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How to make easy homemade Cashew Cheese

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Vegan homemade cashew cheese is one of the best vegan cheeses out there (in my humble opinion). Cashew cheese is amazing as a healthy snack spread with crackers, as a creamy pasta sauce, on salad and it’s so good as a melty cheese in sandwiches. It’s the best vegan cheese and it’s so versatile. You can flavor it in any way you like, and add herbs, chili, or garlic to change up the flavors.

Making vegan cheese is actually a lot easier than it seems at first. It’s one of those things that sound daunting but actually ends up being easy and straightforward. 

I like to add nutritional yeast to my vegan cheese to really bring out the cheesy flavors, but you can just leave that out if you prefer. 

This cashew cheese recipe has a thick, creamy almost cream cheese-like texture and can be seasoned with fresh herbs, garlic, and anything your heart desires. 

What’s great about this vegan cashew cheese recipe

  • It’s easy to make
  • Can be seasoned exactly how you like it
  • Quick to make 
  • Great cheesy texture
  • Healthy and loaded with nutrients (especially if you use nutritional yeast in the recipe)
  • Vegan, gluten-free, and soy free

Tools needed to make the best easy vegan cashew cheese 

A bowl – you need a bowl to soak the raw cashews overnight to make them soft and creamy when they’re chopped in the food processor.

Food processor – I like to use a food processor to make the best spreadable cream cheese like cashew cheese. It’s just the right consistency to spread onto crackers when the cashew cheese is made in a food processor. 

Note: you can make cashew cheese in a high-speed blender but you may need to add more liquid to make the blender blend properly. 

Tips to make the best creamy cashew cheese spread 

Use raw cashews – you need to use raw unsalted cashews and let them soak in water for at least 2 hours or even better overnight to soften the nuts and make them ready to blend.

Give it time – when you’re blending nuts in a food processor it takes a little time for the texture to become creamy. Stop regularly to scrape the sides down before continuing to process. It should take 3-5 minutes for the cashew cheese to reach the right cream cheese consistency.

Add seasoning – use your favorite herbs and seasonings to give your cashew cheese extra flavor. Dried oregano, sea salt, and black pepper are just one of the many tasty flavor combinations you can try. 

Add-ins and ingredients to spice up your cashew cream cheese spread

What seasoning should I add to my cashew cheese? You may be wondering. All your favorites! 

You can add any seasoning or flavoring you like. Make it a spicy chili cheese or a tasty herb de Provence-style spread. I like to add dried oregano, minced garlic, and sometimes even chili flakes to give my cheese extra flavor… of course, I always make sure to add nutritional yeast to boost the cheesiness and add extra nutrients. 

Once you have made this go-to basic cashew cheese recipe you can begin to get creative and add extra flavors and seasonings. Make it a fresh French-style cheese by adding chopped chives, dill, garlic, and oregano, or give it a little heat by adding chili flakes, garlic, and paprika. 

5 Homemade cheese seasonings everyone loves 

Dried cranberries, garlic, and parsley – mince the garlic and chop the parsley and dried cranberries. Stir the mixture into the cashew cheese until everything is combined.

Lemon zest, sea salt, rosemary, and garlic – mince or finely chop the garlic and rosemary. Add the lemon zest, garlic, sea salt, and rosemary to the cashew cheese and combine.

Smoked paprika, tomato paste, and basil – chop the basil (or use dried basil) and combine all the seasonings with the creamy cashew spread. 

Sun-dried tomatoes, basil, sea salt, and garlic – chop the sun-dried tomatoes and basil and mince the garlic. Mix the seasonings with the cashew spread until everything is completely combined.

Olives, garlic, and herb de Provence – chop the olives and garlic finely and mix them with the cashew cheese along with the herb de Provence.

Is vegan cashew cheese healthy?

Yes. Cashews are rich in nutrients in itself and with the added nutritional yeast you get a cheese with lots of health benefits like:

  • Rich in Vitamin B
  • Good source of Calcium
  • Contains lots of protein
  • Good source of Zinc
  • Contains Vitamin K
  • Good source of Magnesium and Manganese
  • Lots of fiber
  • No saturated fats
  • Lowers risk of heart disease

What was working with 

Ingredients to make easy vegan cashew cream cheese 

Raw cashews – raw cashews make the base of this creamy cashew cheese. Soak the cashews in water for 2-24 hours and blend them into creamy cheese in a food processor.

Water – water is crucial to getting the right creamy cheese consistency. Add water a little at a time until the cheese has the desired consistency. Add more water if needed.

Nutritional yeast – adding nutritional yeast is optional but highly recommended. The nutritional yeast adds a rich cheese flavor that’s irresistibly good…plus, nutritional yeast is full of nutrients and vitamins, like vitamin B and more. 

Seasoning – you can add any seasoning you like to your cashew cheese 

How to make vegan homemade cashew cheese step-by-step guide 

  • Soak the raw cashew nuts in water for at least 2 hours. If you’re in a hurry, you can soak them in water overnight and they will be ready to cook in the morning.
  • Drain the water from the cashews and pour the cashews into a food processor along with the minced garlic, nutritional yeast, white wine vinegar, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Pulse until the cashews are completely blended. Scrape down the sides in between blending.
  • Next, add water and pulse until the cashews are creamy and thick. Pour the cashew cheese into a covered container and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.

Easy way to make this cashew cheese into a vegan cheese sauce

  • Soak the raw cashew nuts in water for at least 2 hours. If you’re in a hurry, you can soak them in water overnight and they will be ready to cook in the morning.
  • Drain the water from the cashews and pour the cashews into a food processor along with the minced garlic, nutritional yeast, white wine vinegar, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Pulse until the cashews are completely blended. Scrape down the sides in between blending.
  • Next, add water and pulse until the cashews are creamy and thick. Now, add 1 cup (240ml) of plant milk (can be cashew milk or your preferred dairy-free milk) and pulse until the sauce is light and creamy. 

How to use vegan cashew cheese

You can use vegan cashew cheese in sandwiches, tortillas, quesadillas, and even in vegan queso dips. There are a lot of ways to use it, so don’t be afraid to get creative.

What to serve with cashew cheese and how to use it

FAQs – all your cashew cheese questions answered

How to store cashew cheese

Cashew cheese should be stored in a clean sealed airtight container in the refrigerator.

How long will cashew cheese spread keep in the refrigerator?

Vegan cashew cheese will keep for up to 5 days stored in a clean container in the refrigerator. Sometimes they are best eaten before you reach the 5 days mark. It depends on the batch of cashews and the natural bacteria that develops from the seasoning.

Can I freeze cashew cheese?

Yes! Cashew cheese is great frozen, making it a good meal prep option. Make extra cheese and freeze the leftovers in batches for easy thawing later. 
Having vegan cashew cheese ready and waiting in the freezer makes it easy to grab a batch and make a creamy pasta sauce in minutes, or have a healthy spread ready to put on sandwiches, enchiladas, and quesadillas. Or to just satisfy your snack cravings with a tasty cashew cheese and a pack of crackers. Yum!

How many calories are in cashew cheese?

There are just around 70 calories per serving (1 serving equals 1 large topped tablespoon).

Vegan Cashew Cheese

This delicious vegan cashew cheese is incredibly easy to make and goes well with everything. Made with cashew nuts, garlic, vinegar and lots of spices, it's rich, creamy and a complete crowd pleaser.
Course Vegan
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan cheese
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Raw Unsalted Cashew Nuts
  • 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 large clove Garlic Minced
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 2 tsp Dried Thyme
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of Pepper
  • ¼ cup Water add more if needed

Instructions

  • Soak the raw cashew nuts in water for at least 2 hours. If you’re in a hurry, you can soak them in water overnight and they will be ready to cook in the morning.
  • Drain the water from the cashews and pour the cashews into a food processor along with the minced garlic, nutritional yeast, white vine vinegar, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt and pepper.
    Pulse until the cashews are completely blended. Scrape down the sides in between blending.
  • Next, add water and pulse until the cashews are creamy and thick. 
    Pour the cashew cheese into a covered container and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.

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