If you love creamy comfort food, this vegan cottage cheese recipe will be right up your alley. Made with a cashew cream base, this dish is ready in 10 to 15 minutes! You’ll love the savory flavor of this dairy-free cottage cheese that you can serve on salads, toast, and more.
I used to love cottage cheese in my pre-vegan days. Of course, I have a lifelong passion for anything creamy so this should not come as a surprise. I used to serve it with chunks of cheese and some ranch dressing drizzled over the top. I thought those days were over, but thanks to this plant-based cottage cheese recipe, my favorite healthy comfort food is back!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Creating a sauce from cashews makes this recipe creamy and delicious
- Adding a bit of nutritional yeast flakes creates a cheesy flavor, reminiscent of real cottage cheese
- Crumbling extra firm tofu creates the perfect texture to this dish.
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Raw cashews — You can find raw cashews at health food stores, online, or even at some grocery store chains.
- Tofu — You’ll need a block of extra-firm tofu for this recipe. Blocks come in different sizes, ranging from 14 to 17 ounces. Any of these sizes will work for this recipe.
- Water — If your water has a strong flavor, consider using filtered water.
- Vinegar — I used apple cider vinegar, but you can substitute white wine vinegar or even lemon juice.
- Lemon juice — Use either freshly squeezed or bottled lemon juice.
- Nutritional yeast flakes — You can find Nutritional Yeast Flakes at health food stores or online.
- Garlic powder
- Dehydrated onions — I used dehydrated onions or you can substitute onion powder.
What Tofu is Best?
If you’re new to working with tofu, this is a great recipe to start with. You can choose firm or extra-firm tofu because it has a compact texture that produces the perfect mouthfeel for this dairy-free cottage cheese. Tofu has a neutral flavor, allowing it to soak up the seasonings it’s cooked with. However, tofu comes packed in water, so we’ll do some light pressing to remove some of the packing water from the tofu. That way, it can take on the flavors of the sauce. To press tofu, wrap it in a kitchen towel and place something heavy on it, like a pan or use a tofu press.
How to Make Vegan Cottage Cheese
- Create the sauce by combining the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
- Pulse until smooth.
- Pour the sauce into a bowl.
- Crumble the remaining tofu.
- Spoon the crumbled tofu over the sauce mixture and stir to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour until chilled.
Can you buy vegan cottage cheese?
Right now there are no major plant-based brands that sell vegan or dairy-free cottage cheese. It’s good to know that it’s fairly easy to make it yourself!
Can you use this cottage cheese in recipes?
You can use this cottage cheese in a variety of recipes that call for it. You may need to drain some of the sauce, depending on the recipe you’re using.
Serve this dairy-free cottage cheese with some tasty toppings. Or use it as a topping for other tasty dishes such as salads or Veggie Spring Rolls. Here are some favorites that pair perfectly with it:
- Salad dressing drizzled over the top is delicious, such as Vegan Ranch Dressing, Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing, Vegan 1000 Island Dressing, Italian Vinaigrette, and Strawberry Vinaigrette.
- Vegan Wedges Salad
- Kale Salad
- It also makes a great side dish for Vegan Sandwiches.
Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and keep it refrigerated. It will keep for up to 3 or 4 days when stored properly. This recipe is not recommended for freezing as tofu takes on a spongy texture when frozen.
Vegan Cottage Cheese
- ¾ cup raw cashews
- 15 oz extra firm tofu, divided
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dehydrated onions
For Soaking Cashews:
- I recommend using soaked cashews to get a thicker, creamier sauce. Here are three ways to do it: 1) Soak cashews in water for a couple of hours, 2) Add raw cashews to a bowl with hot water where they can soak for 30 minutes. 3) place them in a saucepan with boiling water, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for around 10 minutes. Once the cashews are plump, they are ready for the next step. Use a colander to drain the soaking water.
For the Dairy-Free Cottage Cheese:
- Place soaked cashews, ½ cup of tofu, water, vinegar, lemon juice, nutritional yeast flakes, and seasonings in a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour it into a bowl.
- Crumble the remaining tofu over the sauce mixture and stir to combine. Add up to 1/4 more water depending on your preference for thickness of the sauce. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour until chilled and thickened.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.