4.54

Vegan Cheddar Cheese

Vegan Cheddar Cheese
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This flavorful Vegan Cheddar Cheese recipe is so yummy, that even the pickiest eater will love it! It is smooth, creamy, sharp and reminiscent of the cheese I grew up eating.

Vegan Cheddar Cheese

FOR THE FULL LIST OF  INGREDIENTS, SCROLL TO SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END. BUT BEFORE YOU SCROLL CHECK IMPORTANT INFORMATION THAT IS INCLUDED IN THE BLURB.

This Vegan Cheddar Cheese recipe is so easy to prepare and it actually tastes better than most commercial recipes. It is sliceable, so it is perfect to serve with sandwiches or as an appetizer.

I have been wanting to make sliceable vegan cheese for quite a while after purchasing agar powder from my local Asian market. Agar powder can also be found online here.

My cheese sauce recipe from my Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe is so delicious, I decided to make the sliceable Vegan Cheddar Cheese by modifying the recipe. The result was spot on, it was so delicious that even my daughter, who is very picky, loved it.

I served my vegan cheese with my Brown Rice Crackers and it was such a delightful treat.

Vegan Cheese Board with cubes of cheese, crackers, olives, grapes

What is Vegan Cheese?

Vegan cheese is plant-based cheese made for people who are avoiding animal products in their diet.

It is also great for people who are dairy-free or lactose intolerant, those who are transitioning to a vegan lifestyle and those who are exploring non-traditional foods.

Cheese is basically made from the coagulation of proteins. In traditional cheese, this protein is casein which is derived from animal milk.

Rennet, a group of enzymes which is produced from the stomach of cows, is added to coagulate the casein. This is what causes curdling and cheese production.

However, vegan cheese doesn't contain any animal protein. Instead, thickeners, oils, and plant proteins are used to produce a firm vegan cheese.

What is Agar-Agar?

Agar-Agar,  also known as, Japanese gelatin, vegetable gelatin, Chinese isinglass, China glass, is the ingredient of choice for making solid vegan cheese, it is a jelly-like product from seaweed. It is basically the vegan version of gelatin.

Agar-agar is sold in Asian supermarkets and most health food stores, it is sold in powdered form, flakes or bar. It is also great in puddings, soups, mousse. For every 1 teaspoon of powdered form, you will need 1 tablespoon of flakes or 1/2 bar.

Vegan Cheddar Cheese

How To Make Vegan Cheddar Cheese

To make this vegan cheese recipe,  I blended cashews, water, nutritional yeast flakes, bell pepper, cornstarch, tapioca starch, coconut milk, coconut oil, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt until very creamy.

I boiled the agar powder in water and immediately add it to the cashew sauce. I then blend again until smooth. I used a high-speed blender.  I then poured the cheese mixture into a mold and refrigerate for a couple hours.

How Long Does Homemade Vegan Cheese Last In The Fridge?

Your vegan cheese should last around 5-7 days in the refrigerator stored in a covered container.

Vegan Cheddar Cheese

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Per portion
Energy:
118 kcal / 493 kJ
Fat:
8 g
Protein:
4 g
Carbohydrate:
8 g

Ingredients

For: 1 
Preparation:
10 min
Cooking:
2 h
Ready in:
2 h 10 min

Instructions

  1. If using a high-speed blender, add water, cashews, bell pepper, nutritional yeast flakes, lemon juice, coconut milk, coconut oil, tapioca starch, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. Process until smooth and creamy.

  2. Mix cold water with agar powder in a saucepan, bring to boil on medium stirring constantly. Remove from heat and immediately add to cheese sauce.

  3. Process until smooth.

  4. Pour mixture into an oiled container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

  5. Alternatively, especially when using a regular blender, process all the ingredients including agar powder in a blender until smooth. Pour sauce into a non-stick sauce on medium heat whisking constantly until thick and bubbly. Immediately pour into an oiled container and refrigerate for an hour.

  6. Note: I find the consistency of the method using the high-speed blender better.

Notes

1. The recipe calls for agar powder, if using agar flakes, use 3 times the amount instead.

2. If you prefer a sharper flavor then add extra lemon juice.

Vegan Cheddar Cheese

Please Leave a Comment and a Rating

Rating

26 Comments
  1. Robertas
    October 4, 2018

    4.01

    Doesn’t get hard to be grateable or sliceable, more like a spread, eventhough I’ve put a little more agar than needed

    • Michelle Blackwood
      October 4, 2018

      Robertes, next time freeze it first then grate it but as you can see from my photo I grated it without even freezing it at first.

  2. Aileen Henry
    August 6, 2018

    4.01

    Hi, it tastes great but mine isn’t hard! The recipe says 1-2 tbs agar powder so I put 1…would that explain the softness?
    Thanks!!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 6, 2018

      Aileen, it will be harder but not as hard as store-bought kind. I hope this helps.

      • Jim
        August 27, 2018

        I made it. The color is odd and it kind of smells. Is it supposed to smell funny? I also used 2TB Kappa Carageenan instead of Agar. You mention this is a sliceable Cheese but mut is not that hard. It is more like a spread. What could the problem? I also noticed you mentioned 1/2 cup water twice? Is that a typo? I used only 1/2 cup. Maybe I needed to do something different with Kappa Carageenan

        • Michelle Blackwood
          August 27, 2018

          Jim, not sure why it smells but I’m so used to making vegan cheeses that I don’t find the smell off. For the Kappa Carrageenan, from what I read you should have used 2 teaspoons carrageenan for substitution so you definitely used too much. Yes, you will end up using a total of 1 cup water, the first 1/2 cup you blend with cashews, bell pepper, nutritional yeast flakes, lemon juice, coconut milk, coconut oil, tapioca starch, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. The other 1/2 cup you mix cold water with agar powder in a saucepan, bring to boil on medium stirring constantly. Remove from heat and immediately add to cheese sauce.

  3. Jac
    July 8, 2018

    Hello,
    Is the coconut milk an essential ingredient in this recipe? Could I substitute rice milk?
    (I would substitute only the milk as I already have the coconut oil).
    Thanks! I love your spicy lentil soup recipe.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      July 8, 2018

      Jac it is an important ingredient in the recipe but if you use cold processed coconut oil it should be fine. I’m happy you love the lentil soup.

  4. KAT
    June 7, 2018

    How long does this cheese keep? THX!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      June 8, 2018

      Kat, vegan cheese should last around 5-7 days in the refrigerator stored in a covered container.

  5. Kyla
    April 8, 2018

    I hate bell peppers but often see them in cheese recipes. Why is that? Will I be able to taste it? If I leave it out will it not be right? I’ve been really struggling looking for a good hard cheese & getting stuck.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      April 8, 2018

      Kyla, the bell pepper is for color and added nutrients but you can leave it out and it won’t affect the taste at all. For a melty cheese substitute agar with Kappa carrageenan.

  6. Jane
    March 28, 2018

    What do you consider a high speed blender?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 28, 2018

      Jane the two high-speed blenders that I like and I have used are Blendtec and Vitamix brands. When you blend nuts or vegetables with liquid they should have a creamy finish. When you blend a grain for instance oats, you should end up with oat flour.

  7. Lisa M Smith
    February 11, 2018

    Michelle, I am allergic to cashews. :c Is there another nut I can substitute for them? Everywhere I look for a “cheese” recipe then seem to all use cashews.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      February 11, 2018

      Lisa, I use almonds in place of cashews. If you can get almond flour that’s even better.If you are using whole almonds blanch the almonds first, remove skin, then use a high-speed blender to process. You might need to blend, take a break then blend again until its smooth.

  8. Heather
    December 9, 2017

    Hi can you tell me if the non GMO cornstarch would be gluten free and if not what can I use to replace this?

    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!

    Heather

  9. Vegan Novice
    October 24, 2017

    Does this cheese melt and shred as well as slice?

  10. Bob
    August 14, 2017

    5.01

    Have made this morning. Used plastic food grade white cheese molds. No need for oiling them. Cheddar now wrapped up with paper towels and air drying for about 72 hours in cooler. Will send picture when completed along with opinion of taste test.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 14, 2017

      Wow Bob, I’m so curious to know how they turn out after air drying, will love to see the photos!

  11. Bob
    August 13, 2017

    I will try this tomorrow. Are you using refined coconut oil?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      August 13, 2017

      Awesome, I used unrefined coconut oil.

  12. Shannon Dawson
    August 2, 2017

    5.01

    I love this recipe, thank you for sharing!