Vegan Cheddar Cheese

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Vegan Cheddar Cheese

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

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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. Try my amazing Vegan Cheese Ball recipe.

Vegan Cheddar Cheese

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Categories

Cuisine:
Season:

Nutrition

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

Cooking Time

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

Ingredients

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: 1. I find the consistency of the method using the high-speed blender better. 2. This recipe is not like storebought processed vegan cheese. So it's not as firm. Yes, it slices and shreds but not like storebought and tastes amazing!

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

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

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40 Comments
  1. Ann Marie
    October 17, 2019

    Sunflower seeds works too

  2. Charnele
    April 30, 2019

    I made this cheese for my non-vegan father. He loved it, and told he that he was planning on going dairy free, and expressed that he will need me to make it for him more often.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      April 30, 2019

      Charnele, that is wonderful. I’m so happy your father enjoyed it. Thank you very much for your feedback.

  3. Ralph T
    February 25, 2019

    Kappa Carrageenan; there is controversy with this product so why even risk it! Stick with agar agar. The recipe is outstanding.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      February 25, 2019

      Well said Ralph,thank you for your feedback.

    • Kathryn Gannon
      September 22, 2019

      If you want it to melt and then harden again you use Kappa.

  4. Mercedes D Bujans
    January 25, 2019

    Love this recipe! Question: can I substitute anything else for the coconut milk & oil? I cant eat coconut but would really like make this cheese,it looks so divine. Zillion thanks!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 25, 2019

      Mercedes, I only tried it with coconut milk and oil, so I can’t say for sure if it would set without them. If you try it without coconut oil or milk please let us know how it turns out.

  5. Charnele
    January 8, 2019

    Hi! Can Guar Guam be used instead of the agar powder?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      January 8, 2019

      Charnele, I have seen it used in storebought cheeses and I was thinking of trying it out myself when time allows.

  6. Michelle Blackwood
    December 6, 2018

    Mine wasn’t hard like commercial ones but it was firm enough to slice and i even grated mine, I believe I posted photos.

  7. Alli
    December 4, 2018

    OMG this tasted EXACTLY like cheddar cheese but I’ll confess I wanted a cheddar cheese dip/spread so I added plain oatmeal to thicken it up iin my VitaMix vs turning into a cheese block with the agar agar. But honestly, I’d probably add oatmeal to the mix to make a more solid cheese block as well.

    Other modifications I made: I used apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice – for some reason that made it smell and taste even more like sharp cheddar as well. :-) I used roasted sweet pepper in water (store bought jar) instead of regular sweet pepper (that roasted flavor amped up the cheddar taste too), and I also added a dash or two of Ume plum vinegar (for more sharpness).

    SOooooo delish (and addictive)! I don’t ever have to look for another vegan cheddar recipe. I can choose to slice it or spread it. Five stars!! THANK YOU!!!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 6, 2018

      Thank you Alli, I love your feedback and adjustments. They are fabulous and made my day!!!

    • Elise
      February 18, 2019

      Very useful comment. Thank you.

  8. Aileen Henry
    August 6, 2018

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Vegan Novice
    October 24, 2017

    Does this cheese melt and shred as well as slice?

  16. Bob
    August 14, 2017

    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!

  17. 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.

  18. Shannon Dawson
    August 2, 2017

    I love this recipe, thank you for sharing!