A thick and creamy vegan tofu cream cheese recipe that’s perfect for spreading and dipping. It’s savoury, flavourful, and I bet no one will notice the difference in taste.
If you’ve given up dairy and have been looking for an alternative to cream cheese, this recipe will knock your socks off. It’s so simple to make and so close to the real deal.
This cream cheese alternative is perfect for spreading on toast and bagels, or use it for dipping raw veggies.
Why you’ll love this simple recipe
- This dairy-free cream cheese is FAR heatlhier than store bought, with no added chemicals or fillers.
- Protein and nutrient dense, but made with simple ingredients available in most stores.
- Thick, creamy and rich in texture, with only a handful of ingredients required.
- Versatile! Change up the seasoning and experiment with new flavours.
- It’s oil free, gluten free, dairy free (of course), and easily made nut free, too.
- LOW FAT! With only 2 grams of fat for every TWO tablespoon serving. Compared to dairy versions which comes in at about 5 grams of fat for ONE tablespoon.
- Budget friendly!! Make homemade vegan cream cheese at a fraction of the cost of store bought versions.
- Ready in just 5 minutes! 🥳
Ingredients + Substitutions
Here’s what you’ll need to make this homemade vegan cream cheese recipe:
- Tofu: Use FIRM tofu and make sure to drain and pat it dry so you don’t get too much excess liquid. Do not use soft or silken tofu as it will make the cream cheese too thin.
- Raw cashews: This helps thicken your cheese, and makes it richer and creamier. If you cannot have cashews, unblanched almonds or sunflower seeds may be used instead.
- Miso paste: For savoury, umami flavour. If you don’t have any on hand, you MAY omit and increase the salt. However, I highly recommend using it, if you can.
- Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar: Adds a touch of acid and tang. Do not omit, but you may double up on one or the other if you don’t have both on hand.
- Seasoning: The dried herbs are for added flavour, and makes the cheese taste more like an herb and garlic version. If you’d like plain cream cheese skip the garlic, onion and dried dill. Do not omit the salt unless you absolutely must for health reasons.
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Process until completely smooth. (photos 1-2)
Transfer to a jar or container and use it as you would use regular cream cheese.
What to use it on
- Spread it over toast, bagels or crackers and sprinkle some fresh chives on top.
- Add a dollop to your Buddha bowls, salads, or soups!
- Use it to replace ricotta in vegan lasagna, or these stuffed portobellos.
- Make these amazing cucumber sandwiches.
- Add a little hot water to thin it out and use it as a pasta sauce or make mac and cheese.
- Serve as a dip on a veggie platter with carrot, cucumber, tomato and peppers.
Want to make flavoured vegan cream cheese?
Try one of these variations.
- Everything bagel: Skip the garlic, onion and dried dill, process until smooth, and then add 1 tablespoon of everything bagel seasoning and pulse a few times to mix it in.
- Jalapeno popper: Blend in a few slices of jalapeno peppers (or more depending on your spice tolerance).
- Strawberry: Omit the garlic, onion, dried dill, vinegar and miso paste. Add 1 ounce of freeze dried strawberries, plus 1-2 tablespoons of sugar of choice. Or try other freeze dried berries and process until smooth.
- Chocolate: Omit the savoury spices, vinegar and the miso paste. Then add 1 tablespoon of raw cocoa powder and 2-3 tablespoons (or to your taste) of coconut sugar. (Or use powdered sugar for a smoother consistency.) If you prefer to use maple syrup, don’t add too much or the liquid will thin out the cheese too much.
- Pumpkin spice: Omit the savoury spices and add 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie seasoning plus 2-3 tablespoons of powdered sugar or sugar of choice.
OR, make it extra cheesy and add 1-2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Note that this will make your cheese more yellow in colour, but the taste will be great.
I highly recommend a food processor over a blender for this tofu cream cheese. Since there is very little liquid, it will be easier to process in the bowl of a food processor where there is more space.
Also, I find it simpler to transfer thick spreads from a food processor, compared to a blender.
Refrigerate your tofu cream cheese in a sealed container or glass jar for 5-7 days.
To keep longer, divide it into smaller portions and freeze all but one in air-tight freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months and keep one in the fridge for immediate use.
Thaw the remaining portions as needed.
- Make sure to drain and pat your tofu dry to avoid excess liquid in your tofu cream cheese. You want a thick spread to truly resemble the real deal.
- Use a food processor rather than a blender. It will be harder to blend smooth in a blender due to limited liquid ingredients. Plus it’s more difficult to transfer thick spreads from a blender, where there is less space between the blades.
- Refrigerate the tofu cream cheese for at least one hour before using. This will help it firm up and thicken.
- For nut free, use sunflower seeds in place of the cashews.
More vegan cheese recipes you’ll love
If you tried this recipe, please let me know about it in the comments below. I always love hearing from you! Don’t forget to Subscribe to This Healthy Kitchen to be among the first to get my new recipes! You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to see more delicious food and get all the latest updates.
- 16 ounces firm tofu use GMO free if possible
- ¼ cup raw cashews or blanched almonds or sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons miso paste
- 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dill weed
- Add everything to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Refrigerate for one hour or longer to chill and thicken.
- Refrigerate your tofu cream cheese in a sealed container or glass jar for 5-7 days.
- To keep longer, separate into smaller portions and freeze all but one in air-tight freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. Keep 1 in the fridge for immediate use. Thaw the remaining portions as needed.
The texture is amazing. I really like this recipe. I think I may have used the wrong miso though…I used white (light) miso, and I’m not sure that was a good choice.
I was wondering about adding a little nutritional yeast for a slight cheesy flavor. Thoughts?
Hi Andrea, so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 You may certainly add some nutritional yeast for added cheesy flavour. Thanks for the review.
Do you think you could use this to make a cheese cake?
I haven’t tried that yet. If you decide to give it a try, I would omit the all savoury seasonings and add something sweet, either some maple syrup or granulated sugar. Let me know if you decide to experiment.
Have you tried this cream cheese recipe in a cheesecake? It looks really yummy as do all your recipes!! Thanks for posting!
Hi Heidi, I haven’t tried that yet. If you decide to give it a try, I would omit the all savoury seasonings and add something sweet, either some maple syrup or granulated sugar. Let me know if you decide to experiment. 🙂
So easy and so delish! I made it per your recipe and I am looking forward to experimenting with different flavors. I did soak my cashews since my food processor isn’t very powerful and it worked out perfectly. Thanks!!
Thrilled you enjoyed Vickie! 🙂
Delicious! So easy and fast to make. I love the fact that it is a savory cream cheese since I can’t eat sugar of any form due to health reasons. It is so flavorful. I doubled the fresh lemon juice for the acid, giving it a light refreshing flavor. I plan to put it on my homemade black bean vegetable soup. Yum!
Thrilled you enjoyed Nancy! Thanks for the review. 🙂
Any advantage/disadvantage to soaking cashews before use in this enticing recipe?
Cannot wait to try this and your other oil-free cheeses.
Thank you so much!
Hi Lester. If you don’t have a very strong food processor, soaking the cashews first will help them break down more easily. Hope you love it! 🙂