chipotle cashew cheese

Confession time.

I have this thing about vegan cheeses. Most of them gross me out. I have an especially hard time swallowing those with titles like “cheeze” and “chreese.”

I feel like a bad vegan when I say things like that. Aren’t I supposed to love and embrace all things vegan?

I also feel like a bad vegan when I say that I don’t really like seitan and I can only handle tofu in small doses. But it’s true.

I try to give myself a break. I tell myself that just because I’m vegan doesn’t mean I have to love all animal-free products on the market. No one cares if you aren’t on the Daiya love train, Nikki.

But I find it easier to be understanding and accepting of others than it is to cut my own self some slack.

I think it’s because I’m always trying to get the people around me to try new things. I shove tempeh in their faces and demand that they eat up, and usually they do. But if you put some Teese Cheese in front of me and ask me to dig in, I’ll zip my lips and throw away the key, toddler temper tantrum style.

Anyway, back to the point of this post…

Cashew cheese.

My friend at work told me that she made cashew cheese over the weekend and I was immediately both appalled and delighted. The word “cheese” triggered my internal gross-out alarm right away, but after hearing the list of simple ingredients and seeing how excited she was about it, I knew that I had to try it. My friend isn’t vegan or vegetarian, but she’s one of the healthiest eaters I know and she puts a lot of thought into the nutritional value of her choices and how food will affect her body. At the same time, she doesn’t sacrifice taste in her quest to eat well. So I knew that if she liked it, I would have to give it a try.

Plus, my husband and I went to our local cooking store to buy a spatula the other day and ended up walking out with a new food processor, so this was a wonderful excuse to christen our new baby.

This recipe is for a dip or spread. I used it as a dip, but I can see myself topping veggie burgers with it in the future. My friend used truffle oil in her cheese, but I chose to go with chipotle sauce instead.

Chipotle Cashew Cheese

Recipe from True/Slant
  • 2 1/2 cups soaked raw cashews (approx. 16 ounces dry)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 small-medium garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle sauce

Soak your raw cashews overnight for the best results. Place around 16 ounces of raw cashews in a dish full of cold water, cover and place in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours.

I soaked mine for 12 hours because I got a lazy start the morning after and they turned out great.

This is our most health conscious kitty, Sebastian. He tries to steal every vegetable in sight.

Squeeze your lemon juice

Choose your prettiest little garlic clove and chop it into 6-8 pieces.

For the chipotle sauce, I couldn’t find a jar of sauce so instead I grabbed a can of chipotle peppers and spooned some sauce out of the can.

It worked out well and probably saved me a couple dollars in the end.

Throw all your ingredients into a food processor.

and blend until smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides if necessary, and do a couple of taste tests in case you want to add more chipotle sauce.

If your cheese seems too dry, add one tablespoon of water at a time until you are happy with the consistency.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for 3-4 days if you keep it chilled.

The cashews blend into a cheesy texture that makes it perfect for dipping. I couldn’t believe how tasty it was! The chipotle sauce adds just enough zing.

This would be great for a Super Bowl party. It’s also great for meat lovers, cheese lovers and even chreese haters, like myself.

21 thoughts on “chipotle cashew cheese

  1. A sort of cashew hummus, sounds very tasty.

    BTW raw cashews are harmful. You can read more on my blog. The raw cashews are actually steamed to remove the harmful stuff. If you do ever come across real raw cashew, steam it first or avoid it.

  2. This sounds really good! I hear you about the fake cheese. There are a few I have liked fairly well but don’t love. AND I know I am supposed to love nutritional yeast. I guess because it is so nutritional? Yuck. It is yeast. Adding it to a recipe only hinders the flavor and does not add cheesiness. Nothing good can come of it. (End of Nooch rant.) But about the fake cheese, I found this blog had some really good taste testing info. Check it out: http://justthefood.blogspot.com/2010/12/found-mo-betta-chedda.html Becky

  3. I’m not a vegan but I do love some vegan products. Your chipotle cashew cheese looks and sounds so mouthwatering. Chipotles are such a great ingredient, I would try this in an instant.

  4. I love it! And I love your narrative! :D We got ‘aged’ cashew cheese for our vegan Thanksgiving. It was horrible (and quite expensive!!!) This recipe looks great however. I will definitely try it and also pass it on to my sister, who LOVES to make dips like this.

  5. That looks absolutely lovely!

    And, just so you know, I’m a “bad” vegan, too :) I *hate* tofu, seitan, and vegan cheeses! Thanks for reminding me that I, too, have permission NOT to get on the “I have to love all vegan products just ’cause I’m a vegan” bandwagon… LOL!

    PS So glad to have found your blog!

  6. ugh i’m so NOT a fan of daiya! or any other vegan cheese i’ve tasted come to think of it. thanks for this recipe i can’t wait to try it!

  7. My friend uses cashew cheese on her vegan pizza. She also makes the most delish vegan sausage. I’m so lucky to have friends like you to introduce me to new, and creative ways to cook!

  8. Sebastian and one of my cats would be the best of friends, she enjoys eating fruits and veggies too!

    I love cashew-based cheezes/cheeze sauces, they’re great.

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  10. I love Cashew cheese! I’ve only made it once before, but i made it just as-is – Cashews, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper. The recipe i found called for leaving it out – covered – for at least 24 hours before eating. I tried a bit before leaving it out (how could i resist?) and then after, and it makes all the difference! It takes on a richer, slightly smokey flavour. It would have lasted 3/4 days in the fridge afterwards if i hadn’t eaten it all…. nom.
    I will definately be trying a chilli version! ..now to get some more cashews…

  11. not sure why these are referred to as cheeses. i find that is just turns off the non-vegans from trying. i make a few like this and call them spreads or dips…nobody ever wrinkles their noses, and its the same stuff. :)

    • Hi Michele,
      I was having this same conversation the other day with a non-veg friend. I think everyone looks at it differently, some say “cheese” to imply that it doesn’t really taste like cashews, somehow the word “cheese” is more appetizing to some than just saying “cashew spread” because that sounds weird and foreign, and non-vegans might be reluctant to try it. Personally, I have a hard time calling anything a cheese because it just never, ever tastes like cheese to me. I don’t dislike all fake cheese products (I use them and blog about them often) but with the exception of fake cream cheese, these products and dishes taste good to me but they don’t taste like cheese. I used the title because it isn’t my recipe so I kept the author’s title, and I don’t know if I would have called it a “cheese” back then in early 2011 had I invented or adapted the recipe, but now, after another 16 months of being vegan, I’d definitely say “spread” instead, mostly because I wouldn’t want everyone to be disappointed when it didn’t taste just like cheese. But in my opinion, it tastes better :)

  12. thanks for the response, i love your recipes, and have made more than i can count…all fantastic! i agree on the chipotle…i buy ground chipotle from penzeys spices…if you havent tried it (or, well, everything else of theirs) you really should. adds a nice smokey flavor, great with babaganouj :) keep the good stuff comin!

  13. This sounds like a really intriguing recipe! I agree on the vegan cheese side of things—so far the only decent vegan cheese I’ve found is the “Follow Your Heart” brand. It actually melts!

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