Our vegan cheese is easy, creamy, melty, stringy, spreadable, light, cheesy, and with a slightly tangy flavor. It’s also made nut-free and without a blender.
You can make it in 5 minutes, and use it on pizza, toast, and oven-baked pasta. It’s perfect on food that goes in the oven, as it melts like mozzarella cheese.
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There are many types of plant-based cheese recipes out there, most of them are made with blended nuts. I love cheese made with nuts, however, it often doesn’t really recreate that melty, stringy, cheesy texture of regular dairy cheese.
Our dairy-free cheese does just that. Think of it as melted vegan mozzarella, or as vegan Italian stracchino or crescenza. You can use it in recipes where you expect to have melted cheese, like on pizza, in sandwiches, or on oven-baked veggies.
Its texture is creamy and stringy at the same time, and you can melt it in the oven, with the broiler on, and it’ll bubble and brown just like regular cheese.
I think that this is the fastest, easiest, best, and closest-to-the-real deal homemade vegan cheese recipe.
However, this vegan cheese recipe is not suitable as a dip. For that, check out our variation chapter below, where we show you how to make a quick vegan cheese dip.
If you are looking for other amazing cheese recipes check out our vegan ricotta cheese, also made without nuts, our vegan parmesan made with almonds, and our vegan white sauce, which is technically not a cheese, but it’s still crazy creamy.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Soy milk: use unsweetened soy milk. Unsweetened soy milk is the best choice because it’s neutral in taste and because of its nutrient composition. It will make the best, creamiest, vegan cheese.
You can replace soy milk with unsweetened oat milk although the cheese will be slightly less stringy. I also think you could use other unsweetened non-dairy milk, like cashews milk, but I have not tried personally so can’t vouch for it.
- Tapioca starch: perfect to give a creamy, yet stringy and melty texture to this plant-based cheese.
If you can’t find tapioca starch, you can replace it with corn starch and potato starch mixed together. The corn starch makes the cheese creamy, the potato starch makes it stringy. I write the exact quantities in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.
- Olive oil: we have also tried other vegetable oils, but extra virgin olive oil produces a vegan cheese with a richer flavor.
- Nutritional yeast: to add that cheesy flavor.
- Salt: to add taste.
- Soy yogurt: plain, unsweetened soy yogurt is best for this vegan cheese recipe. Soy yogurt adds a little tanginess and that sourish note present in most real cheese. It also helps with texture and creaminess, so it is a key ingredient.
I have not tested this recipe with other types of dairy-free yogurts, so I am not sure if it works with those. My guess is that it could work, but the flavor would change slightly. If you try, do let me know in the comment section below.
- Lemon: to add acidity. Some people don’t like the tangy flavor. So go easy with it if it’s the first time you do it. Start with a tablespoon and add more if you like.
In a pot or in a saucepan off of the heat, add soy milk, tapioca starch (or potato starch + corn starch), olive oil, nutritional yeast, and salt. Stir with a whisk till there are no lumps.
On your stovetop, on medium heat, warm up the liquid, while stirring continuously with a whisk. Keep stirring until the liquid becomes very thick and gluey.
Turn the heat off and keep stirring vigorously for another minute to cool it down slightly.
Now add the soy yogurt and the lemon juice and stir with the whisk. Stir gently at first, to incorporate the yogurt with the other ingredients. Once incorporated stir fast and vigorously for a minute or so, until the cheese becomes smooth, creamy, and stringy.
Your vegan cheese is ready and you can use it straight away, put it in a cheese mold to give it more of a cheese shape, or just store it in a bowl in the fridge, with a lid on.
The cheese will thicken in the fridge, that’s normal. It will melt again when you heat it up.
You can use this plant-based cheese like regular cheese that you would usually melt, like mozzarella or other melty cheese.
Melt it on bread
That’s awesome for a quick starter, or even as an easy dinner. Spread the cheese on a slice of bread, then put it in the oven with the broiler on and wait a couple of minutes until it gets all melty and slightly charred. Serve with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
On pizza or flatbread
Did you see our flatbread pizza with this vegan melted cheese and tomatoes on top? It’s one of the best vegan recipes we’ve ever made. It’s so tasty and delicious. It melts perfectly and paired with tomatoes, basil, oregano, and olive oil is just delicious.
In an Italian Piadina
Piadina is an Italian flatbread similar to Mexican tortillas. It’s one of the most popular street foods in Italy, especially during spring and summer, and it’s usually filled with stracchino cheese and arugula. Our vegan cheese recipe is perfect for piadina with arugula. It’s definitely one of our favorite quick lunches.
- With thin Italian focaccia
A delicacy from northern Italy in the region of Liguria, and the town of Recco. This is thin focaccia filled with stracchino, an Italian soft cheese. We made a vegan version of focaccia di Recco using our melted vegan cheese and it turned out absolutely incredible.
- In pasta bakes
Want a cheesy yet dairy-free pasta bake? Combine this recipe with our vegan ricotta cheese and with our vegan parmesan cheese for max flavor, perfect texture, and a pasta bake that even the most committed cheese eaters will absolutely love.
Vegan Cheese Dip (Vegan Queso)
As I mentioned before our vegan cheese recipe is not suitable for dipping. If you want a vegan cheese dip more similar to a vegan queso that you can use with nachos and tortilla chips, then you’ve got to use other ingredients as follows.
To make vegan queso that you can dip, boil 1 cup of raw cashews or raw, peeled almonds and 1 chopped carrot in water for 10 minutes. Drain them and add them to a high-speed blender. Don’t worry, you won’t taste the carrot. It’s just for color and texture.
Now add 1 cup of water, 1 clove of garlic cut in half lengthwise and without its core (garlic powder works too), 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (or 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar), 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Optionally, to make your vegan queso dip more interesting, you can add 1 teaspoon of chili powder or black pepper, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, and/or 1 teaspoon of hot sauce. Adjust the quantities of these ingredients based on your taste.
Blend at high speed until you get a smooth, silky, and creamy vegan cheese sauce. You might have to adjust the thickness by adding more liquid.
Taste, adjust for salt, lemon, and spices, and you are done. This way you’ll get a vegan cheese sauce that you can use not only with Mexican food but also with pasta and fries.
Yes, you can prepare it in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Yes, you can use any unsweetened, no-flavor plant milk. However, we find that soy milk produces the best result that is most similar to real cheese.
We have not tested other dairy-free yogurts. I believe it would work, but am not 100% sure. If you do try, make sure to get yogurt that is without sugar.
If you don’t have potato starch, then just use tapioca starch instead of potato and corn starch. Tapioca starch sometimes known as tapioca flour works well on its own. Quantities are in the recipe box below.
No, you should not use coconut oil in this recipe because it’s saturated fat and it will become solid when you put it in the refrigerator compromising the texture of this cheese.
I would stick to vegetable oils that stay liquid at room temperature. Coconut oil is great for other cheese recipes.
Yes. Our recipe for vegan cheese is naturally gluten-free. However, if you are allergic to gluten, make sure to always check your ingredients. They should explicitly say gluten-free.
Before storing, make sure your vegan cheese has cooled down to room temperature.
Then store in a bowl, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. We do not recommend freezing it.
The cheese will clump together when in the refrigerator. This is fine. It will still be perfectly spreadable and delicious, and it will melt again once you warm it up.
You can also give it a more traditional cheese shape by putting it in a cheese mold. You can purchase those online for a few bucks.
For many more side dish ideas, check out our sides category page.
Vegan Cheese (5 Min Nut-Free Recipe)
- Small pot or saucepan
- 1 cup soy milk unsweetened
- ¼ cup tapioca starch (or 3 tablespoons of potato starch + 1 tablespoons of corn starch)
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup soy yogurt unsweetened
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- In a pot off the heat, add soy milk, tapioca starch (or potato starch + corn starch), olive oil, nutritional yeast, and salt. Stir with a whisk till there are no lumps.
- On medium heat, warm up the liquid while whisking continuously. Keep whisking until the liquid becomes very thick and gluey. It should take about 1 minute.
- Take off the heat, keep whisking vigorously for another minute, then add the soy yogurt and lemon juice.Stir gently at first, to combine the yogurt. Then whisk vigorously and fast for another minute.
- You should see the ingredients relax and turn into a smooth, stringy consistency. Your vegan cheese is ready. Store in a bowl in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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