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This vegan mozzarella cheese recipe will make all your dairy-free dreams come true. It’s easy to make and really satisfies those cheese cravings.
Although no dairy-free cheese will ever taste exactly like the real deal, this vegan mozzarella cheese had cheese lovers saying that if you didn't know otherwise, you wouldn't be able to tell that this wasn't the real thing.
Having a dairy-free mozzarella cheese option is an essential ingredient in pizza, Caprese salad, pasta salad, gluten-free chicken parmesan, dairy-free spinach artichoke dip, and so much more.
It makes you feel like you don't have to miss out on some of your favorite foods, which is so exciting when you can't eat dairy.
Store-Bought Vegan Mozzarella Cheese 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 just a handful of really simple ingredients.
To replicate the similar taste, texture, and mouthfeel that traditional mozzarella emulates, we want to use ingredients that mimic those same qualities.
- raw cashews - the perfect healthy fat base for a smooth and creamy texture with a neutral flavor
- unsweetened plain dairy-free yogurt - adds tanginess that traditional cheese has and also helps with the texture
- nutritional yeast - added for that cheesy, umami flavor
- apple cider vinegar (raw & unfiltered) helps add a complex tangy flavor
- avocado oil - creaminess and texture
- tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch) - acts as a binder and helps to thicken and make the cheese stretchy
- salt - gives it flavor and that briny goodness
Making It Your Way: Ingredient Substitutions
Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.
How can you make this vegan mozzarella cheese using what you already have? Here are some ideas…
- No raw cashews? ➝ You can sub raw sunflower seeds, just make sure to soak them until they're very soft. This also may slightly affect the color.
- No nutritional yeast? ➝ This cheese uses such a small amount that you can just omit it all together.
- No avocado oil? ➝ You can use refined coconut oil or another neutral-tasting oil.
Use A Rubber Spatula
Once heated, the tapioca starch starts to thicken the cheese and become stretchy and sticky. For this reason, choose a rubber spatula for the continuous stirring.
No Powerful Blender?
If you don't have a powerful blender, you can boil the cashews in a saucepan on the stove for 15 minutes. This will help get them really soft and make it easier for your blender to break them down.
How To Use This Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Margherita Pasta
- Dairy-Free Butternut Squash Lasagna
- Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan
- Dairy-Free Spinach Artichoke Dip
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 kosher salt, to taste plus more salt for the brine
- 3 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- a bowl with cold water and ice
- Soak the raw cashews in boiling water for at least 20 minutes to soften, then drain and rinse. Make the slurry by mixing the tapioca starch and cold water in a small bowl - set aside.
- Heat a saucepan over medium heat. While you wait for it to warm up, add the softened cashews, dairy-free yogurt, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, avocado oil, and sea salt to a high-powered blender. Blend until completely smooth, taste, and add more salt as needed. Add the slurry to the blender and blend once more to combine.
- Make the brine that the mozzarella will go in once it’s finished on the stove by filling a medium bowl with cold water, ice, and a few pinches of salt. Set aside.
- Once the saucepan is warm, pour in the cheese sauce. It'll sizzle a little at first, and then once it's all in, start continuously stirring so it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Keep stirring. You'll see the cheese start to thicken up and become stretchy. You’ll notice it starts to pull away from the pot a little and form more a blob than a liquid. 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.
- Store this vegan mozzarella in the saltwater brine in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Let it cool before eating. It'll also be easier to slice.
- This vegan mozzarella cheese doesn’t really melt, but it softens when warmed.
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