Vegan Cashew Cheese (yes, it is stupidly easy) – Whole Food Plant Based


If you have read about my passionate love affair with coffee, then you know my desires for food and beverage run deep. However, nothing compares to my lifelong, insatiable infatuation with cheese. I’m talkin’ full fat, dairy laden, cheese of all kinds and in any form.

I used to crave cheese like a lover craves a caress.

I grated it, sprinkled it, melted it, savored it, and dreamed about it.

I needed cheese like a baby needs a teat.

It was seemingly the one thing that kept tripping me up every time I tried to move into a plant based way of eating. I seriously tried to lay off the cheese because as much as I loved it, cheese did not love me back.

In fact, for me, dairy cheese induced headaches, kept me bloated, gassy, and in a full-on IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) flare. I knew this, but still, I needed that taste, that comfort, that high of creamy cheesiness.

For years, I worshipped at the golden altar of cheese like the gassy, unrepentant sinner I was.

And then…

I blindly stumbled into the world of Clean Food Dirty Girl, the plant based meal plans, and the pure, plant-powered pleasure that is homemade vegan cashew cheese.

This recipe was stupidly easy and I was totally knocked out, knocked up, and knocked down with the first blissful bite!

Once I regained consciousness, stopped writhing in pleasure, and moaning in ecstasy, I was shocked to realize that only five ingredients came together to create such mouthgasmic majesty. In fact, I was suddenly so inspired to see what else I could do with this mind-blowing vegan cashew cheese!

I became a madwoman in the kitchen and took this basic recipe for vegan cashew cheese and used it on Plant Based Pizzas, crumbled it in Big Ass Salads, spread it on Plant Powered Sandwiches, stuffed it in Lasagna, put it on toasted bread with fresh tomatoes and basil, and plopped it on top of Creamy Broccoli Soup, and Roasted Kabocha Squash. 

But my most favorite thing of all was the day I discovered the recipe for Plant Based Smoky Ranch Cheeseball. Oh my heavens! It was a spruced up vegan cashew cheese, and after it chilled, I grabbed a box of crackers, a knife, a good book and retreated to my couch for a rollicking good time. 

I love that I’ve been able to completely transition to a Dirty plant based way of eating and kiss my addiction to dairy cheese goodbye.

Now, every time I face dive into a plant-powered cheesy sauce, or gobble up a grilled cashew cheese sandwich, or belly flop into a bowl of French onion soup with cashew cheesy croutons, I feel good about my choices, and my body thanks me with fabulous health and thundering mouthgasms of flavor.

If you’ve never tried vegan cashew cheese before you are in for a treat. Here’s a super easy, super versatile recipe that will delight your taste buds and help you move closer to a plant based way of eating.


P.S. – Don’t forget to join our private Facebook group. It’s THE best and most supportive Facebook group out there.

Vegan Cashew Cheese

Makes 1 cup (210 g)
Author: Molly Patrick


  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water at least 1 hour (130 g)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (10 ml)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (3 g)
  • 1 pinch black pepper (2 turns, or to taste)
  • ¼ cup water (60 ml)
  • homemade crackers for serving (optional) (see Notes for recipe)


  • 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. Turn off the food processor and scrape the mixture from the sides a couple of times while processing.
  • Is it seriously that simple? Yes lovers, it is.


  • Soaking the cashews allows them to be processed into a creamy texture. Soak the cashews for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. The longer you soak them the creamier they will become. Pro tip: you can soak the cashews ahead of time and freeze for quick access later.
  • This is an awesome vegan cashew cheese 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, but it may change the flavor.
  • Our cashew cheese is pictured with these easy-to-make oil-free crackers.
  • Check out our Plant Based Charcuterie Board Inspiration post for fun ideas on how to use this recipe

You can find a tons of delicious creamy vegan cheese sauces when you sign up for our super tasty meal plans.

Get a weekly dose of inspiration to eat more plants and celebrate imperfection

Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. Pooja on May 21, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    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 😉

    • Molly on May 24, 2013 at 6:41 am

      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 🙂

      • Judith on July 5, 2016 at 5:24 am

        Made this for a vegan lady who came to stay. Really simple to make. Was so good I will make it for my family even after she is gone!

        • Molly Patrick on July 5, 2016 at 6:28 am

          This is awesome, Judith!
          SO happy it was a hit.

      • Laura D Piquette on April 11, 2019 at 12:50 am

        So adding it like cassien is a vegan creamer?

        • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on April 11, 2019 at 10:32 am

          Hi Laura – I do not think this would work well as a vegan creamer because it will separate and be tiny pieces of cashews in your coffee or tea. If you make it, you could try it as a test but I would plan to eat it as a spread. Thanks for stopping by. ~Karen

        • CARRIE Choong on May 26, 2021 at 2:11 am

          You would need to make nut milk byadding more water then you strain the.water after blending. The water part is your nut.milk. I have seen recipes.where you do this to make the nut cheese, making it a no.waste food?

    • Namita on June 8, 2016 at 5:40 am

      I’m a vegan from India, it’s pretty darn difficult when I’m at college in the hostel to maintain a vegan diet, but when I’m home and cooking, it’s definitely easier, though still relatively hard. I intend to chronicle my meals on instagram for the next two months, if you wish you can follow me at platetoplateblog

    • Kenji Fuse on July 15, 2016 at 3:58 pm

      Here’s my tofu bacon recipe:

      -[Smoked] Extra firm tofu (smoked is the best, as firm as possible)
      -2 cups water with a lot of salt in it (very salty to the taste)
      -frying oil

      1. Slice the tofu into thin pieces
      2. Put in salted water so all the pieces are covered (add more salt water as necessary). Put somewhere cool like a fridge for at least an hour; overnight is good.
      3. Drain water from tofu and pat dry with a clean towel.
      4. Heat a generous amount of oil in a large frying pan.
      5. Fry tofu slices until they start to get browned, or until brown if you like your bacon extra crispy.
      6. I eat them straight as a hangover sure, or they are awesome on an English Muffin with a touch of mustard and a pinch of black salt (to give the eggy taste – for us recent vegans who still miss various tastes). Enjoy!

    • Rose on March 26, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Pooja , can you get wheat gluten where you live? Seitan is a fabulously simple mock meat:

    • J Barge on October 18, 2018 at 9:58 am

      I’m extremely new to vegan/alkaline eating. I recently tried vegan chicken with an orange sauce by The Electric Cupboard. OMG, so delicious. The chicken is actually oyster mushroom. It’s a Must try!!! Hope this help. Haven’t tried the vegan chicken wings yet( it using wheat gluten, that you shape like chicken wings)

      • Susan on December 15, 2018 at 4:41 am

        Can you provide the recipe

  2. Kitty on June 12, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    would this be unroasted cashews?????

    • Molly on June 13, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Kitty,

      Yes, I used cashews that were not roasted 🙂

      • Rita on September 28, 2013 at 10:02 pm

        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.

      • Preethi on June 4, 2021 at 2:04 am

        Can this cheese be stored in the refrigerator? For how long?

        • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on June 4, 2021 at 12:52 pm

          Hi Preethi! Our recipes are typically designed for use within a 5-6 day period. Some find cashew cheese recipes last longer, but it really depends on a number of factors. If you aren’t planning to consume in that time frame, you can certainly freeze for later. Enjoy! ~Katie

  3. Kathleen Bandaruk on June 26, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe with us, I just blogged about it on my blog. It was delish!

    • Molly on June 27, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Awesome sauce! Thanks for letting us know 🙂

  4. Silvana on July 24, 2013 at 12:09 am

    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!

    • Bold Vegan on August 6, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      Good to know Silvana. I bet the garlic and herbs made it divine!

    • Catrina on August 24, 2017 at 6:34 am

      Just made this according to your directions, turned out to be a watery paste. Maybe next time I will skip the add water part. Looked plenty cheese like to me at that stage.

      • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on August 24, 2017 at 9:40 am

        Hi Catrina!

        Eek! Assuming you added the coconut oil that Silvana suggested. I would think it should firm up in the fridge and you might be able to save it. If you check out other recipes on the blog, you’ll see that CFDG recipes are designed to be oil free. Thanks for reading the blog and sharing your experience!

        Team Dirty Girl

    • CHIGOZIRI NWACHUKU on April 5, 2020 at 8:58 pm

      What herbs did you use?

  5. Annabella SkinScrubs on August 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    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!

    • Bold Vegan on August 26, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Thank you for letting us know. Glad it worked out and you like it!

  6. toni on September 9, 2013 at 1:40 am

    How do you get it to the state where it can crumble?

    • mollympatrick on October 9, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      Hi Toni – If you want it crumbly, try adding less water. Let me know how it turns out!

  7. notcheese on September 14, 2013 at 5:44 am

    This is not cheese

    • Molly on December 19, 2013 at 8:31 am

      Exactly the point lol.

    • Matt on December 19, 2013 at 10:59 am

      great detective work

    • Cass on March 20, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      I know! That’s the best part!

    • Brieana on March 27, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Hello, notcheese! Nice to meet you!

  8. Monica SANCIO on October 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    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 ; )

    • Bold Vegan on October 3, 2013 at 11:58 pm

      @monicasancio:disqus it would be cool to see your video. Thanks for the comment =)

  9. kristen on November 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    what other nut can I use beside cashews?

    • Bold Vegan on November 14, 2013 at 3:17 am

      @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.

  10. Lucifer San on December 10, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Adding nutritional yeast will give it a more cheese-like taste. just a suggestion. 🙂

    • mollympatrick on December 11, 2013 at 8:23 am

      Thanks for the suggestion! I love nooch! It does make things cheesy 🙂

  11. Jeannie Christine Garcia on January 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm

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

    • mollympatrick on January 9, 2014 at 9:08 am

      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!

  12. Marguerite Patricia on January 21, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Do you think using a Vitamix blender would work in lieu of a food processor?

    • mollympatrick on January 21, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      @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!

  13. Grace55 on January 30, 2014 at 3:18 pm

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

    • Molly Patrick on January 30, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      Hi Grace –
      Swap out the lemon juice with Apple Cider Vinegar 🙂 Let me know how it goes.

      • Carolyn on April 20, 2017 at 9:42 pm

        I’m having the same problem; I cannot eat citrus, hence the lemon juice is out for me. Can I use fresh pineapple juice instead?

        • Clean Food Dirty Girl on April 21, 2017 at 7:00 am

          Hi Carolyn, it won’t taste quite the same, but you can give it a try! 😉

          Team Dirty Girl

  14. Linda Sanchez on February 4, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    would cashew meal work? that’s all I have available now.

    • Molly Patrick on February 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      @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 😉

  15. HappyHippie on March 4, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    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 🙂

    • Molly Patrick on March 5, 2014 at 11:18 am

      @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!

    • Anne on March 28, 2018 at 11:26 am

      If there is a Costco near you, you can buy organic raw cashews there.

  16. Grace Neal on March 5, 2014 at 5:22 am

    is there a spot to find nutritional info??

    • Molly Patrick on March 5, 2014 at 11:26 am

      @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.

  17. John McDerp on March 20, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    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?

    • Molly Patrick on March 21, 2014 at 10:55 am

      @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!

  18. John McDerp on March 21, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Thanks 🙂

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

    • Molly Patrick on March 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      @johnmcderp:disqus – Do you mean a hand mixer? If that’s what you have then I think it would be difficult. Let me know though.

  19. John McDerp on March 22, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Yes, a hand mixer. Would it still be possible to make something with it? :

    • Molly Patrick on March 24, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      @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.

  20. Theresa on March 27, 2014 at 9:10 am

    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.

    • Molly Patrick on March 27, 2014 at 9:14 am

      @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!

  21. Theresa on March 27, 2014 at 9:21 am

    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!

    • Molly Patrick on March 27, 2014 at 9:45 am

      @disqus_VE6Lot7IQT:disqus – have you tried this vegan Stroganoff recipe? It always does well with non-vegans. I look forward to hearing about your dinner!

    • pamela on April 2, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      if you want them to enjoy the food serve them steak. not cashew steaks.

  22. Theresa on March 27, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    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.

    • Molly Patrick on March 27, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      @disqus_VE6Lot7IQT:disqus – Awesome! Thank you for posting a pic -it looks delicious!
      So happy you found us too!

  23. Simone on April 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    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!

    • Molly Patrick on April 4, 2014 at 9:01 am

      Hi Simone- garlic and chives sound amazing!!!!!!!
      Well played! Thank you so much for letting me know!

  24. Sarah on April 20, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    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!

    • Molly Patrick on April 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      @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

  25. John McDerp on May 1, 2014 at 11:10 am


    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!

    • Molly Patrick on May 1, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      @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.

  26. LisaV22 on May 1, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    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!

    • Molly Patrick on May 1, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      @LisaV22:disqus – Is the blade to your food processor dull? That’s where I would start. Let me know!

    • Abrodie on May 4, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      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.

  27. Gloria on May 12, 2014 at 10:14 am

    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.

    • Molly Patrick on May 12, 2014 at 11:13 am

      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 🙂

  28. elitan on May 18, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    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.

    • Molly Patrick on May 18, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      HI there – so happy you liked it!
      It will store in the refrigerator for about a week and you can absolutely freeze it!

      • Jannali on February 11, 2019 at 5:16 pm

        Mine’s been in the fridge for a week. How do I know if it’s still okay to eat?

        • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on February 11, 2019 at 7:10 pm

          Hi Jannali, you really don’t have a way of knowing but 7 days is about 1-2 days too long for me. I personally use five days as my max. If you aren’t going to eat it up within that time, freeze it sooner than later or toss it. If you freeze it after it’s been sitting in your fridge for several days, use masking tape to note that it needs to eaten immediately upon thaw and not left to sit in the fridge for more time. Even though it’s more about getting foods cooled properly and quickly, we have a post on food safety that is worth reading. ~Karen

  29. CheekyBirds on June 12, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    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.

    • Molly Patrick on June 13, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      @cheekybirds:disqus – LOVE it! Thanks for posting. xo

    • Taki on June 25, 2017 at 8:12 am

      How exactly did you use your Omega for this recipe? I have one as well.

  30. Eva Vincent on June 14, 2014 at 10:15 am

    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.

    • Molly Patrick on June 14, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      Fantastic! Thanks for sharing – so happy you found it! xo

  31. Jared Letterman on July 13, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    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.

    • Ann on July 20, 2014 at 5:26 am

      If you add milk is not vegan! so if you add milk then you might as well just have cheese? I do not see the difference. I hope you are not giving that to your vegan friends.

    • Belen Molina-George on July 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      I have an AMAZING cheese recipe that also uses cashews and this one, my friend, does taste like mozzarella. Let me know if you want it, I can send it to you (via FB or email). I tried uploading the image here but it won’t let me. I think it’s great you are trying to go vegan.

      • Jared Letterman on July 23, 2014 at 9:09 pm

        Yes pls! [email protected] / jaredletterman at outlook dot com. I saw this soy based mozzarella at a Trader Joe’s. The texture seemed amazing in the packaging. Kind of hesitated on the price though, hehe.

    • Veganma on August 13, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      But if your adding milk…it’s not vegan. I don’t know if ur vegans friends would be happy about that. Unless you mean coconut milk, or soy milk or almond milk.

  32. Alocasia on August 8, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    If I mix this up in the Vitamix, do I still have to soak the cashews? Thanks.

    • Molly Patrick on August 8, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      Give it a go without – it should be fine 🙂

    • Molly Patrick on August 8, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      Give it a go without – it should work fine 🙂

      • Alocasia on August 8, 2014 at 6:49 pm

        Delicious. 🙂

        • Molly Patrick on August 8, 2014 at 7:23 pm

          Yayayayaya!!! xo

          • Alocasia on August 8, 2014 at 10:49 pm

            It’s like cream cheese. We spread it in celery…perfect. A definite keeper… 🙂

    • Davo Jude on August 22, 2014 at 2:42 am

      soaking the cashews first makes them more bio-available during digestion

  33. WorldWideVegetarian on August 15, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Amazing, just started soaking some cashews, cheese for pasta in an hour THANK YOU

    • Molly Patrick on August 16, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      how did it turn out!?

  34. Moki on October 8, 2014 at 10:42 am

    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


    • Molly Patrick on July 4, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      How did it turn out, Moki?

  35. Saundra on October 26, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Yayyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m gonna whip up a batch. Headed to the kitchen to soak the nuts now.

    • Saundra on October 26, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      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.

      • Molly Patrick on July 4, 2015 at 2:50 pm

        Hey Saundra,
        Thanks for the update, love!

        • Kajal shah on June 3, 2021 at 1:23 am

          Hey thanks for the recipe. Really simple to execute.

          Special mention to the language of ur post. Damn cool.

          Thank you ??

  36. Evin on May 29, 2015 at 3:47 pm

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

    • Molly Patrick on July 4, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      Hey Evin,
      So happy you enjoyed it! Whoot!

  37. Sue on July 4, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    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!

    • Molly Patrick on July 4, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      Hey Sue,
      So glad you found me! Welcome to the crew.
      If you ever have questions feel free to email me!
      [email protected]

  38. allison on July 22, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    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 on July 22, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      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!

  39. bette on August 6, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    love the recipe! hate the crack “jokes” 🙁

  40. Ashleigh Armstrong on September 5, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    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 on September 5, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      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.



  41. Toni on October 6, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    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?

    • Molly Patrick on October 6, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      Hey Toni –
      So happy to hear!
      It’s amazing how delicious and easy it is, isn’t it?

      • Toni on October 9, 2015 at 10:46 am

        So true! I had to come back, because I’m making it again today? Family loved it. Thanks again for posting!

        • Toni on August 25, 2016 at 7:29 am

          I started using this in my lasagna! So much better than store bought vegan cheeses!

  42. Amy Coad on October 13, 2015 at 12:02 am

    How long should I soak the cashews for?

    • Molly Patrick on October 13, 2015 at 10:21 am

      Hi Amy –
      Soak them for at least 10 minutes, but you can soak them up to 24 hours.

  43. Rhiannon on October 18, 2015 at 6:33 am

    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…

    • Molly Patrick on October 18, 2015 at 8:09 pm

      Hey Rhiannon –
      SO glad you like it! YES to Sun Dried Tomato!

    • Melissa on January 16, 2017 at 6:22 pm

      I made some for a party adding a layer of pesto and a layer of sun-dried tomato puree. Served with rice and nut crackers. Even non-vegan friends loved it!

      I also use it as the base for spinach/artichoke/jalepeno dip that I bake. I increase the nutritional yeast, ACV, and add coconut milk to make it runnier and creamier.

  44. Caitlin on December 14, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Does this go well as a replacement for a lot of different dishes that you would normally use cheese?? My hubby and I are looking for a really good cheese sub, (cheese was his favorite thing before becoming vegan) but we aren’t very fond of the store bought brands. I can’t stand the weird flavors they have and he doesn’t really like all the weird ingredients that are in some of those fake cheeses.

    • Molly Patrick on December 14, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Hi Caitlin –
      This is one the best sub cheeses around. It’s simple, delish and versatile.
      I also have a cheesy sauce that’s solid. I stay away from store bought vegan cheese because they all have a weird taste and lots of ingredients.
      Have you joined my private Facebook page? There’s loads of inspiration and it’s an amazing group of people.
      Here’s the link to join if you like.

      • Caitlin on December 15, 2015 at 4:38 pm

        Sounds great, the hubs and I will definitely be trying this recipe soon!!
        And I would love to join the facebook group. Great idea!!

        • Molly Patrick on December 15, 2015 at 4:40 pm

          Yayaya – see you over there!

  45. Kim on December 27, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Amazing! My family is just tipping our toes into the vegan lifestyle. Hell, half the time they don’t even know it. This recipe was a perfect example. Left it out on the counter with some decoy crackers. Sat back and watched. They ate it like it was going to disappear in front of their eyes if they didn’t shove it into their mouths faster. For those of you just experimenting, the flavor and texture (to me) is very much like hummus.

  46. Melissa on February 5, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Can’t believe I waited so long to make cashew cheese, this is delicious…. and so easy, and all natural, HEALTHY, even!

    Mine is grainier than I’d like it to be, which I’m blaming on my 22 year old food processor blade, but still it is yumtastic. Can’t wait to put it on my smashed potatoes at lunch today.

    Thanks for the fab recipe! xox

    • Molly Patrick on February 5, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Hey Melissa –
      Awesome! Grainy or not, it’s still delish!

  47. Lindsey on March 7, 2016 at 11:11 am

    What is shelf life in fridge? And best way to store it?

    • Molly Patrick on March 7, 2016 at 11:38 am

      Hey Lindsey –
      It will last about 5 days, stored in the fridge in a glass or plastic container.

  48. Marie on March 9, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Fudge. only have 1/2 cup of cashews…so will only make a half batch…except…my two choices are my big old Ninja (which needs more to work with) or my li’l ol generic counter model suitable for blending bananas and berries, but not doing such a great job on my cashews. 🙁

    • Molly Patrick on March 9, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      Good luck with your cashew cheese! I would go with the first choice 😉

  49. Rebecca on August 23, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Hello! Can almonds be substituted in this recipe?

    • Molly Patrick on August 24, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      It won’t be exactly the same – but it will still be yummy.

      • Rebecca on August 25, 2016 at 5:06 am

        Ok! Thank you! Can’t wait to try! xx

  50. Bobert on September 19, 2016 at 12:34 am

    One thing I like about having an old Oster blender with a strong motor is the blade screws on to standard wide mouth mason jars and a smaller jar works perfectly for this or salad dressings… kind of like a nutribullet but more versatile

  51. Jamie on October 8, 2016 at 7:01 am

    I think it’s even better with a generous helping of nutritional yeast…very cheesy-like! 🙂

    • Molly Patrick on October 8, 2016 at 10:36 am

      That works too!

  52. Aya on January 21, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Just in case some people soaked their cashews for 12 hours and more, they might turn a bit purple yet you can remove that and then mix them 🙂 I’ve just tried it and it tastes really good besides the over soaking!
    Thanks for this recipe

    • Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 22, 2017 at 8:58 am

      Thanks for the tip Aya! xoxo

      • Aya on March 5, 2017 at 3:45 pm

        You are welcome! Thanks for what you’re doing! It rocks!!! 😀

  53. Alex Porter on February 12, 2017 at 11:21 am

    How much nutritional yeast should I add to your standard recipe? And thanks for the many tips and exchanges.
    Stay well.

    • Clean Food Dirty Girl on February 12, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      Hi Alex, feel free to add as much or as little nutritional yeast as you’d like, maybe starting with a tablespoon or so and adding more if you want even more of a cheesy flavor.;)

      Team Dirty Girl

  54. Efi on March 4, 2017 at 10:23 am

    You get that texture by using a food processor instead of a blender, right?
    Once I use my Vitamix to make it, it’s like a cashew sauce. You can spread it over a bread but it’s not hard ..

    • Clean Food Dirty Girl on March 4, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      Hi Efi, yes, Molly recommends using a food processor, but a blender can work too. You can always use a bit more or less water than the recipe calls for if you’d like it to be thicker or thinner. Also, the longer you soak the cashews before blending them, the creamier they will be. 😉

      Team Dirty Girl

      • veronica white on January 29, 2018 at 10:52 am

        can i use my nutribullet?

        • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 29, 2018 at 12:16 pm

          Hi Veronica,

          I don’t have one but there are a lot of threads on the Nutribullet and how people use it in their kitchens in our private Facebook group. Please join us! You can search “nutribullet” and you’ll pull up a bunch of threads on this blender. From what I see, it might make for a more grainy cheese.

          Team Dirty Girl

      • Efi on March 2, 2018 at 12:46 pm

        Hi, I used the same amount of water in my vitamix after I soaked my cashews for more then 10 hours. The texture isn’t the same like in the pictures above.

  55. Sukanya on March 27, 2017 at 8:51 am

    I just made it for a light dinner tonight, just to spread something on my sandwich and I kid you not, it tasted unbelievably like real cream cheese! It’s like my little secret now 😀 I refuse to share this yumness with anyone hehe! So so god! Oh I added a clove of garlic, grated and sliced spring onion greens for some kick. Delicious! Thank you 🙂

  56. Tony on April 5, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Can a blender be used instead of a food processor?

    • Clean Food Dirty Girl on April 5, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Hi Tony, a blender should work, especially if it has a pulse function so that it doesn’t over blend it. 😉

      Team Dirty Girl

      • Tony on April 6, 2017 at 8:38 am

        Thanks Meghann. Once it’s somewhat blended it just sticks to the sides and the blade won’t grind to a really smooth consistency. I might need to make a larger quantity or use more water.

  57. Lydia on April 18, 2017 at 7:32 am

    So I doubled this recipe to match the big bag of cashews I got and now I have wayyy too much of it, just curious how long it will stay good in the fridge? I mean its mainly cashews so it shouldn\’t go bad right? Could I freeze half of it?

    • Clean Food Dirty Girl on April 18, 2017 at 7:36 am

      Hi Lydia, it’s generally recommended to store cashew cheese in the fridge for up to a week. If you know that you won’t eat it all by then, you can freeze some of it and it should keep just fine. 😉

      Team Dirty Girl

  58. Liz on June 23, 2017 at 4:11 am

    Hey there,

    I’ve been making this for about a month now while I Whole30. Awesome recipe! Mostly I use it in omlettes or in veggie lettuce wraps. When my strawberry plants started cranking out the berries I was sad because no whipped cream allowed. But then I thought…cashew cheese…I subbed out the water for freshly squeezed orange juice, threw in some orange zest and a couple dates for sweetness. (Leave out the S & P) OMG. Great on strawberries and blueberries. I left it fairly thick, but I think adding more juice to thin it would turn it into a lovely sauce. Thanks so much for this really versatile recipe.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on June 23, 2017 at 8:54 am

      Liz – that is so great! Way to take a nut and make delish dishes with it! You are one awesome #plantboss!

  59. Stacey E. on August 21, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Thankfully you said roasted cashews are acceptable because all of the “cheese” recipes I’ve found call for raw. Until I find a cheese I am happy with, I don’t feel like I should order a 3 lb. box of raw cashews. The only affordable option until I find something that works is to buy the roasted ones at the store. I never knew it was the nutritional aspect that was making them all list raw cashews in their recipes. I thought maybe the cooking process they’d already been through might prevent it from turning out properly. So far I’ve only tried a cheese sauce recipe that was basically potatoes and carrots, and sorry to anyone who likes it, but I found it awful. So either the secret is nutritional yeast, or using nuts as the base.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on August 22, 2017 at 6:49 am

      Stacey E. – I hope you find a recipe(s) that are tasty for your palate. Molly has had some great ones in the meal plans (last week’s cheese sauce for Tex-Mex meals was super good). Let us know what you think if you try the recipe with roasted cashews!

      Team Dirty Girl

  60. Gary Miller on September 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    I stumbled onto your website by accident. I plan to buy some cashews and try the recipe.

    I am surprised no one has tried to make a cheese cake. It sounds like it would work well fro a cheese cake.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on September 10, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      Hi Gary, Thanks for stopping by. Last night I had a few bites of a cashew based cheese cake at a vegan restaurant that was pretty super but I’ve never tried making one. If you do, let us know how it turns out.

      Team Dirty Girl

  61. nat on October 21, 2017 at 10:06 am

    thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! can’t wait to make this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  62. Hiram Crespo on October 22, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    So I didn’t have lemons or limes, and I didn’t feel like going to the store to get them after I finished making cashew milk out of my soymilk maker machine. I also didn’t want to waste the leftover cashew pulp.
    So I used pineapple juice instead, I figured it’s acidic enough.
    It’s like ricotta cheese, but with a tropical nuance. Not sure how I’d use it, maybe will eat it by itself.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on October 23, 2017 at 6:08 am

      Hiram, great substitution ideas, that sounds pretty good, the consistency and the nuanced flavor. Enjoy!

      Team Dirty Girl

  63. Helen on November 5, 2017 at 7:02 am

    I thought I would try this, but make a half batch (cashews are too expensive to waste). I added garlic, dried chives and parsley. It is amazing. Now I wish I had made a full batch.
    Oh well, I am sure I will be making it again very soon.
    Thank you so very much.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on November 5, 2017 at 6:53 pm

      Hi Helen,

      I hear you on not wasting cashews. Glad you liked the recipe!

      Team Dirty Girl

  64. KT on December 17, 2017 at 8:45 am

    3 stars
    Too much salt!!! Cut it in half at least.

    • Molly Patrick on December 17, 2017 at 8:48 am

      That is always an option!

  65. mini on April 4, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    5 stars
    This is good!!

  66. Danielle Smith on May 21, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    5 stars
    Hi there,

    I love love love cashew sauce. Like you, when I first tried it, I was HOOKED! I also turned my best friend onto the recipe and today when I tried hers, it smelled and tasted that it was going sour. She didn’t agree, she thought it was fine but also said she made it a week ago. (Cashew sauce would not last a week in my household, lol) I was wondering if you know if there was an expiration date to this recipe?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on May 21, 2018 at 5:54 pm

      Hi Danielle, Once the taste starts to go off, it’s a sign that fermentation is happening and, while it’s probably fine to eat, you want to watch out for mold and not eat it if you see that. Personally, once mine goes off in taste, I discard – usually between 5-7 days after it’s made. Things like, at what temperature the cashews were soaked, how much heat was transferred to the cashews during the blending process, how soon the final recipe was refrigerated, and how often the airtight container in which you might store the cheese is re-opened all contribute to how fast the cashews begin to ferment. Trust your taste buds and use your eyes. ~Karen

      • Danielle Smith on May 21, 2018 at 8:14 pm

        Wow, that’s very good information to know. Thank you Karen! ?

  67. Katherine H. on August 9, 2018 at 1:21 pm


    How much of difference would it make if I used a blender instead of a food processor for this recipe? Sorry, new to this. 🙂


    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on August 9, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Katherine H. – I think a blender like a Vitamix would work perfectly fine for this recipe. I think a regular blender might have trouble getting the mixture smooth so it would have some chunkiness to it. Hope that helps. ~Karen

  68. Chen Tamir on September 24, 2018 at 4:20 am

    5 stars
    Thanks! So easy!
    I find this works better with a hand-held blender than a regular one. Blends more smoothly.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on September 24, 2018 at 6:15 am

      Hi Chen, Thanks for that tip! Glad you liked the recipe. ~Karen

  69. Boo on February 6, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Just made this. Very delicious – thank you. I have a question if you don’t mind me asking, how is this a cheese and not a dip? I’m not sure what the difference is now. Thank you 🙂

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on February 6, 2019 at 6:08 pm

      Hi Boo, We actually have it categorized under Sauces and Dips but we call it Cashew Cheese because that’s the standard name for this type of cashew magic. It will get super thick once it sits so it will be more like a cheese spread. You can totally dip it up. Thanks for stopping by! ~Karen

  70. Robin on June 20, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Made this cashew cheese this morning. So yummy. I am literally in the store parking lot I’m going to go in and buy some pecans and some macadamia nuts and try making pecan cheese and also try to make a separate batch with macadamia nuts. Have you ever tried it with any other kind of nuts beside the cashews?

    • Rebekah on July 25, 2019 at 1:13 am

      In an earlier comment they mentioned sunflower seeds soaked for atleast an hour or walnuts no soaking needed 🙂

  71. Rebekah on June 29, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    I love how it turned out, I’ve been adding nutritional yeast and onion powder and I love it! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  72. Celia on June 2, 2020 at 10:44 am

    5 stars
    This is delicious! I would love to use it in place of regular cheese on my homemade pizzas, do you think I should add it after the pizza has baked, or could I add it before?

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on June 2, 2020 at 11:04 am

      Hi, Celia! If you are baking the crust from scratch, I would not add this cheese before baking. You could add it on with toppings towards the end of baking, though! Typically in our meal plans, we’ll use whole wheat or sprouted pita as our “pizza” crust – so the dough is already cooked and then we add a “cheese” like this one with other toppings for baking. You wouldn’t want the cheese to dry out by cooking it for the longer time dough would need to cook. I hope that helps. ~Karen

      • Celia on June 2, 2020 at 1:38 pm

        I usually do make my crust from scratch, so that makes sense! Thanks, can’t wait to try it next time I make pizza!

  73. Carolyn on July 12, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    5 stars
    Amazing. I added a touch extra lemon juice, and I covered it in a ton of black pepper. So satisfying.

  74. Heather on March 2, 2023 at 8:10 am

    Can you use salted cashews? Also, can you make it creamer as a sauce?

    • Stephanie from Team Dirty on March 2, 2023 at 9:31 am

      Hi Heather!

      We wouldn’t recommend using salted cashews as they’re usually roasted as well. The consistency would be different and the resulting cheese might be too salty. However, you’re welcome to give it a spin and see how you like it.

      For making the cheese creamier like a sauce, you’re welcome to try adding a bit of liquid (water or unflavored non-dairy milk) and using the blender to process it. We haven’t tested it but we’d love to know how it goes. We also have quite a few sauce recipes on the blog you might want to check out.


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

You may also enjoy...

New? Download your free Beginner's Guide and start the most delicious and rewarding journey of your life, fueled by plants.

Our mouthgasmic plant based meal plans are designed around batch cooking. Get your free Batching Handbook and dive in.

Stop junk food cravings and glow from the inside out with our easy-to-follow program. Give me the juicy details.

Love the food that loves you back

Get instant access to thousands of plant based recipes and meal plans, no credit card or perfection required.