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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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Comments: 80

  1. Posted by Pooja 21 May 2013 at 9:39 pm Reply

    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 ;)

    • Posted by Molly 24 May 2013 at 6:41 am Reply

      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 :)

  2. Posted by Kitty 12 Jun 2013 at 10:01 pm Reply

    would this be unroasted cashews?????

    • Posted by Molly 13 Jun 2013 at 3:46 pm Reply

      Hi Kitty,

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

      • Posted by Rita 28 Sep 2013 at 10:02 pm Reply

        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.

  3. Posted by Kathleen Bandaruk 26 Jun 2013 at 11:18 am Reply

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

    • Posted by Molly 27 Jun 2013 at 4:22 pm Reply

      Awesome sauce! Thanks for letting us know :)

  4. Posted by Silvana 24 Jul 2013 at 12:09 am Reply

    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!

    • Posted by Bold Vegan 06 Aug 2013 at 10:44 pm Reply

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

  5. Posted by Annabella SkinScrubs 26 Aug 2013 at 3:00 pm Reply

    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!

    • Posted by Bold Vegan 26 Aug 2013 at 4:36 pm Reply

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

  6. Posted by toni 09 Sep 2013 at 1:40 am Reply

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

    • Posted by mollympatrick 09 Oct 2013 at 6:01 pm Reply

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

  7. Posted by notcheese 14 Sep 2013 at 5:44 am Reply

    This is not cheese

    • Posted by Molly 19 Dec 2013 at 8:31 am Reply

      Exactly the point lol.

    • Posted by Matt 19 Dec 2013 at 10:59 am Reply

      great detective work

    • Posted by Cass 20 Mar 2014 at 10:40 pm Reply

      I know! That’s the best part!

    • Posted by Brieana 27 Mar 2014 at 10:39 am Reply

      Hello, notcheese! Nice to meet you!

  8. Posted by Monica SANCIO 03 Oct 2013 at 11:07 pm Reply

    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 ; )

    • Posted by Bold Vegan 03 Oct 2013 at 11:58 pm Reply

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

  9. Posted by kristen 01 Nov 2013 at 5:03 pm Reply

    what other nut can I use beside cashews?

    • Posted by Bold Vegan 14 Nov 2013 at 3:17 am Reply

      @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.

  10. Posted by Lucifer San 10 Dec 2013 at 1:01 am Reply

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

    • Posted by mollympatrick 11 Dec 2013 at 8:23 am Reply

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

  11. Posted by Jeannie Christine Garcia 08 Jan 2014 at 10:22 pm Reply

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

    • Posted by mollympatrick 09 Jan 2014 at 9:08 am Reply

      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!

  12. Posted by Marguerite Patricia 21 Jan 2014 at 9:58 am Reply

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

    • Posted by mollympatrick 21 Jan 2014 at 3:29 pm Reply

      @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!

  13. Posted by Grace55 30 Jan 2014 at 3:18 pm Reply

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

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 30 Jan 2014 at 5:26 pm Reply

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

  14. Posted by Linda Sanchez 04 Feb 2014 at 10:25 pm Reply

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

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 06 Feb 2014 at 4:15 pm Reply

      @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

  15. Posted by HappyHippie 04 Mar 2014 at 11:22 pm Reply

    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 :)

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 05 Mar 2014 at 11:18 am Reply

      @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!

  16. Posted by Grace Neal 05 Mar 2014 at 5:22 am Reply

    is there a spot to find nutritional info??

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 05 Mar 2014 at 11:26 am Reply

      @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.

  17. Posted by John McDerp 20 Mar 2014 at 7:53 pm Reply

    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?

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 21 Mar 2014 at 10:55 am Reply

      @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!

  18. Posted by John McDerp 21 Mar 2014 at 6:00 pm Reply

    Thanks :)

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

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 22 Mar 2014 at 3:04 pm Reply

      @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.

  19. Posted by John McDerp 22 Mar 2014 at 7:55 pm Reply

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

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 24 Mar 2014 at 5:29 pm Reply

      @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.

  20. Posted by Theresa 27 Mar 2014 at 9:10 am Reply

    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.

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 27 Mar 2014 at 9:14 am Reply

      @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!

  21. Posted by Theresa 27 Mar 2014 at 9:21 am Reply

    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!

  22. Posted by Theresa 27 Mar 2014 at 2:19 pm Reply

    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.

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 27 Mar 2014 at 2:22 pm Reply

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

  23. Posted by Simone 03 Apr 2014 at 2:54 pm Reply

    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!

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 04 Apr 2014 at 9:01 am Reply

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

  24. Posted by Sarah 20 Apr 2014 at 8:06 pm Reply

    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!

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 21 Apr 2014 at 12:43 pm Reply

      @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

  25. Posted by John McDerp 01 May 2014 at 11:10 am Reply

    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!

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 01 May 2014 at 5:45 pm Reply

      @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.

  26. Posted by LisaV22 01 May 2014 at 5:01 pm Reply

    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!

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 01 May 2014 at 5:46 pm Reply

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

    • Posted by Abrodie 04 May 2014 at 12:54 pm Reply

      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.

  27. Posted by Gloria 12 May 2014 at 10:14 am Reply

    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.

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 12 May 2014 at 11:13 am Reply

      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 :)

  28. Posted by elitan 18 May 2014 at 3:42 pm Reply

    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.

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 18 May 2014 at 3:51 pm Reply

      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

  29. Posted by CheekyBirds 12 Jun 2014 at 11:04 pm Reply

    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.

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 13 Jun 2014 at 4:14 pm Reply

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

  30. Posted by Eva Vincent 14 Jun 2014 at 10:15 am Reply

    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.

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 14 Jun 2014 at 5:58 pm Reply

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

  31. Posted by Jared Letterman 13 Jul 2014 at 5:20 pm Reply

    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.

    • Posted by Ann 20 Jul 2014 at 5:26 am Reply

      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.

    • Posted by Belen Molina-George 22 Jul 2014 at 2:01 pm Reply

      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.

      • Posted by Jared Letterman 23 Jul 2014 at 9:09 pm Reply

        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.

    • Posted by Veganma 13 Aug 2014 at 10:48 pm Reply

      But if your adding milk…it’s not vegan. I don’t know if ur vegans friends would be happy about that. Unless you mean coconut milk, or soy milk or almond milk.

  32. Posted by Alocasia 08 Aug 2014 at 2:58 pm Reply

    If I mix this up in the Vitamix, do I still have to soak the cashews? Thanks.

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 08 Aug 2014 at 3:02 pm Reply

      @disqus_pimLvAHRLA:disqus – Give it a go without – it should be fine :)

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 08 Aug 2014 at 3:03 pm Reply

      @disqus_pimLvAHRLA:disqus Give it a go without – it should work fine :)

      • Posted by Alocasia 08 Aug 2014 at 6:49 pm Reply

        Delicious. :)

        • Posted by Molly Patrick 08 Aug 2014 at 7:23 pm

          Yayayayaya!!! xo

          • Posted by Alocasia 08 Aug 2014 at 10:49 pm

            It’s like cream cheese. We spread it in celery…perfect. A definite keeper… :)

    • Posted by Davo Jude 22 Aug 2014 at 2:42 am Reply

      soaking the cashews first makes them more bio-available during digestion

  33. Posted by WorldWideVegetarian 15 Aug 2014 at 1:53 pm Reply

    Amazing, just started soaking some cashews, cheese for pasta in an hour THANK YOU
    Katie

    • Posted by Molly Patrick 16 Aug 2014 at 4:13 pm Reply

      @worldwidevegetarian:disqus – ow did it turn out!?

  34. Posted by Moki 08 Oct 2014 at 10:42 am Reply

    Oh so excited. Our local coop had a pre-packaged variety with Habanero mixed in, and it was wonderful. I can’t find it in the store any longer so I am excited to see an easy recipe to start to play with…I do still crave that product and find my self roaming the aisles in hopes it appears again. But now I can try it at home.

    Thank you

    Moki

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