This vegan cheese recipe is delicious, satisfying and perfect for topping on homemade pizzas, salads and more. Many vegan cheese recipes require a dehydrator, not mine. Just a few simple ingredients and your vegan cheese will be ready to enjoy.
Value of Making Homemade Vegan Cheese Recipe
As someone who cooks every single day, I always factor in the time-to-taste ratio of any recipe before I begin. In other words, the longer I spend making a recipe, the better I expect it to taste!
But not only does this vegan cheese recipe take less than 10 minutes of hands on time to prepare, it seriously tastes good. Better than good actually. It’s downright delicious. And unlike most other homemade dairy-free vegan cheese recipes, you won’t need a dehydrator.
How to Choose the Best Vegan Cheese
If you have our Clean Cuisine book then you already know I am not a fan of “fake” foods. I don’t support artificial sweeteners, diet sodas or low fat, low calorie or low carb versions of the real foods. And I have never been a fan of counterfeit cheese either. So while I would not consider myself a connoisseur of dairy-free cheeses, the vast majority of ones I have tried do not taste good. To date, the only two vegan cheese brands I like are Kite Hill and Dr. Cow.
Like my vegan cheese recipe below, both Kite Hill and Dr. Cow are nut-based “cheeses” made without oil, fillers or funky additives. But other than those two brands, the other vegan cheeses I have tried are not only unpalatable, they aren’t even healthy!
Vegan Cheeses to Avoid
Unless it’s a nut-based cheese with limited ingredients like Dr. Cow and Kite Hill, I would recommend avoiding them. For example, Daiya Foods brand “Cheddar Style Shreds” contains the following ingredients listed below:
Ingredients: Filtered water, tapioca flour, expeller pressed non-GMO canola and/or safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, inactive yeast, vegan natural flavours, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, yeast extract, citric acid (vegan, for flavour), annatto (for colour), titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral).
If I had to eat a vegan cheese with the ingredients listed above I would rather just skip it altogether. And speaking of skipping out on cheese, let’s face it: giving up cheese is hard to do!
But let’s get back to the vegan cheese recipe. If you take a look at the ingredients in the recipe below and compare them with the ingredients in the Daiya Foods brand above, you will see a HUGE difference. The ingredients in the homespun vegan cheese recipe are all unrefined REAL food ingredients, which means the end result tastes REAL. It doesn’t have a funky, phony aftertaste and it doesn’t taste like a “wannabe” food either.
A Word About the Vegan Cheese Recipe Ingredients
Now I’m not going to stretch the truth and claim my vegan cheese recipe tastes just like the real deal. But because it is made with macadamia nuts, it has the rich and full-fat “mouth-feel” you would get from the real thing. And the non-fortified nutritional yeast adds the much-sought-after umami savory flavor real cheese delivers.
Selecting Non-Fortified Nutritional Yeast
One important thing to keep in mind with the nutritional yeast though is that you want to make sure you get a non-fortified brand, such as Sari Foods. Most would assume that fortified nutritional yeast would be the most nutritious choice. However, in reality fortified versions are full of synthetic nutrients, which are not metabolized or utilized by your body in the same manner as naturally-occurring nutrients.
Fortified versions also don’t taste nearly as good as the non-fortified versions. It is not uncommon for me to hear someone say they tried nutritional yeast before but hated the taste. However, nine times out of ten its because they tried a fortified version.
My favorite brand of non-fortified nutritional yeast and the one I use in the vegan cheese recipe is Sari Foods brand. Watch the video in this link to learn more about the benefits of non-fortified nutritional yeast over fortified versions.
How to Use this Vegan Cheese Recipe
First of all, don’t expect the vegan cheese recipe to melt. It won’t melt. Our recipe is most similar to feta cheese in that it is soft with the full-fat “mouth-feel” described above. Instead of being creamy like many other cheeses, it is crumbly in texture. If you have ever had homemade Vegan Parmesan Cheese made with cashews, my version is softer, clumpier and a bit richer tasting.
I realize the clumpy part might not sound good, but it is clumpy in a good kind of way—again, similar to feta cheese.
Even though it won’t melt, there are plenty of ways to put your vegan cheese recipe to good use, including:
- Put it on Homemade Pizza
- Crumble it on a big Chopped Salads
- Add it to Baked Potatoes
- Sprinkle it on Tomato Salad
- Scatter it on top of Black Bean Soup
- Use it on top of Zucchini Noodles (pairs especially well with olives and sundried tomatoes)
- With a Fruit and Nut Plate
Vegan Cheese Recipe
Vegan Cheese Recipe is super easy nut-based recipe to make (no dehydrator necessary) and has a delicious flavor and rich texture.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
- 2 cups raw macadamia nuts
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vegan nutritional yeast, such as Bob’s Red Mill
- 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
- 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, we love this 100% ceramic non-toxic stoneware.
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined.
- Using your hands, crumble the mixture onto the parchment paper. Transfer mixture to oven and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes.
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Vegan cheese recipe will keep for up to a week if stored in covered container and refrigerated.
Sunday 7th of November 2021
Could I use this cheese in a Mac & Cheese? If so, would I need to double the recipe?
Aimee Harris Niedosik
Monday 8th of November 2021
Hi Deb -- this cheese does not melt, just tastes like cheese. It would be better for adding to pizza for a cheesey flavor, on top of chilis or even for salads. If you're looking for a great healthy mac and cheese that's dairy free -- try this butternut squash recipe: https://cleancuisine.com/healthy-mac-and-cheese/ using nutritional yeast and creamy squash!