Six ingredient vegan cream cheese that is herb flavored with scallions and cilantro. GF + Paleo too. Makes for a perfect spread or dip for crackers.
I am super excited to share this vegan cream cheese recipe with you today! I have actually been sharing this recipe in different ways in the past – as in incorporated into other dishes, namely my vegan ricotta stuffed zucchini ravioli over pumpkin puree with walnuts, savory pumpkin dip with rosemary cashew ricotta, and vegan zucchini rolls with herbed cashew ricotta, mint and avocado. But I felt it was only right to dedicate a whole blog post to this vegan cream cheese itself.
Since I try to strictly follow a dairy free diet for health reasons (I just feel significantly better when I do not eat dairy), finding a dairy alternative is always high on my list. And cashews prove to be a great nut alternative to dairy.
It is simply amazing what you can do with cashews to make them taste dairy-esque. I mean if you think about it, it makes sense, cashews are a bit soft and creamy when in their raw form and soaked. You can’t exactly say the same thing about walnuts, almonds or brazil nuts.
But cashews truly do get very soft when soaked overnight and are a bit milky almost. The key in this vegan cream cheese is to use specifically raw cashews and to soak them overnight. You really need those cashews super soft to break down properly into a creamy consistency.
Then to the cashews I add lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar. Those two ingredient add a bit of a sour, lemony, taste that really gets that cheese flavor going. From there you need to blend the mix in a high powered blender of food processor. If you have a Vitamix, that will work perfectly, otherwise use a food processor. I tried to make this vegan cream cheese in a regular blender and ended up having to add a lot of water in order to get the mixture to blend. In a food processor you won’t need to do that.
Add the water thins out the consistency and makes the vegan cream cheese a bit more liquidy which can be either good or bad, depending on what you will be using this for. In this case I did not add any water as I wanted the vegan cream cheese as firm as possible.
For flavoring after processing, transfer the vegan cream cheese to a bowl and start adding all types of herbs and spices. This is entirely up to you. I like a mixture of cilantro, green onions and lemon zest, but you could add rosemary and sage instead or some chili peppers, cayenne powder, etc. That is entirely up to you.
For a super cheesey taste make sure to add some nutritional yeast as well. This is an ingredient I love to add to vegan recipes that need a bit of a cheesey kick.
Overall this has become my favorite vegan cheese based dip, and there is no shortage of ways you can use this vegan cream cheese. Spread it on bread or bagels, use as a dip, as a filling for ravioli, for zucchini rolls, for others dips, etc. The possibilities are endless. Once you have this delicious vegan cream cheese as a base your dish is sure to be an epic success.
Even my cheese loving dad loves this dip!
- 2 cups cashews halved and soaked in water overnight, then rinsed and drained
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar add less apple cider vinegar for a less acidic cream cheese, using 1-2 tablespoons instead
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1 lemon zested
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon high quality extra virgin olive oil optional
- In a food processor process cashews, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice until smooth. This will take a few minutes.
- Place vegan cream cheese mixture into a bowl and add cilantro, green onions, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and olive oil (optional).
- Mix until smooth.
- Serve as a dip with crackers, or spread on bread.