Cashew Cheese

Cashew cheese is a tangy, savoury, spread and is super easy to make. It takes only 10 minutes, by throwing everything in a food processor.
Cashew Cheese by #vegan
Have you read Harriet the Spy? The novel was a favourite of mine during my childhood years. It sparked the beginning of countless spy clubs, spy quests, spy equipment making, and did a great job of honing my eavesdropping skills.

Is it bad to consider myself pretty darn good at eavesdropping? Yeah, don’t be telling secrets when I’m around. 😉

Harriet is a creature of habit, choosing tomato sandwiches every day for lunch. Her mother offers Harriet numerous other choices, but to no avail. Tomato it is.

I’ve never been a mayo kind of gal, and always prefered cream cheese with my tomato sandwiches. A little bit of salt and fresh ground pepper made it simply the easiest breakfast, lunch, or dinner; especially at a time when I could barely cook oatmeal.
Cashew Cheese by #vegan

A month or two ago I begun experimenting with cashew “cheese”. I don’t know if you can technically call this cheese since there isn’t any dairy. And if you’re expecting it to taste exactly like cream cheese, you might be disappointed. But I think it’s even better.

There’s something about the buttery cashews and tangy lemon juice that makes tomato sandwiches sparkle. A little nutritional yeast adds that “cheesy” element and salty taste without any actual cheese.

The cashews require soaking in order to blend well. That’s why you need to be sure to use raw cashews. Most recipes I’ve seen require a soaking time of at least 4 hours, but I’ve found that isn’t necessary. Two hours usually does it for me, and I even store my cashews in the freezer.
Cashew Cheese by #vegan

Draining isn’t necessary either, as there’s little liquid added to the mix and the cheese firms up quite a bit in the fridge. It tastes great spread on toast, crepes, or crackers. Sometimes I even take a spoonful straight from the container. It happens.

If you’re looking for a dairy-free cream cheese sub or just want to try something new with your cashews, this recipe is easy, straightforward, and one you’ll make over and over again.

Cashew Cheese
Author: Katy’s Kitchen
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: about 1 cup
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
  1. Soak the cashews in a bowl of water for at least two hours.
  2. Rinse and drain the cashews, and pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Add the cashews and all other ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
You can find raw cashews and nutritional yeast at a bulk food store or health food store.

You might also like:

1. Basil Oregano Pesto

2. Pumpkin Butter

3. The Veggie Sandwich of my Dreams

Published by

Katy MacKinnon

Katy MacKinnon is a food photographer and recipe developer, and Food Fight! co-host.

14 thoughts on “Cashew Cheese”

  1. Hehe, I was a fan of Harriet of the Spy when I was younger too – I would even beg my mom to let me bring tomato sandwiches to lunch everyday for a while too 🙂 I haven’t had a plain tomato sandwich in a long time but I think that should change and this cashew spread sounds fantastic to go along with it. Great recipe Katy and hope you have a great weekend!

  2. Ha! I definitely read Harriet the Spy when I was a kid! My best friend and I also had a spy club – we thought it was so cool. We had secret notebooks … the whole deal. Too funny. I’ve never heard of cashew cheese before but I am definitely a fan of all the ingredients!

    1. Secret notebooks – yes! I definitely had some sort of “code language” with friends that took wayyy longer to write out because each letter was a picture. Haha.

  3. You’ve just reminded me of a recipe that we made at a natural food store I used to work at. It was a spaghetti casserole that we baked with a cashew / nutritional yeast sauce. This sounds like it would be good on raw veg.

    1. Hey Summer, wow that dish sounds delicious! I’m definitely planning on experimenting with cashew cream sauces, cauliflower sauces, etc. I’m so intrigued by all the dairy-free cream sauces out there. Cheese is a tough one so I can’t wait to try even more recipes. And yes – it’s great on raw veg especially tomatoes. 🙂

    1. Baked almond feta sounds really interesting, I’ve never heard of it! Yes, I’ve seen way too many vegan cheese recipes that just look super complicated. That’s not for me, and this one comes together in a snap!

  4. Can this be made without lemon juice? I soaked my cashews and then read the recipe in full I don’t have any lemon or lime juice.

    1. The lemon juice adds the tang and thins out the cashews a bit. So, without lemon juice I would suggest adding some water and some apple cider vinegar. Add one tablespoon of each at a time and see how you like it. Hope it works Katie!

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