Here it is! The Best Vegan Mozzarella Cheese recipe that I’ve ever tasted! Only 7 ingredients, oil-free, no nutritional yeast and no tapioca starch! So creamy, rich, thick and amazing! Made with healthy whole foods that make pizza, grilled cheese, pasta bakes incredibly delicious and even non-vegans will love it!
BEST VEGAN MOZZARELLA CHEESE
SO, vegan mozzarella cheese is not a new thing, I know. It’s pretty much all over the internet. The recipes are very similar…they contain cashews, tapioca starch or agar agar, oil, nutritional yeast and lemon juice. I’ve tried many online and store-bought versions and I can confidently say that my family and I agreed that this is the best vegan mozzarella cheese we’ve ever tasted. My hope is that you will all love it as much as we do. It was a labor of love and multiple testing. I also didn’t want any complicated ingredients. My recipe is very different and the method is different as well. This cheese does not use a starch flour, nor is it cooked over the stove top to thicken. To be honest, I’ve tried them with tapioca and that is not the texture I wanted.
In other words, my version is not stretchy like what you’d expect from shredded mozzarella in those packages, but my recipe is more similar to the fresh dairy mozzarella, you know the extremely smooth, creamy and softer style of mozzarella, but plenty gooey!
When I say I’ve tested this vegan mozzarella cheese recipe probably 20 times, I’m not exaggerating. The quest for my favorite mozzarella began when I shared a mild version of this cheese on my emeal plan. It is a sauce that bakes up on a zucchini pasta bake. It is delicious, but wasn’t specifically a cheese. So, that started my testing stages of perfecting this recipe.
I’ve been making this recipe for months for pizza night, tweaking the cheese recipe multiple times with varying acidity levels, liquids, etc. until I finally feel like I created the best tasting vegan mozzarella cheese ever. Both my hubby and daughter LOVE IT. They are not fans of store-bought vegan cheese at all, but my husband consistently remarks on how delicious the pizza is with this cheese and when I make grilled cheese sandwiches with it served alongside my Vegan Tomato Bisque.
So, what ingredients are in this vegan mozzarella cheese?
(full amounts and details on recipe card below)
- Low-sodium vegetable broth
- Raw cashews: Of course, this is what makes the cheese creamy and smooth.
- Gold potato: I’ve been using potatoes in my cheese recipes and sauces for years on this blog. I also use it here in my Vegan Cheese Sauce (nut-free). It is also the ingredient for the cheese in my Pizza Quesadillas in my cookbook.
- Cooked white rice: Surprise! You might not be expecting this, but when I was trialing this multiple times I was thinking of ways I could make this cheese gooey and rich without using starch/flour. It is stickier and more neutral in flavor than brown rice, so stick with white. It aids in the amazing texture!
- Non-dairy plain yogurt: Y’all know how much I love using yogurt in my recipes. I’ve done it for years and have been putting yogurt in my Almond Ricotta Cheese, nearly all my vegan cream cheese recipes, too. So, no surprise I used it hear for extra tang and flavor that lemon juice just doesn’t solely provide.
- White vinegar: This is key to the cheese flavor that apple cider vinegar or lemon alone do not provide, so don’t skip this! I use this in my cream cheese recipes and many others as well.
- Lemon juice: Just a small amount is used here for tang, but not too much or it ends up tasting too lemony.
- Salt: Of course, without salt, nothing is tasting cheesy.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN MOZZARELLA CHEESE
Step 1: First, if you don’t have a high-powered blender, you will need to soak the cashews overnight in a bowl of warm water so they can be really soft. Otherwise, you will end up with a gritty cheese. No need to soak if you have a Vitamix.
Step 2: Cook the rice and potato. I just popped a couple of potatoes in the microwave wrapped in a wet paper towel and cooked until really soft. Let cool and then peel the skin off and weigh 120 grams and add to a blender or a food processor if you don’t have a high-powered blender. For the rice, you can use those frozen white rice packets that cook in 3 minutes or use some already cooked white rice. Just make sure it is not cold stiff rice from the fridge, or it will be hard to blend it up smoothly. Just briefly warm it in the microwave and make sure it is a thick/sticky rice.
Step 3: Add the broth first to the blender, this will make for easier blending. Add the yogurt, cashews, potato, rice, vinegar, lemon juice and salt. Blend on high until 100% smooth, thick and creamy, as pictured. You may need to scrap down the sides a couple of times to get it going. Taste that amazingness! It will taste a bit salty which is important so that it stands out in grilled cheese sandwiches and on pizza, since technically you aren’t eating it on its own. It should be very thick, creamy and gooey.
Step 4: If using for a pizza, you can use it right away and follow the instructions below on how to add it to the pizza. OR, place it in the fridge to chill and firm up some.
For grilled cheese or quesadillas: The method is slightly different. You will need to add the cheese from the blender to a 6 inch round cake pan, lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 10 minutes at 350°F. This firms up the cheese just a bit. This allows the cheese to get much more thick/firm and not ooze out all over the place when you make the grilled cheese or quesadillas. You can use it right away or put in the fridge to firm up even more before using.
WAYS TO USE THIS VEGAN MOZZARELLA
- Pizza: Duh, of course on pizza! The mozzarella browns beautifully, as you can see here! And for that pizza, make sure to use my 5 Minute Homemade Pizza Sauce and No Yeast Pizza Crust! The pizza sauce takes all of 5 minutes and thousands of readers have made it and said they will never buy store-bought again. It is such a hit, that it is even included in my cookbook. To make on pizza, see exact instructions on the recipe card below.
- Pasta bakes: Just drizzle or dollop this cheese over any pasta or casserole and it will bake and firm up beautifully in the oven!
- Grilled cheese: One of our favorite uses with this cheese is grilled cheese! For this use, the method is different. It is actually baked briefly beforehand to firm it up slightly, then cooled and then used in grilled cheese. This creates the perfect texture for grilled cheese. We’ve eaten a ton of vegan grilled cheese sandwiches using this cheese with my Tomato Bisque and my husband absolutely goes crazy for it! I’m confident in saying it is so good, that I believe any non-vegans would love this, too. It tastes so much like grilled cheese I use to eat back in the day, that my life feels complete, haha. My daughter will only eat grilled cheese with this recipe, that is how much she loves it.
- Dipping: This cheese is thick and creamy and you can just dip chips into it too or even soft baked pretzels. My husband remarked on how it reminds him of the cheese that is served with pretzels.
MORE VEGAN CHEESE RECIPES
- Baked Smoky Cashew Cheese
- Baked Herbed cashew Cheese
- Best Vegan Queso
- Lemon Parmesan Cheese
- Easy Vegan Mexican Cheese
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*I worked extremely hard on testing and perfecting this recipe, so please do not post or copy my recipe onto your site, but instead link to my recipe giving proper credit, should you choose to make it.
Best Vegan Mozzarella Cheese (No Oil!)
- 1/2 cup (120g) low-sodium veggie broth
- 1/4 cup (60g) dairy-free plain, unsweetened high fat yogurt (I used Kite Hill almond yogurt that is high fat, super thick and creamy. The thicker the yogurt, the thicker the cheese. You can also use soy or coconut.) You can find this at Krogers or Sprouts
- 1/2 cup (75g) raw, unsalted cashews
- 1/2 packed cup (120g) of cooked, peeled and mashed gold potato (You are weighing the 120 grams AFTER you've cooked/peeled & mashed the potato)
- 1/4 packed cup (50g) cooked white rice
- 1/2-1 tablespoon (15g) distilled white vinegar-use 1/2 for mild tang and 1 for extra tang (this is key to the cheesy flavor, so don't sub)
- 1 teaspoon (5g) fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (This is KEY to the cheesy flavor, so don't omit or reduce so it stands out on pizza and in grilled cheese, etc.)
- Please weigh your ingredients if possible, so you get the exactly right ratios for this cheese to turn out perfectly! You don't need to use the cups to compare measurements, just simply use my gram weights listed. I literally just put my Vitamix on my scale, hit zero, and add each ingredient, hitting zero in between each addition. SO easy and fast.
- I use this scale.
- First, if you don't have a high-powered blender, you will need to soak the cashews overnight in a bowl of warm water so they can be really soft. Otherwise, you will end up with a gritty cheese. No need to soak if you have a Vitamix.
- Cook the rice and potato. I just popped a couple of potatoes in the microwave wrapped in a wet paper towel and cooked until really soft. Let cool and then peel the skin off and weigh 120 grams (a packed 1/2 cup) and add to a blender or a food processor if you don't have a high-powered blender. For the rice, you can use those frozen white rice packets that cook in 3 minutes or use some already cooked white rice. Just make sure it is not cold stiff rice from the fridge, or it will be hard to blend it up smoothly. Just briefly warm it in the microwave and make sure it is a thick/sticky rice.
- Add the broth first to the blender, this will make for easier blending. Add the yogurt, cashews, potato, rice, vinegar, lemon juice and salt. Blend on high until 100% smooth, thick and creamy, as pictured. You may need to scrape down the sides a couple of times to get it going. Taste that amazingness! Rich, creamy, tangy and a bite of salty. The salt is important so that it stands out in grilled cheese sandwiches and on pizza, since technically you aren't eating it on its own. While it tastes amazing straight out of the blender, wait to fully judge it on pizza and grilled cheese! It should be thick, gooey and creamy. You can use it right away or place in the fridge to firm up a bit and use it in any of the options below.
- TO USE FOR GRILLED CHEESE OR QUESADILLAS: This method is different and requires time prep in advance, so please read through. Since grilled cheese is only briefly heated on the stove, the cheese sauce is a bit too runny to use right away for grilled cheese. So, to create a firmer cheese, you will line a 6 inch round cake pan with parchment paper (as pictured) pressing it along the sides of the pan to fit flat. Pour the blended up cheese sauce in the pan and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. This firms up the cheese just a bit, making it less saucy. This allows the cheese to get more thick/firm and less saucy and not ooze out all over the place when you make the grilled cheese or quesadillas. You can use it right away or put in the fridge to firm up even more before using. When ready to make, spread a generous thick layer (several spoonfuls) onto the bread and heat over the stove until browned on both sides. I use a nonstick pan. Spread a thick layer on the bottom of a large tortilla, add toppings and another thin layer on the top tortilla. The cheese will help them to stick.
- TO USE FOR PIZZA: The cheese is the perfect consistency to use on pizza right after blending, as it's very easy to spread and drizzle or dollop. I always use my Homemade No Yeast Pizza Crust (which is pictured in the post). Simply add the pizza sauce to your pizza crust and all the toppings you want. Then drizzle/spoon the cheese sauce all over the pizza. You want to be generous with adding on top of the pizza, so you really taste the cheese in every bite. Bake at 400°F until the cheese is starting to look firm and a bit brown on top. The bake time can vary depending on which crust you use, but I always cook my pizza at 400°F for 15-20 minutes or so until the cheese and crust are golden. It browns beautifully.
- TO USE AS A DIP: You can use it right away from the blender, as it should be warm from blending it up. You can always blend it longer to warm it up, or just heat it over the stove for 3-5 minutes on medium-low just to warm through or thicken it slightly more if desired. Although, it should already be quite thick and creamy as is and it will firm up in the fridge overnight.
- STORAGE: This cheese lasts 1-2 weeks in the fridge.
- NO STARCH: As noted in the post in the beginning, this recipe does not call for tapioca starch or agar agar like nearly all vegan mozzarella cheese recipes do. Why? Some have asked and well, I wanted my version to be as whole foods based as possible and easy to find ingredients. We've always preferred the texture of real fresh classic dairy mozzarella, which is very smooth, creamy and soft. Not like the mozzarella shreds. We also love the texture of thick, creamy queso. Those dairy cheeses are not crazy stretchy, so that was the texture I was after here. It gets plenty thick and gooey from the cashews, potato and rice!
- If you want yours even thicker than it is out of the blender, you can always heat it up over the stove for 3-5 minutes over medium heat. It will become thicker and more gooey. But it is totally not needed for pizza or grilled cheese.
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