Substituting cheese or removing cheese from your diet seems to be one of the toughest dietary changes when it comes to becoming more plant-based or transitioning to a plant-based / vegan diet.
For this reason, we have been testing many vegan cheese recipes over the past year and a bit.
We’d like to share some of these recipes with you. And since it is Veganuary, we decided it would be the ideal time to share our favourite cheese recipes. These are all tried and tested vegan recipes (using ingredients that are easy enough to source locally).
We prefer to follow a whole-food diet and make everything ourselves. Most store-bought cheese just didn’t make the cut for us. So we deciding it was time to do some more experimenting with different vegan cheeses.
Quick Tip: You will need a high-speed blender for these recipes.
Vegan Mozzarella (or cream cheese)
We tried this recipe from the Vegan Blueberry most recently. It was meant to be a mozzarella but gave us more of a cream cheese feel in both flavour and texture*. It was a great spread to our freshly baked bread ;). However, once slightly frozen and grated it did melt and spread with heat, making it act similar to mozzarella.
We used agar agar as we do not have kappa carrageenan.
*We are still on the hunt for a delicious vegan cheesecake that tastes like the ‘real deal’, the only recipes we haven’t tried are the ones that call for vegan cream cheese – so perhaps we can use this recipe in a cheesecake?
“Buffalo Mozzarella” for a pizza
This recipe is from Avant-Garde Vegan.
It is best used immediately. Designed as a pizza topping, but also works well as a topping to a casserole that could be complemented by it, such as a lasagne or a vegetable bake.
These recipes are from Loving it Vegan. They are the firmest cheeses that we’ve made and the favour is really good. There are 2 variants and both are great, the favours just vary. Version 1 contains peppers and smoked paprika, and version 2 contains carrots and tahini.
Best on sandwiches or crackers – sliced or grated.
This recipe is from the Minimalist baker. Quick recipe with no fuss – just blend everything together. This is a ‘dry’ cheese recipe with a longer shelf life.
Most pungent of the ‘cheeses’ and it is a really great topping to pastas, pizzas and even sandwiches.
Another Minimalist Baker recipe. This recipe is better than the cashew-based “quesos” as it reheats better and has a better texture for a ‘queso’ cheese. If you’re not an aubergine fan, no worries, you cannot taste them at all.
Quick Cashew ‘feta’
1 cup raw soak cashews, drained & rinsed; 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar; 1 tbsp water; 3/4 tsp sea salt – blend it all together until you have a ‘course’ crumbled feta consistency.
Best mixed in with something such as spinach or feta as a filling or in a casserole dish.
Other info & tips:
- Tofu is a great feta and halloumi substitute
- Kappa Carrageenan is also used in helping vegan cheeses set. Both Agar Agar and Kappa Carrageenan are derived from red seaweed.
- If you do purchase store-bought or other vegan cheeses, read the ingredients and try buy as local as possible.