Smoked cashew cheese recipe that is sweet, creamy and very moreish. This vegan cheese is full of heart-healthy fats, vitamins and protein. The cheesy dairy free taste comes from nutritional yeast and the smokiness is provided by smoked paprika.
Quick and easy to make cashew cheese recipe that takes less than 10 minutes. If cheese stops you from going vegan try this recipe today! It slices and when baked at a low temperature it melts and goes golden.
My cashew cheese recipe is one of the most popular on the site as it’s so easy and tastes great. Perfect for anyone that’s looking for a tasty cheese without dairy. It has just the right combination of creamy cashews, smokey paprika, sour lemon, spicy cayenne pepper and saltiness to be irresistible.
It’s perfect on a cheeseboard where everyone, vegan or not will enjoy this vegan cheese.
Video for Smoked Cashew Cheese Recipe
The consistency of this cashew cheese is a bit different to normal cheese – it’s best described as being similar to processed cheeses with a jelly-like texture.
I lined the pan with parchment paper purely for aesthetic reasons. I was hoping to get some nice paper lines like you often get on traditional cheeses. You can just use a normal pan and it comes out easily enough without lining or greasing.
Take a look at my sunflower seed cheese to see how it will come out in a normal dish or ramekin. I think it turned out really well with the paper folds in the cheese. The paper can be used to wrap it up when stored in the fridge and gives the vegan cheese an authentic look.
Apple cider vinegar aslo works well in place of the lemon or lime juice. A tiny bit of sourness helps balance out the flavour of the cashew cheese.
Agar agar is a natural product extracted from seaweed. It comes in several different forms – powder, flakes and bars. In this nut cheese recipe I use powder as it’s the most potent. If you are using the flakes you will need to double the amount. Similarly for agar agar bars you will need to add more, but I’m not sure the exact amount as I’ve never used bars.
Agar agar doesn’t have any health concerns, unlike another seaweed extract carrageenan. This is often used in foods, even those that are organic and natural, as a stabiliser and preservative. Carrageenan does have some health concerns as it affects the digestive system, but rest assured agar agar does not.
If you don’t have any agar agar you can just leave it out and make a cheese spread that has all the taste of the original recipe but just won’t slice.
The maple syrup in this vegan cheese recipe is totally optional. I find the small amount balances out the flavour and works really well with the paprika and cashews.
Even if you’re not vegan this cashew cheese recipe is a great healthy alternative that is good for the planet and good for you. I have several other vegan cheese recipes listed below if you want a vegan cheese without cashews.
There’s no need to soak the cashews, the only nuts I don’t soak are cashews and macadamia.
Cashews are a soft nut so even a 500w blender can blend them smooth. They also don’t have the absorption issues that other nuts, such as almonds have if not soaked/sprouted. Even if you have a week blender the resulting cheese is still great with cashew chunks!
Some have commented that this isn’t a proper vegan cheese as it’s not fermented. This is a quick and easy cheese recipe and the flavour comes from the nutritional yeast that has been fermented so it definitely does have a cheesy taste.
Nutritional yeast can be found in most health food shops. It’s rich in B vitamins and many brands contain the elusive B12. Also known as nooch, hippie dust or Brufax. It’s an inactive yeast that is made from sugar cane or beet molasses that have been grown for their nutritional properties.
The nutritional yeast is important to give this vegan cheese the right cheesy taste but if you can’t source it then it still works with it omitted.
Agar agar is a nutritious and safe vegan alternative to gelatin that has many health benefits including promoting digestive health and strengthening bones.
Smoked Cashew Vegan Cheese Recipe
- 1 cup / 150g Cashews
- ½ cup / 40g Nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp Smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp Maple syrup
- 1 tbsp Agar agar powder
- 1 clove of Garlic
- 1 Lemon juiced
- ¼ tsp Turmeric
- ¼ tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1½ cups / 350ml Water
- a pinch of Salt
- Place half the water and everything else apart from the agar agar into a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- In a pan put in the remaining half of the water and the agar agar.
- Simmer for 5 mins stirring constantly. Make sure no lumps of agar agar form at the bottom.
- Take off the heat and stir in the cashew mixture until combined.
- Pour into a mould and then chill for an hour.
- Enjoy within 5 days and keep chilled.
- Can be frozen to last for up to 3 months.
If you make this cashew cheese recipe please do tag me on Instagram @nestandglow, I love seeing my recipes created!
For another vegan cheese recipe check out my pistachio cheese recipe – also vegan and easy to make (like all of my recipes).
If you like this cashew cheese then for a slightly stringy vegan nut cheese full of good stuff see my smoked cashew mozzarella cheese