Vegan Goats Cheese Recipe made with Cashews | Dairy Free (2024)

by Nicole | 10 Comments

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4.8 from 6 votes. Leave a review!

This vegan goats cheese recipe is made from cashews and simple to prepare. With the option of using agar, it’s easy to make a tasty, tangy and crumbly dairy free cheese!

This recipe is not fermented which makes it easy, approachable and doesn’t require any fancy techniques or ingredients!

Vegan Goats Cheese Recipe made with Cashews | Dairy Free (1)

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Is Goat Cheese Dairy Free?

Goat cheese is made from goat milk, a type of dairy; so no, goat’s cheese is not dairy free. While many people associate cow’s milk as being “dairy”, humans consume the milk from a variety of animals including goats and sheep (most commonly).

Vegan Goats Cheese Recipe made with Cashews | Dairy Free (2)

Do Vegans Eat Goat Cheese?

Since goat cheese is made from goat milk, an animal secretion/ by-product, it is not vegan and therefore vegans do not eat goat cheese.

Sometimes there’s confusion about what the term vegan means, but it refers to a lifestyle that avoids the use of animals in any way possible. Some people use the term “plant-based” which doesn’t have a specific definition, therefore someone on a plant-based diet may choose to consume non-vegan products like goats cheese. “Plant-based” focuses on what you eat whereas veganism is about ethics and justice for animals.

Vegan Goats Cheese Recipe made with Cashews | Dairy Free (3)

What is Vegan Goat Cheese?

Vegan goat cheese is any product or recipe that mimics the flavor and texture of non-vegan goat cheese. This recipe uses cashews and some salty, tangy ingredients to get that signature goat’s cheese flavor.

There are other vegan goat cheese recipes that require fermentation and use probiotics. While this adds depth of flavor and added tanginess, it’s not necessary to make a delicious cashew goat cheese. It may also be expensive to purchase probiotics, and fermentation is time consuming.

This recipe can be ready to eat in as little as 15 minutes if you don’t use agar (or up to 2 hours if you do and need to let it set).

Vegan Goats Cheese Recipe made with Cashews | Dairy Free (4)

How to Make Cashew Goat Cheese

Making cashew goat cheese is a simple process. It starts with soaked cashews. Place these in a food processor or blender with the remaining ingredients and blend to smooth.

There are two options for this recipe:

  1. Use agar to help “set” the goat cheese. This option creates a dairy free goat cheese that crumbles nicely. Agar is similar to gelatin and helps the goat cheese form into whatever shape you like. The agar also makes crumbling the cheese easier.
  2. Skip the agar and use some plant-based milk. This option tastes exactly like the agar version, but will be a softer, spreadable texture. Without agar the goat cheese is difficult to crumble.

Letting the goat cheese sit in the fridge overnight, or even for two days before serving helps the flavors come together and brings out some tanginess found in a good vegan goat cheese substitute.

If you don’t have time, the non-agar version can be served right away (although cold is best). The agar takes about 2 hours to set so plan your cooking around this needed wait time.

Vegan Goats Cheese Recipe made with Cashews | Dairy Free (5)

How to Crumble Goat Cheese

Agar helps create a vegan goats cheese that crumbles. To crumble goat cheese, I recommend using a fork to gently pull off small pieces of the cheese.

As noted above, if you want the cheese to crumble, agar is a must. Agar provides a firmer texture in the cheese that allows it to hold its shape as you crumble. Even with agar, the cheese will be soft (like non-vegan goat cheese).

If you want to make a goat cheese “log” (as seen in the video) agar is needed.

Vegan Goats Cheese Recipe made with Cashews | Dairy Free (6)

📖 Recipe

Vegan Goats Cheese Recipe made with Cashews | Dairy Free (7)

Vegan Goats Cheese

Enjoy a simple and delicious vegan and dairy free goat cheese recipe that is quick to make. This goat cheese substitute is a tasty way to enjoy this classic variety of cheese on a plant-based or dairy free diet.

4.84 from 6 votes. Leave a review!

Prep Time 25 minutes mins

Resting Time 2 hours hrs

Total Time 2 hours hrs 25 minutes mins

Servings 8 Servings

Calories 138 kcal

Cuisine Vegan

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (juice of about ½ a lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste (white type)
  • 90 grams extra firm tofu (about ¼ of a typical 350 g block)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Option 1: Using Agar

Option 2: Without Agar

  • ¼ cup plant-based milk (I use unflavored, unsweetened soy)

Instructions

  • Soak the cashews and sunflower seeds (overnight in the fridge or in boiling water for 10 minutes).

    1 cup raw cashews, ⅓ cup raw sunflower seeds

  • Drain the water from the cashews and sunflower seeds and place into a blender or food processor. Add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, miso paste, extra firm tofu and salt.

    2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon miso paste, 90 grams extra firm tofu, 1 teaspoon salt

  • Continue following the directions for using either (1) with agar or (2) without agar.

For Agar:

  • If using agar, place agar powder into a small pot with cold water. Let sit for 5 minutes then bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 5-8 minutes until all the agar is dissolved.

    1 ½ tablespoons agar powder, ½ cup cold water

  • Add the agar into blender or food processor (with the already partially blended cashew cheese) and blend until smooth and creamy.

  • Quickly transfer the cashew cheese mixture into a container of your choice. The cheese takes the shape of whatever you place it in.

  • If you’d like to make a “log” of cashew cheese, pour the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap and carefully roll the plastic wrap around the cheese, into the desired shape.

  • Place the cheese into the fridge and let sit for at least 2 hours or until the agar is set and the cheese feels firm. If possible, let sit overnight for best flavor.

Without Agar:

  • If not using agar, add plant-based milk into the blender or food processor with partially blended cashew cheese.

    ¼ cup plant-based milk

  • Blend until smooth.

  • Scoop out the mixture into a container/ bowl and place in fridge for at least 15 minutes, or until cold, before serving.

Notes

Accuracy of nutrition information cannot be guaranteed (certain ingredients may not have all nutrients listed in the database); amounts may vary (and will vary depending on brands of ingredients used); all nutrition fact values rounded to the nearest whole number.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 Serving (⅛ of recipe)Calories: 138 kcalCarbohydrates: 9 gProtein: 5 gFat: 11 gSaturated Fat: 2 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 5 gSodium: 376 mgPotassium: 173 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 2 gVitamin A: 5 IUVitamin C: 3 mgCalcium: 33 mgIron: 2 mg

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More Vegan Cheese Recipes

Like this recipe? You should also try:

  • Sunflower Seed Parmesan (Nut Free Vegan Parmesan)
  • Vegan Ricotta Cheese Recipe (Almond and Tofu)
  • Vegan Parmesan Cheese Recipe
  • Vegan Feta Cheese (Tofu Feta Recipe)
Vegan Goats Cheese Recipe made with Cashews | Dairy Free (12)

About Nicole Stevens

Nicole is a long-time vegan with a Masters of Science in Food and Nutrition.

She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes.

Vegan Goats Cheese Recipe made with Cashews | Dairy Free (2024)

FAQs

Is all vegan cheese made from cashews? ›

Traditional cheese is made from animal milk whereas vegan cheese is made from various nuts, seeds, soy, tapioca, oils, or other ingredients. In this recipe, the base of the cheese is made from raw cashews. See the recipe notes for other variations.

What are three dominant ingredients in vegan cheese? ›

Common Ingredients in Dairy Free Cheese
  • Soy Based. Soy is unsurprisingly one of the most common bases for vegan cheeses—and is popular in many plant-based animal-product substitute. ...
  • Coconut. ...
  • Flour. ...
  • Tree Seeds and Nuts. ...
  • A Safer Alternative.
Apr 29, 2020

What is vegan goat cheese made from? ›

The base of this cheese is tofu and soaked macadamia nuts. Just place them in a high-speed blender with coconut oil for extra creaminess. Make sure you use refined coconut oil, otherwise it will taste like coconut. Season it with lemon juice, miso, nutritional yeast, and lots of salt!

What is vegan nut free cheese made of? ›

Start with a homemade version of vegan mozzarella. All you need is tofu (or the substitutes mentioned above), non-dairy milk, garlic, onion, lemon, salt, and tapioca starch and you're in the cheese-making business!

What is a good substitute for cashews in vegan recipes? ›

Almonds are the most similar to cashews. They can be used in trail mix, granola, vegan cheese recipes, cream sauces, and made into milk.

Does Violife have cashews? ›

Violife is free from dairy, soy, gluten, lactose, nuts, and preservatives, but full of cheesy flavor and just the right ooey-gooey texture.

Is vegan cheese anti-inflammatory? ›

The dietary fiber and polyphenols in whole plant foods are known to reduce gut inflammation, so a plant-based diet based on whole foods that includes moderate amounts of vegan cheese will likely be overwhelmingly anti-inflammatory.

Does all vegan cheese have coconut oil? ›

What Ingredients Are in Vegan Cheese? Vegan cheeses are 100% animal-free and made using vegetable proteins. Usually, they're made from soy; nuts, such as cashews and macadamias; and vegetable oils, such as coconut oil.

Is vegan cheese more unhealthy than normal cheese? ›

Vegan cheeses often contain unhealthy starches and vegetable oils that the body converts to sugar, causing weight gain and uncomfortable bloating – the exact symptoms we are trying to avoid!

Why is goats cheese not vegetarian? ›

Most goat cheeses are considered vegetarian-friendly, however, some may contain animal rennet. Hard goat cheeses like feta, asiago, and cheddar are generally safe, but check the ingredients list to be sure. Soft varieties like chevre and Boursin may contain animal rennet so it's best to confirm before consuming.

Why is goat cheese not considered dairy? ›

Does Goat Cheese Have Dairy? Though goat's milk is still considered a dairy product, it is higher in certain fatty acids than other animal milks, including caproic and caprylic acid. While contributing to goat cheese's tangy character, these also make goat's milk easier to digest with a lower component of lactose.

Is goat cheese better for you than dairy cheese? ›

Nutritional value: Goat cheese contains essential nutrients such as vitamins A, B and D, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Compared to regular cheese, goat cheese typically has fewer calories and fats. This makes goat cheese a healthier option for those watching their calorie intake.

Does vegan cheese have cashews? ›

Vegan cheese can be made with a variety of ingredients including soy or tofu, nuts and seeds, grains, coconut, oils or starches. “Many vegan cheeses that we carry are made from nuts—mostly cashews, almonds or macadamia—but we also see more coming to market that are made from hemp or oats," Grob says.

Can people with nut allergies eat vegan cheese? ›

Nut-Free Vegan Cheeses

Try tapioca or coconut oil-based dairy-free cheeses if you're vegan with a nut allergy, and remember to always check the label for any hidden nutty ingredients.

Is Violife vegan cheese nut free? ›

Violife products are free from dairy, preservatives, casein, lactose, gluten, nuts and soy. This cheese alternative is based on coconut oil and is fortified with Vitamin B12.

Does all vegan cheese have nuts? ›

Vegan cheeses are 100% animal-free and made using vegetable proteins. Usually, they're made from soy; nuts, such as cashews and macadamias; and vegetable oils, such as coconut oil. You can also find cheeses that derive from agar, tapioca, peas and arrowroot.

Is Daiya cheese made with nuts? ›

The company was established in 2008 by Andre Kroecher and Greg Blake. Daiya's original products are cheese analogues made from coconut oil and tapioca flour that are known for their cheese-like consistency and melting properties. They contain no animal products or soy, lactose, wheat, barley, gluten, or nuts.

Why do vegans use cashews so much? ›

Cashews are a softer nut, making them great candidates in vegan cooking for creating dairy-free alternatives. When soaked and blended, cashews can be reduced to a thick, creamy sauce perfect for dishes like Vegan Fettuccini Alfredo, Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce and Basil Pesto Stuffed Shells.

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