Easy Vegan Cashew Cheese

Cashew cheese has been something I’ve wanted to try ever since I went vegan! I thought my cheese days were behind me when I made the transition to veganism, but a friend told me about this amazing vegan cashew cheese she’d had while out, and I instantly made it a mission of mine to go out and try it for myself!

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Needless to say I loved it, and since then I’d been looking for a recipe for cashew cheese that wasn’t too complicated and I could whip up at home myself! (so I could enjoy it whenever I liked!). This recipe is so simple, requiring only 8 ingredients! The method is very basic as well: just soak the cashews, blend with seasonings, wrap in a cheesecloth to absorb excess liquid, and chill in the fridge – then it’s ready to go! I found this recipe from the Minimalist Baker, and has been my go-to ever since.

Once it’s finished, I like to coat it in fresh dill from my garden, it’s seriously delish, and so flavourful!

This cheese is everything you could ask for:

Creamy
Soft
Cheesy
& Entirely delicious

Just something to keep in mind; this cheese is best kept chilled. It does do well for a couple of hours out of the fridge, and will keep up to a week when properly stored (i.e. airtight container, chilled), so there’s no need to eat it all at once (though no one will judge you if you do – I’ve done it on countless occasions).

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This cheese goes well with almost everything – dollop it on soups, add it to salads, pastas and everything in between. Spread it on crackers, vegetables, even sandwiches. Use it as an extra zing for nourish bowls. You can’t go wrong with it.

Before we jump right into learning how to make this deliciously creamy cashew cheese – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs and tips I share!

If you want to make and share, please tag me on Instagram @simplynaturalnessa or use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa! I’d love to know how it went for you! It’s so wonderful to see your creations and recipes!

Garlic & Herb Cashew Cheese

This gooey, creamy cheese is infused with garlic, dill, and lemon to give it a powerhouse of flavours, and has nutritional yeast for that extra cheesy flavour. It’s everything you could ever want in a cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (plus more to taste)
  • 1 medium lemon, zested
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp finely minced fresh dill (for serving)

Method:

  1. Place cashews in a bowl and cover with cool water. Cover with reusable wax wrap and keep in the fridge to soak for 12 hours*. If you aren’t able to use them right away, just drain, place back in bowl, and cover with wax wrap until ready to use. They’ll keep in the fridge for 24-36 hours.
  2. Once soaked, drain the cashews thoroughly and add to food processor. Add minced garlic, garlic powder, lemon zest, lemon juice, water (starting with 1/2 cup & working your way up if needed), nutritional yeast, salt and olive oil.

cashew cheese

3. Process until very creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides and adding additional water as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

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4. Place a fine mesh strainer (or colander) over a large mixing bowl, and lay down two layers of cheesecloth.

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5. Scoop out all cheese over the cheesecloth, then gather the corners and twist the top gently to form the cheese into a “disc.” Secure with a rubber band.
6. Place in the fridge to set for at least 6 hours, preferably 12, or until excess moisture has gone, and it holds its form when removed from the cheesecloth.
7. To serve, unwrap from cheesecloth and gently place onto a serving platter. You may need to reform it a little with your hands or a cheesecloth, then coat with chopped herbs and a bit more lemon zest (this is optional).
8. The cheese will hold its form for 1-2 hours out of the fridge, but it’s best when chilled. Leftovers will keep well covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Enjoy!! XO

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Notes:

*If you’re in a hurry, you can quickly soak the cashews by covering them with boiling hot water and letting them soak for 1.5 hours. Drain and proceed with the rest of the recipe. However, soaking them for the 12 hours is best because the cashews slowly soften rather than being shocked, producing a softer, creamier cheese.

*The recipe calls for both garlic powder & fresh garlic because they offer different flavours (dried is more intense & fragrant, while fresh is more intense & spicy). Using both helps to balance out the flavours.

For a live run-through of how I make this cashew cheese, see my video tutorial below!

Recipe adapted from the Minimalist Baker.

Please let me know how this cheese turns out for you in the comments! If you’re looking for more homemade healthy sauces or dips, feel free to have a look at my hummus or avocado dip recipe. Or, try your hand at making cashew nut milk! It’s deliciously creamy.

Did You Try This Recipe?

Let me know how it went! Comment below and if you share a picture on Instagram, please tag me @simplynaturalnessa and use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa.

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa