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.
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, that 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.
FOR THE FULL LIST OF INGREDIENTS, SCROLL TO SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END. BUT BEFORE YOU SCROLL CHECK THE IMPORTANT INFORMATION THAT IS INCLUDED IN THE BLURB.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe?
This amazing Vegan Cheddar Cheese Recipe is great for your next event and will certainly be a huge hit because:
- It’s rich, cheesy, hearty, and comforting.
- It’s nutritious, gentle on the stomach, and delicious.
- It tastes amazing!
- It is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
- A batch may be prepared in under 10 minutes.
- You can slice and grate it.
- You may even make a variant that melts and stretches!
- It tastes like real cheddar cheese.
- This recipe is a lot cheaper than buying vegan cheese or making cashew cheese at home.
- Spices are mild, however, they can be increased or decreased according to your taste buds.
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 that are 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 firm vegan cheese.
What is Agar-Agar?
Agar-Agar, also known as, Japanese gelatin, vegetable gelatin, Chinese isinglass, or 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, and mousse. For every 1 teaspoon of powdered form, you will need 1 tablespoon of flakes or 1/2 bar.
- Cashews: Cashews for creamy, velvety cheese and a good source of protein
- Red Bell Pepper: Red bell pepper for orange color and vitamins.
- Nutritional Yeast Flakes: Nutritional yeast flakes for cheesy flavor and Vitamin B12.
- Lemon Juice: Adds a great zing and brightness to the dish.
- Coconut Milk: Plant-based milk is known as non-dairy milk. Almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, and cashew milk are some of the varieties. I chose coconut milk, but feel free to use your fave! Any type of plant-based milk will work.
- Non-Gmo Cornstarch: Depending on the desired consistency of the sauce, you can increase or decrease the amount of cornstarch.
- Granulated Onion Powder: The addition of onion powder will give this cheese a more savory flavor.
- Granulated Garlic Powder: Garlic powder gives it a rich garlicky flavor.
- Salt: Salt brings the flavors together and makes the recipe complete.
- Cayenne Pepper: It imparts a more neutral “peppery” flavor to the cheddar cheese.
- Agar Powder: This clear vegan gelatin, which is made from seaweed, is crucial for setting the cheese. If you omit it, you cannot get sliceable cheese. If you can get it, use agar agar powder instead of flakes. It can be pricey, but if you get it from Amazon, it’s a terrific deal.
How To Make Vegan Cheddar Cheese?
To make this vegan cheese recipe:
- Blend cashews, water, nutritional yeast flakes, bell pepper, cornstarch, coconut milk, coconut oil, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt until very creamy.
- Boil the agar powder in water and immediately add it to the cashew sauce.
- Blend the agar/cashew mixture again in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Pour the cheese mixture into a mold and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
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.
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.
Refrigerator: Refrigerate the cheese in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
It can be frozen for up to three months. I find it simplest to freeze the cheese in an airtight freezer bag after slicing or shredding it. This allows you to utilize smaller pieces without having to defrost the entire block.
This vegan cheddar is delicious shredded on pizza, salads, sandwiches, or either diced or sliced for snacking! It is just as delicious as regular cheddar cheese.
Check out these helpful tips for the finest vegan cheddar cheese:
- Add tahini paste for an added cheesy flavor. If you don’t have tahini you can replace it with miso.
- Ensure that you accurately measure the ingredients! Your cheese’s texture can be significantly altered by little adjustments to the liquid, agar agar, or tapioca starch amounts.
- Allow the agar agar to melt and completely bind with the ingredients by simmering.
- If you want the cheese to melt while making anything hot, such as a grilled cheese sandwich, use tapioca starch.
- In order to achieve the velvety cheese sauce, I highly recommend you use a high-speed blender like Blendtec or
- If you do not have a high-speed blender, soak your cashews first. I also recommend that you blend at least two times resting the blender after each time you process the sauce to prevent your motor from getting damaged.
- You may add more or less water depending on the consistency you choose.
- It’s much better to make it a little bit thick, which can be readily adjusted, than being too thin, which can’t.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or three months in the freezer.
Other Amazing Vegan Cheese Recipes To Try
How Long Does Homemade Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Vegan Cheddar Cheese Made Of?
Various nuts, most frequently cashews, almonds, and macadamias can be used to make vegan cheeses. However, unlike cheese manufactured from cow’s milk, which contains rennet, cholesterol, and other undesirable elements, these plant-based alternatives only have healthful fats.
Are Cashews Healthy?
Yes! Cashews are a good source of plant protein and fiber, they’re low in sugar and rich in heart-healthy fats. Additionally, they are high in copper, magnesium, and manganese, all of which are necessary for brain health, immunity, bone health, and energy production.
Because of their high levels of carotenoids and polyphenolic antioxidants, cashews may help to reduce inflammation while also protecting against disease.
Can I Use Arrowroot Or Any Other Type Of Starch?
Unfortunately, only tapioca starch will cause your cheese to melt and stretch; if you substitute anything else, the result won’t be as good.
Can I Use Agar Agar Flakes Instead Of Powder?
Yes, you can, but more of it will be required because it doesn’t melt as rapidly. Rather than using 2 tablespoons of powder, this cheese calls for 6 tablespoons of the powder Agar-Agar flakes instead. You will need three times as many flakes as powder.
Can I Add Spices?
Yes, you are free to use any herbs and spices you wish. You can add herbs, like paprika, pepper, turmeric, and mustard powder.
What Does Vegan Cheddar Cheese Taste Like?
This recipe for vegan cheddar cheese is mild, yet flavorful. It has a great, somewhat chewy texture and a mildly tangy kick.
Can You Freeze Vegan Cheese?
Sure! Although the texture may soften slightly after thawing, you should still feel free to store any leftovers.
Can You Grate It?
Yes, you can. It is solid enough to grate. If it’s not perfect for grating when it’s just set, it’ll be the following day because it tends to become firmer the longer it’s in the fridge.
Does It Melt?
It does, indeed. Even though this cheese isn’t going to melt and spread over a pizza like other cheddar cheese, it does soften when heated. So you can definitely grate some and put it on a pizza. Even while it won’t spread, it will still taste good.
Can I Mash It?
Yes, if you want it mashed up over a cracker, it’s soft enough to do that. It is both tough enough to grate and soft enough to mash. It’s excellent stuff.
Are Nutritional Yeast Flakes Good For You?
Yes! Nutritional Yeast Flakes are a staple in many kitchens. It has a cheesy, nutty, or savory flavor. It is a vegan source of protein, B vitamins, and trace minerals that are necessary for optimal health.
It contains a high amount of vitamin B12 which helps prevent vitamin B12 deficiency in vegans. Glutathione and selenomethionine, two antioxidants found in nutritional yeast, may help protect your body from oxidative stress-induced chronic diseases.
Do I Have To Use A Blender?
While I believe that making this vegan cheddar cheese recipe in a blender is the quickest and easiest method, it is not the only option.
You could also add all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend them until the mixture is smooth and thick.
Is Vegan Cheddar Cheese Healthy?
Vegan cheddar cheese is still healthy than regular cheese that is certain. Vegan cheddar cheese is healthier than dairy cheese since it doesn’t include growth hormones, animal proteins that cause cancer, or saturated animal fat that raises cholesterol.
Give this Vegan Cheddar Cheese a try. It’s incredibly delicious and super easy. I hope you like it. As always, I would love to hear from you. So if you tried this recipe or any other from my website, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below!
If you like and enjoy this recipe, please leave a comment to let me know your feedback.
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- Categories: Gluten-Free, Vegan
- Courses: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
- Cuisine: American
- Seasons: Christmas, Thanksgiving
- Energy: 118 kcal / 493 kJ
- Fat: 8 g
- Protein: 4 g
- Carbs: 8 g
- Preparation: 10 min
- Cooking: 2 h
- Ready in: 2 h 10 min
- For: 1
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped seeds removed
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 2 tablespoonS non-GMO cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pinch Cayenne pepper, optional
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon agar powder
- If using a high-speed blender, add water, cashews, bell pepper, nutritional yeast flakes, lemon juice, coconut milk, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. Process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Mix cold water with agar powder in a saucepan, and boil on medium stirring for about 1 minute. Immediately add the cheese sauce and constantly stir with a whisk thoroughly and bring the sauce to a boil.
- Pour the mixture into an oiled container or silicone loaf mold and freeze for 1 hour.
- Remove after the hour and unmold, cheese is now ready to be sliced or grated.
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.
Are we soaking the cashews in this recipe or not ??
Kristen you can but it isn’t necessary if you are using a high-speed blender. If you are concerned about phytic acid you don’t have to worry because cashew is not ‘truly raw’, it has to be roasted or heated while processing.
This is the best vegan cheese I have ever had!!! Beats store bought!!! Thanks Michelle!!!
Wow Theresa, that is so good to read. Thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate it!
Sunflower seeds works too
Awesome Ann, thank you for sharing your feedback.
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.
Charnele, that is wonderful. I’m so happy your father enjoyed it. Thank you very much for your feedback.
Kappa Carrageenan; there is controversy with this product so why even risk it! Stick with agar agar. The recipe is outstanding.
Well said Ralph,thank you for your feedback.
If you want it to melt and then harden again you use Kappa.
Thank you Kathryn for sharing!
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!
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.
Hi! Can Guar Guam be used instead of the agar powder?
Charnele, I have seen it used in storebought cheeses and I was thinking of trying it out myself when time allows.
Mine wasn’t hard like commercial ones but it was firm enough to slice and i even grated mine, I believe I posted photos.
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!!!
Thank you Alli, I love your feedback and adjustments. They are fabulous and made my day!!!
Very useful comment. Thank you.
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?
Aileen, it will be harder but not as hard as store-bought kind. I hope this helps.
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
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.