Recipe for Sliceable Dairy-free and Casein-free Cheese

Sliceable Dairy-Free Cheese

Sliceable Dairy-Free Cheese

I found this recipe for sliceable dairy-free cheese a while back on a forum and finally made it the other day.  It seemed like every time I looked at it, it just seemed too complicated but I think that was just a first impression.  It is actually very simple and tastes pretty darn good. It is soft but still sliceable and resembles a white, mild cheese like Montery Jack.

The great thing about it is it is free of casein (milk protein), which many of the commercial dairy-free cheeses contain.  The only cheese I have found that is actually free of casein is from Galaxy Foods.

It does contain cashews, so it won’t work for people who are nut-free.  And there are a few changes I would make based on my first experiment with it.  It seems as though I can never follow a recipe exactly so I also made some changes as I made it.  I’ll add these changes below in the recipe.

I made chicken burritos the night I made the cheese and it was really great on them!  It really added some nice creaminess and cheesiness to the burritos!

I haven’t tried this yet but the recipe says you can freeze the cheese and then shred it for pizza cheese.

Another tip from the recipe is for making the cheese to resemble American or cheddar cheese:  blend in 1/4 cup pimentos and 1 tsp paprika to the recipe. (see tips below)

The original recipe is called Sliceable Cashew Cheese and it is from Best Gourmet Recipes from the chefs of Five Loaves Deli and Bakery by Neva Brackett.  This is the original recipe with my changes:

2 cups cashew nuts

3/8 cup emes kosher gel (I used regular gelatin because this is what I had.  I only had 3 1/2 packs which was only a little more than an 1/8 cup – I still firmed up nicely but is still pretty soft.  I would like to try agar agar next time because I prefer this to gelatin)

1 ½ cups boiling water

2 Tbs. Lemon juice ( could use a hint more, you could also try balsamic vinegar if you don’t have lemon juice)

2 Tbs. nutritional yeast flakes (I would add at least 1 more Tbsp next time, maybe 2 because I would like a bit more cheesy flavor)

1 Tbs. Salt (I only used 1 tsp.  1 Tbsp seemed a bit much but now I think I would do at least 1 1/2 tsp. )

1 tsp. Onion powder (instead of onion and garlic powder, I added two cloves of garlic.)
½ tsp. Garlic powder

1 Cup Cold water

1. Place all ingredients in the blender except the 1 cup cold water. Turn on and blend for 1 or 2 minutes until very smooth.

Hint: Place a towel over the lid of the blender before turning on. Hot liquids tend to splash out.

2. Add 1 cup cold water, blend briefly and pour into containers of your choice to chill and slice when firm.

Hint: This recipe makes a white cheese resembling Jack cheese. If you want half of it to resemble American cheese in color, pour half of it into a 1 pint mold and blend in ¼ cup pimientos and 1 tsp. paprika to the remainder. This can be frozen, so you might want to make a double recipe and keep it handy for future use, Frozen Cashew Cheese shreds very nicely if you do it while still frozen, and makes a great topping for Pizza. To thaw, set out at room temperature for an hour. Don’t try to thaw it in the microwave–it will melt and not be sliceable.

Prep time: 15 min Chill time: 4 hr or overnight. (It only took ours about an hour to be ready to be eaten with our burritos.)

I would love to hear if you make this and your thoughts about it.  I am going to freeze part of my batch and see how it grates.  I think this is what I am most excited about!

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  1. I’m glad to here of your success with this cheese. My aunt gave me a cookbook called the Uncheese Cookbook (I think that’s the title) and it has lots of cheese substitute recipes like this. I’ve been afraid to try them…. it’s good to hear a good review. I´ll plan burritos one of these weeks and give this recipe a try.

  2. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out. I agree it can feel daunting. It took me a long time to try these kinds of recipes too.

  3. I cannot have yeast. Is there something I can substitute the yeast for?

  4. Hi Sara,
    Sorry this took so long to get back to you. You can leave the nutritional yeast out and use a little tahini – maybe a tablespoon or so. You may also enjoy this recipe:
    http://www.heartofcooking.com/2009/09/how-to-make-gluten-free-casein-free-soy-free-cheese/ You can use tahini in this recipe as well.
    Good luck!

  5. Hello! Thanks for sharing, we are new to dairy-free and I am enjoying your website. I have made the cheese and plan to try it out on my 7 year old tonight with tacos. I thought both the white and cheddar recipes were very good, on the cheddar I added some ground turmeric for color, I wanted it to look as authentic as possible since he is so impressionable by appearance. I will let you know. Thanks again–Dawn

  6. oh, I did use beef gelatin and tahini, we have to avoid yeast as well.

  7. You just saved part of my life!. My son loves cheese, my whole family does but now my son is in a casein, gluten free diet and Cheese is a hard one to find!. Thanks, I’ll try this one as soon as I get the ingredients on hand!. Thanks.

  8. does this type of cheese require nuts? i am not allowed dairy or nuts so this recipe is just about right for me as i miss cheese. also for the cheddar part of the recipe, what would make it a stronger cheddar or a sharper cheddar flavor?

  9. Hi Jay,
    Maybe you didn’t see the rest of the post, but this recipe does use cashew nuts. I don’t yet have a nut-free dairy free and soy free cheese recipe for you. But you may want to try Daiya cheese – it is free of all these ingredients. enjoy,

  10. I’m on a candida diet, and I have been given mixed signals about nutritional yeast. Some people say that it’s fermented, so you should avoid it. But I’ve also read that it’s technically dead and does not feed yeast in your gut… Does anyone know anything about this?

  11. Hi Sara,
    Everyone is different so I cannot say if it will work for you. But nutritional yeast is de-activated so it does not feed candida. This is my experience and understanding. You could try muscle testing it with a chiropractor to see if it will work for you. Good luck to you,

  12. Maybe you could try seeds instead of nuts. I have used sunflower seeds in place of nuts in the cashew nacho cheese recipe. Let me know.
    Also, I have used pumpkin seeds as an alternative in the nacho cheese recipe. 🙂

  13. Hi Angie,
    That is a great idea. I have made seed cheese too from sunflower seeds so I am sure this would work. thanks,


  1. […] far as cheese goes, here is a good dairy-free cheese that is also […]

  2. […] actually like it better than my first attempt at slice-able, casein-free cheese.  The first one was a bit flimsy, though it did slice.  And the […]

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