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Vegan Cashew Cheese (yes, it is stupidly easy)

Posted by: 17 Apr 2013

WARNING: This shiz is like crack, you will want more. You will dream about it and you will make it again and again. You will probably even want to roll it up and smoke it. It’s that good (I’ve never actually done crack or smoked cashew cheese, for the record).

Not only is this vegan cashew cheese delish times infinity, it’s super versatile so you can easily have a batch in your fridge at all times, use it many a different way and it will never get old and go bad from being ignored.

You can put it on pizza or crumble it on a big green salad.  Try it in a sandwich or use it in lasagna. Add in some maple syrup and strawberries and use it to fill your  gluten free crepes (hello perfect brunch). Use your imagination and get creative. Because creative is sexy.

This recipe is out of my second cookbook, Bold Vegan – Food for the Body and Soul. (click link to download a sample. Oh yes, the romance is back!)

 CASHEW CHEESE RECIPE 

vegan cashew cheese

Note* You will have to soak the cashews for at least 1 hour. You can soak them for up to 24 hours.
The longer you soak them the more ceamy they will become. If you don’t want to soak them for 24 hours, soaking them for an hour is totally sufficient.

Makes 1 cup (210g)

Soy free / gluten free

WHAT YOU NEED 

1 cup cashews (130g) soaked in 3 cups (709 ml) of water for at least 1 hour.

2 teaspoons lemon juice (10ml)

1/2 teaspoon salt (3g)

2 turns fresh black pepper

1/4 cup water (60ml)

HOW TO DO IT 

  • Soak, drain and rinse cashews.

  • Place in a food processor, along with lemon juice, salt and black pepper.

  • Pulse for about 1 minute to combine ingredients.

  • Add water and process until completely smooth, about 2 -4 minutes.

  • Is it seriously that simple? Yes lovers, it is. xo

Notes

  • Turn off the food processor and scrape down the mixture from the sides a couple of times while processing (but be sure to turn off your food processor before you do this. Seems obvious but we’ve all had our blonde moments).

  • This is an awesome base recipe. From here, feel free to play around and add other yummy ingredients (Chives and garlic sound awesome to me!)

  • If all you have are roasted cashews, you can use them. The reason I use raw cashews is because they are most nutritious in their raw form.

Can’t get enough nut cheese? I know…neither can we. Because we know you love it just as much as we do, we’re in the process of creating a whole book with nothing but nut cheeses! (you’re welcome)

(Hint: They’re going to be stupidly simple and fast to make too!) 

Want to get in on it? Just sign up below and you’ll be the first to know when it’s ready! Shazam!

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  • Pooja

    Stupidly easy and deliciously yummy.
    We barely get any vegan alternatives here in India. Not even mock-meat.
    It would be really kind and generous of you to post another main course recipe sans the mock meat. Or how to make soy/tofu taste like it ;)

    • http://boldvegan.com Molly

      Glad you like it Pooja!
      We will keep posting yummy vegan recipes right here and I will definitely keep your request in mind about the mock meats!
      Be sure to sign up for our newsletters if you haven’t already!

      Cheers and yummy food :)

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  • Kitty

    would this be unroasted cashews?????

    • http://boldvegan.com Molly

      Hi Kitty,

      Yes, I used cashews that were not roasted :)
      M

      • Rita

        But technically all cashews are roasted, it’s required to remove them from shells. Some are just more roasted than the others. Thats pretty much the deal for all nuts, unless you grow them yourself.

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  • http://365daystounstuck.wordpress.com Kathleen Bandaruk

    Thanks for sharing this recipe with us, I just blogged about it on my blog. It was delish!

    • http://boldvegan.com Molly

      Awesome sauce! Thanks for letting us know :)

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  • http://URL Silvana

    I added 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to this, and it helped with the texture! keeps it nice and firm in the fridge. Also, I added garlic powder and herbs to make it seem like an herb and garlic cream cheese!

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Bold Vegan

      Good to know Silvana. I bet the garlic and herbs made it divine!

  • Annabella SkinScrubs

    I’ve made this just now and added 2 teaspoons of Olive Oil and some tomato garlic puree. It tastes gorgeous – perfect for pasta. This is a great base to make all kinds of things including soup! That’s my Autumn menu sorted!

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Bold Vegan

      Thank you for letting us know. Glad it worked out and you like it!

  • toni

    How do you get it to the state where it can crumble?

    • http://www.natures-express.com mollympatrick

      Hi Toni – If you want it crumbly, try adding less water. Let me know how it turns out!

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  • notcheese

    This is not cheese

    • Molly

      Exactly the point lol.

    • Matt

      great detective work

    • Cass

      I know! That’s the best part!

    • Brieana

      Hello, notcheese! Nice to meet you!

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  • Monica SANCIO

    Thank you.. I am making right it now! Then, I will probably post a video with some of my variations, giving you the credit for the original recipe ; )

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Bold Vegan

      @monicasancio:disqus it would be cool to see your video. Thanks for the comment =)

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  • kristen

    what other nut can I use beside cashews?

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Bold Vegan

      @0155e0ced7f5a95df474f40918cdca53:disqus cashews work best because they are the creamiest. However, if you are allergic you can try sunflower seeds but be sure to soak them for at least an hour. You could also try walnuts. If you use walnuts, you won’t have to soak them.

  • Lucifer San

    Adding nutritional yeast will give it a more cheese-like taste. just a suggestion. :-)

    • http://www.natures-express.com mollympatrick

      Thanks for the suggestion! I love nooch! It does make things cheesy :)

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  • Jeannie Christine Garcia

    I put too much water – so the ideal solution would be to soak more cashews and blend it all together when they’re ready?

    • http://www.natures-express.com mollympatrick

      Hi Jeannie -You got it. I would just add a little at a time until it has reached a good consistency. The consistency should be slightly thicker than ricotta.
      Let me know how it turns out!

  • Marguerite Patricia

    Do you think using a Vitamix blender would work in lieu of a food processor?

    • http://www.natures-express.com mollympatrick

      @margueritepatricia:disqus – I think a Vitamix would work , yes ;)
      Just make sure to pulse it instead of steady blending so that it doesn’t become too creamy.
      Let me know how it turns out!

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  • Grace55

    Just came across your recipe…I am allergic to citrus. Is the lemon necessary? If so, can you suggest an alternative. Thanks

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      Hi Grace –
      Swap out the lemon juice with Apple Cider Vinegar :) Let me know how it goes.

  • Linda Sanchez

    would cashew meal work? that’s all I have available now.

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      @disqus_GlZtMTRYRg:disqus – I have never used cashew meal for this recipe. Since cashew meal is more like a flour the texture will be softer. I recommend using cashews but you could give it a shot!
      Let me know how it turns out if you try it ;)
      Molly

  • HappyHippie

    Has ANYONE tried this recipee with roasted cashews? Where i live raw nuts are reeaallyy expensive but roasted ones are on sale often, so i just brought a bunch :)

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      @disqus_gRs13MHl1A:disqus – You can use roasted cashews. There are more health benefits if you use raw cashews but if you have a bunch of roasted cashews then I say, Use them up! Let me know how it turns out!

  • Grace Neal

    is there a spot to find nutritional info??

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      @grace_neal:disqus – I have not calculated the nutritional info. I am generally against the traditional nutrition label because they do not include micronutrients (like phytochemicals), only macronutrients (like fat and protein) so it doesn’t give the whole picture.

  • John McDerp

    Seems good. I have to try it, for a vegan pizza :)

    I’m not much of a cook. Can I use a blender instead, or do it without technology?

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      @johnmcderp:disqus – As long as you soak the cashews for at least an hour a blender will work :)
      I have put this on pizza and it is AMAZING!! Let me know how it turns out!

  • John McDerp

    Thanks :)

    Can I use a mixer instead? It turns out we don’t have a blender/food processor at home (I thought we do).

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      @johnmcderp:disqus – Do you mean a hand mixer? If that’s what you have then I think it would be difficult. Let me know though.

  • John McDerp

    Yes, a hand mixer. Would it still be possible to make something with it? :

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      @johnmcderp:disqus – I don’t think a hand mixer will work. You could give it a shot but I’m thinking that it will just mix the cashews around instead of blending them up.

  • Theresa

    Can you put this in polenta in place of the butter? Has anyone tried that? Sounds kind of good to me and it may give it that creamy texture. I’m having a dinner party Friday night and thinking about adding a little to my recipe.

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      @disqus_VE6Lot7IQT:disqus – hi Theresa! I haven’t used this to replace butter but give it a shot! Experimenting is the best way to find out! Let me know how it turns out!

  • Theresa

    I will let you know. I’m having two other (non-vegan) couples over for dinner and I really want them to enjoy the food. Thx!

  • Theresa

    I just made a trial run replacing cashew cheese for butter in the polenta. It worked! Very creamy and it has the consistency of butter. I will use this for my dinner party. I’m very glad I found this site! Thank you.

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      @disqus_VE6Lot7IQT:disqus – Awesome! Thank you for posting a pic -it looks delicious!
      So happy you found us too!
      xo
      Molly

  • Simone

    I have just made this and omg it’s amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this yummy recipe, I’m hooked! I put one clove of garlic and some chives in mine. Its so yummy with tomato on toast or on corn crackers!

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      Hi Simone- garlic and chives sound amazing!!!!!!!
      Well played! Thank you so much for letting me know!

  • Sarah

    I just made this and I love how it tastes like a mild cheddar! Trying to find a substitute for cheese has been one long terrifying path. I can make this and flavor it however I want for a fraction of the price. I split my batch in half and made a garlic variety using garlic olive oil and a hickory variety with Liquid Smoke. This is going to be a summer mainstay in my diet!

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      @disqus_q85WvTIXtB:disqus – Hi Sarah! SO happy you like it! Wooooot. You are spot on with the different flavor ideas and I LOVE that you made two flavors out of one batch! Very crafty. xo

  • John McDerp

    Hey,

    It’s me again. We got a blender/food processor (it’s a 2 in 1), and I finally made the cashew vegan “cheese” :) I used 130 grams of cashew and followed everything. It tastes a lot like mashed potatoes though, but not exactly.

    It’s really nice. I made a pizza with it, and it is the first pizza I ever made by myself. Also it’s the first pizza I ate since I became a vegan (it was one of my favorite foods before that). I made some pictures!

    I put lots of ketchup underneath, red pepper, black pepper, savory, rosemary and some olives. I really wish I put tomatoes, but didn’t have any at the time. It became a little bit buff, but it tasted just like “real” pizza… only without the meat. I also used just about 1/4 of the “cheese” I made :)

    Thank you very much for this awesome recipe!

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      @johnmcderp:disqus – Hi John. So happy to hear back from you! Thank you for the report. It’s funny that you say it tastes like mashed potatoes! I haven’t heard that one before! I am working on a nut cheese book. You can sign up here to get updates at the bottom of this recipe.

  • LisaV22

    What did I do wrong? I followed instructions and used a food processor but it’s not blending and the consistency is small chunks of nuts (semi creamy) but definitely not blended enough. I even went longer then 5 minutes to get it to blend more. Help!

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      @LisaV22:disqus – Is the blade to your food processor dull? That’s where I would start. Let me know!

    • Abrodie

      I had to mix up the concoction a bit throughout the blending process. I also soaked my cashews in hot water which I believe helped soften them up faster.

  • Gloria

    This is delicious! One question tho what should the consistency be? The picture looks like you can form a ball but mine turned out very soft And more creamy.

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      Hi Gloria- So glad you like it! The consistency sort of depends on how long you soak the cashews. The longer you soak them, the creamier it will be. If you want it a little more firm, next time, add the water a bit at a time and stop when the desired consistency of reached :)

  • elitan

    Hi. Two things. First I made your cashew mixture. You’re right. Totally fantastic. I added some garlic and olive oil (and a little “nooch”) and used as Alfredo sauce on pasta. My 7 year old grandson loved it and has already asked for it again. Thank you. I’m not a vegan but have recently become lactose intolerant to the point where I can’t even eat butter. I’m Italian and the thought of living without cheese drives me crazy. This recipe has made me happy beyond belief. The other thing I really need to know is can I make this ahead in larger batches and freeze it? Also, how long can it store in the refrigerator? Again thank you for having “hope” again.

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      HI there – so happy you liked it!
      It will store in the refrigerator for about a week and you can absolutely freeze it!
      I’m in the midst of making a little vegan nut cheese book. Sign up here to find out when it’s ready: http://boldvegan.com/vegan-cheese-signup-page/
      xo

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  • CheekyBirds

    I made the basic version of this today using an Omega juicer. I didn’t add water because I wanted it just a little thicker, and it’s so good it’s absolutely better than cream cheese. I love it, and I’m totally sick with envy of your site! Thanks for making your recipes so accessible and fun to read.

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      @cheekybirds:disqus – LOVE it! Thanks for posting. xo

  • Eva Vincent

    Thank you for this recipe :)

    I’ve been looking for a simple ‘cheese’ recipe. This one is very tasty!! I saw people’s comments of using olive oil to make pasta sauce. I tried it & added Italian spices. It turned out great! :)

    I soaked the cashews for 2hrs and added a little more water in the blender to make it creamier.

    • http://boldvegan.com/ Molly Patrick

      Fantastic! Thanks for sharing – so happy you found it! xo

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  • Jared Letterman

    So I tried this recipe a few months ago. Although delicious, it definitely didn’t remind me of cheese. I guess I can understand how people can use this to get kind of the consistency as cheese balls (the ones usually with nuts around them), or simply substitute one addiction for another. However, when I made this, it definitely didn’t taste anything like cheese. Still, it’s good, and I make a lot of it as-is.

    The reason why I found this website is because I someday want to go vegan. I’m making small steps. However, to make this more cheese like, I added 2 tbsp of milk, and 1 tsp of salt. It’s incredible how much cheese like it is now with just a little milk. However, it’s still not cheese. All my vegan friends are really impressed when I tell them it’s not cheese. They began to order jars of this stuff, and honestly, it’s been taking a lot of my free time to complete all orders. I call it Nut So Cheesy After All. :) Cheers.

    • Ann

      If you add milk is not vegan! so if you add milk then you might as well just have cheese? I do not see the difference. I hope you are not giving that to your vegan friends.

    • Belen Molina-George

      I have an AMAZING cheese recipe that also uses cashews and this one, my friend, does taste like mozzarella. Let me know if you want it, I can send it to you (via FB or email). I tried uploading the image here but it won’t let me. I think it’s great you are trying to go vegan.

      • Jared Letterman

        Yes pls! jaredletterman@outlook.com / jaredletterman at outlook dot com. I saw this soy based mozzarella at a Trader Joe’s. The texture seemed amazing in the packaging. Kind of hesitated on the price though, hehe.

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