Vegan snack recipe: these pesto & ‘ricotta’ balls are perfect for a picnic

Posted by for Strength

It’s officially picnic season, which means that it’s time to nail the art of antipasti. Swap pre-packaged  salad toppings with these easy vegan ricotta pesto balls.

Homemade cheese may sound complicated, but this simple recipe only takes 25 minutes to make and uses simple store cupboard ingredients, including protein-packed soy milk (crucial for building muscle). Pair with sourdough or sprinkle over summer salads to share at your next socially distanced picnic.


PREP TIME: 25 minutes + 3–4 days infusing time


1 litre soy milk 

5 tbsp cider vinegar 

Bunch of Thai basil

5 tsp vegan basil pesto 

1⁄2 tsp chilli powder

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper 

Olive oil (for marinating)


Bring soy milk to a boil in a pan over a high heat. 

Stir in vinegar, as soon as it begins to boil.  

Remove the pan from the heat and leave the mixture to cool – during this time the soy will solidify and separate. 

Carefully pour away the excess liquid

Put remaining solid ingredients into a sieve lined with a clean tea towel. 

Bring the corners of the towel together and then twist, so that as much liquid as possible is squeezed out from the solid soy ‘ricotta.’

Pull the leaves from the basil and chop them roughly. 

Mix together the soy “ricotta” in a bowl with the pesto and chilli powder.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Form 10 little balls from the mixture and put them in a screw-top jar or preserving jar with the basil leaves. 

Completely cover with the oil and leave to infuse for 3-4 days.

Recipe courtesy of Vegan on the Go by Jérôme Eckmeier and Daniela Lais (DK, £12.99)

IMAGE: Brigitte Sporrer/DK Verlag

Want more quick and nutritious recipes? Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.

Sign up for workouts, nutritious recipes and expert tips, plus our Strong Women magazine with expert advice on building strength & resilience sent to your inbox.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Share this article

Chloe Gray

Chloe Gray is the senior writer for's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).

Recommended by Chloe Gray