Non-Dairy Creamy Cashew Cheese

How to Make Cashew Cheese

Many years ago I used to be completely addicted to dairy. I loved cheese, ice cream, milk chocolate, yogurt, cream cheese, a cold glass of milk, and did I mention cheese?

However, when I gave up dairy many years back I noticed a variety of health benefits: less stomach aches, less bloating, clearer skin, and less headaches. As a child growing up with the USDA food pyramid, I always thought that dairy was a necessity. I mean, where else would we get our calcium?  (Note: there are plenty of amazing ways to get calcium without dairy, such as from dark leafy greens and sea vegetables.)

I think there are a lot of health concerns surrounding dairy, although I’ve seen a lot of evidence that raw milk might be a whole other story. I’m definitely not here to convince you one way or another, but if you struggle with digestive issues (such as bloating, constipation or IBS), acne, blocked sinuses, headaches, or ear infections and you consume dairy, this might be something to try removing from your diet and see how it impacts your body.

The struggle with this, of course, is that pretty much everyone loves cheese. And here’s why:

1. Our taste buds naturally like the taste of the fat and salt.

2. Dairy can be really addictive so once we eat it, we crave more. (Although this definitely lessens over time if you don’t eat it for awhile.)

I don’t typically crave dairy products on a regular basis, but there are definitely times when I miss the comfort of cheese. And that’s where this amazing cheese made from nuts comes in handy. It’s so easy to make and it only takes a few minutes to prepare! Let me show you how!

How to Make Creamy Cashew Cheese

We start with three simple ingredients: raw cashews, nutritional yeast, and sea salt.

Cashews add the needed fat for our cheese while the nutritional yeast adds a wonderful savory quality with a cheese-like flavor.

To make the cashews easier to puree, the cashews will be covered in water and soaked for several hours or overnight to help soften. When ready, drain the soaking water and add the cashews, nutritional yeast, and salt to a food processor. Puree, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the cashew cheese is a smooth, creamy consistency. And that’s it!

How to Make Creamy Cashew Cheese


This cashew cheese can be used in any recipe where you would use melted cheese. My favorites include using it in quesadillas, in a wrap, and as a dip for crackers or veggies.

What are you favorite uses for creamy cashew cheese?

Non-Dairy Creamy Cashew Cheese
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Dressings & Dips
  • 1 cup raw (unsalted) cashews, soaked overnight, then drained
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
  • ⅓ cup water (or more as necessary)
  1. Add soaked (and drained) cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and ⅓ cup water to a food processor.
  2. Puree, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the cashew cheese is a smooth, creamy consistency. Depending on desired consistency and the length of soaking time, additional water can be added as needed.
Makes a little over ½ cup. Store in the refrigerator and use within 5 days.


Recipe shared at Wellness Weekend

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  1. Kiri says

    Yay cheese! I have been thinking about making this for the last month and then your post popped up! The universe obviously wants me to eat cashew cheese…

    • Lis says

      I wouldn’t recommend it. Nutritional yeast gives a nice buttery/cheesy flavor to food, and if you’re just using plain yeast, you’re not going to get that flavor.

  2. Tikvah says

    While quickly looking for recipes, I stumbled onto your blog and this recipe. Your story is SO similar to mine. I stopped doing dairy to try to clear up my face after my mom read Dr. Furman’s book. I sometimes crave cheese, I was a total dairy girl before. Like 3 glasses of milk a day, cheese, pizza, lasagna. Yum. I’m planning on using this in a lasagna recipe, maybe with tofu…

  3. Danny Glass says

    Just made this cashew cheese and it is lovely! Thanks so much for the recipe! Also do you weigh 1 cup of cashews once there soaked or before?

  4. tracee says

    hi there!! I’m new to the whole vegan living and wanted to use this recipe as substitute for real cheese in a macaroni and cheese recipe. do you know if this cheese will be okay heated??

  5. Lindsay says

    I just made this and I can’t believe how delicious it is! Instead of regular salt, I used a combo of rosemary sea salt and applewood smoked sea salt plus a few pinches of some herbs. Put it over some pasta with homemade marinara sauce. CRAZY GOOD!

    I just discovered your blog and I’m in love with it. I’ve been vegetarian forever, have been gluten free for a few years and just found out I have a dairy allergy, too- ugh! With so many restrictions, it’s great to see how you’ve worked out so many delicious options. Thank you for sharing this and everything!

  6. Andrea says

    So we’ve tried to make this twice and have some how failed. The texture is more lumpy then creamy. No idea what we are doing wrong haha. We’ve soaked the cashews and measured them. Could it be our food processor?

    • Sonnet says

      Hey Andrea, usually a high-powered blender is better for this sort of thing if it’s turning out lumpy. I would try soaking the cashews longer (I’ve soaked mine before up to 24 hours in the fridge) and then processing it for longer until smooth. The only other thing I can think of is that perhaps the cashews were old? Hope that helps. :)

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