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
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- 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.