Looking for easy cheesy goodness without the dairy? This lemon rosemary vegan cheese log (or cheese ball) only takes about 20 minutes of prep and makes a delicious addition to any cheese board or party platter. Full of Mediterranean flavors without any added oil, this recipe satisfies whole food plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan lifestyles.
When I think of cheese logs or cheese balls, I think large holiday gatherings like Christmas and Thanksgiving. That’s because it’s such a comforting feel-good food, the kind that’s a pleasure to eat at get-togethers. Cheese logs should not be overlooked for other times of the year, though. In the summertime, for example, they're wonderful for a veggie platter. With its Mediterranean flavors, this lemon rosemary cheese log is particularly tasty with slices of apple in the autumn, too.
My favorite way to go is serving this along with Arugula-Pecan Vegan Cheesy Spread in a crudité platter filled with crackers, veggies, fruits, hummus, nuts - the works! So great for holiday parties. It’s also wonderful in a hearty salad, like Radicchio Harvest Salad. The richness and texture of this vegan cheese make it an excellent addition to soups, too. Stirring a few slices in can add depth. How are you going to enjoy your Lemon Rosemary Vegan Cheese Log?
Why this recipe is loved
- it's so easy, requiring minimal prep
- it's wonderful as part of a cheese board or veggie platter
- the combination of kalamata olives, lemon, pistachio, and rosemary is so delicious
- it adds wonderful flavor and texture to salads, soups, sandwiches, casseroles, on crackers, toast, fruit, veggies, pizzas and flatbreads
- no dairy, eggs, or other animal products required
- my gluten-free friends can eat it
- no oil needed
Only six ingredients are needed for the cheese log itself (including salt), with another added for the topping.
Brazil nuts: This non-dairy cheese log is made with brazil nuts as its base. Brazil nuts not only have antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals - they’ve actually been shown to help lower cholesterol! They also happen to be delicious, with a rich, deep flavor that is ideal for making vegan cheese. Note: In order to soften, the brazil nuts need to soak for at least two hours before making this recipe.
Lemon juice and zest: The lemon juice provides a zippy tang that resembles that in cheese. The zest is important in providing lemon flavor, so avoid skipping it!
Kalamata olives: These olives have a vibrant flavor that takes this cheese to the next level. If you only have other olives, though, that should be fine. Just make sure they're pitted!
Fresh rosemary: It is worth buying a small container of fresh rosemary for this recipe because of the wonderful woodsy flavor it provides. In a pinch, you can use ¾ teaspoon dried rosemary and it will be delicious, but it won't be the same.
Nutritional yeast: This stuff brings a nice cheesy flavor that is so important in a cheese.
Salt: Any type is fine. If you have smoked salt, give that a go and see what you think.
And for the optional topping:
Pistachios: Shelled pistachios bring a sweet, nutty flavor and lovely gold-green color as a coating for the cheese log.
More fresh rosemary: The combination of rosemary and pistachio is so nice.
How to make a lemon rosemary cheese log
First, combine all the cheese log ingredients in a food processor and process. Then roll the mixture in parchment, forming a long shape 1-2 inches thick. Place it in the fridge for at least an hour to chill.
Then, pulse the pistachios and rosemary until the pistachio pieces are (mostly) evenly chopped fine. Unroll the parchment off the cheese log and sprinkle the topping on and next to the cheese log. Then, roll the cheese log in the topping, using the parchment to help press so that the topping coats the cheese log.
The cheese log can be shaped in other ways. Try forming it into a ball or using a cookie cutter to shape it.
Serve with sliced apples, figs, or other fruit; sliced radishes, kohlrabi, or other veggies; crackers or bread.
If stored properly chilled, this vegan cheese log can last in the fridge for at least a week.
This recipe goes well with
Lemon Rosemary Vegan Cheese Log Recipe
- knife and cutting board small
- measuring cups and spoons
- juicer and zester manual
- food processor
- 1 cup brazil nuts raw, pre-soaked in water at least 2 hours
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest about one lemon
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt preferably smoked salt
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 4 kalamata olives pitted
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary stripped from the stem
- ⅓ cup pistachios
- ¼ teaspoon fresh rosemary stripped from the stem
More topping ideas
- chopped chives
- chopped fennel fronds
- hemp seeds
- Process all of the cheese log ingredients in a food processor until well combined. Taste and adjust salt if desired.Note: If too crumbly to form into a ball or log, add water by the tablespoon until the mixture holds together when squeezed in your hand.
- Spread the mixture near the edge of a piece of parchment paper to achieve a long cheese log. Then, roll with the parchment into a tube shape, squeezing as you go to remove any air pockets. Twist the ends of the parchment closed and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Meanwhile, process the topping ingredients until well combined. Once chilled, unroll the cheese log and spread the topping along the parchment parallel to the cheese log. Roll the cheese log in the topping until it is covered with the topping.
- Slice the cheese log to serve on top of crackers or sliced veggies or fruit.