This baked vegan cashew cheese is a fantastic appetizer or side dish for special occasions. Mild yet still flavourful, it is perfect with crackers, bread and on party platters, as well as super easy from start to finish. Gluten-free and made with healthy ingredients. 

Baked vegan cashew cheese

I have to say that when I went vegan, I didn’t struggle that much with giving up cheese. It’s a difficulty for many people, but I just didn’t eat that much of it at any point in my life. Regardless, I still missed it on occasion in my early days of being a vegan, especially as store-brought options can be quite expensive. So, if you want to go vegan or simply opt for more plant-based options, I would definitely recommend making your own alternative to your old favourite foods.

 

Baked cashew cheese on a wooden board

I don’t know why it took me so long to make my own vegan cheese. Perhaps, I was slightly intimidated because it seems complicated, but what surprised me is just how easy it is. Okay, maybe waiting for it in the fridge is difficult, but patience really pays off with this vegan cheese recipe. I have tested it a couple of times, and even after my earlier attempts, it always disappeared very quickly (especially during the festive season when everyone’s in the mood for cheese and crackers).

Platter with vegan cheese grapes tomatoes and crackers

About this vegan cashew cheese

This cashew cheese is crumbly and soft, in other words perfect for serving together with crackers and bread on special occasions. Christmas Day is next week (I can’t believe how quickly it’s arrived!) and I think that this will be on the menu for sure, as an appetiser and for snacking on throughout the entire day. Although, it never lasts very long in my house!

Closeup of vegan cheese on a wooden board

Baking the cheese really helps to bring out the flavours and textures, as well as giving the cheese a cheese-like appearance. The flavour of this cheese is quite mild and not super overpowering, but I find that it does get stronger the longer you leave it in the fridge.

The main ingredient is, of course, cashews, which I soaked overnight and then boiled for around 15 minutes to get them as soft as possible. Tahini adds a nutty flavour, while nutritional yeast is essential for achieving cheesiness. I also added cumin, paprika and fresh dill to add just a hint of spice and bring together the flavours.

This is a great homemade vegan cheese alternative because it’s…

Fruit vegetables and vegan cheese platter

  • Mild, but still flavourful.
  • Spreadable.
  • Great as a side dish or appetiser.
  • Perfect for snacking.
  • Oil-free.
  • Gluten-free.
  • Made with healthy and simple ingredients.
  • Easy and beginner-friendly.

While you do have to wait around for quite a long time for the cashews to soak and the cheese to set in the fridge, it does not require a lot of actual ‘work’.

Ingredients you’ll need

Ingredients for vegan cashew cheese

  • Cashews, soaked for 4 hours.
  • Nutritional yeast.
  • Garlic. A key ingredient to great baked cheese!
  • Cumin.
  • Paprika.
  • Lemon juice. Freshly-squeezed is preferable.
  • Water.
  • Fresh dill.

How to make vegan cashew cheese

Closeup of baked cashew cheese on a wooden board

Start by soaking the cashews for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. To make them as soft as possible, I’d also recommend boiling them for about 15 minutes.

Next, place the cashews in a food processor together with the nutritional yeast, garlic, cumin, paprika, lemon juice, water and dill. Blend until very smooth.

Place a strainer over a mixing bowl with a cheese cloth over the top. Scoop the mixture into the cheese cloth, spreading it out using a spatula. Bring together the edges of the cheese cloth and tie them using a rubber band, leaving this to set in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

After 12 hours, preheat the oven to 150 degrees C/300 F. Take out the cheese ball from the cheese cloth and transfer to a baking tray and bake in the oven for 25-50 minutes. Take out, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, and before serving.

Vegan cheese fruit and crackers on a wooden board

This cheese keeps in the fridge for around 5 days.

Other recipes you might like…

Baked vegan cashew cheese

Let me know in the comments: have you ever made your own vegan cheese before? If you give this vegan cashew cheese recipe a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your creations!

Baked vegan cashew cheese

Get the Recipe: Baked Vegan Cashew Cheese Recipe (Gluten-free)

This baked vegan cashew cheese is a fantastic apppetizer or side dish for special occasions. Mild yet still flavourful, it is perfect with crackers, bread and on party platters, as well as super easy from start to finish. Gluten-free and made with healthy ingredients. 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cashews
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 lemons, juice of
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

Instructions 

  • Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. To make them as soft as possible, I'd also recommend boiling them for about 15 minutes.
  • Place the cashews in a food processor together with the nutritional yeast, garlic, cumin, paprika, lemon juice, water and dill. Blend until very smooth.
  • Place a strainer over a mixing bowl with a cheese cloth over the top. Scoop the mixture into the cheese cloth, spreading it out using a spatula. Bring together the edges of the cheese cloth and tie them using a rubber band, leaving this to set in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
  • After 12 hours, preheat the oven to 150 degrees C/300 F. Take out the cheese ball from the cheese cloth and transfer to a baking tray and bake in the oven for 25-50 minutes. Take out, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, and before serving. 

Video

Notes

This cheese keeps in the fridge, covered, for around 5 days. 
Calories: 228kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 6mg, Potassium: 324mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 119IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 3mg

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Baked vegan cashew cheese

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