Smoked Cashew Cheese Recipe

smoked cashew vegan cheese recipe for firm sliceable dairy free cheese

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.

A slice of Smoked Cashew vegan Cheese

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.

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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.

Smoked Cashew Vegan Cheese Platter

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.

Smoked Cashew Vegan Cheese Close up

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.

firm easy vegan cheese recipe made from cashew nuts

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!

a quick to make cashew cheese

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

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Lemon juiced
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1½ cups / 350ml Water
  • a pinch of Salt

Method

  1. Place half the water and everything else apart from the agar agar into a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. In a pan put in the remaining half of the water and the agar agar.
  4. Simmer for 5 mins stirring constantly. Make sure no lumps of agar agar form at the bottom.
  5. Take off the heat and stir in the cashew mixture until combined.
  6. Pour into a mould and then chill for an hour.
  7. Enjoy within 5 days and keep chilled.
  8. 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).

Pistachio Nut Cheese Recipe

If you like this cashew cheese then for a slightly stringy vegan nut cheese full of good stuff see my smoked cashew mozzarella cheese

smoked cashew mozzarella cheese

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162 thoughts on “Smoked Cashew Cheese”

  1. Hi there!
    I love your recipes! Thanks for sharing them.
    I wanted to make this smoky cheese but I cannot have agar agar or corn so would tapioca or arrowroot work as a thickener instead?
    Thanks ????

    1. Hi there, afraid not – the others wont make it able to set and be sliceable. How about leaving out the agar and making it as a dip?

    1. Hi, What type of agar agar were you using? That’s where people tend to go wrong on this one. And not stirring enough so some sticks to the bottom

    2. The recipe says to just simmer the agar, but it should be brought to a bowl than simmered and make sure you see no granulars what so ever left over cause apparently it will not set if you do. So it will be a dipping sauce then.

      1. I’ve not had issues with it not setting with my method to be honest. I don’t recommend to bring to a boil as can cause some to be stuck to the bottom, then having issues with it not setting. But if it works for you fair enough!

    1. Yes, but it will never compare with normal cheese or even the vegan cheeses that are high in oil. But it’s still quite nice

      1. Instead of making the sliceable cheese with the agar agar, maybe make this cheese without it so it’s like a dip and “blop” or spread the cheese around the pizza instead?

    1. It’s not something I would recommend as I’m vegan, but it should work – but the smell, the smell of gelatin is terrible!

  2. Just made this and put in fridge. It tastes really good. I can’t wait to use it tonight for my vegan tacos.! Thanks for the recipes, July will mark 2 yrs being a vegan and it’s people like you that have made it so successful.

  3. I just made this without the agar agar. My question is do you use the whole 1.5 cups of water? I only used the initial 3/4 cup. It tastes awesome! I used less smoked paprika because the kind I bought is very strong. I could use a bit less next time. It is still excellent and I will make it again and buy some agar agar for next time. Thank you.

    1. Yes I use the whole amount, although with the heating some is lost and the cashew nuts aren’t soaked so you do need a decent amount of water. Glad it worked out great for you!

  4. I did half the recipe and used 1Tbsp of agar agar flakes bc I didn’t have the powder. Turned out perfect! Wish I could add my picture.

    1. Oh wow that’s great to hear, sorry you cant upload a photo of this cashew cheese – if you share on social media @nestandglow if you’re on any?

  5. Hm, tried it twice, the second time I used even more agar agar and both times it stayed merely a dip. Something I’m missing here?
    (taste is but really good).

    1. Bastian Durward

      Sorry to hear that, can you confirm you were using agar agar powder and not the flakes? Only use the powder as the flakes aren’t very strong. Next tip is to constantly stir so none sticks to the bottom

  6. Hi there

    Thank you for these wonderful recipes. Would just like to know how long does vegan cheese last for in the fridge and can you freeze them?

    Many thanks

    1. Bastian Durward

      Hi there, yes you can freeze this. But in the fridge it lasts for about 4-5 days. Let me know if you make this cashew cheese!

  7. Margaret Thornton

    I made a third portio of this cheese yesterday, I tasted it as I was making it and did not like the smell or taste at all. I put 6 anise seeds in and processed a bit more. I did not use the agar agar. Tried again last night and it tasted better and even better today. I will make it again as a spreading cheese.
    I used to hate cashew nuts as a child and not tasted them for more than 60 years so only bought a snack size packet, hence the small portion. Yes, this was a success. Thank you. The first of your recipes I have tried.

  8. Has anyone tried using a nut milk instead of water for more creamyness?
    Loved this recipe and thanks for the great instructions. Have not had any luck using agar before this recipe😀

  9. Mine didn’t set either but the flavor is amazing. I used powder, stirred the whole time. Maybe I had it too hot because I stupidly thought simmer meant boil and simmer. Will try again. In any case it tastes amazing.

  10. Update on my last comment–I was not following the recipe properly (I know, shocking). Just tried a third time and realized I’d been pouring the agar mixture into the cold blender rather than pouring the cheese mixture into the warm pot. It’s in the fridge now and setting much firmer. So excited!

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