5 Minute Vegan Cream Cheese is made with whole food ingredients and is ridiculously easy to make. It tastes amazing, too! 

bagel cut in half with vegan cream cheese in it

I don’t know if there’s anything I miss more than cream cheese. Before going vegan, I didn’t care much for meat, or milk, but CHEESE…. It seems like I’m not alone in this. I’ve heard over and over again from people that the hardest thing to replace or give up is cheese.

Well, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! I’m on a mission to satisfy all your cheesy cravings. 🙂 So far, I’ve made Easy Vegan Nacho CheeseVegan Queso Dip, Stretchy Mozzarella, and this delicious Cheese Ball. And now, you can have a big toasted bagel slathered in vegan cream cheese!

vegan cream cheese on a bagel

Now, a quick word about this vegan cream cheese. It’s not going to fool anyone into thinking it’s real cream cheese. I want to be honest about that! It’s more like a really delicious “schmear” or bagel spread. And just because it doesn’t taste EXACTLY like dairy cream cheese, does not mean it’s not incredibly drool worthy and delicious!

What’s really great about this homemade vegan cream cheese is that it’s full of nutritious ingredients. It’s made primarily with raw cashews, and there is no oil involved. So you get some healthy fat and even protein with this spread!

How do you make Vegan Cream Cheese?

You will need a food processor. You could probably use a high powered blender in a pinch, but you may need to add more liquid to get it smooth.

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vegan cream cheese how to make collage

First, soak your cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in cool water. This helps your cream cheese get creamier. Drain and rinse them, and add to the food processor.

Add the non-dairy yogurt, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and salt. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Taste; add more salt or lemon juice as desired.

For Chive and Onion Vegan Cream Cheese:

While the cream cheese is quite good plain, it is SO much better with more flavor. Simply add 3 tablespoons of chopped chives and a teaspoon of onion powder to the cream cheese, and process until smooth. SO GOOD.

You could also get creative with different add-ins, such as sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, chipotles in adobo (spicy!) or maple walnut.

vegan cream cheese in a bowl with a knife

Can I use this vegan cream cheese for baking or frosting?

No, it just won’t work well! For my Vegan Cheesecake, I recommend store-bought vegan cream cheese, as well as for Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting. For a Cheesecake that does use cashews, check out my No-Bake Vegan Layered Raspberry Cheesecake. This recipe is best used as a spread for bagels, or with crackers and vegetables.

I hope you enjoy this Vegan Cream Cheese as much as I do!

vegan cream cheese on a bagel

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vegan cream cheese in a bagel
4.67 stars (36 ratings)

5 Minute Vegan Cream Cheese

5 Minute Vegan Cream Cheese is made with whole food ingredients and is ridiculously easy to make. It tastes amazing, too! 
Prep: 5 minutes
Soaking time: 30 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 
 

Optional:

  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Instructions 

  • Soak the cashews either overnight in cool water in the refrigerator, or for at least 30 minutes in hot water. The longer you soak the cashews, the creamier the cream cheese will be.
  • Drain and rinse the soaked cashews, and add them to a food processor. Add the unsweetened non-dairy yogurt, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and salt. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides as needed. 
  • Taste; add any additional salt or lemon juice, if desired. Add the chives and onion powder if using, and pulse until incorporated. 
  • Serve immediately on bagels, or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen if desired.

Notes

  1. To soak the cashews, I usually place them in a large measuring cup. Then I bring water to a boil in my tea kettle, and pour the hot water over the cashews. For this recipe, I soak them this way for at least 30 minutes. You can also soak them overnight in cool water.
  2. I used Forager Cashew Yogurt, unsweetened plain. You can use soy, almond or coconut as well. Just make absolutely sure there is no sweetener or flavor added; it will ruin your cream cheese! If you can't find it, you could omit it and simply add a little water. It won't be quite as creamy though.
  3. While the vegan cream cheese is quite good plain, I highly prefer the Chive and Onion version! It takes it to a whole new level of bagel spread.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 149mg | Potassium: 160mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 49IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

 

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Comments

  1. Would this work baked on a pizza? I’m not sure about the yogurt being bake? Thoughts? Thanks! 

    1. I’m not sure as I’ve never thought to try it. I’m afraid it might melt a bit but I don’t know for sure. Thanks!

    1. If you need to, you could leave it out but it does add a lot in terms of texture and taste. But it’s okay without it.

      1. Would a silken tofu be a good sub for the nondairy yogurt?  I don’t mind using a nondairy yogurt I just rarely have it on hand where as tofu is more of a staple. Thanks!

        1. I’ve never tried it but it might work okay! It won’t have that extra tang that yogurt provides though.

    1. I’m sure you could, it’s pretty flexible. I’d add some chili flakes, or you could add fresh diced jalapeño.

    1. I haven’t tried it, but I have a feeling it wouldn’t work very well. It’s not as smooth and creamy as store bought vegan cream cheese.

  2. This recipe is amazing. I made the base recipe and left out the chives and onion powder. Spread the cream cheese on rice cakes and sprinkled with everything bagel spice and topped with tomatoes. Soooo good!!

  3. This is so so delicious. I won’t have to buy vegan cream cheese after this recipe!!  soaked the cashews for 24 hours. And added different veggies. Love the flavor.. thank you!!! =)

  4. This looks AMAZING, i am going to try it mixed with vegan whipped cream that i make to go into a dessert lasagne.

  5. This was SO yummy – I made it exactly like the recipe, just added some water to make it smoother, and I recommend using a bit less apple cider vinegar – the flavour of it in the finished product was too overwhelming for me, so to cover it up I added cinnamon and turned it into cinnamon vegan cream cheese

  6. My husband can not have nuts of any kind. What do you think would be a good substitute? White beans or maybe Chickpea? 

    1. I’m not sure how that would work here, maybe search for a tofu based cream cheese instead. I’m afraid you will just end up with a hummus like mixture using beans.

    1. You could try raw, slivered almonds for an almond based cream cheese, or maybe sunflower seeds, but the color and taste will be different.

  7. Nora this is just what I need for tomorrow but I don’t have any vegan yogurt – could I use plain Greek yogurt. My c/c doesn’t have to be totally vegan. 

    1. I haven’t tried it myself but I think it should work pretty well. It would be better with raw slivered almonds, because regular almonds will have the skin on that cause the “cream cheese” to be a bit brown in color and not as smooth.

  8. This is delicious! I used touch more seasoning and yoghurt since my cashews were a bit too dry. I definitely look forward to making this again. Thanks for such a fabulous recipe! 

  9. Hi there! It looks delicious. I was wondering what the purpose of the vinegar is so I can think of a way to replace it, if possible.

    1. Thank you! It just adds a little more tang, but you could just use more lemon juice if desired or leave it out.

  10. Hi! I’m making this for another recipe and was wondering how much this makes? I can only find the amount of servings! Thanks!

    1. Raw is better, roasted cashews might work okay but it will taste like cashews. Raw cashews blended have more of a neutral creamy taste.

  11. hello! is there a way to substitute the yogurt? where i live there aren’t any non dairy options… thank you!

  12. I LOVE this recipe. It is my go-to when I need cream cheese.

    I also tried baking it in an artichoke dip and it was DELICIOUS.

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