Cheese is usually one of those foods that people miss when going paleo or dairy-free… until now! Because this vegan cheese ball (made from my vegan cashew cheese recipe!) will quickly change that. This Hawaiian cheese ball is made with cashew cream cheese and so full-of-flavor. It’s got crushed pineapple, peppers, green onions, and crushed pecans. It’s sweet, savory, creamy, and crunchy all at the same time.
Cheese balls are a classic appetizer, and for good reason… they taste great, they’re easy, and they impress people.
The star of this vegan cheese ball? Cashew cream cheese is a beautiful thing. I’ve made dairy-free cheesecake, cashew milk, herb cheese spread, and roasted garlic cashew cream with it.
What Is Cashew Cheese?
Vegan cashew cheese is essentially soaked cashews that are blended to form a texture similar to cream cheese. It’s a great paleo, dairy-free, and vegan alternative to dairy.
This cashew cheese recipe has some additional flavors and seasonings added to make it feel even more like cheese! You can barely tell it’s cashew cream cheese.
How To Make Cashew Cheese
Making cashew cheese is so easy! It’s literally two steps and you will be ready to use it in all your favorite vegan paleo recipes.
Here is how to make cashew cheese:
- Soak the cashews. Soak them in water for at least 2 hours – or boil them for 5 minutes if you forget to plan like I do – until they are soft and tender.
- Blend the cashew cream cheese. Simply combine cashews, lemon juice, and coconut oil in a blender until they’re super creamy.
TIP: If the cashew mixture seems a little dry, add water a tablespoon at a time, until it’s the texture you want.
Now you’re ready to make your vegan cheese ball!
How To Make A Vegan Cheese Ball With Cashew Cheese
This Hawaiian cheese ball is surprisingly easy to make!
TIP: Make this pineapple cheese ball recipe a day in advance, as it gets better after a day. The chilling time allows it to set up and you’ll be left with a super creamy texture.
Here’s how to make a vegan cheese ball with cashew cheese:
- Mix up the Hawaiian cheese ball mixture. Gently mix together some seasoning salt, chopped bell peppers, crushed pineapple, green onions, and pecans.
- Form the cheese ball. You’ll basically put your cashew cheese into some plastic wrap and form a ball.
- Chill. Freeze or refrigerate the Hawaiian cheese ball until it’s set.
- Roll in pecans. Roll or lightly press the vegan cheese ball in more pecans, and refrigerate.
Does Cashew Cheese Taste Like Cheese?
While cashew cheese doesn’t taste exactly like cheese, it does have a flavor similar to cream cheese. That’s why it’s such a hit in vegan and vegetarian recipes. It has a smooth and creamy texture like cream cheese.
How Do You Serve A Cheese Ball?
You have plenty of options for serving a vegan paleo cheese ball! Here are some ideas:
- Sliced bell peppers
- Celery stalks
- Carrot sticks
- Paleo Crackers
- Paleo Chips
How Many Days In Advance Can I Make A Cheese Ball?
You can make this easy cheese ball recipe up to 4-5 days in advance. Letting it sit in the fridge for a few days actually develops the flavors and helps it firm up.
TIP: If you plan on making it a few days ahead, roll in the nuts right before serving, so that they don’t get soggy.
How Do You Store This Vegan Cheese Ball?
Store vegan cashew cheese (whether it’s in cheese ball form or not!) in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Make sure it’s wrapped tightly and stored in a sealed container.
Can I Freeze This Hawaiian Cheese Ball?
Yes, you can freeze this cashew cheese recipe. Unlike recipes with dairy, you can freeze cashew cream cheese! Just wrap it tightly.
This vegan cashew cheese will last around 1-2 months in the freezer. When you’re ready to serve it, just thaw it in the fridge overnight.
More Paleo Appetizer Recipes
Serve up these paleo appetizers for the ultimate spread:
- Baked Loaded Sweet Potato Skins – These are a true crowd-pleaser.
- Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip – A vegan spin on a traditional dip recipe. I usually consider this a must.
- Baked Stuffed Clams – Perfect for those special occasions and a wonderful seafood addition to a spread.
- Healthy Blooming Onions – These are addicting and oh-so GOOD!
Hawaiian Vegan Cashew Cheese Ball Recipe:
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Hawaiian Vegan Cashew Cheese Ball Recipe
This yummy paleo vegan cheese ball is made with my cashew cream cheese recipe & filled with pineapple, peppers, green onions, and pecans... it's a Hawaiian cheese ball!
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- 2 cups Raw cashews (soaked at least 2 hours, OR if you don't plan ahead well like me simply boil them for 5 minutes until tender)
- 2 tablespoons Lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Refined coconut oil
- 1.5 teaspoons Seasoning salt (to taste)
- 1 medium Green bell pepper (diced)
- 1 cup Crushed pineapple (drained)
- 6 medium Green onions (minced)
- 1 1/4 cup Crushed pecans
More TIPS about this paleo recipe in the post above!
- Place cashews in a high-speed blender along with lemon juice and coconut oil. Blend until creamy. If the mixture seems mealy or dry add water 1 tablespoon at a time until creamy.
- Stir in seasoning salt, bell pepper, pineapple, green onions, and 1/4 cup crushed pecans.
Place a piece of plastic wrap in a shallow bowl and place half of the mixture onto the plastic wrap. Form into a ball and place in the freezer 30 minutes - 1 hour or until set enough to roll in pecans. Repeat with the remaining mix.
- After the balls are formed and firm roll them in crushed pecans. Store in refrigerator until ready to eat (it tastes best after chilling 24 hours). Serve with your favorite gluten-free crackers or bell pepper slices.
Serving Size: ~2 tablespoons, or 1/16 entire cheese ball
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols (though the latter are rarely seen on this site), because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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Thanks for sharing this recipe!
I couldn’t get it to form but it was able to be a dip!
I have the same question as Mia B. Re oil. I, too, am not eating oil. Any suggestions for an alternative to oil? Is the oil necessary?
This looks amazing! I’m oil free if at all possible. Do you feel like it would work without the coconut oil?
Can you freeze this? If so, how long will it last? My mom made a cheese log that she kept in freezer for weeks sometime. Just wondering.
Hi Janet, I haven’t tried freezing this but I would think it would be just fine!
Oooh, my mom used to make this when I was a kid. Haven’t thought of it in years since I had to give up dairy. Will definitely have to try this version of it!! Thanks!
Sorry but I tried this recipe and the flavors don’t work very well together. I did like some of your other recipes though..
Hi Susan, I’m sorry you didn’t like this recipe! I love it and find that the taste and texture is just like a regular cheeseball. Everyones tastes are different though so I appreciate your feedback! I’d love for you to leave a review on the other recipes you’ve tried and enjoyed. Thanks!
That looks amazing and needs to be on my table right now! I can’t wait to make it!!
Wow, this “cheeseball” looks so amazing! I have only ever made one cheeseball and it was easier than I expected. I bet this cashew based one is even better than using real cheese, yum!
This is such an creative and amazing recipe. Love that this is vegan so everyone can enjoy this.
This is so fun! Cashew “cheese” is the best!
Neat! I’ve never used cashew cheese before. Sounds like a great party dish!
I have been dying to experiment with a paleo “cheese” for a while now – this one is bookmarked! It looks killer!
I AM SO MAKING THIS. sorry for yelling, but I am excited. 🙂