Creamy Cashew Garlic Cheese #cashews #garlic #cheese #spread #dairyfree #recipe #recipes #plantbased #vegan #vegetarian #WFPB #WFPBNO #oilfree #FOK #glutenfree #lunch #condiment #sacklunch #kidfriendly #nocook #condiment #raw

Using four simple ingredients, starting with cashews and fresh garlic, our no-cook recipe for Creamy Cashew Garlic Cheese makes bringing home the cheesy, easy! Garlic, cashews, lemon juice, and one other tasty addition are the stars of this creamy cheese spread. Isn’t it a relief to find a wholesome vegan cheese recipe that requires nothing unfamiliar? And guess what? If you already enjoy plant-based and vegan food, you very likely have everything you need in your pantry!

Nutritional yeast is the one ingredient of the four that may be unfamiliar if you are new to preparing plant-based vegan food. But don’t let the odd name cause you to avoid trying the recipe. It is one of those ingredients where, once you’ve tried it, you’ll wonder where it’s been all of your life! And in addition to being dairy-free, it’s gluten-free, too!

A little confession, when our family decided to go vegan back in 2013, coming across nutritional yeast as an ingredient felt kind of scary. Though it’s laughable to us now, we had never tried many of the beautifully natural, flavor-enhancing, foods. So, when we transitioned to this excellent way of life, it was as if a whole new world of tastes opened up! Seasonings like tamari, black salt, nutritional yeast, miso, and pure apple cider vinegar from the Mother, quickly became our go-tos for flavor!

So, let’s explore nutritional yeast for a minute, just in case you have yet to try this lip-smackin’ flavor bomb!

Creamy Cashew Garlic Cheese #cashews #garlic #cheese #spread #dairyfree #recipe #recipes #plantbased #vegan #vegetarian #WFPB #WFPBNO #oilfree #FOK #glutenfree #lunch #condiment #sacklunch #kidfriendly #nocook #condiment #raw

What in the World is Nutritional Yeast, Anyhow?

Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast, often a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, sold as a food product. You can purchase it in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder. While brewers, bakers, and nutritional yeasts come from the same species of yeast, it’s important to remember that they are very different products.

Oh, by the way, super-cool veggie eaters often call nutritional yeast, nooch! Now you know what the heck those folks mean by that wild sounding word.

Furthermore, nutritional yeast is rich in protein and sodium-free! How many flavor boosters can wave both of those favorable flags?

How does Nutritional Yeast Taste?

Nutritional yeast does not taste the same as the yeast used to make bake bread or brew beer. It has a reputation of tasting nutty, cheesy, and delightfully creamy! Many dairy-free folks use it as a cheese flavoring substitute, adding it to gravies, sauces, and wonderfully satisfying mac n’ cheese dishes!

What’s the Difference Between Fortified and Non-Fortified Nooch?

Fortified nutritional yeast means that synthetic vitamins, usually B-12 and folate, are added to the flakes.

Likewise, non-fortified means that there are no synthetic vitamins added to the flakes. 

A non-fortified nutritional yeast is a product that is 100% whole food based and naturally occurring. Man-made synthetic vitamins are not only unnecessary, but they can also be harmful to our bodies, forcing our liver and kidneys to work overtime while they struggle to absorb them.

An important thing to remember is that nooch, all on its own, provides naturally occurring nutrients such as B1, B2, B5, and B6, as well as 18 amino acids and 15 minerals. The variety of minerals alone is incredibly impressive. And we believe it’s worth a specific mention that nutritional yeast boasts significant amounts of nutrients such as iron, biotin, selenium, and zinc.

Eventually, as we have learned more about these differences, our first choice is to use non-fortified nutritional yeast. By clicking either of the two links below, you can see and purchase the brand that we use in our whole-food plant-based vegan kitchen.

Non-Fortified Nutritional Yeast Flakes (8-oz package)

Non-Fortified Nutritional Yeast Flakes (24-oz package)

Creamy Cashew Garlic Cheese #cashews #garlic #cheese #spread #dairyfree #recipe #recipes #plantbased #vegan #vegetarian #WFPB #WFPBNO #oilfree #FOK #glutenfree #lunch #condiment #sacklunch #kidfriendly #nocook #condiment #raw

Why Try Nutritional Yeast?

Well, the obvious, though also possibly the most boring reason you should give nooch a try, is that it is “good” for you. So, let’s think of the fact that it tastes great AND it’s nutritious!

The less apparent reason you should try it is that it will make your veggies and grains taste practically cheesy. Savory may be a more accurate way to describe the flavor. So, given those two descriptions, we trust that you’ll do the math in favor of trying some nooch, sooner rather than later!

Simple Tasty Ways to Use the Nooch!

Sprinkle it on popcorn • top a freshly baked dairy-free pizza • sprinkle it on a bowl of soup • smash it into a batch of mashed potatoes or cauliflower • add a dash to your veggie taco

Four DELICIOUS Recipes to Celebrate the Nooch!

1-Bowl Pizza Frittata

Cashew Parmesan Cheese Topping

Cannellini Kale Noodle-y Soup

Cheesy Smashed Chickpea Spread  (As featured in Raise Vegan Magazine!)

Creamy Cashew Garlic Cheese #cashews #garlic #cheese #spread #dairyfree #recipe #recipes #plantbased #vegan #vegetarian #WFPB #WFPBNO #oilfree #FOK #glutenfree #lunch #condiment #sacklunch #kidfriendly #nocook #condiment #raw
Creamy Cashew Garlic Cheese #cashews #garlic #cheese #spread #dairyfree #recipe #recipes #plantbased #vegan #vegetarian #WFPB #WFPBNO #oilfree #FOK #glutenfree #lunch #condiment #sacklunch #kidfriendly #nocook #condiment #raw

When it Comes to Terrific Recipes Like Creamy Cashew Garlic Cheese, Sharing is Caring!

When you make a batch of sensational Creamy Cashew Garlic Cheese, leave a comment and tell us about your experience. We can hardly wait to hear about how delightfully easy you find this quick and easy recipe for dairy-free cheese!

And as they say, sharing is caring, so feel free to pin this recipe on Pinterest to keep it handy. We also encourage you to share the recipe on Facebook and other social media venues. Getting the word out about the benefits of living a delicious plant-based lifestyle is a gift to the folks lucky enough to catch a peek… so share away!

For even more recipes from like-minded cooks, we invite you to join our Facebook Group called: VEEG Plant-Based, Vegan, Gluten-Free Recipes & Lifestyle. And by all means, follow our VEEG Facebook Page, too. On our Facebook Page, we often share helpful bits of encouraging plant-based news.

Happy eating!

Creamy Cashew Garlic Cheese #cashews #garlic #cheese #spread #dairyfree #recipe #recipes #plantbased #vegan #vegetarian #WFPB #WFPBNO #oilfree #FOK #glutenfree #lunch #condiment #sacklunch #kidfriendly #nocook #condiment #raw
Creamy Cashew Garlic Cheese #cashews #garlic #cheese #spread #dairyfree #recipe #recipes #plantbased #vegan #vegetarian #WFPB #WFPBNO #oilfree #FOK #glutenfree #lunch #condiment #sacklunch #kidfriendly #nocook #condiment #raw

Creamy Cashew Garlic Cheese (No-Cook & Dairy-Free)

  • 10
  • 0
    Cook Time:
  • Yield: 8 Servings

The next time you’re craving something savory, whip up a batch of quick and easy, no-cook, Creamy Cashew Garlic Cheese.  Whether you try this easy-to-make dairy-free spread on toast or nestled inside your favorite veggie sandwich, prepare to be hooked!   It takes only minutes to make, in addition to cashew soaking time, and lasts for days on end, providing you don’t nibble through the whole batch in one sitting.  Not like something like that would ever happen.  This recipe makes enough for about eight servings at two generous tablespoons each.   Here are a few more of our favorite cheesy-ish, plant-based, gluten-free, and vegan recipes to try: Green Veggie Sandwich with Cucumber, Sprouts & Avocado, Cheesy Smashed Chickpea Spread (As featured in Raise Vegan Magazine!), Dairy-Free Feta Cheese Dip, 3-Step Sage & Cashew Cream Cheese Spread, and Parsley & Thyme Cashew Cream Cheese!


  • 1-cup of raw cashews, soaked and drained - To snag the best price, we often order large quantities of bits and pieces of organic cashews,  four pounds at a time!

  • 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, or more, to taste

  • 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast - We are always pleased with this unfortified variety of nutritional yeast. Ounce for ounce, this large-size bag from the same brand is the best deal.  (Read the note below for an alternative to nutritional yeast.)

  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of pink Himalayan salt, or another salt, or to taste

  • a scant 1/8 to 1/4 cup of water, adding a little at a time, to preference


  1. Begin by soaking the raw cashews in warm water for at least 20 minutes.  The longer you soak your cashews, the easier it is to blend them into a creamy cheese. You can opt to soak your cashews overnight if you like.

  2. To start your batch of cheese, drop the peeled garlic cloves into a running food processor to chop it very fine. 

  3. Now, drain the soaked cashews, rinse, and add them to the finely chopped garlic in your food processor and blend for a minute or so. Then add in the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and about 1/8 to 1/4 cup of water to the food processor and blend to combine. Mix until your cheese looks smooth and creamy.  Give it a taste and add a pinch more salt or water if you like, to achieve desired consistency and flavor.

  4. You can enjoy this quick and easy dairy-free, plant-based vegan, oil-free, and gluten-free cheese immediately or chill in a covered container to allow the cheese to firm up.

  5. Serve this quick and easy crowd-pleaser with everything! We love spreading homemade garlic cheese on warm bread or toast.  It’s also an excellent choice to serve with your favorite crackers, veggies, and fruits.


    This recipe makes enough for about eight servings at two generous tablespoons each.


  • While the amount of garlic is up to you, we usually use two medium-sized cloves for this recipe.  If you do not have fresh garlic cloves on hand, you could use garlic powder instead, though you may then need to add just a bit more water.

  • More liquid equals thinner cheese. A thicker cheese spread occurs when you use less water.  We’ve enjoyed this recipe when using as little as just a tablespoon or so of water - it makes this spreadable cheese go on nice and thick. In the version shown in these photos, we used about 1/4 cup of water.

  • As for the salt, most of us are aware that we need to watch our sodium intake.  But even if you decide to use 3/4 tsp of salt in your batch of cheese, the sodium content will likely be lower than the majority of store-bought dairy-free cheese products. Plus, you will have that glorious peace of mind knowing that your delicious homemade cheese spread contains no artificial preservatives or ingredients - that’s a win-win right there!

  • A bit of chickpea miso is said to work well as a flavor booster stand in for nutritional yeast.


% DV

Calories Per Serving: 110
  • Total Fat 7.4 g 11 %
  • Saturated Fat 1.3 g 6 %
  • Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
  • Sodium 89 mg 4 %
  • Carbohydrates 6.9 g 2 %
  • Fiber 1.8 g 7 %
  • Sugar 1 g ---
  • Protein 5.5 g 11 %
  • Vitamin A 0 %
  • Vitamin C 2 %
  • Iron 19 %
  • Calcium 2 %

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