Vegan Cashew Cheese

June 9, 2019   13 Comments

Vegan cashew cheese is so easy to make and a great alternative to actual cheese.

Vegan Cashew Cheese

I have played with making substitutes for dairy cheese and many of my attempts have not been successful. I will say that I love my alfredo cauliflower sauce but it uses dairy to get the creaminess to work (but not cheese).

Cheese, made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk is hard to emulate. I have tried soy cheese and other non-dairy alternatives and they really aren’t cheese. I know vegans who love the stuff but I would have a very hard time giving up dairy cheese.

This vegan cashew cheese is simply cashews, lemon juice, and pepper. You really could call it lemon, cashew butter (but then you wouldn’t want to try to make it).

The first time I tried this cheese, I was in a vegan cafe with my daughter. I was curious if it would be a delicious choice for breakfast as they served it on whole grain toast.

Think of it as a different version of the famous avocado toast. It was really good and I decided to find out where I could buy vegan cashew cheese (nowhere).

Honestly, why would you buy it?

I did look for raw cashews because my initial recipe used them BUT I couldn’t find them in the regular stores (and I hate telling my readers to go to Whole Foods). I did find a huge container of unsalted, roasted cashews at Target.

This recipe takes a little planning because you must soak the cashews to make them pliable for the food processor but once you do it - this recipe is ridiculousy easy.

I would not say this is a strong tasting form of cheese. Think of it like a cream cheese or a ricotta. Add fresh herbs to it and you will have a delightful combination and no animals were involved except you.

Spread it on toast or crackers, dip veggies in it, or put it in a sandwich with some lettuce.

Have you tried to make vegan cashew cheese? What do you think of the idea?

Vegan Cashew Cheese Recipe

1.7 from 22 reviews

Makes 1 cup

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1 cup roasted cashews (unsalted)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
1/4 cup water


Soak cashews in 3 cups water for 1 hour or overnight. Drain the cashews and put them in a food processor with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and water. Blend until smooth about 2 minutes. Store in an airtight container or freeze. Good for one week.

Nutrition Facts

For two tablespoons = 98 calories, 7.9 g fat, 1.6 g saturated fat, 5.6 g carbohydrates, 1 g sugar, 2.6 g protein, 0.5 g fiber, 150 mg sodium, 3 Freestyle SmartPts

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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Thanks so much for this recipe. It’s one of the easiest ones that I’ve seen and I have many cashew or almond cheese recipes. There are some good ones out there for baked/sliceable nut cheese too. I’d much rather make healthier vegan cheese than buy the processed ones although there are some great ones out there. Kite Hill makes a pretty healthy one and Miyokos and Violife are great too but they’re all a bit pricey.

Try adding a little nutritional yeast if you like it cheesier.

My daughter is vegan and she is allergic to cashews. It's hard to find a "cheesy" or "creamy" recipe without cashews. I did see a post where someone said to use sunflower seeds in place of the cashews. What do you think?

By the way, I love your posts!

I second adding the nutritional yeast to it. We make a vegan parmesan cheese. It has cashews, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and sea salt. You do not have to pre-soak the cashews. You simply Blended up in your food processor until it looks like parmesan cheese. Voila! Give it a try you might like it.

Aldi has large containers of roasted unsalted cashews for reasonable prices - least expensive of any I've seen. I bought a container last week for my son - but gave the entire thing to him - maybe next time I'll get one for me and try this recipe. I like 'different' things :)

Does anyone know--can this be done in a blender? I don't have a food processor.

Lisa, healthy ‘’cheese’’ is the bane of a wfpb-sos way of eating. The biggest challenge is also flooding the internet with recipes. We [4 of us] are loving the ‘’nacho cheddar sauce’’ created in my test kitchen, as it is now dubbed, for months now. When its healthy fat, vegetables and spices, its ok to pig out! We’ve used it on baked taters, mac ’n cheese, tortilla chips, etc. -yum! Recipe below. Also, last week my son made this herbed cream cheese to die for.…. This makes a lot but the guys loved it so quantity was no problem. I’ll be trying yours because its much simpler! I have found that a hi-speed blender negates the need to soak cashews. This type blender pays for itself very quickly, I think. Also raw cashews are available on Amazon but my daughter buys them now at Costco. OK, here is my family-rated 5star nacho ‘’cheese’’ recipe: 2 med potatoes, peeled chopped, 1 peeled carrot, chopped, 1/4 chopped onion, Simmer covered, til tender, to retain 2c water level. Into blender, put 1/2c cashews, 1 cup veg water, Cooked vegs, [save all water for later use], 1 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp each turmeric, Mustard powder, 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice—try more. Whirr to make magic, I’m not kidding. I have found Ume Plum vinegar makes better cheddar flavor than just lemon. Add more veg water if needed. Sauce firms up in fridge and I use it cold on my chili.

We call it "cashew butter" because the word "cheese" is misleading.

Kim yes you can use sunflower seeds. You can even use white beans. I also use nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor.

Thank you Sue!!! I never thought about using white beans!

Can raw cashews be used instead of roasted ones?

The recipe reads 1/2 lemon juice. do you mean 1/2 whole lemon or 1/2 t or 1/2 tbls?


Carlos, it's a 1/2 of one lemon.

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