Melty Vegan Cheese

Toasted sandwich cut in half with melting vegan cheese oozing out

Written by Liz

I’m Liz, I share recipes and easy substitutes to make plant-based living simple!

November 5, 2022

The best vegan cheese that actually melts!

Cheese was one of the hardest parts about going vegan for me. I was a real cheese lover, who relished in the smelliest of blue cheeses, soft runny camembert and I would always stuff my toasted sandwiches with extra slices of cheddar. So when I went vegan, it was rough. I was never a fan of regular vegan cheese you’d find in the supermarket. It was about double the price of regular dairy cheese, had a hint of coconut flavour and gluey texture that would stick to my teeth.

There were a few exceptions, of course, like when I splashed out on a locally made artisanal vegan cheese. But the standard cheddar or mozzarella replacements at the supermarket? They were always disappointing – bland, they wouldn’t melt, overpriced and WAY too coconutty. So, I decided to take the matter into my own hands and make an easy everyday cheddar cheese replacement. I am so glad I did! This cheese is easy to make and seriously delicious. It’s got a smooth texture, and a great cheesy flavour that doesn’t taste at all like coconut. This is the perfect choice for a toastie, grilled cheese or pizza night.

So if you’re looking for a vegan cheese that actually melts and tastes great, then this is the recipe for you! Below is my recipe for vegan cheese that actually melts. It tastes better than store bought vegan cheese and it’s gluten-free. You can freeze it for convenience.

Ingredients Overview

Soy milk

Soy milk is a plant-based beverage that is made from soybeans. Unsweetened soy milk is perfect for this vegan cheese recipe because it has a smooth, creamy viscocity similar to dairy milk. It has a very mild, slightly nutty flavour that doesn’t overpower the seasoning and flavours in this vegan cheese recipe. It’s also a great source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D, and if fortified, it often has similar nutritional value to dairy milk. There are loads of potential associated health benefits to soy milk – some studies suggest it can even reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Raw cashews

Raw cashews are a great choice for this vegan cheese recipe because they have a smooth, creamy texture and a mild flavour. They are full of healthy fats, and soften easily when soaked in boiling water, making them easy to blend into a smooth consistency. Their mild flavour allows the other more cheesey, flavoursome ingredients to shine through. But that’s not all- raw cashews also have some impressive health benefits!

Cashews are a good source of protein, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. They have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and it’s possible they may even help improve mental health.

Tapioca flour

Tapioca flour is a type of starch that is extracted from the cassava plant. For this vegan cheese, tapioca is an essential ingredient, as it not only thickens the recipe but gives it elasticity and is what makes this vegan cheese so melty!

Tapioca flour is gluten-free and non-allergenic, making it a safe choice for people with food allergies. It is also high in fiber, which can help regulate digestion. Additionally, tapioca flour contains no fat or cholesterol, which makes it a healthy choice for those watching their dietary cholesterol and saturated fat intake.

Nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is a type of yeast that is grown on molasses and then dried. It is often used as a vegan-friendly cheese substitute due to its savoury, cheesy flavour. Known fondly as “nooch” nutritional yeast is a vegan’s best friend and a pantry staple. I sprinkle it onto pasta and stir it through any savoury dish when it needs an umami flavour boost!

Nutritional yeast is also high in protein, B vitamins, and minerals such as zinc and selenium.  It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein like those found in animal products. Complete proteins are important nutrients that assist functions like tissue repair and nutrient absorption. It has been shown to have health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, and may even help improve mental health. So if you’re looking for a delicious and healthy vegan cheese alternative, then nutritional yeast is definitely the way to go!

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar (acetic acid in water) that is made by fermenting apple juice or apple cider. It has been popularised because of a wide range of purported health benefits. Some of these include killing bacteria, lowering blood sugar levels, and promoting weight loss. There is evidence to suggest it is beneficial as a prebioitic to support healthy gut bacteria.

It has an underlying note of apple and it’s sour flavour adds just a hint of tang to this vegan cheese recipe.

Light miso paste

Miso is a paste made from fermented soybeans, barley or rice. It has a salty, tangy flavour and is most commonly used in soups and sauces. Miso is a good source of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Vegans love cooking with miso because it has a strong salty, umami flavour that adds depth to savoury dishes and is perfect in cheese substitutes.

Light miso paste is a type of miso that is lower in sodium than other types of miso. It has a milder flavour than other types of miso, and can be used in place of regular miso in most recipes. Light miso paste also has some impressive health benefits! It is loaded with other nutrients along with its beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Miso is a source of protein, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin E, vitamin K, choline, linoleic acid, lecithin, and dietary fiber. Light miso paste has been shown to have health benefits ranging from aiding in digestion (thanks to its probiotic bacteria), right through to potentially reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Dijon mustard

Dijon mustard is a type of mustard that is made from ground, browned mustard seeds. It has a strong, pungent flavour and is often used in sauces and dressings.

Dijon mustard works well in this vegan cheese recipe because it adds a strong, tangy flavour which helps to mimic the taste of real cheese.

Substitutions

If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy vegan cheese alternative, then the original recipe is definitely the way to go!

However, if you don’t have all of the ingredients listed or if you want to make some adjustments, here are some substitutions that you can try.

Apple cider vinegar can be replaced with white vinegar or lemon juice.

Light miso paste can be replaced with regular miso paste or any other type of miso paste.

Dijon mustard can be replaced with any other type of mustard.

Raw cashews are the best choice, but sunflower seeds can also be used for a more affordable alternative. Raw cashews can also be substituted with blanched almonds, however the cheese may not be quite as smooth and rich.

Recipe

Yield: 10 serves

2 cups soy milk

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2.5 tbsp light miso paste

1 tsp dijjon mustard

salt to taste

Instructions

1. Add soy milk, soaked raw cashews, tapioca flour, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, light miso paste and Dijon mustard to blender.

2. Blend until the mixture becomes a smooth, creamy cheese.

3. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

4. Transfer to the stove and heat to thicken the mixture.

5. Serve in a toasted sandwich, or as a dip with crackers, bread or vegetables.

6.If you don’t finish the cheese, store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze it for up to 2 months. You can grate it frozen and use it as needed.

Nutrition

The recipe yields 10 servings, each with approximately 80 calories, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 2.5 grams of fat, and 3 grams of protein.

Storage instructions

This vegan cheese recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months. It can be grated and used as needed.

Conclusion

This vegan cheese recipe is a delicious and healthy alternative to dairy-based cheese. It’s perfect for vegans or anyone looking for a nutritious, dairy-free snack. The recipe is easy to follow and can be tailored to your own taste preferences. So why not give it a try? I would love to hear what you think of it!

FAQ

Q: Can I make this vegan cheese recipe without a blender?

A: Unfortunately, you need a blender to achieve a really smooth texture. The blades on a blender give a silky smooth result that can’t be achieved with a food processor. If you use a food processor, you will find the end result is a gritty or grainy cheese mixture.

Q: Can I make this vegan cheese recipe with almond milk?

A: Yes! You can use any plant-based milk of choice, but keep in mind that the flavour and texture will affect the end result. Almond milk is savoury which is great but it has a thinner consistency which means it won’t be quite as creamy as soy milk. I would avoid using any sweetened milks, coconut milk or rice milk as they will be too overpowering and imbalance the flavours of the recipe.

Q: Can I make this vegan cheese recipe without nutritional yeast?

A: You *can* make this vegan cheese recipe without nutritional yeast, but it will not have the same cheesy flavour. I strongly recommend trying to find nutritional yeast, it’s available online, at health food stores and in the health-food aisle at major supermarkets in Australia. Plus, you can use it as a seasoning on any savoury dish or as a replacement for parmesan cheese on pasta, salad topper etc – you will definitely use it all up, trust me!

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