwich spread, smear it on savory bagels, or eat it on its own. It’s lovely paired with wine, preferably a sweet one. This spicy cheese ball will last for a week or so in the fridge and is the perfect size for two people to split.

spicy cheese ball on a plate

More vegan appetizers on Heart of a Baker:

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Spicy Cheese Ball with Sriracha and Lime

  • Author: Abby Bayatpour
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Cool lime and peppery sriracha combine in this spicy cheese ball recipe to create a perfect party appetizer or snack. Bonus: it’s vegan!


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews (soaked for 4-6 hours)
  • 3 tablespoons sriracha or hot sauce
  • Juice and zest of half a lime
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Pinch of onion powder
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (350 F for 10 minutes, toasted)

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients on low until combined. Turn up food processor to high, adding water as needed to continue to keep mixture moving. Scrape down sides of food processor bowl as needed. Keep processing cheese mixture until smooth. When cheese is smooth, transfer to a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and squeeze until firm.
  2. Roll cheese into a ball shape and roll in toasted walnuts. Wrap cheese ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 2-3 hours. Serve with crackers and pretzels.

Keywords: spicy cheese ball, vegan cheese ball