You'd never guess this luscious vegan mozzarella cheese was made from nuts! It's delicious, easy to make and perfect for sandwiches, pizzas, or snacking.
For a long time I was reluctant to share recipes for homemade vegan cheese on this site, because it can be really, really bad.
Well guess what? I finally got to experimenting with vegan mozzarella, and it turned out to be really easy to make, and surprisingly delicious. This stuff tastes a lot like dairy-based fresh mozzarella — maybe better!
First though, let's be clear on something: this recipe is for a dairy-free mozzarella that's analogous to fresh mozzarella. That was always my favorite kind of mozzarella! It's squishy, creamy, and has mild flavor and rich texture. It's amazing on a vegan margherita pizza.
Let's talk about how it's made!
Notes on Ingredients
You only need six ingredients to make this plant-based cheese!
Cashews. Raw cashews make up the creamy base for our vegan mozzarella. You'll need to soak them in water for a few hours to soften them up.
Non-dairy milk. Just about any variety will work, as long as it's unsweetened and unflavored. Soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, and cashew milk are all great choices. You can even use water in a pinch.
Tapioca starch. This is our thickener. It gives the cheese that soft, spongy texture that fresh mozzarella cheese has. I don't recommend attempting any substitutions.
Lemon juice. This adds a touch of tartness. Freshly squeezed juice will give your cheese the best flavor.
Coconut oil. Coconut oil does two things here. First, it adds fat, to give the cheese a rich and luxurious mouthfeel. It also helps the cheese to firm up in the fridge, since coconut oil becomes solid when chilled. If you use unrefined coconut oil your cheese will have a mild coconut flavor (which I really don't mind). Use refined oil and it won't taste like coconut at all.
Salt. Cheese is salty! Adding salt to our vegan cheese makes it taste like the real deal.
Flavor variation: I sometimes like to blend a clove of garlic or a bit of garlic powder into my cheese base, depending on what I'm planning to use my cheese for.
How It's Made
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you'd like to skip right to the recipe!
Start by placing your cashews and ¼ cup of non-dairy milk into a blender or food processor bowl. Blend them together to make a smooth paste. Be patient! The blending process can take a few minutes. Be sure to stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl every now and then.
Now add everything else to the bow: tapioca starch, lemon juice, coconut oil, salt, and the rest of your milk. Blend everything until smooth.
Next you'll need to cook the cashew mixture. Transfer it to a medium pot and place it on the stove over medium heat. Slowly heat up the mixture, whisking it the whole time. It'll start to thicken up as it heats — this is good! Keep cooking and whisking until the mixture is thick and pulls away from the sides of the pot. This should take about 5 minutes.
Tip: I recommend using a smaller blending device for this recipe, if possible, or doubling the batch size. If you want to cut down on the batch size, make sure to use a very small device. You want the bowl to be nice and full so you can blend everything up well!
Shape & Chill
Take the pot off of the burner and let your cashew cheese mixture cool down a bit.
When it's cool enough to handle, grab a couple of sheets of parchment paper. Take half of your mixture and place it on one of sheets, then shape it into a log. Smooth out the sides and roll it up in parchment paper. Alternatively, you can roll your mixture into balls to make vegan mozzarella balls.
Transfer your vegan mozzarella to the refrigerator to chill. I usually just set both of my logs on a large plate and stick it in the fridge. The cheese will firm up as it cools.
After about 2 hours it should be fully set. Slice it up!
You can use this stuff in just about any way you'd use regular mozzarella cheese. Scatter it over a pizza, add it to lasagna, stuff it in quesadillas or a sandwich like this muffaletta or this Caprese, or serve it with crackers or bread.
Shelf-Life & Storage
Homemade cashew mozzarella cheese will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Nope! Roasting cashews brings out their nutty flavor, so you'll end up with something that tastes more like cashew butter than cheese.
You can, and it will still be tasty! The texture might be little less realistic and the flavor not quite as rich.
Not really. It behaves a lot like fresh mozzarella cheese when heated, in that it softens up and gets stretchy but still holds its general shape.
More Vegan Cheese Recipes
Amazing Homemade Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
You'd never guess this luscious vegan mozzarella cheese was made from nuts! It's delicious, easy to make and perfect for sandwiches, pizzas or snacking.
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup unflavored and unsweetened non-dairy milk, divided
- 3 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (preferably refined), liquid state
- 1 teaspoon salt
Place the cashews and ¼ cup of milk into a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade.
Blend the cashews to a smooth paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the pitcher or bowl as needed.
Add the remaining milk, along with the tapioca starch, lemon juice, coconut oil, and salt.
Blend everything again until smooth and well-mixed.
Transfer the cashew mixture to a medium saucepan and place it over medium heat.
Slowly heat up the mixture, whisking it the entire time.
The mixture will start to thicken up as it heats. Continue cooking and heating until the mixture becomes very thick and pulls away from the sides of the pot, about 5 minutes.
Remove the pot from the burner and let it cool for a few minutes.
When the cashew mixture is cool enough to handle, grab a couple of sheets of parchment paper.
Divide the cashew mixture in half and place each portion on one of the parchment sheets. Shape the cashew mixture into two logs, each about 6 to 8 inches long.
Roll up the parchment paper to enclose the logs. Place them on a plate and place the plate in the fridge.
Chill the cheese for at least 2 hours, until set. It should be about as firm as regular mozzarella cheese.
Slice the logs and use the cheese immediately, or place the slices in a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.