Cashew Cheddar Cheese


This is a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Real Food Daily Cookbook. It makes a lot of cheese. I freeze it and only use a little at a time.cashew cheese

Makes 4 cups
“This cheese is great for shredding or melting. Cashews work better than other nuts because they blend into such a creamy, rich consistency. If you are not satisfied with the cheese’s final consistency or texture, blame the agar flakes; all store-bought brands of agar flakes are cut differently which unfortunately affects the amount if measured by volume. If you rather not learn the hard way like as I did, go by the provided weight rather than cup weight.”
1 1/4 cups raw cashews
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
3 1/2 cups unsweetened soymilk
1 cup agar flakes (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup yellow miso
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
Using the pulse button, finely grind the cashews in a food processor; don’t allow the cashews to turn into a paste. Add the nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and white pepper. Pulse three more times to blend in the spices; set aside. Combine in the soymilk, agar, and oil in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-high, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the agar is dissolved. With the food processor running, gradually pour the soymilk mixture through the feed tube and into the cashew mixture. Blend for 2 minutes or until very smooth and creamy, and then blend in the miso and lemon juice. The cheese will keep will keep 4 days covered and refrigerated.

Transfer the cheese to a container, cover and refrigerate about 4 hours until very firm. Once its firm, grate or slice as desired.

Use the cheese immediately as melted cheese. Alternatively, make the cheese in advance, cover and refrigerate. When you’re ready to use the cheese, melt it in a saucepan over medium-high heat until smooth and creamy, stirring frequently. If needed, add more soymilk for a thinner consistency.

Stir in 2 Tbsp. minced jalapeno pepper chiles into 2 cups of melted cheese.

  6 comments for “Cashew Cheddar Cheese

  1. Thanks for posting this…excited to try it. Having trouble finding Agar Flakes. Amazon has ’em for about $12 an ounce…recipe calls for about 2 ounces…am I really looking at making $25 dollar cheese? Also wondering how using almond milk would affect the recipe…just trying to cut down the soy a little…maybe 50/50?…a little gritty I presume? Thank you for any response!

    • You can use any unsweetened nondairy milk you like, not a problem there. You do not need to use any soy. The prices vary for agar – in an Asian market you can probably find it for less. If you buy it in bulk online, like here for example, you will get a better price. Very often we make the recipe or a variation of it without the agar, and just use it as a cheesy sauce. It’s delicious on everything.

  2. I was wondering if there is a feasible way to make this soy free, because I can substitute for soy milk with security, but miso….? What might work? I ask because I’m allergic to soy 🙂

    • You can make the cheese without soy. Miso is added to give dimension in flavor. Since it is fermented is adds a “cheesier”taste. You can add salt to taste and any other flavorings you like – more nutritional yeast, onion and garlic powders, sesame tahini, or no additions at all. The basis to the recipe is making a cashew cream (cashews and water) and making is solid with the vegan gelatin, agar, which softens when heated so it melts. You can add more depth of flavor by adding probiotics to the mix and letting it age. There are recipes on how to do this. It is more time consuming but will give your cashew cheese a cheesier flavor. Have fun with it!

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