This vegan mozzarella cheese recipe will make all your dairy-free dreams come true. It’s easy to make and is great on its own or in addition to other dishes.
Making mozzarella cheese dairy-free or vegan comes with some challenges because it can be challenging to replicate that smooth and velvety texture of its dairy counterparts.
Mozzarella cheese is an amazing addition to things like pizza, caprese salad, pasta salads, and so much more.
If you, like myself, can’t eat dairy, I’m so excited for you to get your hands on this recipe.
Store-Bought Vegan Mozzarella vs Homemade
I’ve found one brand of vegan mozzarella that has great flavor and texture, but it’s not available everywhere, and it can be pretty expensive for the amount you actually get.
Making your own yields much more mozzarella, making it already more cost-effective than store-bought, and it’s made with a handful of simple ingredients.
Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Ingredients
There are just eight ingredients in this vegan mozzarella recipe.
To replicate the similar taste, texture, and mouthfeel that traditional mozzarella emulates, we want to use ingredients that mimic those same qualities.
This vegan mozzarella cheese uses:
- raw cashews for healthy fats
- unsweetened plain dairy-free yogurt for creaminess and tang
- nutritional yeast for that cheesy, umami flavor
- avocado oil for creaminess and smoothness
- tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch) thickens and makes it stretchy
- agar powder (a natural powder derived from red algae that acts similarly to gelatin, but is vegan) helps it bind together and forms the right consistency/texture
Agar powder can be found at most health food stores. Sometimes it’s in the bulk spice section. If you can’t find it in your local store, you can also buy it here.
Making Ingredient Substitutions
Instead of raw cashews → try subbing raw sunflower seeds
Instead of dairy-free unsweetened yogurt → try full fat coconut milk with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
No nutritional yeast? → omit it all together
Instead of the avocado oil → coconut oil (use refined to avoid the coconut taste) or another neutral tasting oil
Can’t find agar powder? → use gelatin if you’re not plant-based or you can leave it out completely, which also works but the texture is different.
How to use This Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
- Italian pasta salad
- Caprese salad
- Margherita pizza
Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Recipe
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked and drained
- ¾ cup plain unsweetened dairy-free yogurt
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt + more salt for the brine
- 3 tablespoons tapioca flour
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons water divided
- 2 teaspoons agar powder
- a bowl with cold water and ice
- Soak the raw cashews in boiling water for 20 minutes to soften, then drain and rinse.
- Add the softened cashews, dairy-free yogurt, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, avocado oil, sea salt, tapioca flour, and 2 tablespoons of water to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Taste to see if you need to add more salt or vinegar and blend again if adjusting the seasoning. Set aside.
- To make the brine that the mozzarella will go in once it’s finished, fill a medium bowl with cold water, ice, and a few pinches of salt. Set aside.
- Add ½ cup of water in a pot over medium heat, once hot, stir (or whisk) in the agar powder. The agar will start to thicken after a few minutes. When this happens, stir in the blended mixture.
- Continuously stir the mixture, so it doesn’t stick to the pot or burn.
- The cheese will start to thicken up and become stretchy. You’ll notice it starting to pull away from the pot. This means it’s done.
- Remove from heat, and using an ice cream scooper, scoop out the mozzarella and drop into the brine/ice bath until you’ve used it all up.
- Put the mozzarella balls in the brine in the fridge for an hour to cool before enjoying.
- This vegan mozzarella lasts for 5 days in the fridge.
- It’s important to let it cool before eating, which will also make it easier to slice.
- Keep the cheese balls in the brine in the fridge for the best flavor.
- Although it doesn’t taste exactly like traditional mozzarella, cheese lovers said that if you didn’t know otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to tell that this wasn’t the real thing.
- This vegan mozzarella cheese doesn’t really melt, but it softens when warmed.