Vegan Cashew Cheese (yes, it is stupidly easy)

WARNING: This shiz is like crack, you will want more. You will dream about it and you will make it again and again. You will probably even want to roll it up and smoke it. It’s that good (I’ve never actually done crack or smoked cashew cheese, for the record).

Not only is this vegan cashew cheese delish times infinity, it’s super versatile so you can easily have a batch in your fridge at all times, use it many a different way and it will never get old and go bad from being ignored.

You can put it on pizza or crumble it on a big green salad.  Try it in a sandwich or use it in lasagna. Add in some maple syrup and strawberries and use it to fill your  gluten free crepes (hello perfect brunch). Use your imagination and get creative. Because creative is sexy.

This recipe is out of my second cookbook, Bold Vegan – Food for the Body and Soul. (click link to download a sample. Oh yes, the romance is back!)


vegan cashew cheese
Note* You will have to soak the cashews for at least 1 hour. You can soak them for up to 24 hours. The longer you soak them the more creamy they will become. If you don’t want to soak them for 24 hours, soaking them for an hour is totally sufficient.

Makes 1 cup (210g)
Soy free / gluten free


1 cup cashews (130g) soaked in 3 cups (709 ml) of water for at least 1 hour.
2 teaspoons lemon juice (10ml)
1/2 teaspoon salt (3g)
2 turns fresh black pepper
1/4 cup water (60ml)


  • Soak, drain and rinse cashews.

  • Place in a food processor, along with lemon juice, salt and black pepper.

  • Pulse for about 1 minute to combine ingredients.

  • Add water and process until completely smooth, about 2 -4 minutes.

  • Is it seriously that simple? Yes lovers, it is. xo


  • Turn off the food processor and scrape down the mixture from the sides a couple of times while processing (but be sure to turn off your food processor before you do this. Seems obvious but we’ve all had our blonde moments).

  • This is an awesome base recipe. From here, feel free to play around and add other yummy ingredients (Chives and garlic sound awesome to me!)

  • If all you have are roasted cashews, you can use them. The reason I use raw cashews is because they are most nutritious in their raw form.

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  1. Pooja says

    Stupidly easy and deliciously yummy.
    We barely get any vegan alternatives here in India. Not even mock-meat.
    It would be really kind and generous of you to post another main course recipe sans the mock meat. Or how to make soy/tofu taste like it 😉

    • says

      Glad you like it Pooja!
      We will keep posting yummy vegan recipes right here and I will definitely keep your request in mind about the mock meats!
      Be sure to sign up for our newsletters if you haven’t already!

      Cheers and yummy food :)

      • Rita says

        But technically all cashews are roasted, it’s required to remove them from shells. Some are just more roasted than the others. Thats pretty much the deal for all nuts, unless you grow them yourself.

  2. says

    I added 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to this, and it helped with the texture! keeps it nice and firm in the fridge. Also, I added garlic powder and herbs to make it seem like an herb and garlic cream cheese!

  3. Annabella SkinScrubs says

    I’ve made this just now and added 2 teaspoons of Olive Oil and some tomato garlic puree. It tastes gorgeous – perfect for pasta. This is a great base to make all kinds of things including soup! That’s my Autumn menu sorted!

  4. Monica SANCIO says

    Thank you.. I am making right it now! Then, I will probably post a video with some of my variations, giving you the credit for the original recipe ; )

    • says

      @0155e0ced7f5a95df474f40918cdca53:disqus cashews work best because they are the creamiest. However, if you are allergic you can try sunflower seeds but be sure to soak them for at least an hour. You could also try walnuts. If you use walnuts, you won’t have to soak them.

  5. Jeannie Christine Garcia says

    I put too much water – so the ideal solution would be to soak more cashews and blend it all together when they’re ready?

    • says

      Hi Jeannie -You got it. I would just add a little at a time until it has reached a good consistency. The consistency should be slightly thicker than ricotta.
      Let me know how it turns out!

    • says

      @margueritepatricia:disqus – I think a Vitamix would work , yes 😉
      Just make sure to pulse it instead of steady blending so that it doesn’t become too creamy.
      Let me know how it turns out!

  6. Grace55 says

    Just came across your recipe…I am allergic to citrus. Is the lemon necessary? If so, can you suggest an alternative. Thanks

    • says

      @disqus_GlZtMTRYRg:disqus – I have never used cashew meal for this recipe. Since cashew meal is more like a flour the texture will be softer. I recommend using cashews but you could give it a shot!
      Let me know how it turns out if you try it 😉

  7. HappyHippie says

    Has ANYONE tried this recipee with roasted cashews? Where i live raw nuts are reeaallyy expensive but roasted ones are on sale often, so i just brought a bunch :)

    • says

      @disqus_gRs13MHl1A:disqus – You can use roasted cashews. There are more health benefits if you use raw cashews but if you have a bunch of roasted cashews then I say, Use them up! Let me know how it turns out!

    • says

      @grace_neal:disqus – I have not calculated the nutritional info. I am generally against the traditional nutrition label because they do not include micronutrients (like phytochemicals), only macronutrients (like fat and protein) so it doesn’t give the whole picture.

  8. John McDerp says

    Seems good. I have to try it, for a vegan pizza :)

    I’m not much of a cook. Can I use a blender instead, or do it without technology?

    • says

      @johnmcderp:disqus – As long as you soak the cashews for at least an hour a blender will work :)
      I have put this on pizza and it is AMAZING!! Let me know how it turns out!

  9. John McDerp says

    Thanks :)

    Can I use a mixer instead? It turns out we don’t have a blender/food processor at home (I thought we do).

    • says

      @johnmcderp:disqus – I don’t think a hand mixer will work. You could give it a shot but I’m thinking that it will just mix the cashews around instead of blending them up.

  10. Theresa says

    Can you put this in polenta in place of the butter? Has anyone tried that? Sounds kind of good to me and it may give it that creamy texture. I’m having a dinner party Friday night and thinking about adding a little to my recipe.

    • says

      @disqus_VE6Lot7IQT:disqus – hi Theresa! I haven’t used this to replace butter but give it a shot! Experimenting is the best way to find out! Let me know how it turns out!

  11. Theresa says

    I will let you know. I’m having two other (non-vegan) couples over for dinner and I really want them to enjoy the food. Thx!

  12. Theresa says

    I just made a trial run replacing cashew cheese for butter in the polenta. It worked! Very creamy and it has the consistency of butter. I will use this for my dinner party. I’m very glad I found this site! Thank you.

  13. Simone says

    I have just made this and omg it’s amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this yummy recipe, I’m hooked! I put one clove of garlic and some chives in mine. Its so yummy with tomato on toast or on corn crackers!

  14. Sarah says

    I just made this and I love how it tastes like a mild cheddar! Trying to find a substitute for cheese has been one long terrifying path. I can make this and flavor it however I want for a fraction of the price. I split my batch in half and made a garlic variety using garlic olive oil and a hickory variety with Liquid Smoke. This is going to be a summer mainstay in my diet!

    • says

      @disqus_q85WvTIXtB:disqus – Hi Sarah! SO happy you like it! Wooooot. You are spot on with the different flavor ideas and I LOVE that you made two flavors out of one batch! Very crafty. xo

  15. John McDerp says


    It’s me again. We got a blender/food processor (it’s a 2 in 1), and I finally made the cashew vegan “cheese” :) I used 130 grams of cashew and followed everything. It tastes a lot like mashed potatoes though, but not exactly.

    It’s really nice. I made a pizza with it, and it is the first pizza I ever made by myself. Also it’s the first pizza I ate since I became a vegan (it was one of my favorite foods before that). I made some pictures!

    I put lots of ketchup underneath, red pepper, black pepper, savory, rosemary and some olives. I really wish I put tomatoes, but didn’t have any at the time. It became a little bit buff, but it tasted just like “real” pizza… only without the meat. I also used just about 1/4 of the “cheese” I made :)

    Thank you very much for this awesome recipe!

    • says

      @johnmcderp:disqus – Hi John. So happy to hear back from you! Thank you for the report. It’s funny that you say it tastes like mashed potatoes! I haven’t heard that one before! I am working on a nut cheese book. You can sign up here to get updates at the bottom of this recipe.

  16. LisaV22 says

    What did I do wrong? I followed instructions and used a food processor but it’s not blending and the consistency is small chunks of nuts (semi creamy) but definitely not blended enough. I even went longer then 5 minutes to get it to blend more. Help!

    • Abrodie says

      I had to mix up the concoction a bit throughout the blending process. I also soaked my cashews in hot water which I believe helped soften them up faster.

  17. Gloria says

    This is delicious! One question tho what should the consistency be? The picture looks like you can form a ball but mine turned out very soft And more creamy.

    • says

      Hi Gloria- So glad you like it! The consistency sort of depends on how long you soak the cashews. The longer you soak them, the creamier it will be. If you want it a little more firm, next time, add the water a bit at a time and stop when the desired consistency of reached :)

  18. elitan says

    Hi. Two things. First I made your cashew mixture. You’re right. Totally fantastic. I added some garlic and olive oil (and a little “nooch”) and used as Alfredo sauce on pasta. My 7 year old grandson loved it and has already asked for it again. Thank you. I’m not a vegan but have recently become lactose intolerant to the point where I can’t even eat butter. I’m Italian and the thought of living without cheese drives me crazy. This recipe has made me happy beyond belief. The other thing I really need to know is can I make this ahead in larger batches and freeze it? Also, how long can it store in the refrigerator? Again thank you for having “hope” again.

  19. CheekyBirds says

    I made the basic version of this today using an Omega juicer. I didn’t add water because I wanted it just a little thicker, and it’s so good it’s absolutely better than cream cheese. I love it, and I’m totally sick with envy of your site! Thanks for making your recipes so accessible and fun to read.

  20. Eva Vincent says

    Thank you for this recipe :)

    I’ve been looking for a simple ‘cheese’ recipe. This one is very tasty!! I saw people’s comments of using olive oil to make pasta sauce. I tried it & added Italian spices. It turned out great! :)

    I soaked the cashews for 2hrs and added a little more water in the blender to make it creamier.

  21. Jared Letterman says

    So I tried this recipe a few months ago. Although delicious, it definitely didn’t remind me of cheese. I guess I can understand how people can use this to get kind of the consistency as cheese balls (the ones usually with nuts around them), or simply substitute one addiction for another. However, when I made this, it definitely didn’t taste anything like cheese. Still, it’s good, and I make a lot of it as-is.

    The reason why I found this website is because I someday want to go vegan. I’m making small steps. However, to make this more cheese like, I added 2 tbsp of milk, and 1 tsp of salt. It’s incredible how much cheese like it is now with just a little milk. However, it’s still not cheese. All my vegan friends are really impressed when I tell them it’s not cheese. They began to order jars of this stuff, and honestly, it’s been taking a lot of my free time to complete all orders. I call it Nut So Cheesy After All. :) Cheers.

  22. says

    Oh so excited. Our local coop had a pre-packaged variety with Habanero mixed in, and it was wonderful. I can’t find it in the store any longer so I am excited to see an easy recipe to start to play with…I do still crave that product and find my self roaming the aisles in hopes it appears again. But now I can try it at home.

    Thank you


    • says

      Update: Just made this. Like others I altered half of it and made it into a dip for vegetables. Awesome. The rest I left plain. It feels like cheese in but doesn’t really taste like cheese. Maybe tomorrow. It’s good nonetheless. Thanks again.

  23. Evin says

    First attempt at cashew cheese with this recipe today. Pure success!!!! My vegan roommate and I both approve! Incredible! Thanks for the recipe!

  24. Sue says

    I just finished making another recipe for cashew cheese, and went online to see if I can freeze it. That is how I found your site.

    The other recipe added nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, garlic and dijon mustard, to your recipe. It is very good, but more like a dip because of the flavors.

    I am going to make your recipe next time! The only thing I might add is the nutritional yeast, for that cheesy flavor.

    So glad that I found your site! I have signed up for your newsletter. I’m a new (4 months now) salmontarian (that’s pescatarian who only eats wild-caught salmon) who would like to be vegan some day.

    Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  25. allison says

    hello – i just made this and its very tasty! only thing is the consistency isnt what i wanted, it still has bits of cashew in it – i was hoping it would be a creamy spread like hummus. i used a vitamix that is practically brand new so it cant be that the blades are dull. i also soaked my cashews overnight in the fridge. should i have soaked them on the counter instead? is it ok to leave them out on the counter soaking overnight if covered? thank you!! very tasty though

    • Molly Patrick says

      Hey Allison – Yup, soaking them in the fridge could be the hiccup.
      It’s much better to leave them soaking out on the counter overnight, that way the water can really soak into the cashews and it will lead to a creamy texture when blended.
      Let me know when you try it next time!

  26. Ashleigh Armstrong says

    How do you make a pizza w this? Isnt it creamy. Please let me know. New to vegan and hav no idea how this can go on pizza. Does ir melt? Or do u spread it on after cooked? Confused

    • Molly Patrick says

      Hey Ashleigh –
      Think will be the texture of ricotta cheese.
      It is delish on pizza, but it doesn’t melt, so keep that in mind.
      Use it on pizza as you would regular cheese. Put the sauce, the toppings, and then dollop the cashew cheese on top of everything and spread on as best you can. And then bake!
      It’s not the same as melty cheese, but it’s still super tasty.



  27. Toni says

    I just made this. I have to say it was easy, delicious and better than any vegan cheese I’ve bought! My grandson was over, tried it and loved it too! Thanks for sharing😊

  28. Rhiannon says

    I love this!! Just made it and it was so delicious I had to stop myself eating it by the spoonful straight from the blender! It’s by far the nicest vegan cheese I’ve had so far. Thank you!

    I’m already excited to see what new flavours I can add to it next time I make it – I’m thinking a little sun dried tomato paste would be nice…

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