Dairy free mozzarella cheese recipe that is also oil free and gluten free, made from cashews it doesn’t contain any cholesterol and it’s absolutely delicious. Serve as a pouch or sliced on the antipasto platter Caprese style with tomatoes, basil and bruschetta, you won’t believe it’s vegan!
Dairy Free Mozzarella
This simple vegan mozzarella cheese is made from scratch in no time with only a handful of ingredients. Non dairy, lactose free, made entirely from plants without coconut oil and zero cholesterol! The healthier alternative to the classic dairy milk cheese from Naples.
It’s a cashew based cheese that comes together in the blender before being boiled into a sticky stretchy ball. At this point use a large spoon to scoop out big cheese balls of it that get set in an ice bath just like a traditional buffalo mozzarella. Use a small scoop to make bocconcini “little bites” which are just small bite-sized mozzarella cheese balls.
About the Cashews
Make sure to use raw unsalted cashew pieces for a clean neutral flavor. The roasted cashews will alter the final flavor profile of the cheese making it nuttier/toastier which is not what you are after with this particular style of soft and fresh cheese.
Recipe Tips + FAQs
- Do I have to use tapioca or can I leave it out? – You absolutely must use tapioca here. It’s the starch that holds it all together and forms those stretchy cheese curds during the boiling process. There isn’t anything quite like it so you can’t just leave it out.
- Is this plant based mozzarella shreddable? – This is a fresh style cheese, soft and creamy that can be sliced or rustically torn for a salad or pizza, however it is not intended for shredding. Try this other variation of mozzarella sticks I posted a while back that is harder and suitable for shredding.
- Can I make it nut free? – Fr those who can’t have cashews you can try swapping for raw sunflower seed. Expect variation in both flavor and texture but overall it should make a good alternative.
Once set in the ice bath the mozzarella balls / pouches should be transferred to a glass container, covered with pure water and refrigerated up to 6 days. This plant based cheese is meant to be served fresh and should not be frozen as that will compromise its silky creamy texture upon defrosting.
what to serve with…
- bruschetta or focaccia
- whole grain crackers
- on vegan pizza Margherita
- thin crust vegan pizza
- Italian tomato salad
- cucumber tomato salad
- fresh homemade bread
- bruschetta pasta salad.
Dairy Free Mozzarella Cheese
- Soak the cashews in hot water for 20 minutes then drain. (If using a powerful blender such as a Vitamix you can skip the soaking step).1.5 cups raw cashews
- To the bowl of a powerful blender add the cashews, water, lemon juice, tapioca, nutritional yeast and salt. Blend until silky smooth.1.5 cups raw cashews, 1.5 cups water, 6 -7 Tbsp lemon juice, 7 Tbsp tapioca flour, 3 tsp nutritional yeast, 2 tsp sea salt
- Transfer the cheese mixture to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon stir constantly for a few minutes until the mixture turns into a sticky ball. You will see the curds forming which is great just keep stirring and take care not to allow anything to burn. Once the mixture has thickened up into a ball remove from heat.
- Prepare a bowl with ice water. Use a large spoon or ice cream scoop and scoop out balls of cheese. Place them in the ice cold water. (This should not stick but nicely slide off of the scoop into the water). Repeat with the remaining cheese.
- Refrigerate all the mozzarella balls in the water for 30 minutes or until completely chilled and set. (At this point If a more pouch-like shape is desired simply wrap each mozzarella ball in plastic wrap and twist tightly at the top. Refrigerate until ready to serve).
- Store in the refrigerator packed in water in an airtight container or jar for up to 5 days. Pat dry before serving in a Caprese Salad, slice over a pizza pie or on top of bruschetta.
WFPB + Plantricious
- The recipe is oil-free so WFPB + Plantricious friendly.
- Smoky - To make your mozzarella smoky add 2-3 teaspoons of liquid smoke to the cheese mixture before blending.
- Tanginess - I love using freshly squeezed lemon juice here which is milder than vinegar and I prefer it in this mild cheese. For a stronger flavor you can swap for apple cider vinegar but only use 3-4 tablespoons. As you experiment you will find the perfect ratio for your tastebuds.
- Do I have to use tapioca or can I leave it out? - You absolutely must use tapioca here. It's the starch that holds it all together and forms those stretchy cheese curds during the boiling process. There isn't anything quite like it so you can't just leave it out.
- Is this mozzarella shreddable? - This is a fresh style cheese, soft and creamy that can be sliced or rustically torn for a salad or pizza, however it is not intended for shredding. Try this other variation I posted a while back that is harder and suitable for shredding or making plant based cheese sticks.
- Can I make it nut free? - Fr those who can't have cashews you can try swapping for raw sunflower seed. Expect variation in both flavor and texture but overall it should work just fine.
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