Savory, creamy, vegan "cheddar" cheesy good! This Cashew Cheese Dip will have you craving for more with each and every dip, spread, and bite. Use it as a dip for veggies, as a sandwich topping, or mix with macaroni. The versatility of this cashew cheese is amazing.
Cheese! Who doesn't love cheese!?! Cheese just makes things better. And this cashew cheese is the bomb. It's creamy, perfectly salted, full of protein, and preservative free!
I have been making different types of cashew cheese for years and I love this version for its "cheddar" like flavor. In fact, with some creativity and passion you can take cashew cheese to whole new levels in flavor. And thank goodness! Because it has made plant based eating and cooking so much easier.
I mean let's face it, one of the most common hurdles that people struggle with when switching to a plant based diet is their love of cheese. There hasn't always been such a huge selection to plant based cheeses to pick from. Ten years ago, most people would go vegetarian first before jumping right into a vegan diet. It was almost as if they needed time to de-cheese their taste buds.
Yet, times are different now. And the fact that you don't have to completely give up cheese is one of the greatest gifts that all the vegan chefs out there have given us.
This recipe only requires a short list of easy to find ingredients.
- Raw Cashews
- Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Nutritional Yeast
- Garlic Powder
- Dijon Mustard
- Lemon Juice
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Smoked Paprika
Cashews nuts are one of the main ingredients in this recipe and you'll need raw ones. You can use whole cashews or cashew pieces. The cashews give the cheese it's distinctive richness and texture.
You will also need yukon gold potatoes. No other type of potato will work quite the same for this recipe. The reason being is that yukon gold potatoes are a nice balance between starchy russet potatoes and waxy red potatoes, which contributes to the smooth velvet like consistency of this plant based cheese.
And to get that amazing "cheddar" flavor, you'll need lemon, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic powder, turmeric, and nutritional yeast. Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are used give the cheese a touch of acid that creates that distinctive hint of tang. While the dijon mustard is what really takes the cheese from a onenote vegan cheese to "cheddar" like cheesy good. Turmeric is used mostly for color, but does add a touch of earthy flavor. Smoked paprika is an optional addition that can be used to spice up the cashew cheese even more creating a smokey cheddar taste.
But the real superstar here in the main ingredients is the nutritional yeast. With it's nutty like cheese flavor it makes this cashew cheese dip even possible. You can find it in almost any health food store and many grocery stores nowadays.
How to Make Cashew Cheese
This cashew cheese dip is really easy to make and ready in no time. But you will need a food processor or blender.
The first thing you'll need to do to get this recipe going is to soak the cashews overnight in cool water. Then when ready to make the cheese drain and set aside. But don't worry if you forget this step or are in a rush as there is a shortcut you can use instead. Just cover the cashews with boiling water and allow them to sit for 20 minutes to soften up.
Once your cashews are ready to go, you will boil the peeled and cubed yukon gold potatoes in water until nice and soft. Then drain the potatoes and set aside, but do not discard the cooking water. You'll want to keep the water for the next step.
Now, you put all the ingredients into your blender or food processor along with a quarter cup of the potato cooking water and blend. Add more potato cooking water as needed until the mixture is velvety smooth. Finally, taste the cashew cheese and season with salt if needed.
For an added smokey flavor, a dash of smoked paprika is a nice addition.
Use the cheese as a dip, spread, sandwich topper, or sauce! It makes a fantastic addition to my Black Bean Burgers.
Leftovers & Variations
This recipe makes just over 2 cups. You can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 6 days or in the freeze for up to 3 months. This cheese freezes amazingly well, so make a double batch if you can. Then freeze and defrost at any time. It's such a time saver.
As for variations, you could add jalapenos to make spicy cheddar or add even more smoked paprika for smoked cheddar. If you don't like the wine taste in cheese feel free to omit the dijon. Fresh herbs could added as well to switch it up.
This cashew cheese dip is amazing because it's...
- Plant based creamy "cheddar" cheesy good
- Fantastic as a dip, sauce, topping, or spread
- High in protein and vitamin B
- Quick and easy to make
- Stores well in the fridge or freezer
I hope you love recipe and get all cheesy!
If you try this recipe please let me know how it turns out by leaving a comment and rating. You can also hashtag #danceswithknives with a photo of your creation on Instagram where you can find me @dances_with_knives.
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Creamy Cheddar Cashew Cheese Dip
- 2 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced (1 overfull cup)
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 6 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ to 1 cup potato cooking water (add a little at a time)
- Salt to taste (I used ½ teaspoon)
- Soak the cashews in water overnight. If you forgot to do this step or you are in a hurry, you can cover the cashews with boiling water and then allow them to sit for about 20 minutes. Either way, when you are ready to make the cheese, drain the cashews and set aside.
- Boil the potatoes in 1 ½ to 2 cups of salted water until good and done. The potatoes need to be fully cooked through and soft. When done, drain the potatoes, but DO NOT discard the potato cooking water.
- Place the cooked potatoes with ¼ cup of the reserved potato cooking water into your blender or food processor. Add all the other ingredients and blend until the mixture is nice and creamy. Add more of the reserved potato water as needed. A blender will produce a creamy texture faster. You have to let the food processor run longer to achieve the same texture. I used about ¾ cup of the potato water.
- Once you reach the desired consistency, season the cheese with salt to taste. If your potato water was well salted you may find that you don't need to add any additional salt.
- Use the cashew cheese as a dip, over noodles, as a topping for my Black Bean Burgers, or any other place you are missing cheese!