Smoky red pepper vegan cheddar cheese. Firm and sliceable and totally delicious on crackers or sandwiches or grated on pizza.
This vegan cheddar cheese has a delicious smoky red pepper flavor and is truly divine.
It’s perfect for a vegan cheese board and you’ll absolutely impress all your guests if you bring this out at your next dinner party!
It’s also wonderful for any special occasions. Cheese and wine anyone?
This recipe is based on our sliceable cashew cheese recipe. That recipe is amazing, and if you’re going to make a cheese board, why not go all out and make both kinds of cheese? I recommend it.
I knew that I could intensity the flavors even more, make it a bit sharper and tangier for a cheddar flavored cheese. And that is exactly what we have here.
How To Make Vegan Cheddar Cheese
You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
It’s so easy to make this. The majority of the ingredients are simply blended up in a blender as you can see below.
Then you boil some water and agar agar on the stove, and once boiled you add that to the already blended ingredients in the blender and blend it in.
And then, working quickly because it starts to set super quickly, you pour it all out into a bowl, smooth it down and then place it into the fridge to set.
This is probably the easiest sliceable vegan cheese you’ll ever make. Unless you’ve made our other cashew cheese, then you already know how easy it is.
You don’t even need to soak your cashews first.
Really, the only tricky part to this recipe, is once you’ve boiled the agar agar powder and water together, and poured that into the blender to blend, you have to be really fast or you’ll have hard set cheese sitting in your blender jug.
You have to pour it in, blend it with the other (previously blended) ingredients really quickly and then pour it out into your prepared dish, all really quickly. Have I said the word ‘quickly’ enough? I’m not sure that I have. I really mean you have to do it quickly! Hahaha.
Agar Agar Powder:
The crucial ingredient in making this vegan cheddar cheese set is the agar agar powder. You get agar agar powder and agar agar flakes. Use the powder.
The powder is much stronger than the flakes, and the flakes would require you to use a lot more (around 3 times as much).
This recipe was made with the powder and not the flakes so definitely use that. However, if all you can get is agar agar flakes, then use 3 tablespoons instead of 1 tablespoon.
Raw cashews make up the base of this cheese recipe and to that we add all kinds of delicious things that create that sharp cheddar flavor.
We don’t find it necessary to soak the cashews first. However, if you DO prefer to soak them, then you may have a softer cheese as a result.
Red Bell Pepper:
Red bell pepper provides color and flavor and just works really great in this recipe.
Smoked paprika creates a mildly smoky flavor that works great here.
I always get asked about ingredient substitutions so let me just say, the best results are going to come from following the recipe. We test everything thoroughly so that we come up with something really good.
However, if you want to leave something out that is there for flavoring, it is still most likely going to come out fine.
As mentioned above, don’t try and leave out the agar agar powder, it won’t work without that. Or the cashews, but aside from those crucial ingredients, if you want to swap the red bell pepper for a yellow bell pepper or you want to leave out the cayenne pepper because you don’t like it, this is all likely fine.
Provided it is in a small quantity and it is not a crucial ingredient, you likely can substitute it for something similar or possibly even leave it out altogether.
Vegan Cheddar Cheese FAQ
Can you grate it? Yes you can. It is firm enough to grate. It tends to get firmer the longer it’s in the fridge, so if it’s not ideal for grating when it’s just set, it will be the next day.
Does it melt? Yes it does. It is not the kind of melty cheese that is going to spread over pizza, but it does melt a bit and soften when heated. So you can absolutely grate some and use it on a pizza. It won’t spread, but it will still be delicious.
Can I mash it? Yes, it’s soft enough to mash over your cracker if you like it mashed. It’s soft enough to mash while still also being firm enough to grate. It’s good stuff.
Storing and Freezing
Keep it covered in the fridge and consume within a week. It’s also freezer friendly for up to 3 months. The texture may change slightly after thawing. Thaw it in the fridge.
More Vegan Cheese Recipes
- Vegan Mozzarella
- Vegan Nacho Cheese
- Vegan Queso
- Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- Vegan Cheese Sauce
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!
Vegan Cheddar Cheese
- 1 cup Raw Cashews (150g)
- ⅓ cup Water (80ml)
- 5 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- ¼ cup Tahini (60g)
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce or sub Tamari for gluten-free
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Medium Red Bell Pepper deseeded and chopped, about ¾ cup
- 2 and ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
- ⅛ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- ¼ cup Nutritional Yeast (15g)
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tsp Onion Powder
- 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, soy sauce, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, red pepper, salt, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and onion powder to the blender jug. Blend until smooth. Set aside, but do not remove from the blender.
- Add the 1 cup of cold water and agar agar powder to a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling let it boil for 1 minute. You will notice it getting thick and gelatinous.
- Remove from the heat and pour it into the blender on top of the cheese mix.
- Blend until smooth.
- Working quickly, as it will start to set very fast, pour it out into a round dish sprayed with non-stick spray.
- Smooth it down and then place it into the fridge to set.
- To remove from the bowl, turn it upside down onto a plate.
- It’s really important to use agar agar powder and not the flakes. If you do use flakes you will need to use 3 times as much.
- The bowl I used was 5 inches round and 2 inches deep, chosen because it goes quite straight up the sides so creates a nice shape for the cheese. You can use any round bowl or ramekin, and if your bowls are smaller, then just use 2 bowls for 2 smaller rounds of cheese.
- This cheese can be grated, melted or smashed up on a cracker.
- This recipe makes a 21 ounce (600g) round of vegan cheese.
- Serving size is 4 slices which is approximately 1 ounce.
- Keep it covered in the fridge and consume within a week. It’s also freezer friendly for up to 3 months.