This super easy to make vegan Cashew Cream Cheese is going to be your new best friend in the kitchen! It's a super versatile recipe that can be used as an easy cream cheese spread, thinned out to become a sour cream analog, or spiced or herbed up to be fancy.
I like to spoon this yummy cashew cream cheese into pasta or use for dipping crispsbreads into, or to top my yummy parsnip latkes or with my scrummy smoked salmon carrot 'lox' . It makes a brilliant alternative wherever you would use a savoury cream cheese!
Made with a few simple ingredients, this easy cheesy recipe might be one of the hardest working in our vegan repertoire. Expect it to pop up everywhere in various guises.. but here it is in all it's classic vegan creamy cheesy goodness.
Cashews - the backbone of this recipe is cashews, that are soaked, then blended up with other ingredients. Something about the bland smoothness of cashews, rich with natural nut oils, really lends them to making vegan cream cheese!
Nutritional Yeast- cheesy and flakey, this hardworking vegan ingredient is deployed here for a delicious cheese flavour. Use one fortified with B12 for added nutritional benefits!
Lemon Juice - other more complicated vegan cheeses use probiotics to create a tang, but in this quick recipe we keep it simple and rely on lemon juice.
Garlic- A hint of garlic takes this simple vegan cheese into a savoury direction that is irrisitible
👩🍳Handy Step by Step Instructions
🌶️Variations and Substitutions
This recipe is great as a base for other flavours
- No Cashews or Nuts: Head over to this handy recipe for Sunflower Seed Sour Cream from Very Veganish and use a little less water to achieve a similar result.
- Extra Herby: Add in chives, parsley or basil for a herbal cheese.
- Spicy: Add hot smoked paprika, or some jalapenos to the mixture.
- This great recipe is also perfect as a base for Vegan Cheese Balls
❓Vegan Cheese FAQ
Yes, you will definitely need a good quality blender. The nuts need to be blended to create the cheesy creamy texture.
You can either soak the nuts overnight, or soak them in boiling water for a few hours. This softens the nut so it can be blended to a creamy texture.
You can store this cream cheese for up to a weeek in the fridge, or longer in the freezer. Simply defrost to use.
We don't recomend this recipe for sweet recipes. However you can leave out the mustard and garlic to create a more nuetral flavour cheese that would be appropriate.
If you thin this recipe out with some water, it can become a more cream-like texture suitable for drizzling on soups or adding to potatoes.
🧀Other similar recipes & where to use..
Use this recipe in these scrummy ways:
Or use in place of the herby cheese in this Smoked Tofu Sandwich.
Easy Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- Soak cashews in water for 6 hours, or soak in boiling water for 1 hour. Drain.
- Add all ingredients into a blender and blend. Keep pushing down the sides to ensure all is blended up well
- You might need to blend 3-4 times depending on the strength of your blender.
- When you are happy with the consistency, put the cream cheese into an airtight container and keep in the fridge.
- Keep in fridge for up to a week
- Add other flavours such as herbs or smoked paprika for a different flavoured cheese.
This recipe was developed by Vanessa, one of the original co-founders of this site. Vanessa is now working on her plant based health coaching business, Energise and Thrive Plant Based. She helps people get high energy, great health, and balanced eating with delicious plant-based food.
She’s also brought out her FREE Guide - 5 Steps to Balanced Plant Based Eating which you’re welcome to download. Of course, all the recipes she has created for The Vegan Larder (like this one!) will remain here for you to access.