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.

vegan cheese just made

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vegan cheese on toasted bread

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

ingredients for vegan cheese
  • 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.
plant-based cheese on pizza
plant-based cheese on pizza flatbread

Instructions

In a pot or in a saucepan off of the heat, add soy milktapioca starch (or potato starch + corn starch), olive oilnutritional yeast, and salt. Stir with a whisk till there are no lumps.

ingredients mixed in a pot

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.

thick mixture in a pot

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.

vegan cheese that melts
vegan cheese put in a cheese mold overnight

Serving Suggestions

You can use this plant-based cheese like regular cheese that you would usually melt, like mozzarella or other melty cheese.

vegan cheese on bread

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.

flatbread pizza with melted vegan cheese

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.

vegan piadina with stracchino and arugula

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.
  • With oven-baked veggies
    Chopped and roasted cauliflower, oven-baked broccoli, oven-baked carrots, Brussels sprouts, and mixed veggies. You can add this cheese on top 5 minutes before they are done baking. It’ll melt and char slightly on top.

Variations

Vegan Cheese Dip (Vegan Queso)

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.

vegan queso dip

Questions

Can I prepare this vegan cheese recipe in advance?

Yes, you can prepare it in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Can I use another plant milk?

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.

Can I use another yogurt?

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.

I don’t have potato starch. What can I do?

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.

Can I use coconut oil instead of olive oil?

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.

Is vegan cheese gluten-free?

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.

vegan cheese in focaccia with spinach
vegan cheese in focaccia with spinach

Storage

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.

melty vegan cheese

Vegan Cheese (5 Min Nut-Free Recipe)

Author: Nico Pallotta
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.
4.89 from 59 votes
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dressing & Sauces, Plant-Basics, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 people
Calories 63 kcal

Equipment

  • Whisk
  • Small pot or saucepan

Ingredients
 
 

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.
    soy milk, cornstarch, potato starch, olive oil, salt and nutritional yeast in a pot
  • 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.
    liquid without lumps
  • 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.
    soy yogurt and lemon juice added to the pot
  • 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.
    vegan cheese is ready

Video Recipe

Vegan melted cheese | ready in 5 minutes!

Notes

You can replace the tapioca starch with corn starch and potato starch together. In this case, you will need 3 tablespoons (30 grams) of potato starch, and 1 tablespoon (7.5 grams) of corn starch.
The cheese will get firmer as it cools down. To make it soft and melty again, you just need to warm it up, for example, spread it on bread or add it to pizza and it will melt in the oven as it warms up. 

Nutritional Values

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Cheese (5 Min Nut-Free Recipe)
Amount per Serving
Calories
63
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3
g
5
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
0
mg
0
%
Potassium
 
107
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
7
g
2
%
Dietary Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
Vitamin A
 
118
IU
2
%
Vitamin B6
 
1
mg
50
%
Vitamin C
 
5
mg
6
%
Vitamin E
 
1
mg
7
%
Vitamin K
 
1
µg
1
%
Calcium
 
65
mg
7
%
Folate
 
11
µg
3
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
Manganese
 
1
mg
50
%
Magnesium
 
3
mg
1
%
Zinc
 
1
mg
7
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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If you liked this recipe, you might also like:


Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




56 Comments

    1. Hi Ingrid,

      thanks for your message. Did you make any changes to the recipe?
      In general, this is not a hard cheese, but rather a soft spreadable one. It should thicken in the fridge, but it shouldn’t get hard.

      I hope this helps,
      Nico

    1. We tried many different brands. Like SojaSun, Alpro, Sojade, and more. It should turn out well with most, us long as they are unsweetened and without flavor.

      I hope this helps,
      Nico

  1. 5 stars
    A GREAT plant based melty, gooey, cheese recipe, because I don’t have to have a blender, or cashews, or potatoes, or carrageenan! This will be my go to recipe for making my own homemade melty, gooey cheese, and others comments below give some great additional tips too. I highly recommend this recipe!

  2. Sorry, but it drives me crazy that 95^ of “vegan cheese” recipes include lemon juice for the “cheesy tang”. What’s with that? The same people who caution against using unrefined coconut oil, to keep the cheese from tasting like coconut, don’t care that it tastes like lemon? It/s ridiculous, since common white or apple-cider vinegar is more acid than lemon juice. Then, nutritional yeast is suggested, whereas a true cultured product like white miso paste, or even sauerkraut juice gives a more authentic taste. And, there’s the ubiquitous tapioca starch, when true cheese is low carb and there are alternatives like iota carrageenan combined with locust bean gum, for a stretchy gel & no carb, as well as konjac powder (without alkali). In fact, only tofu meats the definition of true cheese…that is, coagulated milk protein (regardless of animal or veggie source). It doesn’t melt because it doesn’t contain casein protein. But, animal cheese made from whey also has no casein & does not melt. Hence, 99% of vegan cheese recipes make a cheese substitute. Congealing a liquid with a starch makes, by definition, “pudding”, just savory rather than sweet. And, btw, the scare stories about carrageenan are totally bogus. See: https://medium.com/@edithmcamellia/what-youre-getting-wrong-about-carrageenan-e9f56e3ed1c5

  3. I have tried to make it…but it is runny I don’t know if freezing will make a change or i need to add thickener..however I blended all at once instead of whisking could this be a reason why it’s having runny texture?

    1. Hi Joy,
      Thanks for your message.
      Yes, blending it will change the texture. Also, did you cook the liquid? Cornstarch needs to be heated to thicken up.
      Hope this helps.
      Nico

  4. Hi!
    Just wondering if it is possible to add agar agar to this recipe, so that you can grate it once set?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Anna,
      We have never tried adding agar agar to this recipe as we focus on the stringy, melty “cheese” texture in this recipe 🙂
      If you do some tests, do let us know! Kindest,
      Louise

    2. 5 stars
      This recipe has made me very happy! My grilled cheese sandwiches and pizza I have enjoyed so much more. I have embellished with flavors by adding garlic and onion powders my second time around as well as doubling the lemon juice. It still tasted great (I tend to like more tang). I used almond milk instead of soy also. Thank you for this simple recipe!

      1. That’s fantastic Meghan, I’m delighted you enjoyed the “cheese” 🎉

        Thank you for the almond milk suggestion, and for taking the time to leave a comment here!

        All the best,

        Louise

  5. I want to make this for my son, but he has an allergy to soy. Would I be able to use a different plant based milk such as cashew (it’s the only plant based milk he’s not allergic to). Also can I sub out the soy yogurt?

    1. Hi Jessica!
      Yes, you can replace soy milk with unsweetened oat milk although the cheese will be slightly less stringy and slightly runnier. A couple of our followers have tried cashews milk and loved it, but we have not tried it personally so we can’t vouch for it. You can use any other plant yogurt available to you instead of soy yogurt. I would go for a sugar-free and neutral-tasting yogurt, here it really depends on what you have available to you in your supermarket 🙂
      I hope that helps!
      Kindest,
      Louise

    2. 5 stars
      Hi,
      I made several substitutions, and it turned out phenomenal! I substituted macadamia nut milk for soy milk, almond milk yogurt for soy yogurt, and arrowroot powder for tapioca starch. Arrowroot was the only ingredient that I used as a thickener. The result was identical in texture to the original recipe.

      1. Hi Elaine,
        I’m very happy you liked the recipe 🙂
        Thanks so much for these helpful substitutions, I love the arrowroot powder suggestion.
        Have a great weekend, and all the best,
        Louise

    1. Hi Christa!
      Thanks for your message. This recipe is for 8 people, but it’s a little difficult to advise as I don’t know how large of a group you are making lasagna for 🙂
      I would advise multiplying the recipe according to the number of people you wanna cook for, plus a little extra. You can always store the leftovers in the fridge and reheat them the days after.
      I hope this helps. Enjoy your party/get-together!
      Kindest,
      Louise

  6. Hi,
    The recipes look fantastic. Most use soy. As a person who is allergic to soy. It makes being vegan very difficult. Can you provide non soy alternatives with your recipes? That would be so helpful. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Sharon,
      We hear you – and we’re working on substitutions and alternatives in our recipes as we speak.
      So sorry you could not find what you’re looking for, know that it’s on top of our priority list.
      Kindest,
      Nico & Louise

      1. Followed this recipe exactly and it turned out beautifully. I love the flavour and texture. It was perfect for toasties (Australian word for toasted sandwiches). Thank you for creating this. Will be a regular in our household.

        1. Fantastic, Sierra – it sounds like a great match for toasties 🙂
          Thank you very much for taking the time to leave a comment. All the best,
          /Louise

    2. 5 stars
      This is closest thing to cheese I have tried. Most commercial vegan cheeses contain coconut oil. Since I my whole reason for vegan cheese is to reduce saturated fat they don’t work. Is there a way to make this firmer like a slicing cheese? Great taste! Have loved all your recipes I have tried.

    1. Hi Lou, I’m sorry to hear that – hopefully, you can find something else that you like on our site. Have a great Monday and week ahead. Kindest, Louise

      1. 5 stars
        I used plain almondmilk yogurt and it worked fine! No such thing as plain soy yogurt around here. The cheese came out great. Cant wait to put some on some gluten free pasta and broccoli.

        1. Hi Terryanne, I’m delighted you liked the “cheese”! Thanks very much for the suggestions, we’ll definitely try making it with almond milk yogurt next time! Have a great week. Kindest, Louise

        2. Exactly! I cannot find soy yogurt anywhere, not even on the web (I am based in Buffalo,NY) i did it with an unsweetened almond yogurt but did not tasted that great unfortunately 🥹

          1. Hi Valentina, I’m so my delayed reply – we did some tests before getting back to you. For now, soy yogurt, unfortunately, is the best option.
            I’m so sorry the soy yogurt is not available to you (and many others). We will keep testing with other alternatives, and update the recipe accordingly.
            Have a great rest of your week.
            Kindest, Louise