Savory roasted garlic cashew cream cheese is a vegan treat. Spreadable, savory, and perfect on a bagel, crackers or as a dip for carrots and celery. Add fresh herbs like parsley or chives for your own twist.
We have been wanting to experiment with dairy-free and vegan cheese making. I first saw this vegan blue cheese recipe over on Full of Plants. This site has a few aged and smoked vegan cheeses that I just can’t wait to try. But our past dairy-free cheese making attempts did not fare well. Before trying again I thought I would try my hand with a basic cashew cheese that didn’t require aging.
After a few attempts I got my perfect cashew cream cheese consistency, but it needed a little something. I had several heads of roasted garlic leftover from our roasted garlic post. And a very yummy, and VERY garlicky, roasted garlic cream cheese was born. Or cream cheez if that is your thing.
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What You Need to Make Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream Cheese
You only need a few basic ingredients to make this recipe including:
- raw unsalted cashews
- head of garlic, roasted
- cold filtered water
- lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
- nutritional yeast
- kosher salt
- food processor
- fresh herbs such as a parsley or chives (optional)
How to Make Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream Cheese
Like any cheese, vegan or not, the hands-on time for this recipe is minimal but it does require a little preplanning before serving to ensure you have enough time to soak the cashews, roast the garlic and allow time for the cream cheese to chill.
Start by soak cashews in water for 12 hours. This makes them soft and makes the blending easier. While the cashews are soaking you will need to roast the garlic if you haven’t already done so. Our roasted garlic post has all the details covered.
After draining the cashews, place all the ingredients in your food processor. Pulse a few times to break up the cashews and garlic. Blend on high until smooth. Scrapping down the sides, as needed. Add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, to gain a smooth lump free texture.
If you are using fresh herbs to jazz up your cream cheese stir them in by hand at the end. Putting fresh herbs in the food processor Season to taste with additional nutritional yeast.
Chill for 4 hours prior to using. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
How to Use Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream Cheese
We ended making this recipe several times to get it just right. We were getting creative with vegan dishes to use up all the extra cream cheese. Some worked and some did not. Not at all. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Spread on morning toast or a bagel and sprinkle with chili flakes
- On a traditional cheese plate so our vegan party guests could partake
- Mixed ¼ cup into warm marinara sauce and served over gluten-free pasta
- Spread on a roasted veggie sandwich
- Ate as a snack on crackers and with crudité
- Eat it with a spoon out of your fridge while wearing your PJs at 2 o’clock in the afternoon (don’t judge)
- As a cheesy filling for a mushroom quesadilla
- Stir a tablespoon into your vegetable bisque or tomato soup
Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream Cheese
- 2 cups raw, unsalted cashews
- 1 head roasted garlic
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped (optional) parsley, chives etc.
- Place cashews in a bowl and cover with cool water. Soak for 12 hours. Drain and rinse.
- Add cashews to a food processor with the roasted garlic, water, lemon juice, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, and salt. Pulse to break up the cashews and garlic.
- Blend until smooth. Scrapping down the sides, as needed. Add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, to gain a smooth lump free texture. Season to taste with additional nutritional yeast.
- If you are adding fresh herbs, stir them in by hand.
- Cover and store in the refrigerator. Chill for 4 hours prior to using.