Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
This Vegan Mozzarella Cheese is soft, fresh, creamy and delicious! It's the perfect substitute to its dairy counterpart.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
- 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 filtered water , plus more for brine
- 2 teaspoons agar powder
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.
Drain cashews and discard soaking 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.
In a medium pot, add 1/2 cup filtered 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.
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.
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.
*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.
Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 215mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 1.2mg