This garlic and herb vegan cheese is easy to make at home, spreadable, fragrant, and perfect for serving as a snack or appetizer. It's an amazing dairy-free soft cheese alternative that's great on bread or crackers of your choice.
I present to you my new favorite dairy-free garlic and herb cheese! This fantastic vegan alternative to cream cheese has been my newest obsession - whenever I make it, it barely lasts a day in the fridge! So, if you're bored of store-bought vegan cheese, I suggest you give this recipe a go. You'll love it if you miss cheese, and are on the lookout for a delicious plant based alternative.
This vegan garlic and herb cheese is made with cashews, basil and lots of garlic. You can rest assured that it will taste gourmet! It will impress even non-vegans and fussy eaters. Despite this, it's incredibly easy to make vegan soft cheese at home. The hardest part is probably waiting for it while it's in the fridge. Aside from that, it requires just a few simple steps and a handful of ingredients.
What does vegan cashew cheese taste like?
If you've never made vegan cashew cheese before, you may be concerned that it tastes like cashews. But rest assured that if you flavor it properly, you won't run into that problem. Cashews by themselves are very neutral in flavor, especially after soaking. So, they end up taking on the flavor profile of whatever other ingredients you add to the cheese.
This vegan cheese is made with garlic and fresh basil, which creates a wonderful herby flavor with a savory undertone. The addition of lemon juice adds a subtle hint of tanginess, and the overall result is so versatile: the flavor goes well with anything, whether bread, crackers or even a salad.
How to make garlic and herb vegan cheese
Start by soaking your cashews. If using a high speed blender, soak them for an hour or simmer in a saucepan for 15 minutes. Otherwise, I would recommend soaking for 4-8 hours.
Drain and rinse the cashews, and transfer them to a blender. Next, add salt, cumin, onion powder, olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice and basil. Blend until smooth.
Place a sieve over a large bowl, then place a cheese cloth inside. Put the cheese mixture inside the cheese cloth, and wrap it up tightly.
Place a heavy object on top of the cheese, such as a couple of cans of beans, and leave it in the fridge overnight, for at least 8 hours. Then, remove it from the cheese cloth and shape according to your preference before serving.
Recipe tips and substitutions
- Make sure to use raw, unsalted cashews. Roasted cashews will interfere with the flavor.
- Blend the mixture really well, for at least a few minutes, to make sure that there isn't any graininess.
- Add any other spices of your choice. For instance, add paprika for a hint of spice, or garlic powder for an even more garlicky flavor.
- You can also add other fresh herbs of your choice, such as cilantro or parsley.
- You can make baked cashew cheese by placing the cheese on a large baking tray lined with parchment paper. Then, simply bake for 45 minutes at 180 degrees C/350 F.
How to store homemade vegan cheese
This vegan garlic and herb cheese lasts in the fridge, covered, for 3-4 days. You can also freeze it for 2-3 months, and allow to thaw fully in the fridge before using.
How to serve vegan garlic and herb cheese
The great thing about spreadable vegan cheese is that it's so versatile! You can:
- Spread it on homemade cinnamon bagels.
- Spread it on toast or crackers.
- Serve it as part of a vegan charcuterie or cheese board.
- Add a couple of dollops to any salad of your choice.
- Use it as a topping for pizza.
- Stir a couple of tablespoons into one pot chickpea pasta.
Other vegan snacks and appetizers
- Vegan zucchini fries are always a good idea!
- You can't go wrong with broccoli wings.
- Try out spicy cauliflower with peanut dip!
- My easy vegan cashew cheese is super versatile.
If you give this vegan garlic and herb cheese a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating!
- Blender or food processor
- Mixing bowl
- Cheese cloth
- Drain and rinse the cashews after soaking, then transfer them to a blender. Add salt, cumin, onion powder, olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice and basil. Blend until smooth.1 lb cashews, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp onion powder, 2 tbsp olive oil, ½ cup water, 3 cloves garlic, ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 ½ cups fresh basil
- Place a sieve over a large bowl, then place a cheese cloth inside. Put the cheese mixture inside the cheese cloth, and wrap it up tightly.
- Place a heavy object on top of the cheese, such as a couple of cans of beans, and leave it in the fridge overnight, for at least 8 hours.
- Remove the cheese from the cheese cloth and shape according to your preference before serving.