Cashew Cream Cheese


August 11, 2010

This cashew cream cheese is incredible served as a cheese, dip, or slathered on sandwiches and wraps. Use the base recipe or the flavor variations.

The Best Cashew Cream Cheese

This raw cashew cream cheese is incredible. I make it all the time to serve as a cheese, a dip, or slathered on sandwiches and wraps. I make the base recipe and mix things up with flavor variations. I’ve shared my favorite combos in this post.

How To Make Cashew Cream Cheese

You can make this cashew cream cheese in your high-speed blender or food processor fitted with the S-blade. You will get a smoother consistency in the high-speed blender. If you don’t have one, you can’t make this in a conventional blender. You’ll get a better result with a food processor.

Different nuts and seeds blended with filtered water make all kinds of vegan cheese varieties.

Blanched slivered almonds, raw macadamias, raw pine nuts, raw sunflower seeds, and raw sesame seeds all make awesome vegan cheeses. But, raw cashews yield the best results when making neutral-flavored vegan cheeses. You will also get the smoothest texture with cashews.

To make cashew cream cheese, soak your cashews, drain them, and then blend them with your flavorings.

Cashew Cream Cheese Recipe:

In the base cashew cream cheese recipe, I’m using:

  • raw cashews
  • filtered water
  • nutritional yeast
  • lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder

Process all of the ingredients for 30 to 60 seconds, or longer, until smooth and creamy.

I like to keep this cashew cream cheese the consistency of hummus or ricotta so it acts like a cream cheese spread that’s fantastic with chips, crackers, or veggie sticks, or slathered on bagels, sandwiches, or wraps.

You could also keep this dip more rustic. It’s up to you.

Flavored Cashew Cream Cheese Options:

Keep things interesting by adding herbs and flavors to the basic cashew cream cheese recipe.

My favorite flavors are:

  • herbed cheese
  • tomato basil cheese
  • chive cashew cheese
  • chile cashew cheese
  • truffle cashew cheese
  • sesame cashew cheese
  • maple cashew cheese

I’ve listed all of the ingredients for these flavor variations in the recipe card.

For each flavor option, just add the listed ingredients to the base recipe. For fresh herbs, stir them into the base recipe otherwise your cheese will turn green.

Substitutions For Cashew in this Cream Cheese Recipe:

If you can’t eat cashews, you could substitute the 2 cups of raw cashews with:

  • 2 cups blanched slivered almonds (not whole raw almonds)
  • 2 cups raw macadamias
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds + 1 cup raw pine nuts
  • 2 cups raw sunflower seeds (for nut-free cream cheese)
Soak your nuts or seeds for the smoothest texture

No matter what nut or seed you choose, you will get the smoothest creamiest cheese by soaking your nuts or seeds before blending.

You can find soaking instructions, the soak times for specific nuts and seeds, and soaking chart on my soaking post.

What Does Cashew Cream Cheese Taste Like?

My dad always tells me that happiness is tied up in expectations. If you keep your expectations in a realistic place, you’re less likely to be disappointed.

I’ve found this advice to be true in all aspects of life; and I offer it up today when making this cashew cream cheese.

Don’t get me wrong, this cashew cheese is absolutely scrumptious. But if expect this to taste exactly like cheese made from cow’s milk you may be a little disappointed.

Conversely, if you think of it as a dairy-free healthy cheesy-tasting alternative to conventional cheese you will love the results.

People dip into this cashew cream cheese and say the same thing when they come up for air,“Oh wow, this is so delicious. But it doesn’t taste like cheese”.

Yeah….I should probably call it cashew spread. I’m not really selling this recipe am I?

Just try it….and thank me later.

Other Vegan Cheese Recipes

Vegan Ricotta Cheese
Vegan Feta Cheese
Vegan Sesame Hemp Parmesan
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Spicy Cashew Dip

Let me know what you think of this cashew cream cheese!

Your feedback is important, and it helps me decide which recipes to post next for you.

 

Cashew Cream Cheese

This cashew cream cheese is incredible served as a cheese, a dip, or slathered on sandwiches and wraps. Use the base recipe or try the flavor variations.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Author Tess Masters

Ingredients

Base Recipe:

Flavor Variations (add to the base recipe):

    herbed cheese:

    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion

    tomato-basil cheese:

    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
    • 1 teaspoon tomato paste

    chive cheese:

    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

    chile cheese:

    • 2 tablespoons  chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
    • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
    • 1 small green chile, ribbed, seeded, and minced or 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

    sweet cheese:

    truffle cheese:

    sesame cheese:

    Instructions

    1. Drain the soaked cashews and rinse thoroughly.
    2. Throw all of the ingredients (except the parsley) into your high-speed blender or food processor fitted with the S blade and process for 30 to 60 seconds, or until until you reach your desired consistency. Add more water as needed. Tweak lemon juice, garlic, salt, and onion powder to taste. 

    3. Transfer the cheese to a bowl, and stir through the parsley. 

    Recipe Video

    CASHEW CREAM CHEESE

    This CASHEW CREAM CHEESE is so incredibly delicious. Just throw everything into your high-speed blender or food processor. Use this on sandwiches, wraps, and in lasagna and other dishes. GET THE FULL PRINTED RECIPE:https://www.theblendergirl.com/recipe/cashew-cream-cheese/

    Posted by The Blendaholic on Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    Recipe Notes

    Photo by Trent Lanz, and styling by Alicia Buszczak

    Comments

    Comments 99

    1. ABSOLUTELY cheesy! This is the first vegan cheese I’ve had that actually tastes like cheese! Love, Love, Love!!! About 114 calories per tablespoon!

    2. This is sooo easy! I’ve been wanting to try a nut cheese for ages and this was just perfect as it’s so straight forward, no fancy stuff required. Left some of the ingredients out as we didn’t have them. Still worked out fine. We pack the mix into a measuring cup filled with crushed nuts, spices, herbs, then tap it out – looks fabulous!

      1. Hey Piggy Caroline!
        Your site is amazing and that photo of your cashew cheese is GORGEOUS!
        So glad you made that recipe your own, and so lovely to be connected!
        Oink Oink

    3. Wow! Absolutely Amazing!! I used the garlic cheese recipe in a vegan lasagna dish last night and was amazed at what it brought to the flavor of the dish!! It actually made the lasagna taste cheesy!!!!! I can’t wait to try all the different types, love the garlic but want to try the herb cheese next! 🙂

      1. Hey Crystal,
        I am so glad you liked the cashew cheese.
        Let me know how you go with the other flavours.
        If you are looking for more variety, try using macadamias and almonds for “cheese”. They are yummy too!!

      1. Yes, I have heard about using probiotic powder to make things taste cheesier too.
        I find that coconut kefir (which is loaded with probiotics) works wonders in recipes!!!!
        Give that a go and let me know what you think.

    4. Looking forward to making this. One question: I don’t see the gluten-free icon up at the top for this recipe, but I’m not seeing anything in there that would constitute gluten. Clarify?

      1. Sorry AC. That is a mistake on my part. Every single recipe on this site is gluten free. I sometimes miss the button when I am tired. Thankyou so much for pointing this out to me. I really appreciate it. I have edited to add the GF icon. Enjoy 🙂

    5. Thanks for giving it a go, and taking the time to share your experience. Sometimes we get pleasant surprises with food don’t we?

    6. Made it! Loved it! Will keep it on hand from here on out! How long do you think it would stay good in thr fridge and is it ok to freeze? Thanks so much 🙂

    7. Wow, this recipe is amazing. I made vegan quesadillas last night with roasted eggplant and peppers and this cheese substitute worked a charm, love it!

      1. I used 8 oz (weight) of cashew meal, and it worked well. I did add a bit more water than called for (maybe 2 T. extra) to reach the consistency I wanted.

    8. This is amazing stuff. I just added rosemary to the mix and had huge spoonfuls on top of a baked sweet potato with a broccoli salad. My cheese loving husband loved it too x

      1. Oh yum! Yes, that’s the great thing about this cheese, you can add any flavours you like to it. SO yummy on potatoes. Tanks for sharing your experience.

    9. Sorry the recipe was confusing. I have amended the instructions to make it clearer. You put the yeast flakes in at the beginning, and you stir through the parsley at the end, if you choose.

      1. Mine was a bit too garlicky using 4 cloves. Consistency of hummous. Couldn’t really think of it as cheese, I wanted to, but it did make it feel cheesy when I added it to macaroni pasta, it was creamy. Will I crave this? Not really. I did end up eating it all, like a piggy and gained 7 pounds this week as a result. Oink oink. I should have made a half batch to protect myself from… Myself! I’ll try this recipe again, maybe I missed putting something in?

      2. Glad you enjoyed it Emily. Vegan Shaman – you could culture this mixture for 24 to 48 hours for a more cheesy flavor, or add 1 teaspoon white miso paste.

    10. if you wanted to create a cream cheese type of experience, you would just add apple cider vinegar? what do you think? ps this is yummy as it is!!!

      1. To make cream cheese I would make a very thick cashew cream in the blender with apple cider vinegar, white miso paste, lemon juice etc for the tang, and allow it to thicken in the fridge.

    11. Is there any other nut that can be substituted in a recipe like this? I’m anaphylactic to cashews but I can eat other nuts (with the exception of walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts and pistachios) This looks delicious, and I know of a lot of other recipes that use cashews to get a creamy texture. Any suggestions?

    12. Sooooooo good. I used the juice from my fermented garlic instead of water, tomato powder and fresh herbs. I spread it on some Essene bread with sliced tomatoes and cracked pepper. It was that good I felt like crying! Best recipe for raw cheese I have found so far.

    13. this is the one i think i want to serve at a little party i am hosting. how many would you say your recipe serves as a snack buffet item? i also wonder if i can form it into a pretty loaf with herbs and edible flowers on top, if i use a bit less water. thoughts? (soaking my cashews to try tomorrow for “test run”!!)

      1. Sorry for my delay in responding to this. I would say this recipe will serve 8 as a little snack or buffet item. You can absolutely make a loaf by making the mixture thicker and adding in herbs. I would also add in some chopped nuts and seeds. Enjoy!

    14. Hi there!
      This recipe looks great! Can I use instant dry yeast instead of nutritional yeast? It’s not available in my country. Thanks!

      1. No, sorry Veronica. That won’t taste good and won’t taste cheesy. If you’re in Australia or New Zealand they’re labelled as “savoury yeast flakes” is that helps? You could also use 1 tablespoon white miso paste and add more to taste to get a cheesy flavor.

      1. You could stir in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon probiotic powder and keep the mixture at room temperature for 24 hours. Taste, and add lemon juice and salt to taste. Enjoy!

    15. Thank you for this ideal recipe! I added a single roasted red pepper, and the finished product is as good as the vegan red pepper dip sold for $8 at a local juice bar. What’s better is that I can make it for my family, and they loved it! A+

    16. Finally I’ve found something that i was really looking for! This whole cashew cheese looks very adorable and I’m just looking forward to give it a try! Bless!

      1. No, sorry, you do need to use it to get the cheezy flavor. You could use miso paste and lemon juice to get the cheezy effect. But know that nutritional yeast is not the same candida albicans species of yeast that feeds bacteria and fungus. Nutritional yeast is the deactivated form of a primary yeast grown from a mixture of cane sugar and molasses, and contains beneficial nutrients including B vitamins. But, some people don’t tolerate it well, and it sounds like you may be one of those people. Sorry! Try the miso. You can get sweet white miso paste or chickpea miso from health food stores if you are not into soy.

    17. I love your recipe, but what should I do to make it more like a cheddar cheese, a cheese which I can slice and put it on pizza

      1. You can add more nutritional yeast, and then you could form it into a slab and dehydrate it for a few days to make it crumbly. But, I do really need to post a recipe like that to give you more guidance. Until then, google it and there are tons of recipes on the internet.

    18. Im on the path to becoming vegan and Im usually creative with new recipe ideas once I understand the basics. You have done a superb job of explaining the basics of nut cheese with variations and now I have the confidence to go wild with my imagination! Thanks from me, animals and the planet!

    19. I am almost entirely vegan besides the cheese issue. It’s so hard to find vegan cheese that tastes good so I will be trying this! Thanks

      1. Great. There are some fantastic vegan cheezes on the market now that are making it so much easier. Kite Hill and Miyokos are amazing.

    20. After having life-changing vegan nachos at the Frontier Cafe in Brunswick, ME, I have been searching for a way to make them myself! This recipe is perfect (DELISH with some mango salsa on tortilla chips!)–and now I’ve fallen in love with nutritional yeast as a condiment, too. I use only one clove of garlic and a little extra nutritional yeast in my cashew spread (my friends get weirded out when I call it “cheese”) and I can’t stop eating it! I’m not a vegan and I think everyone should give this spread a try instead of turning up their noses at the idea of a “vegan cheese.” So glad I ended up at this recipe. What a wonderful dip to make at home–and so easy! Thanks so much, Blender Girl! I’ll have to check out the other recipes on your blog.

      1. Thankyou for your lovely comment. I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe. Yes! Nutritional yeast is a lifesaver in the dairy-free world.

      1. LOL! Your comment is hilarious and very honest. I love it. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it. This is a dip-style cheeze alternative. I like it because it’s bean-free. Raw hummus is also good. But, this is great for spreading on sandwiches and wraps or enjoying with veggie sticks.

    21. The yeast makes it taste more like miso to me than cheese…it is more of a dip or a hummus thing. Way too salty but I’ll try and adjust the quantity next time….

      1. Thanks for your feedback. This is more of a spread/dip-style cheeze. For a more cheddar-style cheeze you can culture the mixture and dehydrate.

    22. I’m disappointed I didn’t use your recipe although it was similar. The one I used was exactly the same except it had two tsps of cider vinegar and I only soaked the cashews for an hour. I really didn’t enjoy it and couldn’t eat it after just one forkful. It might also be because I had it with mung bean fettucine which was dreadful!! Will definitely try your recipe this time! Hopefully I will enjoy it alot more

    23. I made this today and it’s quite a bold flavour that my tastes don’t seem used to yet, but I think I can learn to love it. I just have some quick questions, if I put it in the fridge, can I still cook it or will it change the consistency/how it will cook if I refrigerate it? Also, I accidentally forgot about my cashews and left them soaking for way too long (2 days :(() will that affect anything? Maybe that’s why I got such a bold flavour?

      1. Your funky or bold flavor could be a number of things: at 2 days the cashews would have been semi fermented. That would add a very distinct flavor. Cashews are short-soak nuts. Soak them for more than 2 hours. Also, did you use the soaking liquid? You discard that and use fresh filtered water in the recipe. This is a raw cheese, and is best enjoyed raw. Having said that, you can add it to cooked dishes with great results. I will get softer and runnier or get harder, depending on how you use it. It will keep in the fridge for 5 to 7 days. I hope this helps.

    24. I’m a chef with celiac disease and not vegan, but we love our veg and son and cousin are both dairy intolerant as well as celiac disease and dairy substitutes are normally cholesterol free, it all helps. I have made cashew cheese using regular roasted cashews, soaked, rinsed, fresh water and it’s great. Haven’t tried it with nutritious yeast yet. I do appreciate all your explanations as I also like to give good explanations when I write on food for gluten free and other food allergies. What I would like to know is the reason for only using raw cashews. Is it because of raw vegan diet protocols (for want of another word) or is there a food science/health reason. I haven’t found an explanation elsewhere yet. It tasted great with roasted cashews.

      1. Roasted cashews are always delicious in anything. I don’t use them for several reasons: I want to keep the cheese raw to retain enzymes, and I don’t want too much of a cashew flavor coming into the flavor profile as happens with roasted cashews. I rarely use roasted nuts as the precious oils become carcinogenic and produce free radicals when roasted. While roasted nuts are incredibly tasty for culinary purposes, they’re not health-promoting. I hope this helps.

      2. thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Luckily my local grocery store carries raw cashews as well, so I’ll give them a try.

      1. GREAT, thanks so much! Going to make this today. I’ve been using the vegan cheeses for awhile, quit dairy in January, but really want to get away from ALL processed foods and make my own. I can’t wait to try this!

    25. I have made this recipe several times and it is absolutely phenomal! Even when a recipe I’m making calls for another kind of cashew sauce, I go back to this one.

      I am trying to jumpstart Christmas cooking; does this freeze well?

      1. Oh, I am so pleased you’re enjoying the recipes. I haven’t frozen this recipe. I imagine you could. Just know that it may increase the water content once you defrost it, and you will need to strain the excess water away. You may also get a mealy texture that won’t be as creamy. Merry Christmas.

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