“Cheddar” Cashew Cheese (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Sharon Palmer

Whether you’re making your own vegan cheese spread for a party to serve with crackers, prepping a “cheese” spread for sandwiches during the week, or creating an ingredient for your own vegan mac & “cheese” or nachos, this easy, “cheesy” soft spread-like cashew cheese is your go-to recipe. This “Cheddar” Cashew Cheese is completely plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free, meaning it’s the perfect solution for everyone at your dinner table. 

Raw cashews

While there are so many wonderful plant-based cheeses on supermarket shelves, it’s also fun to make up your own batch with just a few ingredients. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make your own cashew cheese with this basic recipe. This is the starter recipe for every plant-based kitchen, as you get more creative with your cooking skills. Cashews offer the perfect base for plant-based cheese-making, as cashews possess a creamy texture and mild flavor that are an ideal foundation for soft, cheesy spreads. 

With only 7 ingredients (excluding pantry staples), you can make up this recipe in just a few minutes, once you’ve soaked the cashews for about an hour to soften up. You can take this basic recipe and expand upon it with additions—the sky is the limit. Add chopped kalamata olives, jalapenos, sundried tomatoes, chopped herbs, or roasted garlic, for example.


“Cheddar” Cashew Cheese (Vegan, Gluten-Free )

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  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Yield: 8 servings, 2 tablespoons each 1x


  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)*
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 67 tablespoons plain, unsweetened soymilk


  1. Place raw cashews in a small dish and cover with water. Soak for at least 1 hour (may soak overnight in the refrigerator, if desired).
  2. Rinse and drain water from cashews and place in a blender or food processor container, along with garlic, turmeric, salt (optional), white pepper, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice. Add 4 tablespoons of soymilk. Blend cashew cheese until it makes a smooth, creamy texture. May add additional soymilk, one tablespoon at a time to achieve desired texture. Between processing, stop and scrape down sides, as needed.
  3. Makes about 1 cup (about 8 servings, 2 tablespoons each)


*Try smoked salt or flavored salts for added flavor.

This cheese spread is excellent in sandwiches, veggie-burgers, nachos, macaroni & cheese, casseroles, and more. Adjust the consistency by decreasing or increasing the soymilk you add while blending it.

Create variations of this cheese by folding in additional ingredients, such as kalamata olives, roasted garlic, jalapenos, chopped herbs, or sun-dried tomatoes.



  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 169
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Fat: 12.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11 g
  • Fiber: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 7 g

Keywords: cheese, vegan cheese

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