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.

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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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115 thoughts on “Smoked Cashew Cheese”

    1. Maybe your blender isn’t as powerful or it needed longer? A soak may help this. Glad it still turned out well 🙂

    1. Bastian Nest and Glow

      You can use roasted cashews, it will give a different taste but will still work. No need to soak them and if they have salt added then you probably won’t want to add any more salt. Let me know how you get on 🙂

  1. Hi, looks like a great recipe and I want to try it without the agar-agar. Should I then reduce the amount of water? Thanks!

    1. Bastian Nest and Glow

      Hello, yes if you want to make it without the agar agar reduce the water – although it will be a cheese type spread rather than a set block 🙂

  2. Nice recipe.

    I modified slightly… left out the agar agar and didn’t use any maple syrup. It made a nice, tasty spreadable “creem cheeze”. The color was more brown than yours…I think my smoked paprika might be darker than what you used… so I added a little more tumeric and some annatto, which didn’t alter the taste very much.

    I am sure I will try it sliceable with agar agar in the future

  3. I love the taste of this chest but disappointed do to fact that it came out soft. I was hoping for a more firm Chez. Don’t no what I might have done wrong. I did everything as the recipe said. I did not use whole cashews, but cashew pieces. Don’t no if that might have been it?????

    1. Sorry to hear it was a bit soft – it should be firm enough to grate. Usually, issues with it setting are due to the agar agar – if it isn’t potent enough or if some gets stuck to the bottom. I constantly stir this to stop any sticking. Try with a bit more agar agar powder (not the flakes or bars) 🙂

  4. Hi Bastian…

    I’m allergic Cayenne Pepper, and Smoked Paprika I can just handle. How can I sub the Cayenne please, any suggestions? I have Smoke Liquid on hand…

    Thanks so much…

    1. Hello, I would try a different dried chilli for the cayenne to give some spice. Are you ok with them? For the smoked paprika you could use liquid smoke instead, but I haven’t used this ingredient much myself. Hope that helps 🙂

  5. Hi, I’ve never made nut cheese yet but really want to! wondering if this require a special strong blender or can I use a regular one? (not modern or very strong) Thanks!

    1. Hello, you can make this in a not very strong blender probably if you soak the cashews and then blend several times while scraping. I can make this in a 600w small jug blender 🙂

  6. Hi! This an awesome recipe, and I’m excited to try it! Do you know why the shelf life is so short? I’ve rarely heard of any foods, besides seafoods and meats, that aren’t safe at eat after such a short time.

    1. Hi Lisa, I’m just over cautious in my use by dates. It should if kept properly last longer – like many things your initiative is probably the best thing to follow 🙂

  7. Has anyone tried to make queso with this? I see the comparison with velveeta and have been trying to find a way to make a vegan queso!

    1. Bastian Durward

      Hello Linda, Lots of people have said this freezes well. Myself I haven’t ever needed to as its gone so quickly 🙂

  8. I don’t understand why people want any sweetness in their cheese? Most real cheese doesn’t have a sweet flavor. That’s the reason I don’t like most of the store bought vegan cheeses, they are sweet. So, I am looking forward to making this cheese without the maple syrup.

    1. Hi Laurie, most of my vegan cheeses don’t have a sweetener but this one does as for me it works well with the paprika. But for you it sounds like it would be better without it and that’s the great thing about making recipes yourself. Do try it and let me know how you get on 🙂

  9. Just an amazing taste and recipe. I wasn’t sure about the maple suryp so left it out. But really I recomend to always add it – you don’t taste it and its still savoury but the sweetness really lifts the cheese. It’s like a better version of smoked edam. You could used dates if you prefered though. Marmite can be used instead of nutiotional yeast – not quite as good but much cheaper and still yum yum yum!

  10. Just tried making this recipe and it’s absolutely delicious! I have to say it’s peobably the best alternative to cheese I’ve ever tasted, so much better than those sold in supermarkets! I made it without the agar as I don’t have any so it’s more like a spread, it has some chunks as my blender isn’t as potent but it’s so tasty I almost finished it all at once! Thank you

    1. Amazing! That’s so nice to hear and thanks so much for sharing. I totally agree its fine even without the agar as it still has all the taste. I know what you mean about almost finishing it in one go 😉

    1. It’s great in a mac and cheese! Follow this recipe with the blending but no need to add the agar agar or boil. Just stir it in. Let me know how you get on

  11. Love this recipe, it’s the best vegan cheese I have ever had! Love it sliced on crackers or just by itself. Everyone try this cashew Cheese asap!

  12. The best vegan cheese! I’ve been making this for over a year and love it. By far the best vegan cheese I have ever had and keep coming back for it. Bookmark this vegan cheese recipe and you have to try it

  13. I made it without agar agar and maply syrup. I like the taste overall, but it is too sweet for me. How can it be adjusted to taste more savory?

    1. Hi there, definitely leave out the maple – I was aiming for a sweet edam style cheese with this. It’s tricky with the sweet cashews and paprika to make it less sweet. I would try my sunflower cheese for something that is way more savoury.

  14. Hi! Made this today, mine turned out yummy- just not solid enough and with that hummus texture.. im wondering should i simmer it with the agar agar a bit or just add more agar agar next time? I stirred it all the time and no lumps formed..

    1. Hi, glad it tasted yummy! If there was none stuck to the bottom and was simmered to activate it you might just want to try adding a bit more agar – maybe some powder is less potent? Let me know how it goes!

  15. Thank you Bastian. This is delicious. Currently eating it on your quinoa bread. I love your recipes and am looking forward to getting your book for Christmas. I’ve been plant based for 5 and half years and I feel like at long last I have found the website I’ve been looking for. Healthy and delicious. Thank you 😊😋
    Josephine

    1. No thank you for your kind words Josephine! So nice to hear. Really hope you enjoy my book and all the future recipes on the site.

  16. I tried to make the cheese yesterday, the taste turned out to be nice, but the texture is not firm. I cannot slice it, as it is kind of the spreadable kind. What can I do to make it sliceable or even grate it. I did a half recipe and used agar agar powder and nutritional yeast flakes (double the amount). Thanks !

    1. Hello, It maybe due to the strength of the agar or some got stuck to the bottom. I would add more agar and make sure to constantly stir so none gets stuck to the bottom of the pan when heating.

      1. Hi, I will try that. Do you recommend adding cornstarch instead of agar agar? And would you soak the cashews at least 8 hours before putting them in the blender (and then add less water)?

        1. Hi there, I’m afraid cornstarch doesn’t work for this. Just leave out the agar agar to make a cashew cheese spread. I don’t soak cashew nuts, just about the only nut I dont soak. But if your blender is weak you may want to soak

    1. It melts a bit, but not much and nothing like normal cheese I’m afraid. It’s hard to get a melting vegan cheese without unhealthy oil or carrageenan

  17. The video says 1 1/2 cups of Cashews…but the instructions read 1 cup. It didn’t set firm, but will try more agar agar next time.

    1. Hi Kim, Sorry about that its a mistake in the video and can’t update it – I’ve added cover text to show it should be one cup and the written recipe is correct. It can depend alot on your agar agar, but do try adding a bit more and constantly stir to stop any from sticking. Let me know how it goes next time

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