This tofu cream cheese is a thick, creamy, smooth, nut-free recipe that you can make with 5 simple ingredients.
It's excellent as a starter, dip, or spread in a sandwich, perfect for a quick breakfast or a packed lunch. And the best thing? You can flavor it with your favorite veggies, spices, or herbs!
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Have you ever tried blending tofu with tahini? Because if you haven't, you are in for a treat!
While tofu can be gritty and bland on its own, it becomes the perfect neutral flavor base, with a thick, smooth, and creamy texture, when combined with tahini.
Tahini is a Middle-Eastern sesame cream often used in hummus and baba ganoush to make them creamy and rich, and it works magically in this tofu cream cheese recipe.
All you need to make it are 5 simple ingredients: firm tofu, tahini, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and salt.
Then, of course, you can add your favorite flavorings. From garlic and chives to onion and dill, all the way through roasted eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and even roasted bell peppers.
We love eating vegan tofu cream cheese as an alternative to regular cream cheese or vegan cream cheese made with cashews.
It's delicious on toasted bread, crackers, wraps, sandwiches, bagels, and even to stuff roasted vegetables such as roasted peppers or mushrooms.
We use firm tofu for this recipe. Extra firm tofu works well too. Silken tofu and soft tofu are too watery here and won't produce the same thick and creamy consistency.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice helps neutralize the flavor of the tofu while adding freshness and acidity.
You can substitute apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar for lemon juice.
Use good quality extra virgin olive oil if you can since you'll be able to taste bad quality oil in this recipe.
Any other neutral vegetable oil (avocado oil, canola oil, sunflower oil) would work too, but we love the flavor of olive oil.
Salt is essential to make the tofu palatable and pleasant to eat. We use sea salt.
Tahini is a key ingredient in our dairy-free cream cheese recipe because it adds a smooth, rich, and velvety texture. It also adds a pleasant nutty, and warm flavor.
Choose tahini made with 100% hulled sesame seeds. You can find it written in the ingredients list on the label. They must be hulled. Otherwise, the tahini has a different, stronger, bitter flavor.
- Fresh herbs: add finely chopped chives, dill, basil, or parsley after blending and stir them in with a spoon. You can also sprinkle some on top. Finely chopped scallion/green onions work too.
- Dried herbs: add a teaspoon of dried chives or dill with the other ingredients before blending.
- Garlic powder: a teaspoon will do best if combined with a fresh or dried herb—sub onion powder.
- Roasted eggplant: we love adding a roasted eggplant to this recipe because it turns the tofu cream cheese into a middle-easter-tasting dip or spread.
- Marinated artichoke hearts: drained from their liquid and blended in.
- Sun-dried tomatoes in oil: drained from the oil and blended in.
- Jarred roasted bell peppers: drained from their liquid and blended in.
- Pitted olives: blended in.
- Nutritional yeast: call us crazy, but we prefer tofu cream cheese without nutritional yeast. However, if you want that mild cheesy flavor, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast to the blender.
Take the tofu out of its package, cut the block in half, and squeeze it with your hands to drain some of its liquid. You can do this over the sink. Don't worry if the tofu crumbles; we'll blend it in a second. This will allows us to make a thick and creamy tofu cream cheese.
Add drained tofu to a blender, then add tahini, lemon juice without seeds, extra virgin olive oil, and salt.
Tip: at this stage, you can also add your optional add-in, for example, garlic powder and dried dill or the flesh of a roasted eggplant.
Blend at high speed for a minute or two until the tofu cream cheese is velvety smooth and creamy.
Note: you can make tofu cream cheese in a food processor, however, the spread won't be as smooth as if you did it in a blender.
Taste and adjust for salt and lemon, then transfer it into a bowl.
Sprinkle with finely chopped chives and serve as a spread or dip.
Artichoke cream cheese
Add a small jar of drained marinated artichoke hearts to the blender. You'll get a light, fresh, tangy tofu cream cheese with a mild artichoke flavor.
TIP: Are you curious about artichokes? Here's our ultimate guide on how to cook with artichokes with 10+ easy artichoke recipes.
Eggplant cream cheese
Cut an eggplant in half, score its flesh with a paring knife, drizzle it with olive oil and salt, then roast it in the oven at 400°F or 200°C for 25 minutes or in an air fryer for 15 - 20 minutes. Here's the full recipe for roasted eggplant.
Scoop out the flesh with a spoon, add it to the blender, adjust salt and lemon, and you've got a delicious tofu cream cheese with a mild eggplant flavor. This one's a little runnier than the original, as the eggplant contains water.
This version is reminiscent of Baba Ghanoush, a delicious eggplant dish popular in the Middle East.
Bell pepper cream cheese
Drain two or three jarred roasted bell peppers and added them to the blender with the other ingredients.
This one is tangy, peppery, and a little sweet. It's also thinner than the original. Nevertheless, we think it's delicious as a spread in a sandwich, on crostini as an appetizer, and we can even use it as a pasta sauce.
Olive cream cheese
You can add black or green pitted olives right into the blender. ½ a cup was enough olives for us, but if you like a stronger olive flavor, you can go up to a full cup of olives.
They add a mild savory flavor with herby and nutty notes. This one's also great as an appetizer on crostini, next to some olive tapenade.
Sun-dried tomato cream cheese
Add about a cup of drained sun-dried tomatoes in oil to the blender and blend at full speed until combined with the other ingredients.
It's delicious as a spread, dip, and pasta sauce.
As an appetizer: serve tofu cream cheese on toasted bread, lightly oiled and rubbed with garlic, like Italian bruschetta. To make it even more interesting, you can top it with the following:
- Confit tomatoes: sweet, juicy, and garlicky; they are irresistible.
- Caramelized onions: browned to perfection until their natural sweetness comes out.
- Steamed artichokes or sautéed artichokes: tender homecooked artichokes.
As a quick lunch: spread it in a sandwich with your favorite lettuce, avocado, cucumber, roasted veggies, or tomato slices. A perfect lunch box idea, also for kids.
As part of an easy dinner: Spread the cream cheese in a bagel or a wrap with roasted vegetables; it's a delicious and fulfilling meal.
Make Ahead & Storage
Make ahead: you can easily make this recipe in advance as part of your meal prep routine to have a spread ready for your week.
Refrigerator: keep tofu cream cheese in a bowl covered with plastic wrap touching the surface so that it dries out, or in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 3 days.
Freezing: we haven't tried freezing this recipe.
Reheat: we recommend taking the cream cheese out of the fridge 30 minutes before eating to let it reach room temperature.
More Tofu Recipes
By now, you've probably realized that we are big on tofu in our family. So then, take a look at our delicious tofu recipes:
- Tofu salad with fresh greens, fried crispy tofu, and a creamy tahini dressing.
- Fried tofu: an essential recipe for curries and salads, and great as a snack.
- Pan-fried mushroom tofu: fried tofu cutlets served with a creamy mushroom sauce.
- Vegan egg salad: with tofu cubes and vegan mayo, ready in 10 minutes.
- Lemon tofu: a great alternative to lemon chicken, and with a creamy lemon sauce.
- Scrambled tofu: a 5-minute breakfast idea with an eggy flavor.
- Tofu curry with a balanced Indian-inspired spice mix and a creamy curry base.
More Dip and Spread Ideas
Easy and delicious, perfect for lunch ar as appetizers:
- Avocado spread with tahini and lemon, a velvety smooth sandwich spread.
- Easy hummus with canned or dried chickpeas.
- White bean dip: perfect as an appetizer, snack or topping idea.
- Lentil hummus: with canned lentils, a great alternative to chickpeas.
- Sun-dried tomato pesto: Italian-inspired pesto with a rich and rustic tomato flavor.
- Eggplant Dip with roasted eggplant, a Middle-Eastern-inspired dip for pita, falafel, and veggies!
For many more tofu ideas, check out our tofu category page.
Tofu Cream Cheese
- Blender You can also use a food processor; however, the cream cheese won't be as smooth.
- 8 ounces firm tofu
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup tahini made from 100% hulled sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chives finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder optional
- Squeeze the tofu with your hands to remove some of the water from it. It's ok if it breaks as we are going to blend it.
- Add tofu, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, and salt to a blender and blend for 2 minutes or until you have a smooth cream.Tip: at this stage, you can also add your optional add-in, for example, garlic powder and dried chives or the flesh of a roasted eggplant.
- Taste and adjust for salt and lemon, then transfer it into a bowl.
- Sprinkle with finely chopped chives and serve as a spread or dip.
- ARTICHOKE CREAM CHEESEAdd 1 cup (150 grams) of drained jarred marinated artichoke hearts.
- EGGPLANT CREAM CHEESEAdd the flesh of one roasted eggplant. To roast the eggplant, cut it in half lengthwise and bake in a preheated oven at 400°F or 200°C for 20 minutes.
- BELL PEPPER CREAM CHEESEAdd two or 3 drained jarred roasted bell peppers.
- OLIVE CREAM CHEESEAdd ½ to 1 cup of black or green pitted olives.
- SUN-DRIED TOMATO CREAM CHEESEAdd 1 cup drained sun-dried tomatoes in oil.
- We love it as a spread on toasted crusty bread slices rubbed with fresh garlic and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
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Really good recipe, thank you! I like the fact that it is nut-free and I agree with you that it's better without the nutritional yeast. I like it with a neutral-flavored oil (canola) and a little less lemon juice. I would use the additional lemon juice if I wanted a flavor going more toward sour cream. This is going to be a staple for me!
I'm delighted to hear that you liked the nut-free cream cheese! Thanks so much for the tip regarding a sour cream texture, we will try that out!
We appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. Have a great Monday!
This recipe was a hit! Easy to assemble, and I loved using tofu as an alternative to cashews.
I spread the cream cheese on some toast with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast! Delicious and I can’t wait to try the other varieties.
Fantastic, Tiffany! I'm so delighted you liked it as a spread! Let me know how you get on with the veggie variations, thanks for taking the time to send a message. Kindest, Louise
So I forgot to squeeze the water out making this in a rush. It was still good just a lighter weight than the recipe intended. I used up the rest of the tofu block and added more of the other ingredients so I would have more. I think with some garlic this would be an absolutly lovely creamy pasta sauce actually! Which is nice because my daughter is allergic to cashews and all the best vegan creamy pastas use this. So I'm glad to have found 2 great uses for the recipe! Thx for sharing. (I'll ne sure to squeeze the tofu for toasts next time lol)
Hi Christina, thanks so much for your comment! I think the tofu pasta sauce with garlic sounds like a wonderfully creamy pasta sauce, I need to try that! I'm delighted you and your daughter found an alternative to cashews with this recipe, we're just happy we can help you and your family! Have a great Thursday, cheers Louise
Great recipe. 👍👍🙏🙏
Thank you, Kim! We're delighted you enjoyed the recipe 🙂 Cheers, Nico