Vegan cheese balls holiday wreath
Here's a fun holiday appetizer for parties and Christmas gatherings! This festive wreath is topped with tofu cheeseballs. They're rolled in toppings like pistachios, dill, chives, or cranberries. Serve with crackers.
Servings: 8 people
For tofu cheese
- 16 ounces super firm tofu in vacuum packaging
- 4 teaspoons white miso paste
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons tahini
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the toppings and wreath
- ¼ to ½ cup roasted pistachios broken down until crumbly in food processor or finely chopped
- ¼ to ½ cup fresh dill chopped, plus more for decorating wreath
- ¼ to ½ cup chives chopped
- ¼ to ½ cup dried cranberries
- .75 ounces fresh rosemary sprigs
To make the tofu cheese
Use your hands to crumble super firm tofu into food processor in chunks. Then add white miso paste, nutritional yeast flakes, lemon juice, tahini, and salt.
Process at a low speed until everything is evenly incorporated. Stop a couple times to scrape down the sides, so that all of the ingredients get mixed together. Keep blending until totally smooth. (With my food processor, I know it's ready once it forms into a ball inside of the machine.)
To make the cheese balls and wreath
Now it's time to form the cheese balls. Use your hands to scoop out handfuls of tofu cheese. Roll them into balls. Vary the sizes as you go. They can be as small as a marble, as large as a tangerine, and anything in between.
Put the toppings of pistachios, dill, chives, and cranberries on their own separate plates. Roll the cheese balls in the separate toppings. (Just one topping per ball.)
On a circular serving tray or platter, place fresh rosemary sprigs and dill around the outer edges to form a wreath. Scatter the cheese balls across the wreath, as if they were ornaments. Serve with crackers.
You can find vacuum packed super firm tofu at Trader Joe's, or in natural grocery stores sold by Wildwood.
If you only have water-packed tofu, you’ll need to press it first. You’ll likely need about a package and a half of the water-packed variety, because the water-packed kind comes in smaller packages. (Water packed tofu is generally 14 ounces in comparison to 16 ounces of super firm.) And some of the weight is water, which will be removed with draining and pressing.
I don’t recommend silken tofu for this recipe. It’s soft and won’t give you the bulk you need for forming the snowman.
If you'd prefer a soy-free option for the cheese balls, use my almond cheese balls recipe instead. Keep in mind that recipe needs to be refrigerated before forming into balls, and plan accordingly. (Just skip the part of that recipe where the balls are breaded and fried.)
To keep the cheese balls gluten free and oil free, use gluten free & oil free toppings and crackers.
You can use either salted or unsalted pistachios, but salted is my preference.
When breaking down the pistachios, I like to use a clean food processor, and pulse it several times until the pistachios have the texture of pebbles. If you don't have a food processor, chopping them finely with a knife works too.
These cheese balls can be made ahead of time. They will last about 4 days in the refrigerator. The pistachios and dried cranberries will soften a little over time, because of the moisture in the cheese.
I recommend storing the cheese balls by the type of topping in their own sealed containers in the refrigerator, so that they don't transfer flavors.
There are endless options for toppings. See the above blog post for more ideas.
Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 194mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 189IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg