This creamy, cheesy spread is really simple to make, involves zero cooking time, and you only need a few basic ingredients to whip it up in a flash. The hardest part is remembering the soak your cashew nuts overnight, but if you get that bit out of the way, you’ll be spreading it on a bagel, piece of toast, or a hearty bread roll in no time. It will keep in the fridge for a few days so you can enjoy it as and when you like as a tasty alternative to dairy cheese spreads.Jump to Recipe
You can adjust the amounts of any of the ingredients (everything except the cashews) according to how tangy or creamy your taste buds desire. I used fresh chives for this recipe which brings layers of garlic and onion flavour to the mix, but you can switch the chives out for any other fresh herbs of your choice such as basil, coriander or parsley. You could also add any number of dried herbs and spice combinations to create your own masterpiece. Add a bit of smoked paprika, try a dash of cumin or go wild and throw in a handful of crushed chillies!
To serve, it’s great to spread on fresh bread or toast with a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper or use it as a sandwich filling combined with sliced avocado and tomato.
You can find pretty good vegan cream cheese spreads in supermarkets too, but be mindful of the ingredients as some brands might add unnecessary added salt, sugar or chemical flavourings. In any case, there’s something so rewarding about making a batch of cashew cream cheese from scratch, and knowing exactly which ingredients are in it as you enjoy every last delicious bite.
Let me know how it turns out for you if you try my recipe or tell me what your favourite plant-based cream cheese alternative is in the comments below.
Easy Cashew Cream Cheese
- 250 g cashew nuts soaked overnight (min. 8 hours)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 bunch freshly chopped chives
Preparation in advance
- Soak the cashews overnight in water for at least 8 hours. Add enough water to generously cover the cashews.
Combining the ingredients
- Discard the soaking water and rinse the cashews well with fresh tap water.
- Add the cashews and all other ingredients (except the fresh chives) into a blender or food processor with a mixing blade. Pulse or mix on high setting.
- You may need to stop in between and scrape the mixture down from the sides with a spatula until all ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
- Taste the mixture and add a little more lemon juice, garlic, or salt and pepper according to your taste.
- If the mixture is too thick, add a small amount of water at a time then continue to pulse. Be careful not to add too much water, you don’t want your cream cheese to be too runny.
- Scoop the mixture out of the blender and into a mixing bowl. Mix in the fresh chopped chives using the spatula.
- Serve right away with bread or crackers, or press the mixture into a bowl or a container with a lid and refrigerate. It should keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- Quick version: If you don’t have enough time to soak overnight, pour boiling water over the cashews and let sit for 2 hours, drain, then use.
- Replace the fresh chives with other fresh herbs of your choice such as basil, coriander or parsley.