Vegan Cheese to Fool a Cheese Lover
Vegan cheese is such an incredible addition to any meal.
Whether you want to sprinkle some on pasta or create a beautiful cheese board for guests, it always makes a lasting impression. Some can even fool a cheese lover!
There are of course so many brands that you can find in the store, but truth be told, it can be just as easy to make at home! There are so many simple recipes out there that are worth making.
Maybe even a great idea for a homemade gift for the holidays?
Understanding the Basics
I’ve tried and tested an assortment of cheeses and recipes and there are definitely some that create very strange flavours and consistencies.
It can take a bit of trial and error, but once you find the right vegan cheese recipes, it will be so worth it!
Starting with the simpler recipes is always good to understand the basics and ratios. At this point, I don’t even need to follow a recipe and can just do it by memory- all you need are the right quantities and you are set.
I’ve given a few below that I feel are simple and delicious and a great way to get started.
Vegan Cheesemaking Equipment
Besides your everyday pots and pans, you will need a blender or food processor to create most of these recipes. This is to help blend all of the ingredients together to create that creamy or crumbling texture that we adore.
For the fermented cheeses, you will need either a cheesecloth or nut milk bags. I’ve personally used nut milk bags and they are great!
4 Deliciously Simple Vegan Cheese Recipes:
1. How to Easily Make Cashew Parmesan
This is one of the simplest cheeses you can make. It’s usually only 4 ingredients. This is great to sprinkle on top of pasta, mac and cheese, or a salad. It sticks to any sauce creating a wonderful melding of flavours.
¾ cup cashews (this recipe uses raw but you can also toast them beforehand)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
¾ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
- All you need to do is place all of these ingredients in a blender to create that crumbly, parmesan-like texture.
2. How to Make a Simple Vegan Ricotta
There are so many possibilities when it comes to making vegan ricotta. Whether it be a layer as part of a lasagna or the inside of some homemade ravioli, homemade ricotta can create the perfect addition.
People use everything from cashews, almonds, soy milk, and tofu. I personally love using almonds as it creates such a nice nutty texture.
You will need blanched almonds which you can either buy in store or do at home. Put the almonds in boiling water for 1 minute, remove from water, then take off the skins.
When making the ricotta, make sure you don’t put too much water at first as you could end up with a super watery ricotta. You want it to be creamy and blended but still have a slightly nutty texture.
Depending on what you are using it for, you can either blend in some herbs such as oregano or basil, or garnish with some sage or rosemary when serving.
1 cup blanched almonds
Lemon juice, about ½ a lemon
A sprinkle of nutritional yeast
Sea salt, as needed
1 clove garlic, or garlic powder to taste
½ cup water to start and add more as needed
- Place all ingredients in a blender. Add the water little by little so you don’t make it too watery. Test the taste and add more of any ingredient depending on the flavour.
3. How to Make an Effortless Tofu Feta
For an awesome addition to any pasta or salad, tofu feta will add such a great flavour. It has the tang of normal feta with just the right bite!
Tofu (I would recommend buying extra-firm tofu so that it doesn’t fall apart)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
Lemon juice, to taste
A few sprinkles of oregano & thyme (you can use whatever dried herbs you have)
- First, press the tofu – place the tofu on a cutting board with a towel on the top and bottom, put something heavy on top of it and let it sit for 30-40 minutes
- Cut the tofu into cubes and place in the marinade
- Let it remain covered for at least an hour in the refrigerator before eating
4. How to Make Easy Fermented (Cultured) Nut Cheeses
Fermented nut cheese is the perfect addition to any vegan cheeseboard – it has that wonderful tang and texture that can be put with any cracker.
Plus you can garnish them with a variety of herbs and spices of your choosing. Some possible garnishes are dill, black pepper, smoked paprika, turmeric – the possibilities are endless though!
For a fermented cheese, you will need some cheesecloth or nut milk bags as well as probiotic capsules (there is a link to a brand in the ingredients).
In order to achieve perfect fermentation, I would make sure to leave it on the counter for at least 48 hours to get the fermented flavours you desire.
Thanks to Minimalist Baker for this really accessible recipe!
2 cups raw cashews or blanched slivered almonds
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup water (start with ¼ at first and add more as necessary)
- Soak the cashews for at least 6 hours (or boil for 30 mins)
- Add all of the ingredients to a food processor except the water and probiotic capsules
- Process whilst adding the water gradually until it reaches your desired consistency
- Add the mixture to a bowl and pour out the contents of the probiotic capsules
- Stir with a wooden or plastic spoon (not metal)
- Position some cheesecloth over a sieve and pour in the mixture
- Gather up the corners of the cheesecloth, twist, and knot so it forms a protective case around the vegan cheese paste
- Leave at room temperature to culture for between 24-72 hours (you can try it to see if it is tangy enough)
- Once cultured, leave the cheese in the fridge for 6 hours and then serve
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Clara Loeb is a professional musician recently turned plant based chef. Originally from Texas, she moved to London 4 years ago to pursue her music career. During her time here, she discovered her passion for veganism and plant based eating and has been in the kitchen creating recipes ever since.