Vegan Baked Herbed Cashew Cheese

Vegan Baked Herbed Cashew Cheese

A Vegan Baked Herbed Cashew Cheese made with whole ingredients, fresh thyme, easy and simple methods for a tangy, cheesy and healthy baked cheese. It slices, it spreads and it is completely dairy-free and oil-free!

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Just like with this Vegan Baked Smoky Cashew Cheese, we are using the same cheese base, but adding fresh thyme and changing a couple of ingredients instead. If you don't like thyme, feel free to sub in rosemary, sage or basil. Whatever you like!

HOW DO YOU MAKE VEGAN CASHEW CHEESE?

This incredible blend I came up with is cheesy, super tangy, rich, depth-of-flavor and NO oil and NO nutritional yeast.

You only need 6 ingredients (+salt/water) for your vegan baked cashew cheese:

  • raw cashews
  • vegan worcestershire sauce (this can be found at Sprouts or Whole Foods or on Amazon)
  • rice vinegar (this is the magic here!)
  • lemon juice
  • fresh garlic cloves
  • fresh thyme or herb of choice

First,  you will soak your cashews overnight. Drain and then add all of the remaining ingredients to a food processor. Process until completely smooth and not gritty.

Spread the cheese mixture into a 6 inch round cake pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325°F for 35 minutes until firm and just beginning to crack.

OR, bake it for 25 minutes for a more soft-style spread for bread and crackers.

Cool about 15 minutes, then slice and serve. It is heavenly warm and you can also chill it in the fridge if you like. It is delicious any way you serve it.

The cool thing about this cashew cheese? It can be sliced, will stay firm at room temperature indefinitely AND it also spreads like a cream cheese! And NO WEIRD ingredients like agar agar or starches or thickeners etc. that are hard to find. I wanted this to be easy and simple!

This cheese is amazing both cold straight from the fridge and also added to bread, then toasted. SO GOOD.

I hope you all really love this Vegan Herbed Baked Cashew Cheese as much as we did, be sure to come back and let me know!

Yields 1 6 inch round

Vegan Baked Herbed Cashew Cheese

A Vegan Baked Herbed Cashew Cheese made with whole ingredients, fresh thyme, easy and simple methods for a tangy, cheesy and healthy baked cheese. It slices, it spreads and it is completely dairy-free and oil-free!

8 hrPrep Time

35 minCook Time

8 hr, 35 Total Time

Recipe Image
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5 based on 8 review(s)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) raw unsalted cashews, soaked overnight, DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (37g) plain rice (not seasoned) vinegar, please do not sub with another vinegar!
  • 1 teaspoon vegan worcestershire sauce (I use the Annie's brand, it can be found at Sprouts or Whole Foods, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) water
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (if you love garlic, choose big or choose small for a mild flavor)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or herb/s of choice)

Instructions

  1. You will need a day in advance to make this cheese, there is no way around this and rushing it will result in a gritty cheese. Trust me on this and do not skip soaking the cashews overnight. This makes the nuts very soft and is necessary since so little liquid is used and is needed to get a creamy consistency.
  2. Add your cashews to a bowl and pour boiling water over them by at least an inch at the top. Cover and leave to sit overnight on your counter or 8 hours minimum. Drain them and rinse them well.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325°F (162°C). Line a 6 inch round cake pan with a large piece of parchment paper (see photo) and press it inside the pan and against the sides to make it flat as possible.
  4. Add the soaked/drained cashews to a food processor. Add the rice vinegar, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, water, garlic and salt. This will not work in a blender, I'm sorry, there is too little liquid and it will never get smooth enough because of the lack of space to go around. Process the mixture for around 30 seconds, scrape down the sides and then blend again for a solid 5 minutes or so until 100% silky smooth and creamy and NO bits of cashews remain. It should be dreamy smooth like the photos. Do not stop processing until it reaches this stage and scrape the sides as needed.
  5. Stir (do not blend) in the thyme leaves or herb/s of choice.
  6. This cheese is delicious unbaked too and after chilling in the fridge, will resemble a cream cheese style consistency. So, you can always do that and not bake it as well if you like. The flavor is tangier raw, versus baked, but both ways are delicious!
  7. Scrape all of that yummy cheese mixture into the pan, making sure to get it all out and spread out evenly to the sides and smooth the top.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes for it to be firm and slice-able as pictured. I would advise not going any longer or it can get dry and crumbly. It should just be beginning to crack at the top and be firm.
  9. OR, bake it for 25 minutes for a more soft-style spread for bread and crackers.
  10. Cool 15 minutes and then slice and serve warm. Or, you can chill it in the fridge first. I found that I liked it both ways.
  11. The end result is cheesy, super tangy, rich and a wonderful depth-of-flavor. I love to add slices the next day from the fridge, put on bread and then slightly toast it. SO GOOD. It would also be awesome topped onto hot soup at serving!
7.8.1.2
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34 Comments

  1. Hello Brandi, thanks for sharing these recipes for the vegan cheeses. One question regarding rice vinegar. Is the seasoned rice vinegar ok to use, or best to use the regular one that is unseasoned? Thanks. I will try these as soon as I know about the vinegar.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Judy! Definitely regular!
  2. Okay I am clearly very behind and lots of cheesy delicious things have been happening without me😳 But also where was this for my pizza/friendsgiving night last night?? We even did white pizza too, so it would've been delicious! I want half a batch of spreadable and then half a batch baked all the way to slice and snack with everything (or nothing, I bet it's delish just straight up😋) And you did it without nutritional yeast which is incredible, you really have nailed the vegan cheesy flavor thing at this point. I gotta try this! It's too simple and I'm too much of a cheese lover not too🤗
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Omg, yes, this one would have been fabulous on pizza, especially swapping the thyme with some basil, yes! I definitely cannot wait to try it on pizza! Although, this is not a melty version, stays firm, but that was my intention with these. Too many odd ingredients are required for them to be the melty kind, haha. Yes, it's so good on it's own or on crackers, toast, even in soup, that is what is on the menu for dinner tonight! Thanks Natalie!
  3. This looks like a winner. I don't have a food processor though, only a Blendtec high powered blender. You did not mention it so am I correct you've never tried this that way, in mega blender instead of FP? Seems like in that case you might be able to bypass the soak step since very smooth nut butter is easy in that type of blender (Vitamix also of course)...? I'l probably soak anyway but wondering , "just in case" in a hurry...
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Geoffrey, you MUST soak the nuts as noted. This doesn't matter if you have a high powered blender or not. I have a Vitamix and trying to blend up these into a smooth paste for this is much, much easier after soaking them. I never soak nuts if I'm making sauces/dressings, etc. but there is a very tiny amount of liquid used here, so please just soak them, drain and proceed. You will have much better success this way.
    • I used my Blendtec twister jar instead of the large regular jar and it worked great. I think because the twister jar is smaller. I also use it to make small batches of cashew butter without problems.
  4. Can I add chili flakes and maybe minced green chili and call it pepper jack? Or maybe add dried cranberries on top right after I pull it from the oven so that they stick(ish)? Maybe give a sweet and savory touch.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Yes, that sounds really delicious! The cranberries won’t stick though I don’t think very well, the cheese forms a firm dry top.
  5. 1) Amazing recipe. Truly wonderful flavor and so fast and easy to make 2) Blender works fine with one caveat. The key bit is having and properly using a tamper. Blendtec does not have one and Vitamix canisters may be too big for the recipe. I have Blendtec's mini canister and made my own tamper (PVC pipe and joints). You have to use it vigorously and constantly for this to work. I knew it would since I"ve made many batches of creamy smooth nut butter with no added liquid at all and no presoaking (almond, peanut, cashew, sesame, pumpkin seed). This came out silky smooth and delicious! It's in the oven now, headed for tomorrow's dinner as an appetizer. Many thanks!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Yay! So happy you love it Geoffrey! Thank you so much for making it! Yes, exactly, huge huge pain using a blender, haha. It just didn’t work well in mine at all and the food processor only took a few minutes :) Would you mind clicking the star rating too, it’ll prompt you to comment again, the ratings help me, thank you!!
    • I also used my Blendtec twister jar with the twister top. It’s not a tamper but it works well moving things around while blending.
  6. OMG it worked! I did make it in my Blendtec twister jar and it came out fabulous! Just took it out of the oven 30 minutes ago. I used a dill mix for the herbs so it came out green. 🙂 Also, didn’t want to get the vegan Worcestershire so I used ½ tsp apple cider vinegar and ½ tsp Tamari (they’re similar to what’s in the Worcestershire). It worked well. Family is very impressed and so am I. Thank you Brandi! 💗
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So so awesome to hear that Melissa, I'm so glad you and your family are pleased, that makes me happy!
  7. When I click on the star rating it doesn't stay "lit" but just jumps to post...or something. Will try again on this one. Had an idea for next summer. Fresh herbs not much available here in Rocky Mtns this time of year but summer WOOT! So I'm going to make it using fresh basil, maybe 3 or even 4 cloves of garlic. I alway say, "Garlic to vermifuge proportions. Can't have too much garlic!" Then use it on sourdough toast under a thick slice of heirloom tomato. Oh my.... Ahhh, there. This time the stars worked!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      It worked, thank you Geoffrey! And yes, now you’re talking, haha, I just bought sourdough today for more cheesy toast tomorrow, can’t wait! And I 100% agree on the garlic, that’s why I added that note about small and large, I used 2 huge ones and literally grate raw garlic on my meals and toast because I love garlic so much, haha!!
  8. Ela
    This cashew cheese looks so incredible, Brandi! I want to put it on bread, pizza and everything else, haha. Much love, Ela
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Aww, thank you so much Ela! I have tried it on so many things since posting the recipe now, haha! On bread with fresh garlic, then toasted....over hashbrowns, over pasta, in a sauce, it's just the best stuff and I'm loving all the ways to use it!
  9. Zoe
    I'm throwing an Italian vegan dubstep themed Thanksgiving potluck tomorrow here in beautiful Portland Oregon and I am stoked to add this new discovery to our VEGAN CHEESE PLATE! My buddy tagged me in your post on Instagram and I'm so happy that I found this just in time to soak the cashews overnight! I'm curious about the herbs - why should these not be processed in with everything else? I noticed some other recipes that I had been looking at were saying the same thing, but I would think that processing them in would like, infuse the flavor or whatever? So why do some of the most talented chefs recommend against it? Thank you for sharing your culinary genius with the world! Keep blowin minds and fighting the good fight
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Zoe! The only reason I state that is so they don't chance turning the cheese green, which wouldn't be very appetizing, haha. The thyme still definitely gets infused into the cheese and I tasted it in every bite, very yummy! But you could certainly blend if if you like, it won't hurt it flavor-wise, you just don't want to serve green cheese to your guests. :) This will be more problematic if you do herbs like basil or dill...those turn things green quicker than the thyme would. Hope that helps!
  10. Zoe
    Hi Brandi! Thanks for your quick reply - so awesome. :) Fair point on the green cheese - I will totally have to experiment with this for St. Patty's (which I just realized is another awesome opportunity to blow some minds with vegan food). The color looks too perfect as-is for Thanksgiving though! And I would have never thought adding dill in there, heck yes. Peace and happy Thanksgiving :)
  11. hi i made this tyme herb cheese and smoky cashew cheese, i found i like the taste raw very delicious tang flavor with the fresh lemon more than the cooked version, but both tasted very good, i made some baked i put it into silicone small round molds so to freeze some for another time, this a good for me to make raw spread for times i want a tangy cream cheese spread and less time if i just keep it raw and i do not have to bake it, i am molding some raw cheese in the freezer to just pop out defrost when i need a snack during the week. it is easy to make with a food processor. i used the Wizards organic vegan worcestershire sauce. i only had the seasoned rice vinegar it it was great but next time i will try plain rice vinegar.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi! Yes, that’s why I list both versions since I know we all have different preferences. However, as I noted, you need to use plain vinegar, not seasoned. Seasoned is MUCH less tangy and has added sugar, so that’s another reason why yours tasted different. So glad you liked both ways though!
  12. I tried this yesterday and it is fantastic! I shared it with about 9 people and some people like it better than a cheese that we had from a health food store! :-) Thanks for this lovely recipe!!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Yay! SO very thrilled to hear you and your friends loved it Carol, thank you so much for the awesome feedback!
  13. Hi! I LOVE all your recipes. When trying to blend the mixture in a Vitamix.... (I don't have a food processor), it is a problem, since there is so little liquid than all the cashews do a mess and there are little pieces all over the cup. And I guess I cannot blend it 5 minutes! It will burn the machine, so... any suggestion for Vitamix?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thanks Olga! Yes, that’s why I specifically put to not use a blender right there in the directions, because it doesn’t work and didn’t work for me either. Just as I noted, there isn’t enough liquid, just as you’ve seen too. It works very easily and quickly in a food processor. For your Vitamix you can try to just continually scrape the sides and reblend over and over but again, it just doesn’t work well. Do you have a food processor?
  14. Can’t wait to try this! Do you have any cheese recipes in your new cookbook?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Yes! I have cream cheese, cheesy broccoli soup, Chili con queso and mac 'n' cheese :)
  15. Amazing, amazing, AMAZING !!! And...NO nutritional yeast...you are the BEST ! Loved it..❤️
  16. I would like to know how much time we can keep it in the fridge? Thanks!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi, it's good for at least a week!
  17. is there anything that can replace the garlic? i'm allergic to it. sometimes i use shallot, but i don't know if it would work in a cheese ewcipe.
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      You can just leave it out. It does add depth of flavor but should still be good without it.

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