Vegan Cheddar Cheese Recipe

Published on April 24th 2022 by Sarah Leadon.
Last updated on March 20th 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Closed up shot of Vegan Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is a pungent flavor that is so darn delicious. Guided by this flavorful inspiration, we set out to recreate this excellent cheese vegan style. We used a base of cashews, but we also added red bell peppers, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper to help create its characteristic yellow-orange color. We even added caramelized onions to the Vegan Cheddar Cheese to give it a rich, sweet, buttery flavor.  

 

Author: Sarah Leadon
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Time & Serves

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Serves
12-14 slices

Ingredients

Caramelized Onions
  • 1 tablespoon Vegan Butter



     

  • 2 Large Onions, finely sliced 

     

  • 6-7 tablespoons Water

Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup raw Cashews 

     

  • 1 1/3 cups Water 

     

  • 5 tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

     

  • 2 tablespoons Grape Seed Oil

     

  • 1/4 cup Tahini 

     

  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Aminos



     

  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste

     

  • 2 teaspoons White Wine Vinegar

     

  • 1 medium Red Bell Pepper, seeds removed, chopped

     

  • 1 medium White Onion, chopped 

     

  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped

     

  • 2 teaspoons Salt

     

  • 1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika

     

  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

     

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

     

  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast 

     

  • 1 tablespoon Agar-Agar Powder 

Instructions

Caramelized Onions

Add vegan butter to a heavy bottom stainless steel skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Then add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Stir frequently.

Add 2 tablespoons of water and run your cooking spoon on the bottom of the skillet to scrape up the browned bits of food. 

Continue cooking and adding the water every two minutes until the onions are a rich dark brown. The onions will take about 15 minutes to caramelize, remove them from the heat and let them cool.

Cheddar Cheese

Coat a nonstick baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set it aside. 

Add cashews, 1/3 cup water, and the remaining ingredients except for the agar-agar to a blender. Blend until smooth, then set it aside. Do not remove the cheddar cheese from the blender. 

Add agar-agar and the remaining cup of water to a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and let it come to a boil, whisking constantly. Let the agar-agar mixture boil for 1 minute until it gets thick and gelatinous.

Remove the agar-agar mixture from the stove, pour it into the blender, and blend until smooth.

Quickly pour the cheddar cheese base into the prepared baking dish and fold the cooled caramelized onions using an offset spatula.

Spread the cheddar cheese into an even layer using an offset spatula and let it cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. 

Cover the vegan cheddar cheese with plastic and place it into the refrigerator to set for 2-3 hours.

Invert the cheddar cheese onto a large plate and use a cheese slicer to slice the cheese. Use the cheddar cheese for your sandwiches, salads, or pasta, or store it in the fridge in an airtight container for 5 days. 

Sarah Leadon
Author:

Delve into the fusion of food and mood with Sarah. Discover the emotional journey within each recipe. Beyond the kitchen, she's an avid reader and music lover, lost in the rhythms of life.

More posts by Sarah Leadon

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Sarah Leadon
Author:

Delve into the fusion of food and mood with Sarah. Discover the emotional journey within each recipe. Beyond the kitchen, she's an avid reader and music lover, lost in the rhythms of life.

More posts by Sarah Leadon