It’s cheese! It’s cheese! And it’s seriously easy to make! Shall we?
This is my take on vegan “mozzarella cheese.” There are quite a few methods out there to try, but to me, this is about as easy (and delicious) as it gets, requiring just 7 ingredients and simple methods to create.
The base for this “cheese” is soaked cashews. They get wonderfully creamy when soaked and create a neutral flavor base that takes on the tanginess of coconut yogurt, lemon, and nutritional yeast so well.
Once blended, all you have to do is cook on the stovetop for about 5-10 minutes, first whisking and then stirring until you get a thick, sticky cheese ball!
At this point, the cheese is ready to use. But to add a bit more flavor to the mozz, you can soak it in a sea salt water brine. I personally thought this was a fun approach, but ultimately, I felt that it added too much moisture to my cheese, so in the instructions, I recommend skipping. But you can see the process photographed below.
What is this cheese good for? SO MANY THINGS.
I hope you all LOVE this recipe! It’s:
Easy to make
Keep this cheese on hand when you need a cheesy topping for pizza, pasta, “meatballs,” salads, and more! I do have a vegan version of poutine coming up, which I specifically designed this recipe for, so stay tuned!
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you came up with. Cheers, friends!
- Soak cashews in very hot water for 1 hour or overnight or at least 6 hours in cool water. Drain thoroughly.
- Add cashews to a high-speed blender, along with coconut yogurt (see notes for substitutions), lemon juice, almond or rice milk, salt, nutritional yeast, and tapioca starch, and blend on high until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for cheesiness, salt for saltiness, lemon juice for acidity, or coconut yogurt for more creaminess or tang. The texture should be creamy, smooth, and pourable.
- Transfer to a small saucepan or skillet, heat over medium-low heat, and begin whisking. It should start to bubble and thicken and look a little clumpy – this is OK. Keep whisking and the mixture will come together in a ball-like shape within 4-5 minutes. Lower heat if cooking too quickly. It’s also normal for the cheese to stick to the bottom of the pan a little. Don’t panic.
- Lower heat to the lowest setting and switch to a wooden mixing spoon. Continue stirring until a loose “ball” is formed (see photo). Then transfer to a small mixing bowl.
- At this point, it’s cheese that’s ready to be used! I prefer covering, letting it cool in the refrigerator, and then scooping into 1 Tbsp amounts for “curds” or 3 Tbsp amounts for “mozzarella-like balls.”
- Optional: Make a salt water brine by adding 1 1/2 Tbsp sea salt to 2 cups (480 ml) hot water and stirring to dissolve. Then add plenty of ice to chill. Add your mozzarella balls or curds to the bath to add a bit more salty flavor. However, I found that this caused the cheese to take on more liquid and become too moist, so I’d personally recommend skipping this step.