Easy Probiotic-Cultured Vegan Cheese

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Wood cutting board with gluten-free crackers and Cultured Vegan Cheese made two ways

We’ve made vegan cheese before (Vegan Garlic Herb Cheese + Spicy Pimento Cheese Ball), but not like this. This version has the good stuff in it – probiotics! That means you’re helping your gut while you’re indulging. How cool is that?

Wood cutting board displaying cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon, salt, and probiotics for homemade vegan cheese

The base for this 6-ingredient cheese is either soaked cashews or slivered almonds! That’s right – two ways. It’s magic.

Once soaked, the cashews are blended until creamy and smooth with delicious things like fresh garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and sea salt. Mmm, it’s already looking tasty.

Food processor filled with cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic for making homemade plant-based cheese
Food processor with freshly blended rich vegan cheese

Next come the probiotics!  You’ll add these in after blending and stir until combined.

Just as with our 2-Ingredient Coconut Yogurt, probiotics combined with liquids (or cheese in this instance) culture when left at room temperature. This means the good bacteria are mingling all up in it, intensifying the tanginess and flavor!

Once it’s mixed, simply wrap in a towel or cheesecloth and let it hang out on your counter for 24-72 hours. The longer it sits, the tangier and firmer it becomes. We found 48 hours to be our sweet spot.

Mixing ingredients for delicious cultured vegan cheese
Using a wooden spoon to flatten out homemade vegan cheese in a cheesecloth

We hope you LOVE this cheese!  It’s:

Creamy
Rich
Tangy
Easy to make
Versatile
& Seriously delicious!

This would make the perfect appetizer for parties or friend dinners. It would also be a delicious snack or side to just about any meal!

If you’re into vegan cheesy things, also be sure to check out our Best Vegan Gluten-Free Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Roasted Jalapeño Queso, Vegan Mozzarella Cheese, Vegan Parmesan Cheese, Whipped Almond Ricotta Cheese, and 5-Minute Vegan Macadamia Cheese!

If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Spreading cultured vegan cheese onto a cracker for a delicious plant-based appetizer

Easy Probiotic-Cultured Vegan Cheese

Easy-to-make vegan cheese with probiotics for an extra tangy, cheesy flavor! Just 6 ingredients and simple methods required. The perfect party appetizer, snack, or spread!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Cultured Vegan Cheese Wheels on a wood cutting board
4.93 from 38 votes
Prep Time 2 days 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 days 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12
Course Side, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 1 Week

Ingredients

CHEESE

  • 2 cups raw cashews or blanched slivered almonds
  • 1 Tbsp – 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 probiotic capsules*

FOR SERVING optional

  • 2 Tbsp finely minced fresh dill
  • Freshly ground black pepper or spice mix

Instructions

  • Place cashews in a bowl and cover with cool water. Soak for at least 6 hours. In a pinch, soak in very hot water for 1 hour. If using almonds, no need to soak!
  • Once soaked, drain cashews thoroughly and add to food processor (if using almonds, add unsoaked to a high-speed blender for creamiest texture). Add minced garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and sea salt and process until very creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Add the water a little at a time until a creamy consistency is reached.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, garlic for zing, or salt for saltiness.
  • Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and add the probiotics (by pulling open the probiotic capsule and only adding the powder from inside the capsule). Stir to combine with a wooden or plastic spoon (not metal, as it can tamper with the effectiveness of the probiotics).
  • Place a fine mesh strainer (or colander) over a small or medium mixing bowl and lay down two layers of cheesecloth (or a clean, fine, absorbent towel).
  • Use a spatula to scoop the cheese mixture over the cheesecloth. Then gather the corners and gently twist the top to form the cheese into a “disc.” Secure with a rubber band.
  • Leave to set on the countertop at room temperature for at least 24 hours, up to 72. We found 48 hours to be the sweet spot. The longer it sits, the firmer and tangier it will become.
  • Once the cheese has cultured enough for taste, transfer to the refrigerator to set for at least 6 hours to firm/harden and chill.
  • To serve, carefully unwrap from cheesecloth and gently invert onto a serving platter. Reform with hands or cheesecloth as needed. Then coat with chopped herbs, black pepper, or spice mix (optional). It can be fragile, so handle gently.
  • Enjoy chilled with crackers or vegetables. Cheese will hold its form for several hours out of the refrigerator, but best when chilled. Leftovers keep well covered in the refrigerator up to 7 days (sometimes longer) – you’ll know it’s bad when mold has formed or the taste is no longer appetizing.

Notes

*For probiotics like Renew Life 50 billion and Jarrow // make sure your probiotics don’t contain PREbiotics or the recipe won’t work.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate based on 1 serving (~2 Tbsp) calculated with cashews (not almonds) and without optional serving ingredients.
*Prep time reflects quick-soaking the cashews for 1 hour and letting the cheese rest for 48 hours.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 125 Carbohydrates: 7.3 g Protein: 4.7 g Fat: 9.5 g Saturated Fat: 1.7 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.69 g Monounsaturated Fat: 5.12 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 101 mg Potassium: 173 mg Fiber: 1.1 g Sugar: 1.3 g Vitamin A: 0.2 IU Vitamin C: 1.26 mg Calcium: 10.17 mg Iron: 1.51 mg

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  1. Kelly says

    Can this recipe be made with tigernuts? My mom can’t eat cashews or almonds and I am trying to make a charcuterie board she can enjoy.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kelly, we haven’t experimented with tigernuts, so we’re not sure! Maybe another reader will be able to offer their experience?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Maria, we’re not sure, but don’t see why not! We’d suggest using the equivalent amount for ~20-100 CFUs. Hope that helps!

  2. Kimiko says

    Any thoughts on saving the liquid that falls through the colander during the fermentation process? There’s not much but it seems like it could be used in something. Was wondering if anyone had any ideas. I can’t think of anything right now.
    Thanks!

  3. John says

    Once I blend can I ferment in a glass jar? If so, do I cover the cheese with cheese cloth so it can breathe or do I seal it?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi John, another reader mentioned doing that. To see what they’ve tried, press “ctrl+f” on a PC or “command+f” on a mac, a find bar should pop up that allows you to search for specific words in the post and comments. Hope that helps!

  4. Amanda Mason says

    I’ve made this three times now; it is absolutely delicious, it’s so creamy and has a gorgeous unami flavour. I’m so thrilled to have found your recipe. Thank you

  5. Foodsmith says

    Hi, I am in the process of making the cultured vegan cheese and was wondering what the max amount of time the cheese should culture? I have an event on Saturday and am unsure. I’m excited about the results!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, up to 72 hours. You can transfer it to the refrigerator after that and it will keep for up to 1 week. Hope that helps!

      • Foodsmith says

        Great! Thank you for your quick reply. When I transfer to fridge do I cover it or just leave it in the cheese cloth until I’m ready to use?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Either way is fine! If it’s in the cheesecloth, the exterior will continue drying out a bit. Hope that helps!

  6. Amber says

    Also one other questions; Can I omit the nut bag and just put it in a glass jar or what can I use that is common household good to hold it on my counter?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Amber, are you referring to the cheesecloth? If so, you can use a clean, fine, absorbent towel.

  7. teresa says

    Hi – :)

    Re : The above recipe, could you enhance the flavor by adding truffle oil, and is it softer cheese or harder cheese? And if softer, how would you recommend making cheese harder?

    Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Teresa, truffle oil sounds delicious, but we haven’t tried it in this recipe! It’s a softer cheese. Making a harder cheese is tricky because you need a certain amount of water to get it to blend, which causes it to be softer.

  8. Amanda says

    I’ve made this twice now. The family loved the first attempt but are blown away with the second one! The difference between the two are:
    1. Extra garlic – I used 4 cloves
    2. Extra lemon – I added an extra tablespoon
    3. Extra salt
    4. I left the sheese on the counter for 60 hours before putting it in the fridge.
    Thank you so much for this recipe, it’s fab!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, it looks like that probiotic contains PREbiotics, which can interfere with the fermentation process. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tarryn, it won’t be quite as cheesy without it, but powdered mushrooms or chickpea miso could work for depth of flavor. Let us know how it goes!

  9. J says

    Hey there, I’m off the nutritional yeast these days, do you know if it can be omitted or replaced with say, powdered mushroom, or something else? Thank-you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi J, it won’t be quite as cheesy without it, but powdered mushrooms or chickpea miso could work for depth of flavor. Let us know how it goes!

    • Rachel says

      I have made this recipe 3 times now and it is fantastic. I haven’t tried the cheesecloth/cover with herbs part but I will as soon as I can. I pull it out of the processor, put it in a Tupperware and leave to ferment on the counter for 1-2 days. It tastes almost identical to whipped goat cheese. It is so rare that a vegan “substitute” tastes so close to the real deal. Thank you so much for this recipe!!!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        We’re so glad you enjoy it, Rachel! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Martin! If you’re using a capsule, you should be able to pull it apart to dispense the powder directly into your mixture. Hope this helps!

  10. MaryEllen says

    This cheese is so good. My family is thrilled with it. A couple questions, I am going to try almonds next time. I have blanched but not slivered. Does this matter? Are there any variations of this basic cheese that you can recommend? I am taking vegan cheese boards to a few holiday events and am hoping to have several different types. I used dill on the outside and it’s wonderful. Any other suggestions for outside or even in the cheese? Thank you