Vegan cashew cheese that is sliceable and perfect for a vegan cheese board! Full flavored, authentic looking and quick and easy to make too!
Hard, sliceable cashew cheese. It’s here! And I couldn’t be more excited!
We have guests coming next week and I have a full on cheese board planned, with this as the main event!
I have to admit it took me a fair few goes to get this one right. If you follow us on instagram then you might have seen in our instastories where I was proudly showing off each new attempt!
From the start though I was delighted with this.
To think it can be so easy to make a super impressive block of vegan cheese!
How To Make Cashew Cheese
I started off with just a basic recipe and then quickly saw that I needed to add more cashews to make it really rich and lots more spices to make that cheese flavor really stand out.
Some recipes recommend you cook it all up with the agar agar powder (which is what makes it set) on the stove and then pour it out into your dish to set, but this doesn’t work at all when you use more cashews to make a thicker/more robust cheese, because then it’s too thick to stir up properly with the agar agar.
And since the agar agar needs to boil for at least a minute for that agar powder to set up properly I found it a much better plan to do it separately.
So basically, you make up a batch of cashew cheese sauce in the blender, but you spice it up more strongly than you would usually, to the point that if you taste it, you’ll be thinking: this is too strong!
But then you boil up a cup of water with agar agar powder on the stove, let that boil for a minute and then pour that mix into your cashew cheese sauce (conveniently still in the blender) blend it up again and then pour it all out into your dish to set.
The water and agar powder dilute the spiciness of the cheese and while setting it also dilutes it a bit so you have to start off strong to end up with perfectly spiced cashew cheese.
And it is simply fabulous! You can slice it into perfect slices and put them on crackers or bread or wherever you would eat a slice of cheese.
But you can mash it up too! It’s sliceable and hard enough to cut perfect slices, but you can also still smash it on a cracker if you want to.
A vegan cheese board!
It’s perfect for a vegan cheese board with some red grapes, jams, maybe some mixed salted nuts and a selection of crackers (and maybe some wine too).
And let me just say, a slice of this on a cracker with some mixed fruit jam on top – but any jam would be awesome – was like the best thing ever. Jaye and I were in heaven. And we can’t wait to show it off to our guests next week.
This recipe is quick and easy and one of the things that makes it so quick is that you don’t need to soak the cashews first. You can just go right in and blend them up.
The reason it’s possible to do this is because you’re making a sauce to start off with, it’s not a super thick cheese right off the bat so it’s more easily blendable (I do have a vitamix though so that helps!).
Provided your blender is strong enough I don’t really see any reason to soak them first in this recipe but I am not an expert on your blender. If you know your blender will have trouble with this, then you can soak them briefly in boiling water. Just place the nuts into a bowl, pour boiling water over the top and then leave them to soak for 15 minutes, then drain and use as normal.
The Agar Agar
The crucial ingredient in this recipe is the agar agar powder. It is what makes the cheese set.
You get two types of agar agar, you get the powder version and the flakes. Use agar agar powder. The agar agar powder is much stronger than the flakes and is what we used in this recipe.
If you have no other option but to use flakes, then you will have to use 3 times as much of it.
Can I grate it? This cheese can also be grated, the firmer it is the easier it will grate, and the longer it’s in the fridge the firmer it gets, so if it’s not ideally firm for grating on the first day it will likely be grate-able by the second day.
Does it melt? I put a slice on a cracker and put it in the microwave for 15-seconds to see if it melted and it did! So it does melt.
We also tried it on pizza. And it was very tasty! But let me be clear, when I say ‘melt’ I do NOT mean that it spreads like dairy cheese. No it definitely doesn’t. It softens though and gets melty.
We tried it both grated on pizza and sliced, and either way was fantastic. Just to be clear we put it on the pizza before going in the oven, so it melted along with everything else, and it was really good.
How long does it keep? Keep it covered in the fridge where it lasts up to a week!
Can I freeze it? Yes you can!
More delicious vegan cheese recipes!
- Since this recipe was published, we’ve made another firm sliceable cheese, a delicious vegan cheddar cheese, so you definitely want to check that out.
- We also have a totally divine vegan cream cheese that is everything you want spread on your breads and bagels! Also check out our vegan cottage cheese and vegan feta!
- Our cashew cheese sauce is perfect drizzled over pizza or baked potatoes and our vegan parmesan cheese is wonderful sprinkled over anything and everything!
- Our vegan mozzarella is divine on some pizza and our vegan nacho cheese is divine on… you guessed it, some vegan nachos!
- And then there’s our vegan ricotta which is incredible just as is, but can also be baked into a vegan lasagna recipe or some vegan stuffed shells!
Hard Sliceable Cashew Cheese
- 1 cup Raw Cashews (150g)
- ⅓ cup Water (80ml)
- 5 Tbsp Lemon Juice Freshly Squeezed
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- ¼ cup Tahini (60g)
- ½ Medium Carrot (~30g) peeled and sliced
- 2 and ½ tsp Salt*
- ¼ tsp Paprika
- ⅛ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- ¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder or flakes
- 1 cup Water (240ml)
- 1 Tbsp Agar Agar Powder must be powder and not flakes*
- Add the cashews, ⅓ cup water, lemon juice, coconut oil, tahini, carrot, salt, paprika, cayenne, dijon mustard, nutritional yeast and garlic powder to the blender and blend until very smooth. Leave the mix in the blender and set aside.
- Add 1 cup of water and the agar agar powder to a saucepan and heat, stirring regularly until boiling. Boil it for 1 minute (time it), stirring regularly and after 1 minute remove it from the heat and pour it into the blender on top of the cheese mix.
- Blend until smooth.
- Moving quickly, as it will start setting up very fast, pour the mix out into a round dish sprayed with non-stick spray.
- Refrigerate until set. To remove from the bowl, turn upside down onto a plate.
- It is crucial for the success of this recipe that you use agar agar powder and not flakes. Flakes are much less powerful and if you DO use flakes you will need to use 3 times as much.
- This might seem like a lot of salt, but it works perfectly in this recipe.
- I used a regular round bowl, it was 5 inches round and 2 inches deep. I chose it because it was quite straight up the sides so created a nicer shape for the cheese. But you can really use any bowl or ramekin, and if your bowls are smaller, then just use 2 bowls for 2 smaller blocks of cheese.
- This cheese can be grated.
- I also put a slice on a cracker and put it in the microwave for 15 seconds and it melted! So yes it does melt! This isn't really what I would call the main use for this though, as I think it tastes better as is, but yes it melts.
- We have also tried it on pizza. And it was fantastic. We tried it both grated onto a pizza and sliced. Either way was great. We put it on with all our other toppings before going into the oven and it got nice and soft and melty along with the other toppings. It doesn't spread or anything, but it's very very good.
- This recipe makes a 21 ounce (600g) round of vegan cheese.
- Serving size is 4 slices which is approximately 1 ounce.