Super quick & easy to make Vegan Cream Cheese. It's creamy, rich, tangy and delicious. Just perfect for spreading, snacking and dipping!
Holy moly. I made the best Vegan Cream Cheese. It's creamy, luscious, tastes amazing and is a major food feature in my life right now.
What is vegan cream cheese?
Vegan Cream Cheese is a delicious cream cheese substitute, made from simple ingredients. It can be made in a food processor in just a few minutes and can be used for spreading, dipping and snacking just like regular cream cheese.
Vegan Cream Cheese has less calories than regular cream cheese, less than half of the saturated fat and more than double the protein thanks to its tofu-base. And if you're wondering if vegan cream cheese tastes good? Well, my recipe really does. It's deliciously, creamy and indulgent!
What ingredients do you need?
To make my vegan dairy-free cream cheese recipe you are going to need:
- almonds (and yes, there's a nut-free option - see the recipe notes)
- lemon juice
- nutritional yeast
- coconut oil (it's optional so if you're WFPB you are good to go too!)
- dried dill (trust me on this one ... it doesn't actually taste of dill when blended but it adds a certain something)
And although for the very best-est creamiest, richest results, almonds and coconut oil are kind of necessary, this delicious cream cheese substitute can also be made without either so if you can't, or choose not to eat almonds or coconut oil, you can still make it!
How to make Vegan Cream Cheese
For detailed measurements and instructions, scroll to my printable recipe card at the bottom of the page or click the "jump to recipe" button at the top of the page.
It's easier to make a Vegan Cream Cheese than you might think. It's made in minutes in a food processor and uses pretty standard vegan pantry/fridge ingredients. There are just 2 steps:
- Blend everything up in a food processor or blender.
- Let it set in the fridge for an hour or two if you want it to be slightly firmer.
You're done. You made cream cheese. Told you it was easy!
How to serve
Here are some serving ideas for my vegan cream cheese:
- spread on bagels, alone or with toppings of choice
- with crackers
- on a vegan snack board with some vegetable pate and other tasty treats
- melted into hot pasta (so good!)
- in sandwiches
- on my Easy Flatbread Recipe
- with pita bread
- as a dip for, or spread on things like celery, carrot, cucumber and bell pepper sticks
- as an ingredient in dips
- dolloped on pizza before or after baking
- stirred through your tofu scramble just before serving to make it super creamy
- stuff in jalapeno poppers
How to store
Transfer it from the food processor to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Ways you can adapt this recipe
Want some ideas for making it your own too? All of these tasty additions are great in homemade vegan cream cheese:
- lemon zest and poppy seeds
- dried cranberries, orange zest and walnuts
- chopped fresh rosemary or any other fresh herbs
- harissa and mint
- roasted garlic
- black pepper
- everything bagel seasoning
- drained and chopped pickles
- powdered freeze dried fruits like strawberries and blueberries
- chopped jalapenos
- a little sriracha
- fresh chopped chives
Hungry for more?
If you love my vegan cream cheese recipe, check out these other great vegan dairy alternatives too:
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Vegan Cream Cheese
- ½ heaping cup / 75 g raw almonds , for nut-free option see recipe notes
- 454 g / 16 oz medium firm, firm or extra firm tofu (NOT silken tofu) , I like medium firm for this recipe. Using firm or extra firm will create a slightly firmer cream cheese.
- 3 tablespoons / 45 ml fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons / 45 ml white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup / 60 ml melted refined coconut oil , measure while liquid and don't use while hot. Allow to cool back to room temperature before using.
- 1 - 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried dill , the finished recipe won't taste of dill, but it's an important addition. I really recommend you don't skip it!
- Boil some water in a kettle and cover the raw almonds in the boiling water. Let them soak for 15 minutes. Drain, then remove the brown, papery skins by pinching the rounded end of the almond and squeezing. They should pop out really easily. Discard the skins.
- To a food processor or a high powered blender add the soaked and skinned almonds, tofu, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, nutritional yeast, coconut oil, 1 teaspoon of the sea salt and the dried dill. Process until completely smooth. You will get a smoother result in a high powered blender than you will in a food processor.
- Taste, and add the remaining salt to taste then blend again. I always use the full 1½ teaspoons.
- Spoon out into a container. It can be eaten right away but is best if refrigerated for at last 1 hour so it firms up a little.
Nutritional information is provided for convenience & as a courtesy. The data is a computer generated estimate so should be used as a guide only.
This recipe was originally published on July 3rd 2019. I've updated the post and now I am republishing it for you. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for following A Virtual Vegan!
No. In this recipe, you must use refined coconut oil. Refined coconut oil has no coconut taste or smell. If you use virgin coconut oil your cream cheese will taste and smell of coconut.
The almonds can be replaced with raw cashew nuts (soak them as per the recipe instructions), or if you want to make the recipe completely nut-free, omit the almonds and increase the refined coconut oil to ½ cup (120 mls) measured while melted. The extra coconut oil will firm it up enough so it becomes cream cheese texture once refrigerated.
It won't be quite as good but you can. Simply omit the coconut oil and keep everything else as it is. The cream cheese will be looser, it won't melt and it won't have quite as rich a mouthfeel but it is still spreadable and delicious.