The Flaming Vegan

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Make Vegan Cheese at Home!
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Make Vegan Cheese at Home!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Cheese is a really hard thing to give up as a vegan.  Not only is it delicious but it adds an unparalleled texture that is hard to find in the vegan spectrum.  Vegan cheeses are quite different than dairy cheeses, but still are somewhat familiar in texture, although it is hard to get the stretchiness that we love so much. 

When transitioning between vegetarian and vegan, many of us don't realize that certain cheeses are not vegetarian at all.  Parmigiano Reggiano for example, is created with calf rennet, which is a truly disturbing substance.  Rennet is sourced from the stomach lining of an unweaned veal calf that is dried and chopped to create the coagulating substance for cheese.  Not only are you eating diary, but you are also eating organ meat!   Of course there are other cheese that are vegetarian safe, like paneer and ricotta.  Check the ingredients before purchasing to see what kind of rennet was used.

With that aside, a vegan cheese like cheddar is quite simple to make at home.  I like to buy my ingredients at an Asian grocery store, as it is much cheaper than a health food store.  

For one block of vegan cheddar

  • 1/2 cup cashews soaked in water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 6 teaspoons agar agar flakes
  • Juice of one lemon 
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. In a sauce pan, mix agar agar and water over medium heat, stirring constantly until dissolved. 
  2. In a blender combine the remainder of ingredients and blend. 
  3. Add the agar agar to this mixture and blend until smooth.
  4. Simmer gently over medium heat for five minutes. 
  5. Transfer to a glass container and chill for at least an hour so that it is firm. 

The cheese is now ready and can be added to sandwiches, eaten on crackers or baked into other dishes.  



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  1. remoteplanet
    I super love vegan cheese, tho its more like an incredibly yummy pate. That's a good sign since those hard cheeses you mentioned aren't even vegetarian :(
  2. Support
    Whoot whoot! Homemade vegan cheese is so superior to almost anything else we've ever encountered! Thanks Kristo!
  3. Veganara
    Voted! Yum, I must try this! I have only ever made my own vegan ricotta. The pro blem is, I just can't find nutritional yeast anywhere over here at present. I will have to order it online I think. I have heard that home-made vegan cheese is better than the ones you buy!
    1. kristo
      Ricotta!!! Post the recipe - I need to know so I can make all the yummy southern Italian desserts! Nutritional yeast is so cheap in the UK compared to Canada. You are lucky! Whole Foods in London sells it in what looks like an Ovaltine tin. When I was in Asia and someone was passing through England I'd make sure they would pick some up for me :)
      1. Veganara
        Ah thanks for that tip Kristo! I bought it (nut. yeast) once in a health food shop, but I don't live in that area anymore. And I haven't been able to find it in other health food shops, would you believe, or in any of the supermarkets (different chains). So I think I must pay a visit to the Whole Foods you mention. I'll try to post that ricotta recipe when i have time!
  4. tara
    Raw Sunflower Ricotta equipment: food processor ingredients: ~ 1 cup or more soaked or soaked and sprouted sunflower seeds ~ handful of fresh oregano, chopped ~ handful of fresh parsley, chopped ~ splash of water ~ dash of pepper directions: ~ soak 1 cup sunflower seeds overnight in water or soak and then sprout. ~ rinse and drain seeds the next day. ~ place sunflower seeds in food processor and blend, add a little water to the consistency of a thick cream. ~ squeeze the juice of ½ lemon and continue to blend. ~ Remove ricotta from food processor and place in colander or sieve. Let the excess water drain out until you are ready to use. If this will be more than a few hours, place in refrigerator. ~ Just before you are ready to use add chopped oregano and a little pepper. ~ Ricotta will keep for a few days. source: I am sure I read this somewhere, not sure where though.
    1. kristo
      Thank you Tara! This sounds nutty, easy and delicious!
  5. NitaS
    Can I use tapioca starch instead of the agar?
    1. kristo
      Yes! I've recently used tapioca in another "cheese" recipe and it gives a texture similar to cream cheese. Make sure you cook it very well otherwise it may end up gritty.


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