Sep 12, 2015

Cashew Mozzarella Cheeze Balls ~ Easy and Fun!

I’m going kind of crazy in my kitchen lately with cheeeeeese. I know I haven’t posted many recipes for you because, hey, they’re still in test mode. Well, three times was the winner for this recipe. I’ve seen a few posts online for vegan mozzarella cheese but I had to get it just right because I’m Italian. I’m not kidding! I mean, when my mom comes to visit, what if I served a vegan mozzarella cheese that was less than perfect. Right? I’d never hear the end of it. We ate a LOT of mozzarella in our house when I was growing up. It wasn’t even gourmet or anything. I think the brand was Polly-O. That was what my mom used in her lasagnas and baked ziti and anything else that called for the stringy, gooey fantabulousness that we know and that I loved. Now there is “buffalo” mozzarella which I think is better. It’s less salty and much fresher. But back then, we didn’t know any better. And we certainly didn’t know about how it affected our health.

Well… here it is. These little balls are the real deal. They melt and stretch and they are PERFECT to put on a pizza (watch for an upcoming recipe for a fig pizza that will blow your mind)! On their own, well, I won’t lie, they’re not exactly swoon material. But pair them with some fresh tomato slices and basil, or top a pizza with them and you’ll be in heaven. And they’re fun to make, too! If you have youngins (that’s Hillbilly for kids), have them help you. They’ll love it. I really wanted to make a video for you with this recipe, but we were SO busy getting our fall garden set up, I just couldn’t make it happen. Maybe another time!


  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 TBS nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch (no substitutions, this is what makes it stretch)
  • ¼ tsp salt (you could leave it out, but it really helps with the flavor)
  • bowl of ice water
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a small saucepan and cook over medium to medium-high heat, whisking continuously.
  3. Keep whisking! You cannot walk away from this process.
  4. As the mixture heats, it will start to form clumps. Keep whisking until the mixture is smooth, gooey and very thick and pulls away from the sides of the pan. It doesn’t take long. 
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Using a small ice cream scoop, make balls and drop them into the ice water bath (this is the part the kids will love). The balls will hold together and you’ll be able to shape them if the edges are a little ragged.
  7. Store refrigerated in an airtight container. Stays fresh for about 2 days.

Makes about 12 balls. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,


25 responses to “Cashew Mozzarella Cheeze Balls ~ Easy and Fun!”

  1. Awesome! I have got to get one of those types of icecream scoops! I love the moxarella cheese that is so common these days, so I'll definitely have to give this variation a try. And find some yummy tomatoes to go with it!

  2. Helyn says:

    Great! Yes, the scoop is great for making cookies, too! 🙂 I have them in my Amazon store if you want to get it there. Just click on the "shop kitchen and cupboard" link at the top of the page. Thanks for the feedback!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Will certainly be making these cheese balls, they look wonderful. Do you know if they can be frozen without too much damage to structure/flavor?

  4. Helyn says:

    I haven't tried freezing, but I think they'd be okay. Enjoy!!

  5. Lisa says:

    Can you exclude the nutritional yeast? I am allergic to yeast and milk so I was hoping this would work without the nutritional yeast.

    • helynskitchen says:

      Hi, Lisa. Yes, you can definitely omit the nutritional yeast. You may want to check with your doctor about **nutritional** yeast vs. baking yeast. It’s different and is inactive as opposed to baking yeast (the kind used in breads). Hope you enjoy it!

  6. helynskitchen says:

    Lisa, as an aside note, you might want to add a little garlic powder for flavor since it won’t have much without the yeast. Hope this helps!

  7. helynskitchen says:

    Brianne… you left a comment which is not showing up on my new platform. I hope you see this reply. I would not recommend almonds, only because the cashews are so creamy.. that’s why they work. Thanks for your interest! 🙂

  8. Heather says:

    I’m not that familiar with Nutritional yeast. You mentioned adding garlic in place of it. Is nutritional yeast a good substitute for garlic? Or what kind of flavor does it have? My mom can’t eat garlic and I can’t have any type of yeast otherwise, I’d try it.

  9. Heather says:

    I’m not that familiar with Nutritional yeast. You mentioned adding garlic in place of it. Is nutritional yeast a good substitute for garlic? Or what kind of flavor does it have? My mom can’t eat garlic or onions and I can’t have any type of yeast otherwise, I’d try it.

    • helynskitchen says:

      Hi Heather,
      I was responding to someone who was asking if she could leave out the nutritional yeast (or “nooch,” as I call it) because she has a yeast allergy… I would certainly use the nooch as a first option. It has a cheesy flavor and contains many B-vitamins including B-12 which, as vegans, we don’t get through our foods. People who have yeast allergies or sensitivities can consume nutritional yeast because it is not the same as the type of yeast that is used to make breads. It is an inactive yeast and has no effect on candida. Here is a link if you want to learn more about it:


      Hope this helps to answer your questions! xo

  10. Sherri says:

    I can’t wait to try this! It looks delicious.

  11. mc says:

    Thanks for this quick and easy mozz recipe! I just made it, and was really impressed by how much the texture and consistency mimicked that of animal-based mozzarella. I think I will cut the nutritional yeast in half next time I make it as the balls were a bit too flavorful 🙂

  12. Miko says:

    This looks good. Does this melt or do you just use it cold, like in salads? How would you describe the flavor?

    • helynskitchen says:

      Hi Miko,
      Yes it melts. I use it on pizzas 🙂 but it’s not stringy like mozzarella. The flavor is quite mild, similar to mozzarella. Hope you’ll try it!

  13. Shari says:

    Could you shred this to use in recipes for say lasagna?

    • helynskitchen says:

      Unfortunately, it’s not firm enough to shred, Shari. I’ve been working on another recipe for a firmer mozzarella… almost there! stay tuned. 🙂

  14. Sam says:

    Do you store this in the fridge in water or out of water?

  15. Veronica says:

    Can I put them in freezer or how should I stored them to keep longer

  16. Jacqueline says:

    I made these and put them on pizza this evening. I cut them in to smaller pieces but they did not melt at all. They were cooked on the pizza at 450F for 12 minutes. Any ideas what may have gone wrong?

    • helynskitchen says:

      Hmm, I’m sorry you had trouble with them! Mine melt but mostly in the middle, they hold their shape and get softer and gooey.. they don’t melt quite the same way dairy cheese does.

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