Quick & Easy Vegan Cheese • It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

Just 5 ingredients and 15 minutes to make (plus chilling time) and you can have a homemade vegan cheese recipe that is creamy, spreadable, and delicious! This quick & easy vegan cheese recipe is made with easy-to-find ingredients, is more affordable than store-bought cheese, and tastes so much better! Ready to experiment with making your own vegan cheese? Let’s go!

Just 5 ingredients and 15 minutes to make a homemade vegan cheese recipe that is creamy and delicious! This quick & easy vegan cheese recipe is cheaper and better than store-bought! #itdoesnttastelikechicken #vegancheese #dairyfree

Over the years I have posted a ton of delicious vegan cheese recipes. Some of the cheese are more complicated than others, and some are made using ingredients that are a little more difficult to source. So I decided it was time to go back to the basics and make the most perfect, super simple cheese recipe! Made from just cashews, coconut oil, salt, garlic, and my secret ingredient: olive brine (which makes it taste tangy and like it has been aged). You won’t believe how amazing this tastes!

Plus, if you are feeling a little creative you can stir in freshly chopped herbs, lemon zest, crushed red pepper flakes, coarsely ground black pepper, or any other fun add-ins you can think of. In these pics I added fresh thyme leaves, lemon zest, and black pepper. These cheeses are freezer-friendly so I love to make 2 or more blocks at once and store them for later so that I have a delicious round of cheese anytime I desire.

Just 5 ingredients and 15 minutes to make a homemade vegan cheese recipe that is creamy and delicious! This quick & easy vegan cheese recipe is cheaper and better than store-bought! #itdoesnttastelikechicken #vegancheese #dairyfree

Common questions about vegan cheese:

What is vegan cheese?

Traditional cheese is made from animal milk whereas vegan cheese is made from various nuts, seeds, soy, tapioca, oils, or other ingredients. In this recipe, the base of the cheese is made from raw cashews. See the recipe notes for other variations.

What is vegan cheese made of?

Raw cashews, refined coconut oil, olive brine, garlic, and salt. You can also optionally add in chopped fresh herbs, lemon zest, coarsely ground black pepper, or crushed red pepper flakes to jazz it up a little! Raw cashews are the base of the cheese which will make it smooth and creamy. Refined coconut oil will add richness and also make the cheese firm up in the fridge. Olive brine adds an aged tang to the cheese, and garlic and salt are flavor enhancers.

How to use this vegan cheese?

This quick & easy vegan cheese is best enjoyed as a snack. Serve with crackers or bread, spread the cheese on top, and enjoy! It’s also fantastic dolloped onto a fresh bowl of pasta, crumbled over roasted vegetables, spread onto toast and topped with jams or fresh fruit, add to a salad, or amp up your vegan cheeseboard.

Boil cashews for 10 minutes to soften them.

How to Make Vegan Cheese:

To start you will need to first soften your cashews so that they will be easier to blend until a smooth and creamy cheese.

Soften the cashews: Add the cashews to a medium pot and cover with water. Put over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes until the cashews are tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Alternatively, you can soak the cashews, by placing the cashews in a bowl, covering them with water, and allowing the cashews to soak for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse before using.

Add the softened cashews to a food processor along with refined coconut oil, olive bring, garlic cloves, and salt. BLend until smooth and creamy.

Blend the cheese: Add the softened cashews to a food processor along with the coconut oil, olive bring, garlic, and salt. Blend until smooth, creamy, and sticky, stopping to scrape the sides as needed. You want to make sure you blend this very well so that it gets as smooth as possible. It will likely get warm when blending from the friction. I blend mine for about 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides.

Line a mold with cheese cloth and spread the cheese inside.

Form the cheese: Line two molds (I used these), or two small bowls with a square of cheesecloth. Divide the cheese among the two cheesecloth-lined molds. If you are adding fresh herbs, sprinkle them over the cheese and then use a chopstick or something similar to swirl the herbs into the cheese.

Optionally you can stir additional add-ins to the cheese to jazz it up a bit.

I like to keep one cheese wheel of quick & easy vegan cheese plain with no add-ins, and the other wheel with added herbs. Smooth the top of the cheese with a spatula and then fold the cheesecloth over the cheese.

Wrap in the cheesecloth then chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to set.

Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight until the cheese has firmed up. Unwrap and enjoy!

Just 5 ingredients and 15 minutes to make a homemade vegan cheese recipe that is creamy and delicious! This quick & easy vegan cheese recipe is cheaper and better than store-bought! #itdoesnttastelikechicken #vegancheese #dairyfree

This cheese is…

  • creamy
  • tangy
  • spreadable and melty
  • 5 ingredients
  • 15 minutes to make
  • freezer-friendly

More delicious homemade vegan cheese recipes:

Easy Vegan Blue Cheese
Vegan Sunflower Seed Cheese
Vegan Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Cranberry Thyme Vegan Cheese Ball
Vegan Parmesan
Vegan Baked Brie in Puff Pastry

If you try this quick & easy vegan cheese recipe let us know by leaving a comment, rating it, and don’t forget to tag @itdoesnttastelikechicken on Instagram.

Bon appetegan!
Sam Turnbull.

Quick & Easy Vegan Cheese

Just 5 ingredients and 15 minutes to make a homemade vegan cheese recipe that is creamy and delicious! This quick & easy vegan cheese recipe is cheaper and better than store-bought!

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time15 mins

Course: Appetizer, Snack

Cuisine: American, Canadian

Servings: 2 wheels of cheese (about 4 inches diameter)

Calories: 1031kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw cashews softened (see step 1)
  • cup refined coconut oil melted
  • 2 tablespoons green olive brine (the liquid in a jar of olives)
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Optional add-ins: coarsely ground black pepper, lemon zest, crushed red pepper flakes, or chopped fresh herbs (such as thyme, dill, rosemary, parsley, or basil)

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Instructions

  • Soften the cashews: Add the cashews to a medium pot and cover with water. Put over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes until the cashews are tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Alternatively, you can soak the cashews, by placing the cashews in a bowl, covering them with water, and allowing the cashews to soak for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse before using. Both of these methods will soften the cashews making them easier to blend into a creamy texture.

  • Blend the cheese: Add the softened cashews to a food processor along with the coconut oil, olive bring, garlic, and salt. Blend until smooth, creamy, and sticky, stopping to scrape the sides as needed. You want to make sure you blend this very well so that it gets as smooth as possible. It will likely get warm when blending from the friction. I blend mine for about 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides.

  • Form the cheese: Line two molds (I used these), or two small bowls with a square of cheesecloth. Divide the cheese among the two cheesecloth-lined molds. If you are adding fresh herbs, sprinkle them over the cheese and then use a chopstick or something similar to swirl the herbs into the cheese. I like to keep one cheese wheel plain, and the other with herbs. Smooth the top of the cheese with a spatula and then fold the cheesecloth over the cheese. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight until the cheese has firmed up. Unwrap and enjoy!

Notes

Substitute for cashews: cashews are my preference as they are creamy and mild in flavor, but if you need to substitute them you can use macadamia nuts, blanched almonds, or raw sunflower seeds. All of these nuts and seeds will need to be boiled for about 15 minutes to ensure they have softened.
Substitute for coconut oil: coconut oil becomes solid when chilled so this is what firms up the cheese. No other oil will work for this, but if needed you can try substituting vegetable shortening. If you are oil-free you can omit the oil but note that this will be more of a creamy spread and will not firm up in the fridge.
Refined coconut oil: ensure you are using refined coconut oil which has no taste or smell of coconut. Unrefined coconut oil has a strong coconut taste which won’t be appetizing for this recipe.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 wheel of cheese (recipe makes 2) | Calories: 1031kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 93g | Saturated Fat: 41g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 33g | Sodium: 1324mg | Potassium: 864mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 9mg

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