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Silicon Valley Attempts to Make Real Vegan Cheese

Silicon Valley Attempts to Make Real Vegan Cheese

Food enthusiasts want to make veganism easier for everyone

The new vegan cheese could lead to a variety of types.

A group of “biohackers” from Silicon Valley are raising money money on Indiegogo for a project to create cheese that vegans will love. The name of their product is “Real Vegan Cheese” and the scientists behind it are attempting to genetically modify yeast to produce casein, the protein in cows’ milk. The process to make this “cheese” combines the modified casein with water, a vegan sugar that is comparable to lactose, and plant-derived fat. Through this process, the biohackers hope to create a realistic “vegan milk” that can then be turned into cheese.

The project is in very early stages, and success is obviously not guaranteed. However, the scientists behind it believe that if it does work, the cheese will be a huge improvement on the soy- and nut-derived cheeses that are currently available. The main point of the project is to make it easier for people to choose veganism as a permanent lifestyle because the scientists believe that it is the most ethically and environmentally responsible diet.

PETA’s Top 10 Vegan Recipes of 2019

Want to start cooking more vegan meals at home in 2020? You’re not alone! Whether you’re a long-term vegan or someone who’s just starting out, you’ll find tons of great breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snack ideas to inspire you here on Omnivores, brand-new vegans, and seasoned pros alike turn to PETA Living when they’re looking for plant-based inspiration in the kitchen. We’ve got thousands of delicious options that will satisfy your hunger while sparing animals a life of suffering and a violent death. So if you’re stuck in a rut and wondering what to cook next—or if you’re new to the game and have no idea where to get started—look no further than this recipe list.

22 Scrumptious Vegan Dip Recipes

This is a list of the most delicious vegan dip recipes for game day, appetizers for a girl's night in, holidays like Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, or just to munch on throughout the week for a snack. Or if you're like me - breakfast. Because dips are acceptable whenever, wherever, forever. Nom nom nom.

You'll find vegan cheese dips, hummus recipes, bean dips, salsas, and even a pizza dip in this list! Yes, please.

Dipper ideas: Vegetable sticks, broccoli and cauliflower florets, toasted baguette slices, bagel chips, pretzels, wheat thins, tortilla chips, bread cubes, pita bread, roasted potatoes, and vegan sausages.

The cashews

Okay, so…I’ll admit I don’t always soak cashews in my recipes. This might seem inconsistent and maybe it is. But I reckon in this recipe it is important to soak them.

The reason I think so is that for one thing, you’re creating a really thick cream cheese here. It’s hard to blend without making it easier by soaking the cashews first.

Then, you’re also wanting a super creamy texture here and soaking the nuts does contribute a little towards that.

And then I don’t know if it really does, but I think it helps with the color a little too, keeping it nice and light in color for that perfect cream cheese ‘look’.

Ingredient Substitutions

I always get asked about ingredient substitutions so let me just say, the best results are going to come from following the recipe. We test everything thoroughly so that we come up with something really good.

However, if you want to leave something out that is there for flavoring, it is still most likely going to come out fine.

As mentioned above, don’t try and leave out the agar agar powder, it won’t work without that. Or the cashews, but aside from those crucial ingredients, if you want to swap the red pepper for a yellow pepper or you want to leave out the cayenne pepper because you don’t like it, this is all likely fine.

Provided it is in a small quantity and it is not a crucial ingredient, you likely can substitute it for something similar or possibly even leave it out altogether.

Can you grate it? Yes you can. It is firm enough to grate. It tends to get firmer the longer it’s in the fridge, so if it’s not ideal for grating when it’s just set, it will be the next day.

Does it melt? Yes it does. It is not the kind of melty cheese that is going to spread over pizza, but it does melt a bit and soften when heated. So you can absolutely grate some and use it on a pizza. It won’t spread, but it will still be delicious.

Can I mash it? Yes, it’s soft enough to mash over your cracker if you like it mashed. It’s soft enough to mash while still also being firm enough to grate. It’s good stuff.

How long does it keep? About a week in the fridge.

Can I freeze it? Yes you can.


Silky smooth vegan cream cheese is made with 5 simple ingredients and is a perfect condiment for bagels, sandwiches, and veggies!

  • Author:Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 1 cup 1 x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: blend, puree
  • Cuisine: Vegan


  • 1 + ½ cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 2 – 3 small lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon mineral salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed and minced


Soak cashews: Cover cashews with hot water and soak for 5 – 10 minutes. Alternately, soak them for 2 – 3 hours in cool water. Soaking will aid in digestion.

Blend: Using a high speed blender or small personal blender, add the ingredients to the cup of your preferred blender and blend until creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides every now and then. If using optional add-ins, stir them in.

Enjoy vegan cream cheese right away or let chill in the refrigerator before serving.

Store: Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator. For longer storage, it will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator before using.


Add-ins: For variation try adding fresh chopped chives, ½ – 1 teaspoon onion powder, or a small diced jalapeno for a change of taste. When adding flavor, I suggest blending the chives and jalapeno in by hand at the end. For a sweet variation try this Sweet Cashew Cream.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: I ♡ my NutriBullet (affiliate link) for small jobs like this. It’s powerful, compact and easy to clean! For more of my favorite cooking tools, shop my kitchen essentials .

Keywords: vegan cream cheese, cashew cream cheese, cream cheese recipe

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Reader Interactions


January 10, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Mmm, nice recipe and a Good alternative for the processed Velveeta cheese. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us Jesus Christ Bless you! :)

September 25, 2014 at 5:31 pm

I’d like to use this recipe. My favorite potato soup calls for velveeta and it’s soooo good.
I have a question: what is Natural American Cheese? Is there another type I can use instead? I live in Canada and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this this type before, although I’ve never had a reason to look for it.

September 27, 2014 at 9:23 am

I believe I’ve answered this in the comments above. You’ll need a melting type of cheese.

November 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm

What kind of cheeses are melting kinds?I have looked for the American cheese everywhere. I found it at deli counter (I don’t know if it’s natural or not but it was the brand you recommend) would that still work?

November 16, 2014 at 8:19 pm

well, you can try Great Lakes or Applegate brands of American Cheese. other cheeses like Fontina and colby will work.

August 15, 2014 at 11:57 pm

So happy I found this, a wonderful substitute! Made nachos tonight amazing!

August 07, 2014 at 10:09 am

Coming across this recipe seriously just made my day. I make a menu plan for every 2 weeks and one of the days is our “snack night” BBQ meatballs and rotel dip. I love the taste of Velveeta but despise all the extra junk in it. I will definitely be trying this out! Cant wait!

Wow. I can’t believe how good this is, I’m making it right now. Recently I have gone the way of trying to remove any and all artificial foods from the house and replacing them with natural food. The sauce has been sitting in the crock pot for about a half hour right now and a little taste test, I can’t believe how good it is. It’s better than Velveeta if you ask me. Thank you for doing all of the work and getting this out there.

I also have a question. I want to use this cheese for mac and cheese. Can you tell me roughly what ratio of ounces of elbow macaroni verses this cheese I should use? Usually when I make mac and cheese I will use 1 box (12 oz) of elbow macaroni. How many cups of this cheese should I make?

Tom, this recipe is a 1:1 substitute for velveeta. If you look up a velveeta mac and cheese online, you follow the directions but use this homemade version.

September 06, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Just made mac and cheese using this recipe … it came out fantastic and tasted exactly like velveeta.

I would suggest using 4 servings of shredded cheddar cheese (112g or 1 cup) and 12 slices of american cheese (225g).

I’m thrilled you like it Tom! don’t’ forget to lower your temperature in the crockpot to low if it’s going to sit out a while and to stir once in a while! Enjoy!

Yeah, as soon as it reached consistency I turned it on low, had it sitting for hours waiting for guests. Made nachos topped with chili meat and cheese. Was better than Velveeta in my book. I will never touch that fake stuff again.

I have a recipe for a cheese roll made by rolling out Velveeta (and then covering with cream cheese and chopped jalapeños). Do you think this MOMveeta would roll out well after chilling in a loaf pan? Thanks!

Cristy, i haven’t tried using momveeta in that way but we have over 100k people that have downloaded our recipe and used it in any way you’d traditionally use the regular type. why not line a 9吉 pan with parchment paper, pour momveeta, cool it, and use it to lift it out? just a thought.

I DID IT!! I AM SOOOO HAPPY THAT WE HAVE A VELVEETA ALTERNATIVE!! YOU HAVE NO IDEA! So it had to be the crockpot! I used sliced applegate cheddar that I shredded down in the food processor as well as the applegate american from the whole foods deli. I shredded the American in the food processor as welll! I used 1 1/4 cup of milk and melted it all in a makeshift double boiler! I constantly stirred and its PERFECT! I cant wait to make a big pan of macaroni & cheese!! ) Thank you so much for taking the time to develop this recipe!! :)

Keena, I’m soooo happy it finally worked!! nothing like your awesome persistence and glad you figured out it was the crockpot!

Hi! I attempted to make this cheese today with applegate sliced american and the whole foods brand organic sharp cheddar. I was making it without the tomatoes and chiles so I added extra milk. I am making it in the crock pot and it seems that my cheese curdled. Any idea where I went wrong?

Keena, I don’t know! thousands have made this recipe successfully with applegate’s american and cheddar! did it fully melt? the tomatoes are optional.

Hi! Thanks for your response! It did melt, but it was all curdled. The flavor was great, it just never melted smooth. Maybe it was the block of cheese that I used…I will try it again! I would like to use this recipe to make a healthier mac & cheese for my kiddos! :) So hopefully switching to all applegate will work! Thanks again! )

Keena, let me know how it works out. I know there are a lot of comments but I’m sure that others have used applegate without issues. even if you omit the tomatoes don’t add any additional milk unless you need it. Also, I hope you didn’t throw out the “curdled” one! You can use that one for macaroni and cheese for sure!

Hi! So I made it again on low and it curdled again. :/ It could just be my crockpot. This time I used American cheese that I bought from the Whole Foods Deli and the Whole Foods Sharp Cheddar. I am going to buy enough for two more batches and try it in the microwave and the stovetop. Ill update you when I do it! Thanks! & This time I kept the curdled one and Im going to use it for Mac & Cheese! Thanks!!

it’s got to be the crockpot. I’m so sorry! did you watch the video?

I just watched the video! I am going to try it in the crockpot again, but maybe on low instead of high. If that doesnt work, ill try the microwave method! :) Thank you again for coming up with this recipe! :)

January 01, 2015 at 9:35 am

I had the same problem! I was so sad!

I used White American Cheese from Publix Deli and Sharp Cheddar Cheese (block) from Costco. I used half and half because that’s all I had on hand and a little cumin. It turned out great and tastes just like Velveeta, so I am happy to have an alternative that is much healthier. Now…on to make Macaroni and Cheese! Thanks for the recipe!

I forgot to tell you that I used a makeshift double boiler and I had my MOMveeta made in about 10 minutes!

Oh yes! a double broiler will work too!

AMAZING. This recipe is a keeper…and a frequent flyer! Thank you :)

for american cheese- if you want something even more amazing than the Land O’Lakes — America’s Test kitchen has a DIY american cheese.

I am trying that american cheese + the rest of your ingredient idea and making this.

let me know how it comes out with their recipe.

it does not freeze well. you can store in the refrigerator.

February 08, 2014 at 11:58 am

Hi. This is fantastic! Thank you for going through all of those trials and then for sharing! I wondered if in any of your experiments you might have tried white Cheddar? If there is a difference in how the cheese melts or something? Or maybe there is not sharp white cheddar available?

February 09, 2014 at 1:51 pm

You can use white cheddar instead of the yellow cheddar. I used the orange/yellow cheddar to give it the same color as the velveeta. white cheddar instead of the american will not work.

February 07, 2014 at 5:35 pm

It looks so good but I didn’t want a runny substitute. If you put it in the fridge does it thicken up like regular Velveeta?

February 09, 2014 at 1:53 pm

As shown, it performs EXACTLY as regular velveeta.

February 03, 2014 at 1:49 pm

As someone else posted, I used sliced American and it worked fine. We buy American in bulk at Sam’s Club. It’s sliced, but not wrapped. I just took the amount I needed, left it stacked together, and then cut into cubes. As it was melting in the microwave, it did come apart, but I just stirred about every minute, and it came out perfectly. Thanks!

January 20, 2014 at 2:10 pm

You rock! I am going to try this this weekend. By the pics it seems to harden up ok in fridge. I need to grind velveeta and mix with ground meat looks like it will work fine.

January 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Oh my gosh. I just made this and it was awesome. I need to use it in a GF goldfish recipe that called for Velveeta. I didn’t want to use Velveeta so I searched the internet for a “healthier” version of Velveeta. I should have known you would have one Laura. Thanks so much. I thought my picky 7 year old would have scoffed at bc of the cumin, but as I am typing this reply he’s scraping the bowl with chips saying, “MMMMM. So cheesy. Cheese-erific!” Lol. Total winner.

January 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm

January 08, 2014 at 2:34 am

I am going to try this today! I live in Austria so there isn’t American Cheese in blocks but I’ve read that you can sub swiss cheese for American or perhaps Emmentaler. I hope it works!

January 08, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Dawn, Emmentaler will work better than Swiss. Think of cheese you can use in a fondue. enjoy!

February 02, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Dawn – I live in Ireland, and I can’t buy velveeta either. Let me know how it works out with the swiss cheese!

February 03, 2014 at 11:57 am

Rheagan, swiss is a bit too tough to melt on here. Can you find cheese meant for fondue?

January 02, 2014 at 8:15 pm

I have read through all the comments and I think to make this just a regular block of velveeta, you just leave out the rotel? Please confirm :) We all really appreciate you taking the time to experiment!

January 02, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Hi Emily! Yes. You can leave out the rotel and it will be ‘regular’ velveeta. Check out this how-to video.

December 31, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I have not tried this yet, but it looks like a 5 star winner to me. No chemical processed yuck! Hooray! BTW, this is the best meal plan service I have signed up for ever. I have a 5 year old daughter with Anaphylaxis to peanut and I was struggling for lunch ideas. (She is also very picky eater.) I’ve been trying to get all my friends signed up with MOMables. Thank you! Keep the allergy friendly ideas coming!

December 29, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Hey. I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks for working on this! By any chance can I cook this on the stove top? I’m thinking med-low heat and babysitting it till she’s perfect? Didn’t know if you attempted a stove top rendition…

December 29, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Yes, I have…. “babysitting” being the key word so it doesn’t burn. :)

December 28, 2013 at 3:17 pm

No American cheese that isn’t processed at HEB. Trying white cheddar and Colby instead.

December 29, 2013 at 11:28 pm

December 15, 2013 at 2:41 pm

WOW! To say this was fantastic is an understatement! This was EPIC! Legendary! I would definitely make it again. I followed the microwave instructions. I used Land-o-Lakes White American Cheese (chunks cut from a pound I got at the deli), Cracker Barrel Cheddar (orange), Rotel Tomato & Green Chilies and fat free milk (not that it matters, but that’s what we drink) and cumin. Microwaved for 2 minutes, stirred, and them 1 minute increments after that for about 7 minutes. It started off a little liquidy, but once all the cheese melted and I took it out, it firmed up pretty quickly. My wife and I devoured about half of it watching football. Great work, MOM!

December 16, 2013 at 10:40 am

So glad you guys loved it! -and thank you for coming back and leaving a comment!

November 18, 2013 at 11:48 am

Just tried this on Sunday. Based on reviews I tried Colby in place of the natural American since I couldn’t find it. The results were not good – it separated and did not blend well. Unfortunately I tried this for a gathering and could kick myself for not doing a trial run first. I’m sure it was user error but I’m not sure if it was the Colby (and right now I’m starting to wonder if it was Colby Jack and not pure Colby I used) or if it could have something to do with the crockpot heating method? Maybe I over heated it? I had it on high per instructions and I did stir it frequently. I’ll have to try again – maybe on the stovetop instead.

November 19, 2013 at 12:52 am

Oh no! I am sorry to hear this Christina! Colby did not provide consistent results which is why it did not make the recipe cut. Jack will only work in place of the cheddar but a cheddar + jack will not work. So sorry!!

November 14, 2013 at 12:07 pm

I’m so excited I found this recipe , Thank you so much for finding a natural substitute :), I have a queso dip that I love that calls for 1lb. Velveeta , 1lb. Burger , one jar salsa and one can cream of mushroom soup . I have been able to substitute everything but the velveeta , would I be able to put the two cheeses and milk along with all the other ingredients in the crockpot and have it turn out smooth and creamy or will I have to make the momveeta first and refrigerate first ? Thanks !

November 15, 2013 at 11:16 am

Hi Ginger! this recipe yields about 1.5lbs of momveeta (approximately). I would recommend you make the momveeta first, and add the other ingredients into the crockpot (the meat being cooked). Although it *might* work. I haven’t tried it with uncooked meat. You can, of course, make the momveeta, refrigerate and then use it as you normally would use a block of velveeta. I have to say that it’s not designed to sit in a crockpot for more than 4hours… since you have to stir it up so that it doesn’t burn on the sides (it is REAL cheese after all..).

November 11, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Thank you! You’ve really taken the time and effort here and I am so excited to find this recipe. Making my Momveeta right now. I try to cut out all additives and preservatives in my diet because they give me migraines, and now I have a sub that I can use for making apps to bring to parties, a cheeseburger soup recipe my husband loves, and a queso dip. I’m making it now without the tomato/chilis as a true Velveeta sub. Thank you thank you thank you!

November 11, 2013 at 6:41 pm

my pleasure Allison! Of course, you can leave out the tomatoes / green chilis. :) So glad this recipe will help you!

November 06, 2013 at 5:03 pm

November 06, 2013 at 8:34 pm

October 28, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Is whole milk recommended? Or can I use fat-free or reduced fat versions? And what about lactose-free milk does that work, do you know?

October 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm

I recommend whole or low fat milk for this recipe. It’s very difficult to make this recipe latose free, since the cheese needed is not lactose free.

October 12, 2013 at 9:50 am

Hi, I am expat in China and Velveeta is no where to be found here. I struggle to get Cheddar most days, but if I can time it right with the shipments I can get cheddar. I’ve read through the comments and saw that you suggested Edam cheese to one person. Have you heard any feedback on that? I have seen that here. I have also seen Emmental and Gouda. I can sometimes find a block or two of the Colby/Monterey Jack cheese, but I wonder how the Monterey Jack would affect it. What would you suggest out of those to replace the American cheese? All of them are quite expensive, but sometimes….it’s totally worth it. haha.

October 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Miranda, I don’t know what you are able to get your hands on in China… but look for cheeses that can easily be melted and hold texture –think of it as in fondue. I”ve heard of success with Edam. All cheddar will not work (see the picture with the big flop? yeah.. did not work-at all).

September 22, 2013 at 10:06 pm

How do you pack this cheese in a lunchbox? I’m looking at your nachos “lunchable” but not sure how to keep this dippable. It is too small of an amount to put in a thermos and I can’t think of what else to do. Thanks!!

September 22, 2013 at 10:11 pm

I don’t pack it in a lunch as the nacho-remake. that was consumed shortly after. The other option is to pour the MOMveeta over the tortilla chips and then packing it in the lunchbox. if you have a short and wide thermos, you can preheat the thermos, heat the cheese and close it. :)

September 19, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Tillamook was advertising a completely natural american cheese sometime in the past year or so. I have never found it in my grocery store, but it would probably be perfect for this if you can find it.

September 20, 2013 at 7:34 am

Oh great! thank you for letting us know of another brand!

November 19, 2013 at 12:50 am

Revised: I did not see a natural American Cheese on their website.

September 13, 2013 at 11:31 am

This sounds great! I will definitely try with Boar’s Head: the label on their website says “pasturized process american cheese”, and the FDA regulates terminology for cheese product. “Pasteurized process cheese” contains 100% cheese, “pasteurized process cheese food” contains at least 51% cheese, and “pasteurized process cheese product” contains less than 51% cheese. So by those standards and their labeling, Boar’s Head at least is 100% cheese, even if it is processed to be smoother and meltier.

My mom has a chili cheese dip recipe from an old crockpot cookbook that she and now I have used for years. It calls for 1 lb. of Velveeta, 1 lb. ground beef, 1 can tomatoes and chilies, Worcestershire sauce and chili powder as its only ingredients (I can’t recall the measurements of Worcestershire sauce and chili powder because I just dump it in until it looks good, haha). This would be a great sub for the Velveeta, adding in ground beef (I’ve also used very lean ground turkey to good effect) and subbing the Worcestershire and chili powder for the cumin, or adding it. If you don’t want it very spicy, use less chili powder and mild tomatoes and chilies (I use Rotel usually) spicier can come by way of a bit more chili powder and the hot version of Rotel. Thank you so much for this! I love that recipe and really want to clean it up so I feel a bit more virtuous eating it!

September 14, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Stephanie,I only suggested Boars Head because as far as most of their products go… they are good quality. Yes, it’s not “unprocessed” cheese but…
I’ve recently found that Applegate Farms has real unprocessed American cheese. check it out here. you can buy them at all whole foods.

September 05, 2013 at 11:01 am

I’m excited to try this. Do you know how long it keeps in the freezer?

September 05, 2013 at 11:36 pm

September 02, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Two questions … I tried to read comments first, but didn’t see them:
1. When we omit the tomatoes/chiles, do we also omit the cumin? I rarely need a spicy melted cheese, just a plain one for mac ‘n cheese.
2. Would this work with raw cheese?

September 02, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I would not omit the cumin. it adds a little smokiness that i compared to some of the artificial flavors (but natural) in actual velveeta. you could half it. cumin isn’t spicy at all. I have not tried it with raw cheese but I have a feeling it wont’. I tried it with nearly every cheese combination out there… don’t waste your money… eat raw cheese how it’s best enjoyed… not like this.

I’m Canadian so we don’t have ‘natural American cheese’ – is this cheese yellow/white or orange (i.e. mozzarella type or cheddar?)

Do you have melting cheese in Canada? you can use that. Colby is available there but it did not work well consistently in my tests. it melted well one time, it separated another. I have mixed feelings about it

August 21, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Can I just use block cheese that is by the shredded cheese?

yes, you can use block cheese but not the already shredded cheese. if you look at the ingredients they are different! -no, they don’t just “shred” it unfortunately…

Oh my goodness! This is perfect! We are trying to cut out all the processed junk in our diets but my husband and so LOVE Kraft mac and cheese. I found a recipe that I think is a good substitute and it uses all real ingredients EXCEPT for Velveeta! Now I can make this Kraft substitute for my family. Thank you for doing all the hard work for us!! P.S. I saw this through a pin on Pinterest.

Yay Emily!! it took months to get the right texture because I really REALLY wanted it to freeze, keep and store like the original. so glad you found us!

I’m excited to try this. I’m even more excited that you have a print option for the recipe. Hahahaha.

Of course we have a print option! I am still “old school” when I cook. I like my good recipes on paper. :)

Is it necessary to use the tomatoes/green chilies? My kids are not huge fans of “spicy” food, any way to make this less spicy or is that a mild choice?

No, you can definitely do without. Add 1/2 teaspoon of paprika to give it a little smokiness.

I am kind of surprised you didn’t use vegan nacho “cheese”. Much healthier, keeps better in a lunch and is pretty much fool-proof? Have you tried any of the vegan nacho cheese recipes?

I have not. I wanted to make a true substitute. While I am sure a vegan version is good, nearly all my audience isn’t vegan. If you have a good one to share, please email it to me at info @ momables dot com and I will be happy to test it out!

So glad I found this recipe. I have a recipe for gluten free homemade goldfish type crackers, but it uses velveeta and I have cut out processed foods. Can’t wait to make this!

let me know how it comes out!

Do you think this recipe would work melted on the stovetop instead of the microwave?

absolutely, you will have to stir continuously OR use a double broiler (i prefer the second).

SO glad I found this. I make a killer chorizo dip for a gathering of friends in July. Since going low carb and non-processed foods I was torn on what to make instead. Decided to make my own chili base, so I didn’t have to use canned. But what to use instead of Velveeta. You’ve answered my prayers!

So glad Mona! I know it can be hard to give up certain things when you eat healthier! let us know how everyone enjoyed it. :)

I am in England and there is no american cheese around here.
Any idea which cheeses i can use around here?

Hi Olga! Do you have colby cheese? I know in europe they sell “melting cheese” often used in fondue. That would work best.

I was just researching “natural American cheese” and found that its really white colby. But I think yellow would work…I am excited to try this, but with colby – because processed cheese product is just too disgusting.

yes, yellow colby will work and it’s NOT processed.

I can’t wait to try this out! I typically use organic dairy products. Do you think this would work just as well with organic american cheese? I usually use Organic Valley. Thank you!

yes! it absolutely will work as long as it’s not “sliced” cheese. :)

Oh, ok. I’m not sure if I can get unsliced Organic American Cheese…but I’ll take a look. Thanks!

November 19, 2013 at 12:45 am

Greta, i recently tried it with Applegate sliced natural American cheese. It worked well!

Is Boars cheese a “unprocessed brand”? I seen it in white American at the deli and wondered. Didn’t see Land O Lakes.

Hi Jill! Boars Head will work. It’s MUCH better than most!

January 31, 2013 at 7:24 pm

I can’t eat processed cheese…. would any other cheese work?

February 01, 2013 at 12:43 am

Christine – I’ve tried this recipe 21 different ways. you can try using Fontina cheese or Emmental (or half and half) +2Tablespoons milk +2 teaspoons lemon juice. unfortunately, most cheeses are not meant to stay “melted”. there are a few brands out there of American cheese that aren’t processed cheese.

October 23, 2014 at 3:48 am

Hi there. If buying anything from a store isle and a processing line really bothers you, try googling “make American Cheese,” or “Homemade American cheese recipe.” Hope it helps!

January 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm

This turns out great! Last time I made it, I used the leftovers to top a naughty pan of chicken enchiladas. Thank you!

January 30, 2013 at 11:03 pm

December 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm

About the butter. You say you used Land o Lakes but I don’t see it on your ingredients list? How much do we use?

December 19, 2012 at 10:49 am

I didn’t use butter. I used Land o Lakes white American cheese. It’s one of the least processed brands.

October 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Um any idea what american cheese might be in the uk ? Is it creamy spready cheese? Is it soft and squishy- designed to melt? Maybe like edam or emmental?

October 22, 2012 at 9:48 am

it is soft and squishy-designed to melt like edam. that might work. think fondue cheese. :)

scramble up some breaksfast sausage, drain and add to it!

Marla, that would completely kick it up a notch. wow!! we have a homemade breakfast sausage recipe on the blog that is delicious

Do you think this will keep in a lunch box? Or will it get too hard after a few hours?

it will harden by lunch for sure. the reason i pictured it in a lunch box is because I served it for my kids as snack trays during the football game Sunday.

Sounds delish Laura ! Think am going to try this at home. Love that you added cumin to it :) Will let you know how it turns out !

August 09, 2012 at 11:16 am

I have never heard of “natural american cheese” — it kind of sounds like an oxymoron! HA! Where does one find that??

there are some that don’t have nasty ingredients. the most commonly found one is land o lakes brand. it’s better than the alternative.

Thanks… I realized I hadn’t fully read the notes (although I thought I had) — sorry for the redundancy. I may have to try this some time :) Thanks!

don’t worry! there is just no way around the fact that the yellow box sold on the shelves is only between 47-51% cheese “product” the rest is additives. Cheese product refers not to just milk but can be whey proteins, lactose and any milk derivative.

August 09, 2012 at 10:59 am

I am going to attempt to make it..We don’t drink Milk, so I’ll have to let you know if it works with almond milk..

please do. but i have to tell you that there is no substitute for those other cheeses. non dairy cheese will not melt. thus why we tried 21 different ways

August 10, 2012 at 11:19 pm

I’d try it with coconut milk before almond milk. Almond milk (though we LOVE it) tends to have a bitter aftertaste in some recipes. Plus, coconut milk has higher fat content, which may “gel” with the cheese better. OOH… or perhaps greek yogurt?? ) I cannot drink regular milk, but when I drink raw milk… NO problems with gas, bloating, etc. Not sure why you don’t drink regular milk.. just thought I’d throw that out there in case you haven’t tried raw yet. It has all the enzymes to break down the proteins in the milk, thus… less gastric upset. Also… goat milk is more easily digestible. Just thinking out loud as a fellow-non-milk drinker. )

Fabulous points Ruth! coconut milk will definitely make the recipe creamier -although I have not tested it. I know a lot of people try to make substitutes for some of our recipes and I always say that I cannot guarantee the results when that’s done. I’ve tried raw milk before and I love it but it’s not sold anywhere near me.

August 09, 2012 at 10:55 am

Awesome, but 2 questions! 1) What could a Canadian use as a substitute for “American” cheese? 2) If I omit the seasoning / chiles, will this firm up to be like the questionable cheese circle things in the real / gross Lunchables?
Again, I love what you’re doing here. So great to have s site like this.

I think you might have something called imperial cheese? not sure. If you omit the chilies add 1/2cup more milk as per directions. let me know what you find!

Can you tell us which brands did not work out good?

I tried this recipe with Boars head white american cheese -amazing results. I also used land o lakes -great results too. I omitted using any of the american cheeses that say “processed cheese” in the packaging.

Vegan Cheese

This oozy, gooey vegan cheese sauce is just as good as the real thing! Versatile and easy to make, it's delicious on pasta, nachos, and more.

You don’t have to be vegan to fall for this vegan cheese recipe! It’s creamy, tangy, and rich, with a crave-worthy oozy texture just like that of dairy-based cheese sauce. Even Jack – the biggest real cheese lover I know – adores this recipe. Last time I made it, we stood at the counter, scooping it up with tortilla chips. We only got halfway through the first batch before we decided to make a second. Yep, it’s that good!

Serve this vegan cheese as a dip with tortilla chips or fresh veggies, toss it with pasta to make vegan mac and cheese, top it onto a baked potato, or drizzle it over chips to make a vegan nacho platter. Once you have it on hand, you’ll find endless ways to use it, and you won’t be able to get enough!

Vegan Cheese Recipe Ingredients

This dairy-free cheese is not only delicious – it’s good for you, too! Unlike processed vegan cheese that you might find at grocery stores, it’s made of a short list of whole foods ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Yukon gold potatoes and cashews – They’re the key ingredients for giving vegan cheese recipes oozy, creamy texture.
  • Sweet potatoes – You couldn’t make a cheddar-style cheese sauce without an orange ingredient! Sweet potato gives this recipe its vibrant color, and it adds a light sweetness that’s delicious with the rich, tangy flavors here.
  • Nutritional yeast – It gives this dairy-free cheese the nutty, savory flavor of the real thing!
  • Garlic and onion powder – They add delicious depth of flavor.
  • Apple cider vinegar – It gives this vegan cheese a bright, tangy finish. Yum!

To make this cashew cheese recipe, start by boiling the potatoes. When they’re tender, transfer them to a high-speed blender. Add the nutritional yeast, garlic, onion powder, cashews, and vinegar, along with water, extra-virgin olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth and creamy, adding more liquid as needed. Then, enjoy!

Best Vegan Cheese Variations

Though I love this recipe as written, I also like to change it up from time to time. Here are a few of my favorite variations:

  • Change the veggies. If you don’t have sweet potato on hand, swap in carrots or butternut squash.
  • Make it smoky. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, to taste. I love to serve this variation as a loaded queso dip with guac, pico de gallo, and black beans!
  • Spice it up. For extra heat, blend a tablespoon of pickled jalapeños or a chipotle pepper from a can of chipotles in adobo into the cheese.

Let me know what variations you try!

More Plant-Based Basics

If you love this vegan cheese recipe, try one of these plant-based basics next:

The ‘Impossible’ Veggie Burger: A Tech Industry Answer to the Big Mac

George Motz, a burly, mutton-chopped Brooklynite, fashions himself as America’s hamburger expert. An enthusiastic carnivore who has chronicled his love affair with ground beef through books and films, Mr. Motz estimates he has eaten more than 14,000 hamburgers over the last 20 years.

But on a frigid Monday in December, Mr. Motz sat down for a burger that promised to be unlike any he had eaten before. He was at Momofuku Nishi, a new restaurant from the celebrity chef David Chang, and he had come to eat the Impossible Burger.

The Impossible Burger wants to be the tech industry’s answer to the Big Mac. Concocted by a team of food scientists in Silicon Valley, it is made from wheat, coconut oil and potatoes, yet it aims to be more than just another veggie patty. Thanks to the addition of heme, an iron-rich molecule contained in blood (which the company produces in bulk using fermented yeast), it is designed to look, smell, sizzle and taste like a beef burger.

Patrick Brown, the founder and chief executive of Impossible Foods, said the goal was to disrupt the multibillion-dollar market for ground beef without killing cows. “You can have uncompromisingly delicious meat without using animals,” Mr. Brown said in an interview.

Mr. Brown, a former biochemist at Stanford who founded Impossible Foods about six years ago, said that in blind taste tests, some people could not distinguish between the Impossible Burger and a beef patty. And in an informal tasting organized by The New York Times, the reactions were generally positive.

At Momofuku Nishi, Mr. Motz knew what he was getting. The Impossible Burger arrived on a squishy white bun, topped with a slice of American cheese, lettuce and tomato, fries on the side.

“It looks real,” Mr. Motz said, picking up the burger and examining it. “It feels like the right weight.”

And with that, he took a big bite, chewed vigorously and stared into the distance.

For Impossible Foods to succeed, Mr. Brown will need to win over meat eaters like Mr. Motz. “No disrespect to vegetarians,” Mr. Brown said, “but the only consumers we really care about are meat consumers.”

A vegetarian for 40 years, Mr. Brown is not interested in making just another meatless treat for those who have already sworn off eating animals. Instead, he said, he wants to change the world.

When he took a sabbatical from Stanford six years ago and pondered what big problem he could help solve, he zeroed in on the idea of reducing the consumption of meat.

Never mind the business of killing billions of animals for food. The farming, fishing and production of feed for livestock and poultry strains the earth’s finite resources — consuming fossil fuel, emitting greenhouse gasses, hogging farmland and polluting waterways. “It is seriously imperiling some of the world’s ecosystems, Mr. Brown said.

“But there is a solution,” he said. “Produce all those same foods, with all the specifications consumers demand, but do it with a much lower environmental footprint, without using animals as the technology. That, I realized, was something that was fundamentally doable.”

There is a lot of money riding on Mr. Brown’s eco-vegetarian zeal. Impossible Foods has raised more than $180 million from investors including Google Ventures, UBS and Bill Gates. It is part of a new crop of food companies — Soylent, Hampton Creek and Juicero among them — that is aiming to revolutionize the way we eat. Another company, Beyond Meat, is also making a plant-based ground beef alternative and is already selling in Whole Foods and other stores. It, too, aims to entice meat eaters.

How to store

The soft unbaked version of the Vegan Feta Cheese will keep, in a sealed container in the fridge for 5 to 7 days.

The baked, firmer version of this Vegan Feta Cheese, will keep in a sealed container in the fridge also for about 5 to 7 days.

You can cube the firmer, baked version, pop it into a jar and cover with olive oil and some herbs and keep that in the fridge for up to 7 days.

The baked version of this Vegan Feta Cheese freezes very well. Cube it up and put in a sealed container and freeze for up to 3 months. The cubes will defrost in about 30 minutes so you don't need to wait long for them, and if you are making something like a vegan feta salad for your packed lunch, you can throw in the feta cubes while they are still frozen. Freezing makes the cheese a little drier and crumblier but it still holds together well and tastes great.

So if you're looking for a convenient, cheap, no fuss vegan substitute for feta cheese, that as an added bonus just happens to be loaded up with vegan protein, low carb and completely nut-free, you know what? I got you. This is your vegan feta recipe.

When you're craving a crumbly vegan cheese that's tangy, salty, cheesy (or tangy, salty and spreadable), knocks dairy out of the park and tastes like dreams have come true, the search stops right here with this feta recipe!

And please, do not miss my recommendation for melting the soft version of this feta into freshly cooked and drained pasta. Dollop it in, stir it up and it will coat the pasta beautifully. Add some freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of chili flakes and you've got a super special dinner in no time at all! And you really must try it on pizza too!

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