Recipe: How to Make Your Own Dairy-Free Cheese

by JJ Virgin on January 16, 2018

Traditional dairy is one of the common sources of food intolerance symptoms, including skin breakouts, sinus congestion, joint pain, headaches, and gas and bloating. (Find out more here.)

But let’s be honest: even when you know dairy makes you miserable, it’s hard not to be tempted by cheese. And so many recipes call for it!

Many grocery stores carry nut-based cheese these days, but they may still include casein, the protein in dairy that causes all the trouble. And even those that don’t can be hard to find or pricey.

The answer? This easy recipe for homemade dairy-free cheese! This one produces a savory cashew ricotta that is at home in any meal.

For an even more flavorful savory version, try adding 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder. I love this spicier version with turkey and red bell pepper slices.

In the mood for a sweeter take? Reduce the lemon juice to 2 teaspoons, and add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a dash of liquid stevia. The result is perfect on a gluten-free English muffin or slices of fresh apple!

No matter which version you choose, this recipe is destined to become a staple in your fridge and on your menu.

One final note: the recipe calls for raw cashews that have soaked in water at least 5 hours. The easiest way is to pop them in a bowl and cover with water before you head to bed, then make the cheese the following morning. Blending it in the food processor only takes a matter of moments.

Homemade Dairy-Free Cashew Cheese


January 16, 2018

It’s quick and simple to make your own dairy-free cheese at home! Learn how to make versatile cashew ricotta, plus get some easy recipe variations.

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Yields: 4 Servings


1 1/2 cups raw cashews

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp coconut cream

1/4 tsp sea salt

Dash or two of nutmeg


1Place the cashews in a bowl and add enough water to cover them by 3 inches. Let the cashews soak for at least 5 hours or overnight.

2Drain the cashews, place them in a bowl of a food processor, and add the lemon juice, lemon zest, coconut cream, oil, and salt.

3Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and begins to hold together. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

4I love to mix in a couple of dashes of nutmeg.

Originally published in The Virgin Diet Cookbook, Grand Central Life & Style, 2014
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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size2oz
Total Fat26g
Saturated Fat5g
Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrates16g
Dietary Fiber2g

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