Cheese is often the deal-breaker for people who want to eat a plant-based diet, even though dairy is arguably one of the unhealthiest foods since it has been linked to diseases including certain cancers and all kinds of other health-related conditions. For example, most professional athletes such as tennis star Novak Djokovic limit their intake of dairy or ditch it completely to prevent mucus build-up, allergies, and more. To avoid any complications and live healthier, try your best to avoid dairy and opt for healthy, delicious alternatives, like this recipe.
When you find the perfect alternative, it becomes easier than ever to stay on track with your healthy eating habits and lower inflammation in your body. The best way to ensure you’re choosing the healthiest dairy-free cheese is to make your own from scratch, with fresh and natural ingredients without the preservatives – like this vegan queso fresco recipe.
This cheese is creamy, smooth, light, and tastes just like the real thing, if not better. Before you start this recipe, prepare the nuts by soaking them overnight, or for 12 hours, to soften the texture. We also provided a helpful step-by-step video on how to create this delicious, Spanish-style masterpiece.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Rest Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Vegan Queso Fresco
Serves 15 people
- ½ cup blanched almonds, soaked ($1.25)
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked ($0.86)
- 2 tbsp white vinegar ($0.02)
- 3 tbsp refined coconut oil ($0.42)
- ½ tbsp nutritional yeast ($0.12)
- ¼ tsp onion powder ($0.01)
- 1 tsp salt ($0.01)
- 2 tsp agar powder ($0.10)
- ⅓ cup + 2 tbsp water ($0.01)
- To begin, soak the almonds and cashews in room temperature water for about 12 hours, or overnight.
- After they’ve soaked, drain the nuts and place them in a high-speed blender or food processor with vinegar, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, and water.
- Blend for approximately 2-10* minutes, or until the mixture is smooth (stop to scrape down the sides a few times). Lastly, add in the agar powder and blend until combined.
Set the blender aside while you heat a small saucepan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Then, transfer the cheese mixture into the saucepan and bring it to a low boil while stirring constantly.
- Once the mixture is lightly boiling, turn the heat down to simmer and continue stirring constantly for about 3-5 minutes, or until it thickens. Note: The cheese should start to set soon after you remove it from heat. If it does not, simply add it back to your saucepan and simmer for a few minutes longer.
- Working fairly quickly, transfer the cheese mixture to a parchment paper or cheesecloth-lined bowl or mould**. Cover and let the cheese chill in your fridge for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Serve this vegan queso fresco on top of sopes, black bean soup, tacos, and more!
- * The blend time will vary depending on the quality of blender or food processor you’re using.
- ** We use a bowl with a flat bottom for our cheese mould, but any ramekin or heat-safe bowl you have will work.
- The agar powder needs to get to 85-90 degrees C/185-194 degrees F in order to activate and set properly, which is why the cheese mixture has to be simmered.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
Based on 1 serving
Amount per Serving
Fat 7.1 g
Saturated Fat 2.9 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 155.7 mg
Potassium 67.5 mg
Carbohydrates 2.5 g
Fiber 0.8 g
Sugar 0.4 g
Protein 1.9 g