Vegan Cheese

vegan cheese 1

Have you ever heard someone say, “I could almost be vegan.  I love soymilk and I don’t care too much about eggs.  I just couldn’t live without cheese.” 

Who could blame them?  Fake cheese “ain’t nothin’ like the real thang.”

And then it happened.  I was making my way through the build-your-own taco salad line.  My plate was piled high with chips, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, and just about ready for the… “Hey, what is THAT cheese?  That couldn’t be vegan.  It’s so tasty-looking.”  I layered on a spoonful, hoping that maybe, just maybe, there could be such a thing as cheese after veganism. 

vegan cheese 2

Anxiously sitting down with my friends, I took my first bite and wow!  Cheese, welcome back into my life!  I found out that my friend Megan was the talented chef who had brought it.  When I asked her what was in it, I couldn’t believe her answer: Potatoes and carrots.  WHAT?!

vegan cheese 3

Ok, so I had to give it a try.  It turns out this cheese is amazing for everything.  For instance, pizza. What about macaroni and cheese? Quesadillas? How about nacho night.  This cheese is fabulous for every cheesy dish.  Best of all, it’s super simple to make. If you don’t have yeast flakes, you can purchase them online.  Here is the link to McKay’s chicken style seasoning, or you can use salt to taste.

Vegan Cheese
Yields 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C. potatoes, diced large
  2. 1 C. carrots, diced large
  3. 1/2 C. water
  4. 1/3 C. olive oil
  5. 2 tsp. salt
  6. 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (fresh is best!)
  7. 1/2 C. nutritional yeast flakes
  8. 1/4 tsp. onion powder (opt.)
  9. 1/4 tsp. garlic powder (opt.)
  10. dash of cayenne (opt.)
  11. 1/2 tsp. McKay's chicken-style seasoning, vegan (opt.)
Instructions
  1. Boil the potatoes and carrots until soft.
  2. Blend potatoes and carrots together along with the rest of the ingredients on high in blender until the cheese is extremely smooth. I use my high-powered VitaMix blender.
  3. Store in refrigerator for up to a week.
Notes
  1. This cheese will melt just like real cheese! If it sets up a little in your fridge, just microwave it for about 30 seconds—it will soften up again so it’s easy to spread.
  2. I linked this recipe to Vegan Yumminess, because the talented author of that food blog is Megan’s sister, the one that gave me this recipe! Lindsay has a beautiful and creative food blog that I love to browse through.
Adapted from Vegan Yumminess
Adapted from Vegan Yumminess
Veggie On A Penny http://www.veggieonapenny.com/
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Comments

  1. Aww…thanks for the link-up, Kristi! I’ll have to let my readers know about your blog as well. :) Love it! This recipe is just….the best.

    • Yupp gotta say I owe it to your sister for giving me this one. Great new recipe that Ryan can eat since he can’t do cashews.

    • Harriet Bradley says:

      Going to try this vegan cheese.
      thanks,Harriet

  2. Peggy Snyder says:

    OK could not wait til tomorrow to try this recipe so off to the kitchen I went……….this stuff is delicious. I will adjust the seasonings next time and cut back some on the salt but this is a keeper and I love that it is made from veggies instead of nuts and that it can be made so quickly. I was already thinking that I could portion out the carrots and potatoes and have them ready to go …would cut a few minutes off of prep time. I put you on my facebook page. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hey Peggy, glad you were so eager to try it and happy with it! I seriously think it’s amazing stuff and eat it on just about everything. Definitely cut back on the salt if you like it that way. I have an unhealthy addiction to saltiness :-) Thanks for sharing me on facebook!

  3. Peggy Snyder says:

    I have played with this recipe or at least parts of it.=) I had not seen a recipe with carrots in it for the color(or nutrition) but like the cashew cheese just not the fat(although good fat) or the cost. Soooo I put carrots with the Seven Secrets cheese recipe on page 72, left out the pimentos and it came off perfect…….again. Maybe I will try the recipe again and try it with half cashews and 1/2 sunflower seeds Thanks again=)

    • That’s a clever way to do it. I love that cookbook, too. That was one of the first ones I used when I became vegan.

  4. This. Looks. AMAZING. I have to say, I’ve tried so many cheese recipes and they are never quite right.. I MUST try this recipe! I’m so excited! Thanks so much for sharing it!

    I don’t have a Vitamix (they are so darn expensive :( ) so I’m hoping mine still turns out okay! :-S Fingers crossed!

    • They are so expensive, it’s true. When I was in college I made this cheese in my roommate’s el-cheapo blender and it still worked pretty good. I will have to add that my Vitamix revolutionized my vegan life (creamy vegan mayo, smoothies, blended soups, homemade ice cream, creamy cauliflower sauce, ok, what don’t I make in that thing?) So if you are able, start saving up. I feel like it’s an excellent investment! Then again I got mine as a gift from my parents. Thanks Mom and Dad!

    • Yes, that machine is pricey, but what is that price compared to doctor’s bills or worse yet, hospital bills. Some of the equipment for those of us that choose to go vegan is costly, but the long term payoffs are also there.

  5. Mary Coursey says:

    My friend told me about this recipe and I am hooked! It’s been such a blessing for my family. See, we are vegan but come to find out my husband and son are allergic to cashews :(. Love that we still have options for veggie cheese. Thanks for sharing!
    Blessings!

    • Hey Mary, I totally know the problem since mine is too and I feel ya. After a few years of hard work figuring out what to do without cashews, I can honestly say I don’t miss them. Honestly I think most things taste so much better without them. Check out my coconut whipped cream and my mayonnaise, too–two things that I had to figure out without cashews. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. This looks so yummy!! I can’t wait to get out of class so I can go home and make this.

  7. This stuff is amazing!!! Thank you!!!

  8. This is delicious cheese! And Megan has made the recipe famous :-) I first tasted it as Mac & Cheese–so yummy! Since then, I have made it a number of times during canvassing programs. It sure is nice to find an alternative to expensive cashews and most people like it just as well or better.

  9. It’s CHEESE!!!!!! I have tried lots of different cheese recipes but this is the ONLY one that tastes and looks like cheese. I’m so excited to have it on lasagna!!!!!!! Thank you a million times over! :)

  10. Ok, I gotta give it to you…. I am not vegan–in fact I love cheese very much. But I’m always looking for healthier alternatives. I thought this recipe looked really gross (I hate cooked carrots) but the comments drew me in. I must say I’m quite pleasantly surprised! Admittedly, there’s nothing quite like cheese except cheese, but I could definitely see myself using this. It is more flavorful and easy to make than my pimento cheese recipe, which I had to give up because pregnancy ruined it for me. Thanks did sharing!

  11. Christa Hawkins says:

    Is the oil absolutely vital? Or can it be reduced? I only ask, because I have all but cut oil out of my diet, and this seems to have a lot that will add a lot of calories I don’t want. But it looks delicious.

    • My mom has made it w/I the oil … used a little flax meal … worked/tasted just fine!

    • So sorry friends! My responses have not been posting for some reason! Twice I have accidentally made it without oil and seems to be fine, just a bit thicker. Add more water. It certainly still works.

  12. Margaret Curtis Smead says:

    I have a Living Well by Montel “Health Master” machine at $199.96. It will make hot soup or cold ice-cream, and you get a lot of recipes with it. It will liquidize foods. I love mine.
    I have to be careful eating salads so I just put everything for a salad in, 1 cup of V8 juice or water and have a nice green drink. Another is 1 carrot, some beets, an apple with beet juice is a nice drink.
    I make my cheese with cashews but can’t wait till Sunday to make this. Thanks for sharing.

  13. I made this recipe for nachos. The next day we were eating broccoli and my six year old said, “Hey mom. Do u have any of that cheese left?” Why of course! U want to add potatoes and carrots to ur vegetables? Go ahead :-)

  14. My husband and I made this vegan cheese and we love it. It’s unbelievably delicious. It’s a winner!

  15. Judi Pillsbury says:

    Hoping for an answer to Christa Hawkins question – is oil necessary? Trying to be fat-free/vegan.

    • Sorry, my responses to the questions have not been saving. No, the oil is not necessary, please refer to her comment. Thanks Judi!

  16. What kind of potatoes? Red potatoes will turn to glue. Is that the secret? Or will white potatoes work too?

    • I have always used white potatoes but I imagine red would work as well. But yes, white do work well. I think the key is to have a high-powered blender that will truly puree them.

  17. Eugene Visser says:

    Yip, nailed it. As a cheese-o-holic, this couldn’t have come at a better time. Although I had no idea what “nutritional yeast flakes” were, or where to get “garlic powder”, I am a man, and a man can solve problems! I substituted “white sauce mix” (no idea what that is either) for “garlic powder, and some other things I also don’t know…. It tastes great, but as I am writing this, I realised I forgot the lemon… Is it going to explode?

    Yihaa!

  18. You didn’t make the water quantity clear – I’m having to assume things…
    I think I’m supposed to dice the potatoes and carrots and boil them in an undescribed quantity of water, then drain them and add the measured 1/2 cup of water (can I use the water I boiled it in??) and other ingredients before blending it all together. Right??

    • Hi Esther. Sorry for the confusion. There is no particular water quantity necessary. I usually just cover the potatoes and carrots. Once they are done, I use a half cup of the water I boiled them in to make the cheese sauce. Or you could get new water, either way. I figure there’s more nutrients in the water I boiled them in. Discard any extra water. Your comment was right on track. Thank you for clarifying.

    • I steamed my veg. Retains lots more flavour and nutrients:-)

  19. I want to say thank you for this recipe. As someone who was once a vegetarian of sorts but went back to mild meat eating, I have stilled enjoyed foods that taste good that do not have meat in them. But for a long time I have looked to find some way to get away from cheese but have never found much that really tastes good enough to drag my taste-buds away from the dairy isle. I have tried many mock-cheese recipes that people have said would be the answer to my quest, but sadly were usually VERY disappointing. But then I saw this recipe and said ‘ok, I will try it once more.’ BOY, was I in for a real treat! This is something that will change the way I feel about mock-cheese. This is wonderful (although like at least one of the remarks that have been made, I will cut back on the salt next time.) And I must say that I would have never imagined this taste with just potatoes and carrots. Thank you again.

    • That’s a great compliment to the cheese! I have fed it to many incredulous people as well. Thanks Ray.

  20. Subbed the oil for more water and it seems fine (didn’t chill it yet). Also subbed the cayenne for sriracha and did a small portion on the side with more sriracha…eating it right now as a chili con queso with some nachos. YUM!! Great recipe and so much healthier than fake cheese. THANK YOU! :-D

  21. I’ve been vegan for a while, like three years. I’m vegan and gluten free now and my hubby loves cheese, real cheese and nachos are one of his favorite things. Thankfully, he loves all my vegan cheeses too. We have tried dozens of cheese recipes that were pricier and not as good. This cheese recipe has changed our lives! I just never would have thought it would be so healthy and simple and easy. Thank you so much for sharing this dream recipe!

    • Hey Chelsea,
      I’m guessing most people would think it was crazy that a recipe could change your life but I know just what you mean. And if any recipe ever has, this one certainly has for me. I’m so glad your husband found it delicious, too.

  22. Just made this and it is Amazing! So good. Thanks for sharing! !

  23. I was excited and afraid to try this. Beyond all hope…a GOOD vegan cheese sauce…don’t toy with me like that. Eureka – it’s not good – it’s amazing!
    Thank you so much!

  24. This is awesome, I’ve tried this before but only used carrots n potatoes with salt… then in few hrs it would start to settle and separate… not a pleasant look… so I only made it just before I needed to eat it… lol! I look forward to trying this recipe with the additional ingredients that I didn’t incorporate before! Cool, thanks

  25. Hi, this looks very interesting as my son is on a non dairy diet, but he’s also on a non yeast diet… Is the yeast in for nutritional purposes, for taste or for texture?

    • Hey Joelle, the yeast is mostly for texture and somewhat for flavor. I would say try it without; it certainly won’t be just the same, but I think it would still be good. Let me know how it goes. Hopefully that’s helpful!

  26. Paul Johnston says:

    This has to be tasted to be believed. Great nacho sauce (especially if you garnish with jalapeño slices). I have enough left over that I’m now going to make us a guilt-free mac-n-cheese. The creamy texture and slightly sharp cheddar-like flavor should be perfect for that. Thanks for sharing this.

  27. I am alergic tp yeast. Are the yeast flakes the same as bakers yeast? If so, what could I use instead?

  28. This cheese has more non-vegans wow’d than Daiya in my friend-circle. Congrats!

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