Sliceable Vegan Cheese

Vegan Sliceable Cheese

Cheese and Weight Gain

Despite what you hear in the media, there really isn’t a cheese – low-fat or not – that will fit well into a healthy weight loss plan. Even most of the lower-fat cheeses are still high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Cheese and Disease

What’s more, studies have linked the consumption of cheese with a number of health problems, including breast cancer, childhood-onset diabetes, iron deficiency, obesity, heart disease, allergies, and digestive problems.

One recent study indicated that women who ate cheese every day were 50 percent more likely to die from breast cancer within 12 years than those who did not eat cheese. This may be due to the skatole and ammonia produced in cheese during the fermentation process of the milk protein.

The ripening process of cheese, which occurs due to the action of molds and bacteria on milk, also produces an alkaloid called roquefortine (a neurotoxin) and amines (which have been shown to cause migraines and high blood pressure).

What about all the health benefits of cheese?

Calcium and protein are the only bragging rights cheese has, but even here we find problems.

The calcium present in cheese cannot be used by the body as well as the calcium found in other foods such as kale, collards, almonds, and sesame seeds.

And the protein? There are many, many other much healthier and lower fat sources of protein than cheese.

Vegan Sliceable Cheese Recipe

Plant-Based Cheese

There are several vegan cheeses on the market.  While many vegan foods have created their own benchmarks and swagger that they don’t have to be compared to their “non-plant-based” counterparts (think of the amazing veggie burgers out there that some of the most die-hard meat eaters happily admit to being enthralled with and the handful of non-dairy milks that taste waaay better than cow’s milk), unfortunately vegan cheese has yet to be invited to the party.

Still commercial vegan cheese is an option (and some of them have made great strides in texture and taste), and they don’t carry most of the health risks that dairy cheese has. However, they are all highly processed and high in refined ingredients.

Homemade Non-Dairy Cheese?

That’s where homemade vegan cheese comes in. Made from healthful ingredients. Low in refined fats. And customizable when it comes to taste.

Recipe for Vegan Sliceable Cheese

About this Recipe

This homemade vegan cheese is made from raw cashews and carrots, which offer you a healthy dose of fiber, vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, iron, and more.

Agar? What in the world is agar?  Don’t let the strange ingredient deter you. Agar is a healthy ingredient that can be easily purchased from Amazon, health food stores, in Asian markets, and in some supermarkets.

More Vegan Cheese Recipes

After you enjoy this delicious recipe, check out all my vegan cheese recipes.

Vegan Sliceable Cheese

Sliceable Vegan Cheese

Don’t attempt to make half a recipe; the smaller amount won’t blend well in the blender jar.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Total Time 12 mins
Course Condiment
YIELD 1 5-inch x 3-inch x 3-inch block of cheese
All recipes on jenniferskitchen.com are property of jennifer’s kitchen and cannot be republished without written permission.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3/8 cup lemon juice - (6 tablespoons), (Edit: I received feedback from those who have tried this recipe and they said they liked it better with only 5 tablespoons of lemon.)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon mild-flavored olive oil - or mild-tasting coconut oil, see note #1, optional
  • 1/4 cup tahini - scant
  • 1 small carrot, peeled - see note #2
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes - optional, (I don't use this ingredient, but many like it better with it.)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons agar powder

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients, except 1 cup water and agar, in blender and blend until smooth.
  • Scrape down sides of blender with a spatula and blend again on high speed until mixture is very, very smooth and creamy. (I recommend using a heavy-duty blender to get the mixture very smooth and creamy.) Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, stir agar into 1 cup water. Cover, and heat over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 60 seconds. Remove from heat.
  • Immediately pour agar mixture into ingredients in blender and blend until thoroughly combined. Scrape pan with a spatula to get all the agar mixture.
  • Promptly pour mixture into an oiled dish and refrigerate until chilled and set.

Notes

1. Mild-tasting coconut oil is coconut oil that does not smell like coconut or have a coconut flavor.
2. If using a heavy-duty blender, the carrot in this recipe can be placed in the blender jar whole. No need to slice it.
Yield: one 5-inch x 3-inch x 3-inch block of cheese
* * * This recipe for Sliceable Vegan Cheese is . . . gluten-free, plant based, soy-free, sugar-free, high in fiber, dairy free, egg-free, vegetarian, vegan, and made from real, whole foods.

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52 Comments

  1. Hello Jennifer,
    Thank you so much for the recipe. I’ve tried making agar based cheeses before that were just so so in taste. I’ve had better luck with Miyoko’s cheeses. I was wondering how you would rate the taste in this particular recipe and also is it meltable? Thank you for any feedback. I would like to try this recipe so I just wanted to see what you say about the taste and if you gave it others that enjoyed it.

    Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Michelle,
      I’ve “tested” this cheese on several people, both vegans and non-vegans, and most people like it very much – especially if they don’t expect it to taste like real cheese. They usually take seconds and thirds even when there are plenty of other options available.

      Because it doesn’t have the cultured taste and is much lower in refined fats, I wouldn’t expect it to taste like cultured vegan cheese, though.

      One advantage of this recipe is you can tweak the seasonings a bit and get the flavor just right for your taste. When I make it for myself, I leave out the nutritional yeast because I like a more mild flavor.

      As far as melting, it will sort of “melt” a little when heated, but it definitely doesn’t melt like regular cheese.

      Hope this helps! 🙂
      Jennifer

      1. I used liquid olive oil instead of coconut and cut the agar water to 3/4 cup. I might have to decrease the salt to 2 tsp for my salt-restricted mother. It is a bit sharp, I agree, but cutting the lemon juice may help more than the mild yeast. My experiement next time – 2T less water, 2T less lemon juice (to 1/4 c total), and 2 tsp salt. But as is, delicious!

  2. Appreciate you saying you make it without nutritional yeast so will still work if left out. Have no idea if of interest. Dr. Russell Blaylock has some interesting info on the hidden forms of MSG as neurotoxins that, unfortunately, includes nutritional yeast it seems. Know nutritional yeast is big in vegan/vegetarian circles because of B12. We look forward to trying this one out. Thanks!

  3. I made the cheese and really liked the flavor. The problem I had was that it didn’t harden up so I spread it on a cracker. I used the agar powder as I have in the past, but normally in other recipes it has me whisk it for 5-7 minutes. I followed your direction for it, but wonder if I heat it longer if I will maybe have better results? And advice is very much appreciated!
    Thank you for the great recipe!

    1. That’s very strange that it didn’t set up. I’ve made this countless times (brought it to a full boil and then simmered for 60 seconds ) and it always sets up beautifully.

      Did your agar dissolve all the way in the water? You could check the ingredients on your agar to make sure it’s 100% agar. Sometimes it has fillers in it which will make it not as “strong”. Another thing that can make agar not set well is if it’s mixed with too much acid, but if you kept the lemon juice amount at 6 tablespoons, it should be fine. It’s also possible for agar to get too old. Other than that, I don’t know why it wouldn’t set.

      I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it as a spread, but so sorry it didn’t work as it should have.

      1. Michelle, I tried making the cheese again using a different brand of agar to see if that was the source of the problem, but it still set up well. I’m wondering, can you tell me what brand you used? Also, do you remember how long you let it set in the refrigerator? I feel bad that it didn’t work for you.

        1. Oh thank you so much for thinking of me! The brand I use is Telephone from an Asian market. I do plan to make it again before Christmas because I want to set up a cheese/crackers plate. I’m starting to think I didn’t let the Agar heat long enough.
          As for the fridge, I let it sit for several hours. I will let you know my results when I make again.

          1. Hi Jennifer,
            What is the set up time it normally takes for the cheese to set up? At least approximately.

            Thank you very much!

            1. Hi Michelle,
              It depends on what shape container you use (cheese in a deep one will take longer than cheese in a shallow one). A single recipe in a deep container will set within 3 hours. A shallow container will allow the cheese to set up much faster – as little as an hour.

              I hope allowing your agar to boil longer solves things for you. 🙂 Just wanted to check … you are using agar powder, not agar flakes, correct? Also, maybe worth mentioning … the Now Brand Agar Powder has been one of the two most reliable brands for me. If I allow it to come to a full boil and boil for 60 seconds, it has never failed.

              Best wishes!!

  4. Hi! Thanks for this awesome looking cheese – I can’t wait to try it. I am new to the vegan and blogging community and I am trying to get some good ideas. I really want to try to make food for other people (like my family) who are not vegan, and have them still like the food itself, but many of the online ideas I have found I am wary of because of the vegan cheese, vegan cream, and all these special vegan products I have to go out and buy. This one looks perfect, and simple. Thanks again!

  5. I was wondering what size container you put the cheese in? I don’t want to use something to big or too small. The recipe looks wonderful, can’t wait to make it.

    1. Hi Hollie,
      I used a 3-cup, rectangular container (and one recipe of the vegan cheese) to make the block of cheese you see in the picture above.

      I’ve also used other shapes and sizes and they worked nicely; it really depends on what you want the final results to be. 🙂

      Jennifer

  6. I would like to try this but I have no Agar. I do have kappa carrageenan. Can I use that instead and if so how much?

      1. I used kappa carrageenan instead of agar because to me, agar has a very strong metallic flavor and the kappa doesn’t. There are some concerns about eating a lot of carrageenan, but really, there isn’t much in this recipe.

  7. I tried this recipe, and the cheese is very oily and has a strong lemon taste. I even added some tapioca powder in order to make it more cheese when melted.I cused coconut oil in ths recipe. I have now chilled it for couple of hours and it is not firm enouth to slice it.

    1. I have now tried a nother portion with a new brand of Agar Agar, and it turned out beautifully. I left out the oil this time.

  8. I tried another brand of Agar Agar and it was much better. I reduced the lemon, used only 2 tbsp and half of the tahini, added half a teaspoon to the Agar Agar and it was very good.(for the 3 time I made this recipe) ;O)

  9. 5 stars
    Jennifer,
    You have no idea what a blessing is to find this recipe.
    Due to allergies I was looking for vegan recipe, I needed almonds and used it instead of cashew.
    It came of fabulous, thanks a ton, my daughter will finally know what real cheese tastes like instead of the rubbery vegan cheese products available in market.
    I have posted your recipe with direct link in couple of FB pages, you will see traffic today ;). Hope that’s ok, if not please let me know.
    Thanks a ton again

    1. The cheese would probably turn out “okay” without the tahini, but the flavor wouldn’t be quite right.

      If you’re wanting to leave it out because you don’t like tahini, you may want to try it with the tahini first. I really, really dislike tahini, but I love this vegan cheese.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      Jennifer

  10. Hello, my son is allergic to carrots, could I maybe sub with sweet potato or is there anything else I could try? Would love to try this.

    1. Hi Ashley,

      I’ve never tried it with sweet potato, so I’m not sure how that would taste. But I have tried it without the carrot and, even though it lacked the pretty yellow color, it tasted good (not quite as good as with the carrot, but still very good).

      Another option is to use about 1/4 cup of diced red bell pepper. This would only work if your son likes pepper, because, unlike the carrot, the pepper adds a definite flavor. It makes it tastes something like pimento cheese.

      I hope this helps.

      Jennifer

  11. 5 stars
    I was wondering about the cashews should they be soaked for a couple hours first? Recipe didn’t say. I know with other cheeses I’ve made I had to soak them

    1. Hi Marsha,
      I’m sorry you felt there was too much salt in the recipe. I’ve tested this cheese on several people, both vegans and non-vegans, and everyone like it very much.
      I wonder if you used a different type of salt. Or perhaps measuring went awry – that happens! 🙂 Either way, I hope your next batch turns out luscious – perhaps you could try it with less salt.
      Jennifer

    1. Hi Teri,

      No need to soak the cashews. I always place them in a colander and wash them under hot water to be sure they are clean, but I don’t soak them.

      I hope you enjoy!

      Jennifer

  12. Made the cheese and it turned out perfect. It sliced beautifully and held together. The lemon was a little strong for me, so next time I will reduce the lemon juice by half and hope to have the same wonderful results. Also thought about using a mixture of nuts like the cashew, but thought I might do 1/4 of the nuts pecan for flavor.

    1. Yay! So happy you liked it, Betty.
      I’ve received similar feedback about less lemon, so I’ve made a note of that in the recipe.
      Thanks so much for your comment!
      Jennifer

  13. Hi Jennifer 🙂
    I came to your website when I found out recently that I was allergic to potatoes, and so the cheese I was having was no longer safe for me 🙁 (it had potato starch in it).
    I saw in the ingredients list that you said nutritional yeast is optional, and I was just wondering if you knew what it tasted like without it? I wouldn’t mind if it was just a mild cheesy taste. Thank you so very much! 🙂

  14. Good Afternoon, Jennifer, Thank you for this recipe! I am a NO Oil WFPB person and I was wondering if leaving out the oil changes the flavor very much? I am making the recipe regardless but just thought I would ask, I plan to make it this coming weekend! Thanks again for the recipe!

  15. Hi Jennifer, Me again! P.S. I don’t expect it to taste like Cheese! I think it’s funny when people are disappointed that vegan cheese without oil and/or dairy doesn’t taste like cheese! Well, I personally don’t need it to taste like dairy cheese as it’s just a reminder of how horrible dairy is to animals and to our health. Hence, one reason I don’t use oil in recipes. In any case, I am just looking for a hearty, creamy, “cheesy” flavor. Which I find all the time with my oil-free homemade “cream” sauces. I don’t call them cheese sauce as they aren’t! LOL. But they have that creamy flavor. Anyway, I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page. Thanks again for the recipe! I am so excited that I found your website!

    1. I totally know what you mean. Vegan cheese can be delicious even if it doesn’t taste like cheese.

      Enjoy!

      P.S. Just wanted to make sure you didn’t miss my answer to your previous question … scroll up and you should see it. 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    I’ve made a lot of vegan cheese. I like this “cheddar” better than any other I’ve made. It’s very different but very good. I used the oil but next time, I’ll try it without. Delicious on crackers, thank you!

    1. Wow! That’s quite a compliment. So happy you like it, Melanie. When I make it for me, I make it without the oil and it’s quite good, so I think you’ll like it.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

  17. 2 stars
    I make this cheese but for our taste it doesn’t taste good. Some funny taste of a bit of coconut and onion. Not a win receipe, sorry.

  18. II am going to try this. I have agar agar and use it for my whipped cream. It works great! What can one use instead of a carrot? Paprika possibly?

  19. 5 stars
    I love this recipe. I’ve tried it twice now and it’s a hit in my home. I don’t use coconut oil but everything else I kept the same. It’s so quick, easy, and delicious. Thank you!!!

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