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!
1/4cup (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
1/2cup (75g)raw, unsalted cashews
1/2packed cup (120g)of cooked, peeled and mashed gold potato (You are weighing the 120 grams AFTER you've cooked/peeled & mashed the potato)
1/4packed cup (50g)cooked white rice
1/2-1tablespoon (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)
1teaspoon (5g)fresh lemon juice
3/4teaspoonfine 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.
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.