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Take pizza night to the next level with this perfect, easy vegan mozzarella cheese recipe. This dairy-free alternative to traditional mozzarella is as authentic as it gets! It slices, melts, stretches, and has the best creamy texture; no one will miss the real thing. 

vegan mozzarella cheese with tomatoes and basil and a balsamic drizzle

When it comes to homemade vegan cheeses, we have high standards. While we haven’t eaten dairy cheese in over a decade (read our journey to veganism!), we grew up eating it daily. For me, specifically, mozzarella cheese was a staple in our Italian home.

Whether it was baked in lasagna, nestled into baked ziti, sprinkled on eggplant parmesan, baked on top of pizza crust, folded into pasta salad, melted on meatball subs, or served with a delicious antipasto platter, I loved it all. 

tomatoes, vegan mozzarella, basil, and balsamic drizzled on white platter

This vegan cheese recipe hits every mark I’m looking for in an authentic-style vegan mozzarella cheese. It has the perfect texture, natural stretchiness, classic firmness, and tangy flavor and is made with easy ingredients. Most importantly, it slices AND melts. Once you take the first bite, you’ll forget all about regular mozzarella! 

coconut oil, water, non-dairy milk, cashews, agar agar, tapioca starch, salt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder

You’ll Need 8 Simple Ingredients

  • Cashews: The main ingredient that creates a creamy, neutral tasting base and rich texture that is very similar to dairy cheese. For the best color and flavor, make sure to use raw, unsalted cashews. Roasted cashews or salted cashews will yield a very different-tasting cheese! 
  • Coconut oil: Adds richness and helps the cheese solidify. We recommend using refined coconut oil as it is odorless and tasteless, but if you don’t mind a faint coconut flavor, unrefined coconut oil is fine! 
  • Non-dairy milk: Acts as a liquid base and contributes to the creamy consistency. Plain almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk, or oat milk are good options – make sure the milk is completely neutral in taste and contains no added sugar. 
  • Tapioca starch: Also known as tapioca flour, this ingredient gives the cheese its stretchy texture, an essential in achieving that authentic mozzarella texture.
  • Nutritional yeast: Adds a cheesy, umami flavor without any dairy. Be sure to use nutritional yeast, not active yeast or brewer’s yeast. It is usually stocked in grocery stores near the spices. 
  • Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar: Provides acidity and a tangy flavor that balances the richness of the cheese and mimics the tanginess of real mozzarella. 
  • Garlic powder: Adds a subtle hint of garlic without overpowering the overall flavor profile.
  • Agar agar: This plant-based gelling agent is essential to making this cheese firm up and hold it’s shape. Without agar agar powder, this vegan mozzarella cheese recipe will not harden into a sliceable consistency. Look for it in the baking aisle, near the gelatin, pectin, or other similar gelling agents. Alternatively, buy it on Amazon! 

For full measurements, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post. 

How to Make Vegan Mozzarella Cheese

  1. Soak cashews. Place the cashews in a medium-sized bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Blend the cheese ingredients (except the agar agar). Drain the soaked cashews and add to a high-speed blender along with the coconut oil, non-dairy milk, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and garlic powder. Blend until very smooth with no grittiness.
  3. Activate the agar agar. Add the water and agar agar to a small saucepan and whisk well—make sure there are no lumps. Heat over medium heat and whisk until the mixture thickens into a gel-like consistency, about 3 minutes.
  4. Combine the blended mixture with agar agar. Add the blended cashew mixture to a small pot or saucepan. Stir and cook until the mixture thickens slightly and becomes elastic, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Pour the mixture into a mold. Remove from the heat. Pour the mixture into the container of your choice. We recommend something round, like a glass or cup. This will be the shape the mozzarella sets into.
  6. Chill to set. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours to harden.
  7. Serve. Once the mozzarella cheese has hardened sufficiently, enjoy as desired! 

How to Use Vegan Mozzarella 

This homemade cheese is as versatile as it gets. Swap out store-bought mozzarella cheese for this homemade version in any and all of your favorite recipes. 

For example, you can use it to make simple vegan appetizers, such as these Easy Vegan Antipasto SkewersVegan Mozzarella Sticks, or a simple vegan caprese salad. 

Or use it to make your favorite vegan Italian recipes, like Vegan Chicken ParmesanVegan PizzaClassic Pasta BakesStuffed Shells, or Lasagna.

Last but not least, you can’t go wrong with a Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for dunking in Tomato Soup or smearing on a piece of toast topped with fresh basil. The stretchy consistency and sliceable consistency makes the uses endless. 

sliced vegan mozzarella cheese on a cutting board

Recipe FAQs

I am allergic to cashews. Can I use a different nut?

We have personally only tested this homemade cheese recipe using raw cashews. However, based on our experience in recipe testing, raw sunflower seeds or blanched almonds with the skin removed may yield a similar creamy texture. If you choose to experiment and experience good results, share your experience with other readers by leaving us a comment down below. 

Is tapioca starch necessary?

Yes, tapioca starch is a unique ingredient necessary for making a stretchy vegan mozzarella cheese. Leaving out this ingredient or replacing it with an alternative flour will not yield the same result. 

Can I make this vegan cheese oil-free?

Coconut oil is key for achieving the right, firm texture and velvety mouthfeel. If you avoid oil, check out our favorite Oil-Free Cheese Recipes, including Vegan Cream CheeseVegan Nacho CheeseNut-Free Vegan Mac and CheeseVegan Parmesan Cheese, and this Easy Herbed Cashew Cheese Spread

What can I add to make this cheese a smoked mozzarella?

If you love the smoky flavor of smoked mozzarella, add a 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke before forming the mozzarella balls. 

vegan mozzarella cheese with tomatoes and basil and a balsamic drizzle

Storage Instructions

This cashew mozzarella is best stored in water in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It doesn’t usually last long around our house, but will keep for up to 5 days.

Quick Tips

  • Make sure to soak the cashews (even if you have a high-speed blender!). It’s true that high-speed blenders can blend raw cashews completely smooth without any soaking, but soaking the cashews does more than soften them. It also helps to mute their natural sweetness and enhance their creaminess, making them as neutral tasting as possible! 
  • Measure the agar agar carefully. Using too much agar agar can result in a cheese that’s too firm and rubbery/grainy in texture. For the best smooth, velvety cheese, measure with care! 
  • Chill overnight, when possible. In recipe testing, we found the cheese to be ready after about 3 hours of refrigeration, but additional time helped to set the cheese even further. If you are planning to slice this mozzarella, chilling overnight is best.
close up of vegan mozzarella slices

More Vegan Cheese Recipes You May Enjoy:

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you make this recipe. We love to see your photos! 

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vegan mozzarella cheese with tomatoes and basil and a balsamic drizzle

Perfect Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Recipe


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings

Description

Take pizza night to the next level with this perfect, easy vegan mozzarella cheese recipe. This dairy-free alternative to traditional mozzarella is as authentic as it gets! It slices, melts, stretches, and has the best creamy texture, no one will miss the real thing.


Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup cashews
  • ½ cup refined coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca starch (also known as tapioca flour)
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons agar agar

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews. Place the cashews in a medium-sized bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Blend the cheese ingredients (except the agar agar). Drain the soaked cashews and add to a high-speed blender along with the coconut oil, non-dairy milk, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and garlic powder. Blend until very smooth with no grittiness.
  3. Activate the agar agar. Add the water and agar agar to a small saucepan and whisk well—make sure there are no lumps. Heat over medium heat and whisk until the mixture thickens into a gel-like consistency, about 3 minutes.
  4. Combine the blended mixture with agar agar. Add the blended cashew mixture to a small pot or saucepan. Stir together and cook until the mixture thickens slightly and becomes elastic, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Pour the mixture into a mold. Remove from the heat. Pour the mixture into the container of your choice. We recommend something round, like a glass or cup. This will be the shape the mozzarella sets into.
  6. Chill to set. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours to harden.
  7. Serve. Once the mozzarella cheese has hardened sufficiently, enjoy as desired! 

Notes

  • Tapioca starch/flour is key in this recipe. Other flours and starches will not yield the same result.
  • You can freeze the cheese into a block and then shred it with a cheese grater onto dishes that you will bake or heat (pizza, lasagna, pasta bake, etc.). We suggest you do it while it is completely frozen, or else it will be sticky and hard to grate.
  • You can adjust or change the seasonings as desired, have fun with it!
  • Adapted from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken.
  • Prep Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Cheese
  • Method: Blender / Stovetop

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. However, this page may contain affiliate links, thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

Meet The Bloggers

hey there! we’re jasmine & chris.

Hi, we’re Jasmine and Chris! We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious. When we’re not blogging, you will probably find us enjoying live music, tending to our backyard garden or playing with our dogs Berry and Louie

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13 Comments

  1. This was delicious! I didn’t have tapioca so I used arrowroot powder instead, and it worked great!

  2. Mmmmm. I didn’t have tapioca starch so I used cornstarch and it’s fantastic, just not as stretchy. I bet it could be spread out thin and cut into slices for easy grilled cheeses!






    1. Hi, Jaiden! We’re so glad to hear you liked the recipe and that it worked out! 🙂

  3. YES to the stretch! Mozzarella cheese used to be my other favorite cheese aside from Brie and cream cheese. I definitely haven’t found a SUPERB cheese substitute yet, aside from Kite Hill’s original almond milk cream cheese, but I would love to try making my own! This Mozzarella recipe looks so perfect for anything, but who knew that you could put Mozzarella in quesadillas? Sounds like a great combination to me!

    1. Tapioca starch/flour is a key ingredient in this recipe, other flours and starches will not yield the same result. 

    1. Hi Cori! You can freeze the cheese into a block and then shred it with a cheese grater onto dishes that you will bake or heat! We just suggest you do it while it is completely frozen or else it will be sticky and hard to grate.