AppetizersRecipesSnacks

Vegan Mozzarella Cheese

posted by Melissa Huggins June 1, 2017 17 Comments
This Vegan Mozzarella Cheese is soft, fresh, creamy and delicious! It's the perfect substitute to its dairy counterpart.

This Vegan Mozzarella Cheese is soft, fresh, creamy and delicious! It’s the perfect substitute to its dairy counterpart.

This Vegan Mozzarella Cheese is soft, fresh, creamy and delicious! It's the perfect substitute to its dairy counterpart.

You guys…. I have the best damn Vegan Mozzarella Cheese recipe to share today, and I’m really excited about it. We all know how hard it is to find a tasty dairy cheese alternative, and I think you’re going to like this one.

The one thing that I missed most after going vegan, was cheese. It wasn’t the dairy I was missing, per se…it was the tangy flavor, the creamy, stretchy texture, and the fond memories attached to it. I grew up eating cheese on everything and it was a food source of comfort for me. Knowing what I know now, I could never eat the dairy version again, but I can still enjoy everything else about it… in a much healthier and cruelty-free way.

This Vegan Mozzarella Cheese is soft, fresh, creamy and delicious! It's the perfect substitute to its dairy counterpart.
“But, I can’t live without cheese”

Many people say they could never go vegan, because they can’t live without cheese. I was a complete cheese addict, so I understand. I felt like I was going through withdrawals, and there weren’t many options out there. Back when I went vegan, Daiya Cheese wasn’t in existence, and most store-bought cheese substitutes were chalky and flavorless. Many also contained casein, so they weren’t even truly vegan. But since then, the options have expanded significantly and the taste keeps getting better with much improved texture. I’ve found many store-bought cheese varieties that I like, including: Chao, Follow Your Heart, Treeline and Miyoko’s.

Although it’s getting better, some grocery stores still don’t have a big vegan selection to choose from, so this makes it hard to get your cheese fix. So, if you use vegan cheese as much as I do, you might want to start making your own. The big plus is, you’ll get to control the ingredients, it’s less expensive and so fresh tasting when it’s homemade.

Like I was saying, I grew up with cheese on almost everything, and it was really comforting to me. These days, I’m not missing out on comfort food at all, and I’m much healthier to boot. I still get to enjoy cheesy favorites, like Vegan Mac n Cheese, Pizza, Vegan Nacho Cheese, and this Jalapeño Popper Dip. I’m totally living without dairy, and it feels wonderful!

This Vegan Mozzarella Cheese is soft, fresh, creamy and delicious! It's the perfect substitute to its dairy counterpart.
My inspiration

This Vegan Mozzarella recipe is adapted from Miyoko’s, A Better Buffalo Mozzarella. I was floored the first time I tried this recipe, and it was the closest tasting cheese recipe I’ve ever had. It takes a bit long to make, because the recipe is cultured for 12-24 hours, but it really is worth it, and I highly recommend trying it out. Sadly, I’m not always so patient or great at preparing ahead, so I made a simplified version for my lifestyle.

Since my version is not cultured, I needed to bump up the tangy and cheesy flavor. I added lemon juice, nutritional yeast and a bit more yogurt for that sharp cheese flavor. For a softer and creamier texture, I added some soy milk, coconut oil and reduced the amount of agar powder. The agar has a subtle flavor, and I’m not a big fan, but it’s the best stabilizer I’ve tried. It gels up slightly and gives the cheese a perfect texture. Reducing the amount of agar, and adding the lemon juice and nutritional yeast completely masked the flavor, and I’m really happy with the end result.

If you are looking for more cheese recipes. I highly recommend Miyoko’s Artisan Vegan Cheese cookbook. You’ll find an array of vegan cheese recipes from soft, creamy to sliceable and totally tasty. You’ll satisfy your palate and wow your non-vegan friends.

This Vegan Mozzarella Cheese is soft, fresh, creamy and delicious! It's the perfect substitute to its dairy counterpart.

Here’s what you’ll need:

– Raw cashews
– Non-dairy yogurt
– Soy milk
– Lemon Juice
– Coconut oil or sunflower oil
– Nutritional Yeast
– Garlic Powder
– Salt
– Tapioca starch/flour
– Filtered water
– Agar powder

*Note: agar powder isn’t hard to find and most natural food stores carry it. If you don’t have one in your area, you can find it online here. I like this particular brand because it seems to gel nicely, but any agar powder will work for this recipe.

Easy method

Soak the cashews in very hot water for 20 minutes. Mix all the ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor until creamy. Whisk the agar powder in the hot water until it turns gel-like. Now stir in the creamy mixture and cook until the cheese becomes thick and stretchy (about 5-6 minutes). Scoop out the cheese with an ice cream scoop into ice water. The cheese will harden fairly quick and form a ball shape. Let the cheese sit in the fridge (in the water) for at least 2-3 hours to firm up. The texture will be more ideal this way and the cheese will slice easier.

This Vegan Mozzarella Cheese is soft, fresh, creamy and delicious! It's the perfect substitute to its dairy counterpart.The options are endless

You can use this Vegan Mozzarella Cheese for most any entree, side, appetizer or topping. Here are some tasty ideas:

Caprese salad
Crostini
Pizza
Salad topping
Sandwich/burrito
Quesadilla
Eggplant parmesan
Lasagna
Pasta topping

*Note: this Vegan Mozzarella will not melt exactly like dairy cheese. There are vegan cheese recipes out there that have a better melting effect, but require hard-to-find ingredients. I wanted this recipe to be simple, inexpensive and quick. However, it does melt a bit and becomes soft and slightly stretchy. I think it’s a close alternative and so darn tasty.

This Vegan Mozzarella Cheese is soft, fresh, creamy and delicious! It's the perfect substitute to its dairy counterpart.

I’d love to hear from you

If you make this Vegan Mozzarella Cheese, I’d love to hear what you think. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.

5 from 5 votes
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Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

This Vegan Mozzarella Cheese is soft, fresh, creamy and delicious! It's the perfect substitute to its dairy counterpart.

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Recipe Type: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Servings: 8
Calories: 176 kcal
Author: Melissa Huggins - Vegan Huggs
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw cashews , soaked in very hot water for 25 minutes. Keep covered. *See note
  • 1 1/4 cup dairy-free yogurt , unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup soy milk , unsweetened (or any plant-based milk)
  • 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil , or sunflower oil (*See note)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice , fresh squeezed
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt , more to taste (plus more for brine)
  • 1/2 cup water , plus more for brine
  • 2 teaspoons agar powder
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl or container, fill it halfway with filtered water, a few pinches of salt, and 5-6 ice cubes (this will be the brine). Set aside. 

  2. Drain cashews and discard water. Add the cashews, yogurt, soy milk, coconut oil, lemon juice, tapioca starch, garlic powder, nutritional yeast and salt to a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend/process on high for 1-2 minutes until completely smooth. Set aside. 

  3. In a medium pot, add 1/2 cup water and warm over medium heat. When hot, whisk in the agar powder. Whisk well. The agar will start to appear gel-like after 3-4 minutes. When this happens, pour in the blended mixture. Stir in well. 

  4. Stir often so it doesn’t stick or burn. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the sides and bottom as needed. The cheese will start to thicken up. When it becomes really stretchy and thick, remove from heat. This whole process should take about 5-6 minutes.

  5. Scoop out mixture using an ice cream scoop (or something similar) and place each ball into the ice water/brine. Repeat this step until all the mixture is gone. Cover and place in the fridge (in the water) for at least 2-3 hours. Cheese will harden as it chills, and the texture will be more ideal. It will also be easier to slice. 

Recipe Notes

 *Cashews: To make things easier, you can prep ahead, and pre-soften your cashews by placing them in cool water for 4-6 hours (or overnight in the fridge) instead of softening them in hot water for 25 minutes. Then they'll be ready to pop in the blender right away. * When I soak the cashews in hot water, I boil the water first, remove from heat, then add the cashews and quickly cover them. 

* Oil: Make sure to use refined coconut oil to avoid a subtle coconut taste. I use unrefined because I prefer the taste better, but everyone is different. It depends on your taste buds. You can use any neutral flavored oil you like. I also like sunflower oil.

* Prep time doesn't include chilling time.

* Makes about 6-7 mozzarella balls (using a standard ice cream scoop).

* Will stay fresh in the brine for 3-5 days. Keep refrigerated. 

* If you'd like to make the Caprese Salad pictured above, just slice up a few pieces of cheese and tomatoes. Layer them and sprinkle salt and pepper. Drizzle balsamic glaze and extra virgin olive on top. Add pine nuts and chili pepper flakes if preferred.

* If you will be making this mozzarella to specifically melt. Add 1/4 cup more soy milk to the ingredients. You can also take it out of the fridge earlier (around an hour). It will be soft, but fine for melting. If you're making pizza, slice the cheese (not too thick) and place it on before the pizza goes in the oven (so it has time to melt).

* This Vegan Mozzarella will not melt exactly like dairy cheese. There are vegan cheese recipes out there that have a better melting effect, but require hard-to-find ingredients. I wanted this recipe to be simple, inexpensive and quick. However, it does melt a bit and becomes soft and slightly stretchy. I think it's a close alternative and so darn tasty.



Nutrition Facts
Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 176 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Sodium 469mg 20%
Potassium 215mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 11g 4%
Sugars 3g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 0.7%
Vitamin C 2.1%
Calcium 8.5%
Iron 6.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


This Vegan Mozzarella Cheese is soft, fresh, creamy and delicious! It's the perfect substitute to its dairy counterpart.

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17 Comments

Sarah June 9, 2017 at 9:03 am

Wow, Melissa! That cheese looks incredible. A good vegan mozzarella is hard to find, but I think you did it!

Reply
Mel | avirtualvegan.com June 9, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Oh wow. Good juicy tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar was one of my favourite things ever before I was vegan.
This looks amazing. I’ve been wanting to buy Miyoko’s book for a while. Her recipes are amazing. I love how you’ve simplified this one. It’s good for impatient people like me!

Reply
Sarah June 9, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Ooh, this looks delicious! Caprese salad used to be one of my favorites 🙂

Reply
Sarah Newman, Vegan Chickpea June 11, 2017 at 8:02 am

OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS!! I cannot WAIT to try this! Looks beautiful and just like traditional mozzarella. I’ve had agar powder for awhile and haven’t used it – so perfect!

Reply
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine June 12, 2017 at 3:39 am

It’s magic! And homemade so it’s not the $11 version I saw in the stores the other day! Haha!

Reply
Beatriz June 14, 2017 at 6:47 pm

Hi..Melissa …I’m excited to try this recipe…can I use Arrow root instead of Tapioca and Canola oil instead of Coconut oil ?

Reply
Melissa Huggins June 14, 2017 at 11:52 pm

Hi Beatriz, It’s so nice to hear this. It’s my favorite vegan cheese recipe. I haven’t tried it with Arrowroot though. It will thicken the cheese, but it won’t give it the slight stretch. Basically, it will work, but just not the same. It might be worth a shot though. Canola oil or any neutral-flavored oil will work. Thank you for stopping by. I’d love to hear how it works out for you. 🙂

Reply
Beatriz July 5, 2017 at 2:55 pm

OMG, Melissa I just made this Vegan cheese….IT IS AMAZING!!!!! I made it this morning. I used Arrow root and yes, it worked!!…it was strechy and it worked perfect when I scooped them to put them in the brine. I think that your inspiration is perfect!. I think that the regular unkind buffalo mozzarella doesn’t have that really strong cheese flavor, so I don’t feel the need to culture it.. . This cheese is , soft, creamy, strechy, divine!!!..I ate it Caprese style also..thank you sooooo much.!!!..I have pics in my FB if you want to check them out!!
https://www.facebook.com/beatrizherrmann

Reply
Melissa Huggins July 5, 2017 at 3:32 pm

Hi Beatriz, You just made me so happy! I’m so glad the arrowroot worked out for you…this is so good to know. I’ll make sure to put it in the note section for everyone else. I LOVE your pictures…would you mind if I shared on my Vegan Huggs FB page? (I’ll tag you unless you prefer me not to).Thank you for making this and for your kind words. 🙂

Reply
Meng July 28, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Most of the time, I’ll find a recipe online, make it, and move on but I had to comment to say how amazing this recipe is. Good vegan cheese is either super expensive to buy or super complicated to make. This was not only easy but I personally think tastes even better than the real thing! I can’t tell you how much I love this!

Reply
Melissa Huggins July 29, 2017 at 1:25 pm

Hi Meng, this was so nice to hear! Thank you so much for making it and for your wonderful feedback. I really love turning non-vegan recipes into vegan ones. I used to LOVE fresh mozzarella cheese and I’m so happy to have a kinder & healthier alternative. Have a great weekend! 🙂

Reply
Dawn August 13, 2017 at 2:14 pm

I made these earlier today and plan to use them this evening. Do I rinse them before eating?
Thanks!

Reply
Melissa Huggins August 13, 2017 at 5:05 pm

Hi Dawn, you don’t need to rinse them. You may want to blot them lightly with a towel to absorb excess water. Thank you for making this. Enjoy!

Reply
Michele August 15, 2017 at 8:55 pm

Hi Melissa, I am currently not eating any processed oils, can it be made without the addition of the oil or is it a required ingredient for your recipe? Thank-you very much for your time.

Reply
Melissa Huggins August 15, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Hi Michele, yes, you can make it without the oil. It doesn’t melt as good, but it’s still delicious. Thank you for stopping by 🙂

Reply
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[…] Vegan Mozzarella – This is similar to a buffalo mozz, meaning it’s not going to melt or stretch, and in my opinion, it’s best served cold. This recipe was adapted from one of Miyoko’s, and in her book you can also find recipes for cheese that will, in fact, melt and stretch. […]

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Vegan Mozzarella Cheese | Minimalist Baker Recipes September 13, 2017 at 3:01 am

[…] is a rough estimate for one 2-Tbsp serving of 10 total servings.*Recipe loosely adapted from Vegan Huggs. Nutrition Information Serving size: 1/10th of recipe (~2 Tbsp) Calories: 98 […]

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