3 ingredients is the base of this easy vegan cashew cream cheese recipe. Pairs best with your favorite bagel & large cup of hot coffee (or tea).
The tangy taste of cream cheese is a delicate balance that in most recipes call for lactic acid, vinegars, or curdling milk. I knew there had to be an easier way so I did some experimenting with my favorite ingredient; sauerkraut. If you follow me on instagram you know I basically add sauerkraut to everything I eat; avocado toast, salads, wraps, english muffins, etc. It's my go-to topping for the zing it adds to any dish (similar to a spritz of lemon or lime).
In this recipe it provides a subtle tang that cream cheese requires. Additionally, it adds probiotics and easily digestible vitamins and minerals to the spread. Keep reading to see just how simple this homemade vegan cream cheese recipe is or jump to the recipe below to get started.
Vegan cashew cream cheese ingredients
- Raw cashews (soaked in hot water until soft and tender)
- Sauerkraut brine (this gives the cream cheese a subtle tangy flavor and adds gut-healthy ingredients)
- Everything bagel seasoning
For exact measurements and detailed step-by-step directions, scroll to the recipe card below.
How to make dairy-free cream cheese with cashews
- Add boiling water to a bowl of cashews and let soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Next, rinse and drain soaked cashews to a high-speed blender or food processor
- Add water and sauerkraut brine to the blender or food processor
- Blend/pulse on high, until a smooth texture is formed. Mine takes 1-2 minutes.
Notable Tip: the longer you soak the cashews for, the easier they will blend and the smoother the cream cheese texture will be.
Tips for making homemade vegan cream cheese
Tip #1: Do not skip soaking the cashews! The cream cheese will result in a gritty texture and/or may not blend easily.
Tip #2: Blend the ingredients in a food processor or a high speed blender until smooth. A food processor will result in a slightly more whipped texture.
Tip #3: Store in an airtight container to preserve freshness.
For this vegan cashew cream cheese recipe I do not recommend substituting any of the ingredients. Other homemade cream cheese recipes call for tofu instead of cashews, but I haven't trialed this yet. Send me a DM if this is something you're interested in and I will move it to the top of the list! Additionally, if you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes.
Flavor variations for cashew cream cheese
I wrote this vegan cream cheese recipe using everything bagel seasoning, but other flavor variations also work! Make it your own by adding in 2-3 tablespoons of your favorite seasonings. Here are a few ideas to get you started;
- 2-3 tablespoons minced jalapeño (I used nacho sliced, feel free to also add a bit of the juice for an extra kick)
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic or garlic powder (adjust to taste)
Brown Sugar Cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons coconut brown sugar
- ½-1 teaspoon cinnamon (adjust to taste)
Other flavor possibilities;
- Garlic & herb
- Chive & onion
- Maple nut
- Cinnamon raisin
Top tip for experimenting with cashew cream cheese flavors: scoop a tablespoon of the plain cream cheese into a bowl with just a pinch of the seasonings/ingredients you want to use. Taste and adjust as needed. If you love it, great! Increase the amount and add it to the rest of the cream cheese. If not, adjust seasonings and try again. DM me if you need any help!
Gluten-free vegan bagel
Craving a bagel to pair with this delicious vegan cashew cream cheese? Check out some of these gluten-free vegan bagel brands;
Alternatively, here is an easy homemade option.
Have a favorite? Comment below to help other readers!
What else can I eat cashew cream cheese with other than bagels?
- Crackers or rice cakes
- English muffins
- Toast (add to avocado toast for an extra layer of fun)
- Add it to these vegan breakfast enchiladas
- Use it as a dip with fresh broccoli florets, celery sticks, cucumber slices, peppers, carrots, and/or radishes
This homemade vegan cashew cream cheese recipe lasts for a few weeks stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It doesn't last more than a few days in our house, it's that good. I do not recommend freezing the cream cheese.
Did you make this easy vegan cream cheese recipe? Be sure to leave a review below and let me know how it went!
Easy Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese
- high-speed blender or food processor
- measuring cups and spoons
- spatula optional
- 1½ cups raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 min-1 hour
- ¼ cup water
- 3 tablespoons sauerkraut brine (liquid from your favorite jar of sauerkraut)
- 2 tablespoons everything but the bagel sprinkle (see flavor variations in the blog post above for other options)
- First, add cashews to a bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Let soak for at least 30 minutes. The softer the cashews, the smoother the cream cheese will be. *cashews should be soft to the touch after soaking
- After soaking, drain and rinse the cashews. Place them into a food processor or high-speed blender. Add fresh water and sauerkraut brine (I used Wildbrine Organic Green Kraut).
- Blend on a high setting until creamy. It took my blender about 1 minute.
- Scoop out of the blender/food processor and place into a bowl. Fold in everything but the bagel seasoning. Chill covered in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Remove and enjoy on your favorite bread, english muffin, bagel, and/or use it as a dip for vegetables.