A Simple Tangy, Herby Vegan Feta Cheese Recipe. A wonderfully crumbly dairy-free cheese that’s perfect for salads and topping all sorts of dishes.
Feta Cheese has always been a favourite of mine for its tangy briny (salty) flavor. It’s wonderful to add that little ‘something extra’ for a massive variety of dishes as well as to jazz up a salad bowl. Now, this Vegan Feta cheese allows you to experience the same tangy flavour but with a completely dairy-free version.
This version also includes oregano, an excellent addition to this Greek-inspired cheese. However, you can feel free to mix out your favourite herbs, if wanted, for a wonderful feta cheese alternative. Because sometimes you’re in the mood for something other than your run of the mill cheese slices.
It’s also worth noting that this is a non-cultured plant-based Greek Feta cheese recipe. This means that there are no live cultures used within the recipe and it’s as simple as chucking your ingredients in a blender. Don’t worry though, if you want an activated version then that is on my list and will be coming to the blog soon.
Once your Vegan Feta is prepared then you can use it within salads, pasta dishes, crumbled to top avocado toast. The sky is the limit – any dish that needs livening up with a tangy cheese could do with a few cubes of this delicious vegan feta.
The Main ingredients Needed For Vegan Feta Cheese
This recipe is made up of only a few ingredients. The main ingredients include:
- Activated Cashew Nuts* or sprouted nuts (notes below)
- Firm Tofu (Don’t try this will silken tofu as the texture will be very different and not the firm/crumbly Feta that you want from a firm block of tofu)
- Agar-Agar ** (notes below)
- Lemon Juice (alternatively you can use a mixture of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar)
- Plant-based Milk
- Nutritional Yeast
- Garlic Powder
- Dried Oregano
*What are Activated Nuts?
Many people find eating certain grains, beans, nuts, seeds etc. to cause digestive issues. However, sprouted versions of nuts are more easily digested. Plus, the soaking process increases the bio-availability of nutrients within the nut.
Activated nuts, otherwise called ‘sprouted’ nuts, are nuts that have been soaked in water to begin the sprouting process then dehydrated at low temperatures. By soaking the nuts, this can help our bodies to digest them by breaking down the compounds that can cause digestive difficulty and inhibit the absorption of certain nutrients.
This particular plant-based cheese recipe uses cashews. However, skinless almonds can also be used in their place. Sprouting/soaking almonds makes removing their skins super easy-peasy.
How to activate nuts
Now there are a few different methods for activating, sprouting or simply soaking your nuts. I’ve seen lots of articles describing activating nuts as soaking them with water and salt then dehydrating them.
However, for this recipe, I simply soaked them in cold filtered water overnight. I then rinse them the following morning and skip the dehydration process. Using the cashews straight from soaking makes them easier to blend and works wonderfully for this recipe.
Note* If you’re in a massive rush then you can soak them in hot water for 30 minutes, to 1 hour.
** Some Notes On Using Agar Agar:
Agar-agar is the ingredient used as a thickener/gelling agent within this vegan cheese, similar to gelatine but 100% Vegan. Agar comes in two different forms; powder or flakes.
For making dairy-free cheese recipes, I find that powder is a lot easier to work with. It requires less cooking time and also yields a slightly firmer texture than the flakes.
Agar-Agar is activated when exposed to heat in water (at around 85ºC). I usually heat mine in water for about five minutes, until I get a gelatinous texture then add that to the cheese mixture. It’s best to act quickly once the agar has activated as it will start setting quickly.
How to Make the Vegan Feta Cheese Recipe
Mix all of the ingredients (apart from the water and agar agar) in a high-speed food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Note* I used cashews for this plant-based feta cheese recipe as they are my absolute favourite for all my dairy-free cheese recipes. However, you can swap these out for activated, skinless almonds too.
Activate the agar agar powder by bringing the water to boil, adding the agar agar and simmering for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the powder to dissolve completely and the mixture to start becoming gelatinous.
Add the agar mixture to the blender and blend for another ten seconds or so, to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated
Note* If the mixture is clumpy then I’ll usually add some water (a tablespoon at a time), and blend again for a further ten seconds.
Pour the mixture into your desired mould (I used 2 tins of 6″x3″). Leave it to cool down to room temperature, then refrigerate.
Keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. To flavour the feta cheese, add dried herbs. I love adding oregano (dried not fresh). If using fresh herbs, these tend to reduce the shelf life of the cheese.
Note* You can add the dried herbs directly into the cheese mix. Alternatively, you can add these once the cheese is ready. To do this, chop your vegan feta into cubes and sprinkle the herbs over the cheese cubes fully. Sometimes I’ll even add a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil for a truly Greek treat.
This cheese can then be used anywhere that you usually would have feta cheese such as a Vegan Greek Salad, Within wraps, to top avocado toast etc.
How to Store Your Vegan Feta
Because of the use of fresh ingredients and no preservatives, this plant-based dairy won’t last as long as store-bought cheese/dairy products. This vegan feta is best stored in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to a month.
Other Vegan Cheese Recipes You Might Like
Recently I’ve been on a bit of a dairy-free /vegan cheese making kick, so if you’re wanting some other Vegan cheese recipes- look no further. From Vegan Mozzarella cheese to a Vegan Smoked Cheddar style cheese – there’s something for everyone. I also have a delicious option for a ‘fancy’ Cashew based Cheese Wheel.
If you try this Vegan Feta Recipe let me know what you think in the comments. Also, I’d love to see your recreations so feel free to tag me @AlphaFoodie.
Vegan Feta Cheese
- 1 cup activated Cashew nuts
- 1 cup firm tofu (recipe on the blog)
- 2 medium size lemons
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1.5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp agar-agar
- 1 Tsp salt
- 1/4 almond milk or any other plant based milk
- 1 Tsp Dried Oregano & Dried Mint
- 1 Tsp garlic powder
- Mix all of the ingredients (apart from the water and the agar agar) in a high-speed food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
- Activate the agar agar powder by bringing the water to boil, adding the agar agar and simmering for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the powder to completely dissolve and the mixture to start becoming gelatinous.
- Add the agar agar mixture to the blender and blend for another ten seconds or so, to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated. *
- Pour the mixture into your desired moulds. I used 2 tins of 6"x3". Let cool down to room temperature, then refrigerate. Keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.
- To flavour the feta cheese add dried herbs. I love adding oregano (dried not fresh). If using fresh herbs, these tend to reduce the shelf life of the cheese. **
- This cheese can then be used anywhere that you usually would have feta cheese such as a Vegan Greek Salad, Within wraps, to top avocado toast etc.