I get a few questions about cheese replacements as a vegan. And pizza questions. And general questions. And replacements in general and yada yada. I’ve said it before, but we don’t really do a lot of the mock meat stuff around here. It’s not necessarily healthier for you (minus the lack of cholesterol). For milk, we sub almond milk. We do use vegan butter— sometimes, when a recipe totally needs it. And for cheese, well, we usually skip it… but somethings like pizza, are just better with cheese. Am I right? I’ll buy a soy cheese or “veggie” cheese occasionally. We don’t go through it super quick so it’s something I plan my meals for (like pizza) so we don’t waste it.
Another great option, when we have a few more minutes to spare is cashew cheese. It’s so good for so many things. And it’s really, really easy to make. Next time you have pizza in mind and you’ve made your dough… try making this too, maybe while the dough rises! 🙂

You’ll need:
Water
1 cup (raw &unsalted) cashews
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic
Small handful of herbs (I picked oregano, thyme, basil, and a pinch of mint from the garden)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
How to:
Soak your cashews in a cup or bowl of water for at least one hour, but even over night is a great option.
Drain cashews, but reserve your water for later.
In a food processor or blender, puree all your ingredients. Slowly add one tablespoon of reserved water at a time to give your “cheese” and extra creamy consistency. I ended up using three tablespoons– but the amount will vary depending on how much water is in your soaked cashews you and machine you use to blend. I use a smaller food processor, it’s not especially fancy, and takes a bit longer, but it comes out great! Continue to blend until cashews are smoothly incorporated and mixture is velvety.
Next:
Want to use it on pizza? (Yes). Confused on how to get it on your sauce? The best way is to use a frosting piping bag or even just a plastic bag. Fill your bag, cut a small hole and pipe it on! Cook on pizza like you normally would! You know, on the best dough ever, and the oven set as high as you can. The hotter the better.
Trying to eat lighter? Feel free to skip the olive oil. I like to add it for the extra (good) fat to make it feel extra delicious. The nutritional yeast isn’t needed to make this super delicious, it’s great without it, but better with it. I know it can be hard to find sometimes, but if you can get some, it’s great. I put on most of Marlowe’s meals. One, because it’s packed in b12. But also, because she would probably (definitely) cry if I didn’t. She loves it so much. You can also enjoy this cheese on tacos, on nachos, within a quesadilla, on top of a creamy soup, the possibilities are almost endless. “Yum yum yum! This is so good. Can I have more?” -Marlowe.
Nom. Happy pizza eating 🙂

30 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for the recipe and these gorgeous photos! After almost ten years as a vegetarian I'm finally making the switch to vegan. It's been going really well but I definitely miss cheese so posts like this are so amazing. Cheers!

  2. Thank you Drea for all your recipes.
    I'm so so close to coming over to the brighter side and cannot wait for the cleanse. I'll see where it takes me xxx

  3. I've been waiting SO LONG for your pizza recipe! I'm going to make this TONIGHT. Have you ever thought about putting together a cook book? I'd totally buy it, I love all your recipes 🙂 They make vegan cooking easy and fun. pleaseeeee post more foooooddddddddddd xoxoxox

  4. mmm i love cashew cheese on raw pizza and lasagna, but never thought to bake it. thanks for the idea! ps. beautiful photos as always!

    • It's great for raw dishes— but I was excited that it's great baked too 🙂 thank you!

  5. oh my goodness! This sounds awesome! I've tried being vegan before, and cheese is my downfall… this may safe my life!

    • Cheese was my downfall— four times until it finally stuck! I freaking LOVED cheese. I gave it up for two weeks and never, in my whole life, felt healthier. So now I stay away for that 🙂

  6. I made this cheese tonight and made pizza as well. Pizza is in the oven as I type. I have had a few spoonfuls of cheese straight out of the vitamix and it is so good–and green! Lots of basil!!!

  7. I was just talking to my mum about cashew cheese today! Definitely read my mind! I'll have to show her this recipe and prove that I'm not a loon in telling her that cashews can be turned into cheese 😀

    • haha! I get it— it's just a weird idea of anything NOT cheese– being "cheese" like ice "cream" etc. But it's really good! Make it for her!

  8. Made this today- aaahhhhmazing! It shocked me it was so delicious. I wanted to eat it all with a spoon. Goodbye Daiya. Thank you Drea!

  9. Thank you for this recipe! It was really amazingly good. I actually preferred this to regular cheese on pizza! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  10. i want to make this cheese today. but i am wondering how long it keeps for in the fridge if i don't use all of it today?

  11. i want to make this cheese today. but i am wondering how long it keeps for in the fridge if i don't use all of it today?

  12. I want to make this today but i am wondering how long does it keep for in the fridge? or do I have to make it right before I want to use it each time?

    • I wouldn't keep it longer than three days in the fridge— but I'm the super nervous type about bacteria. I just store any leftovers in the freezer and defrost as necessary!

  13. I am eating Pizza with this cashew cheese right now. It is delicious and I'm happy to finally have found a good alternative to much loved mozzarella! however, I think my cheese turned out too thick, yours looks kind of melted while mine is still a bit "grainy"…

  14. After finding out that my son is lactose intolerant, I've been looking for non-dairy alternatives for his favorite foods. Making a pizza with cashew cheese would be a good way for him to still enjoy eating pizza. While I was reading through these instructions, I was wondering how to get the cashew cheese over my tomato sauce. It helps that you pointed out that using a frosting piping bag can make this easier. I have a few piping bags at home for frosting cakes, so I'll try using that for pouring the cheese on my pizza sauce. Thanks for sharing this1
    http://www.buffalophilsgrille.com

  15. Pingback: Vegan Mushroom Parmigiana – Live, Love, Simple.

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