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.
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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.
Apple cider vinegar also 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.
My everyday cheese recipe to make a vegan cheese quickly that tastes amazing and can be sliced. Cashews and nutritional yeast make a cheese that is both dairy free and taste amazing. Links maybe affiliated, meaning I earn a commission from purchases but at no extra cost to yourself.
Smoked Cashew Vegan Cheese
Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 68Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 0mgSodium 72mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 3g
My everyday cheese recipe to make a vegan cheese quickly that tastes amazing and can be sliced. Cashews and nutritional yeast make a cheese that is both dairy free and taste amazing.
Links maybe affiliated, meaning I earn a commission from purchases but at no extra cost to yourself.
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
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.
188 thoughts on “Smoked Cashew Cheese”
These look great! What size pan are you using for the mold?
Thanks! I can’t find it at the moment but it’s about 3-4″ in diameter.
I made this yesterday and there’s no way I could slice it like this. Came out soft.
I just put all of the water and the agar in the blender and then heated it. No problem. That’s always how I’ve made vegan cheese before. I would use much less syrup next time -too sweet. Pro-tip…don’t use meyer lemons. All I had and it was too fruity.
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?
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?
I followed your recipe and the cheese did not set it remained liquid any advice
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
I can’t find agar agar can I substitute pectin or gelatin and at what ratio.i know it not vegan but just wanted to find out.
Hi, i’m really not sure about gelatine, in theory, it should work but I don’t use it. Pectin wouldn’t work. I would just leave out to make a pate.
Pure Formulas has the powdered Agar.
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.
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!
Mine didn’t set either ?
Do you think this would be slightly melt in the oven? I want to use it as a pizza topping.
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
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?
hello, can I use psyllium instead of agar agar? thank you
Afraid not, that won’t set
You note that applecider vinegar can be used as an alternative to a lemon. How much do I use?
Use the same amount as the ACV in this cashew cheese 🙂
Am I able to use gelatin powder as a replacement to agar agarr?
It’s not something I would recommend as I’m vegan, but it should work – but the smell, the smell of gelatin is terrible!
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.
Amazing! So nice to hear you like it and it’s making being vegan successful!
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.
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!
is this recipe Paleo friendly? I want to try this as I love cheese and anything with cheese :).
Yes this vegan cheese is paleo
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.
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?
Are the cashews raw or roasted?
I use raw cashew for this, you could use roasted but raw work great and are more nutritious.
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).
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
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?
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!
I would omit or significantly lower the amount of maple syrup. Way too sweet for me. I’m sure it’s nice without as the standard cashew cheese .
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.
Hi, I would like to know if the amount of agar agar stays the same if I cut the recipe in half. Thanks!
Hi there, I would reduce the agar agar by 40% if halving
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?
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.
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!
I am about to try this recipe but, being from NZ, not quite sure what you mean by a pan. Is this a special mold. Is it possible to see a picture of one?
Hi, I just mean a saucepan. Check out the video above to see me make this cashew cheese 🙂
Hi, the video says 1.5c cashews but the recipe on this website calls for 1c. Could you please let me know which amount is better to use? I made this today using just 1c and it is currently setting in the fridge, can’t wait to try it once it’s ready! Thanks!
Hi there, it’s a mistake with the video that I can’t go back and fix. Use the written recipe. I got confused between 150g and 1 cup! Sorry
Hiii! I’ve been looking at this recipe for awhile now- I’m finally gonna give it a go. I want to make sure I get this right. So few questions after reading all the comments. Do not soak the cashews, correct? Use agar agar power not that flakes? What is corn in this recipe? I cannot have corn either.. is that what agar agar is? What size pan should I put the mixture into? Do I cover it in the fridge? I cannot use nutritional yeast… I’ve looked up alternatives and google recommends chick pea flour so I went and bought that. Opinions on that replacement? I feel like that’s all the questions for now… Thank you. Love your IG page 🙂
Hi, thanks! Yes don’t soak (you can it’s just not needed for cashews), use agar powder, no agar agar is seaweed, yes cover in fridge if you like, haven’t used pea flower – can you use yeast extract?
Can I replace the garlic cloves (and onion slice from the sunflower seeds cheese) with garlic powder and onion powder? If yes, what are the conversion measurements?
I made this and you definitely have to bring the agar agar and water to the boil and then simmer. You must stir continuously until it looks like wallpaper paste and then add all the ingredients together. Unless you boil and simmer the agar agar it does not set – I know, I had to make it twice as first time following recipe did not work.
This recipe is amazing. I know cashews are a good source of unsaturated fats and that we shouldn’t overindulge because we typically don’t require a high percentage of fats in our dietary regime but I may find it hard to avoid eating a block of this cheese every 30 minutes. Thanks for the recipe! Damn near addictive!
I just finished making it and I was underwhelmed! I followed the recipe exactly and it really doesn’t have much flavor to me. It’s lacking piquancy. No kick at all, rather bland to me. I will try your formula again but turn up the flavor, add mustard powder or something
Hi there could you double check total calories. I’m looking at something that says one eighth of 1.5 cups of natural cashews would have more than 68 calories on it’s own. Thanks
Hi, ignore the video and use the recipe listed instead. It’s 1 cup of cashews 🙂
I just recently became vegan and am trying to make all my own cheeses. I did everything as directed, except I used agar agar flakes instead of powder. The store did not carry it. The cheese came out very watery and bland unfortunately. Does the agar agar flakes versus powder make that much of a difference? It seems that there is too much water used for this recipe.
The powder is a lot more potent, so I think for the flakes you need to add 2-3 times the amount else it won’t set
Came out perfect thank you!
Why does the video show 1 1/2 cup cashews but the recipe shows 1 cup
It’s a mistake I made when editing, once the video is done it’s difficult to change – sorry! Always go by the recipe. 🙂