Grated Cheese VeganTired of buying expensive vegan cheese? You can make your own for about $4 a pound, depending upon the price of raw cashews in your area.

Want more fantastic dairy-free recipes? Check out my Twelve Terrific Dairy Substitutes, now on sale on Amazon.

Grilled Cheese Vegan

This cheese grilled on Trader Joe’s gluten-free multigrain bread

This cheese holds up to grating, melted well in a grilled cheese sandwich, and tasted good on a pizza. While it didn’t melt on the pizza, we liked the rich smoky flavor.

Cashew Cheese Pizza

Bob’s Red Mill GF pizza crust, spinach, pine nuts, home-made sauce, cashew cheese topping

Suitable for:
vegan, gluten-free, low-sodium, reduced-sugar diets

Not for:
migraine diets

Grated Cheese Vegan

How to make shredded vegan cheese

Shreddable, meltable cashew cheese.
4.6 from 20 votes
Total Time 4 hrs
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 1 pound


  • 1 cup cashews raw (112 g)
  • 1-1/2 cups water (filtered or spring) plus more for soaking
  • 2 tsp agar agar powder OR 2 tbsp agar agar flakes
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked salt (omit for low-sodium diet)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


  • Soak the cashews in filtered water (covering with an extra inch or so) at least 4 hours or overnight. Rinse and drain the cashews.
  • Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan and add the agar flakes or powder. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Turn down the heat to simmer and cook another 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the agar is dissolved completely.
  • Put the drained cashews into the blender with all the remaining ingredients. Pour in the agar mixture, put on the lid and hold down the lid with a hot pad or towel. Blend on high until very smooth.
  • At this point you can stir in other flavorings like minced dill, jalapenos, or cracked pepper.
  • Pour into a glass dish that has been oiled or sprayed with vegetable oil. Refrigerate until firm. Remove the cheese by running a knife or spatula around the edge and it will pop out of the container. Store in an airtight glass or plastic container in the refrigerator and use within 5 days, like any fresh food.
  • Grate this cheese using a box grater. It’s soft, so it might not hold up to grating in a food processor.
  • Notes: Do NOT try substituting gelatin for the agar. According to one of my readers, bad things happen. Find agar powder online from a cooking supply store. You can use other nuts as well. Try almonds or hazelnuts (remove the skins after soaking).


Per serving:
  • 45 calories
  • 3 g fat
  • 1 g saturated fat
  • 2 g monounsaturated fat
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 0 g cholesterol
  • 126 mg sodium (1 mg sodium with salt omitted)
  • 59 mg potassium
  • 3 g carbohydrate
  • 1 g fiber
  • 1 g sugars
  • 2 g protein
  • 1 Weight Watchers Points Plus
You can substitute agar powder for the flakes. Use 2 teaspoons (5 g) of agar powder instead of the 2 Tablespoons of agar flakes. Reader tested and approved by Meaghan! If you can't find agar powder (also known as agar agar) in your local store, you can buy agar powder here. Do NOT try substituting gelatin for the agar. According to reader Amanda W., bad things happen. Try to find it online from a cooking supply store. There are lots of questions and ideas in the comments, so be sure to look there if you have questions. I had to close the comments because of spammers, but if you have a question that is not answered in the post or the comments, feel free to email me.