Vegan Cashew Cheese Recipe

It's hard to beat some pairings. Take, for example, coffee and donuts, peas and corn, cake and ice cream, and of course, the classic cheese and crackers. But not everyone can enjoy cheese and crackers to the fullest, as some of us avoid cheese, whether for dairy allergen issues or as a health-conscious choice. While delicious, cheese is, after all, not the healthiest food around.

But do you know what is quite healthy? Nuts, and cashews in particular. So let's use this handy recipe from chef and recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge to create a healthy, nut-based, dairy-free, cheese-like spread that's great on crackers as well as on sandwiches, in wraps, and on pretty much everything else. Olayinka compares it to a bleu cheese, as a frame of reference. In short, if a soft, spreadable cheese would have tasted great in any given dish, so too will this completely dairy-free spread work wonders.

And don't worry — you don't need a lot of rare or unique ingredients to make this vegan cashew cheese, either. You can find all of the necessary components at any decent grocery store, and you can even order them online for delivery right to your door if need be. And yes, that includes the crackers on which you'll spread the stuff.

Gather your ingredients for vegan cashew cheese

Remember how we said there's nothing fancy or rare in this recipe? Well ... we were telling the truth. All you need to make a great spreadable vegan cashew cheese is about two cups of cashew nuts, raw and unflavored, a quarter of a teaspoon each of onion powder, garlic powder, and salt, the juice of half a lemon, a quarter of a cup of nutritional yeast, and half a cup of water.

And as for hardware, all you need is a decent blender, some measuring cups, and a bowl to rest the nuts in while they soak.

Soak the nuts for a half hour

Start the recipe off by soaking the cashew nuts in hot water for 30 minutes. For the record, this does not mean using the half cup of water that you measured out — you will be using that later. Use plenty of hot but not boiling water to fully cover them. "Be sure to soak the cashews for the required time to make them softer," Olayinka says, adding: "If not, the texture for this vegan cheese will completely change."

After 30 minutes have passed, drain the cashews and then rinse them well under cold water. Now you can place the softened nuts right down into the blender.

Add all ingredients to the blender

Once the cashews are in the blender, add the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, the juice of half of that lemon, and the nutritional yeast, then pulse everything on and off in the blender for 30 seconds.

After 30 seconds of pulse blending, scrape down the sides of the blender using a silicone spatula, pushing everything down toward the blades, and then add the half cup of water. Now pulse everything for another 30 seconds, and then take it out of the blender. It is now ready to be served but will be even better if chilled for a while first.

Vegan Cashew Cheese Recipe
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This recipe will help you create a healthy, nut-based, dairy-free, cheese-like spread that's great on crackers and on pretty much everything else.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Vegan cashew cheese served with crackers
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 2 cups cashews
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup water
  1. Soak the cashew nuts in hot water for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes, drain the cashew nuts, then rinse under cold water and place into the blender.
  3. Add onion powder, garlic powder, salt, the juice of half of a lemon, and nutritional yeast, then pulse in the blender for 30 seconds.
  4. After 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the blender and add the water.
  5. Pulse for another 30 seconds and take out the blender.
  6. Serve and enjoy.
Calories per Serving 218
Total Fat 15.6 g
Saturated Fat 2.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.5 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Total Sugars 2.6 g
Sodium 80.1 mg
Protein 10.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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