This vegan cream cheese is nut free, easy to make, herby and perfect over my homemade gluten free bagels! It takes only 5 minutes to prep and is completely healthy and dairy free.
I’m kind of sort of amazed at how easy this recipe was to make. I was under the impression that vegan cream cheese would be hard to do, but I was very wrong!
It takes (literally) 5 minutes to make an is ready to eat as soon as it’s done. No need for long hours in the fridge, just get your bagel ready and you have breakfast!
This recipe is tofu based so it’s naturally very high in protein and nut free. It has a silky smooth texture that’s really easy to achieve. However, I’ll be honest. This recipe won’t taste exactly like a dairy filled cream cheese, BUT it is still 100% delicious and very similar to the Tofutti cream cheese you’ll find at the market!
It’s hard to replicate all of the things dairy can do and achieve that rich flavor, but seriously, this recipe is the next best thing to a classic cream cheese.
Tofu: I wanted to keep this vegan cream cheese nut free, so instead of using cashews like a lot of store bought recipes uses, I opted for tofu. We’ll be using extra firm tofu which gives the perfect cream cheese texture.
Lemon Juice/Apple Cider Vinegar: Both of these add some acidity to balance out the flavors. I suggest using a mix of both, but if you only have one or the other, that will work too.
Chives: Often confused with scallions, chives are a small herb with a delicious but delicate onion flavor. They’re much smaller than scallions so they blend really well into this recipe.
Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast, or nooch, gives this recipe a mild cheesy flavor.
Coconut Oil: We’ll be using refined coconut oil which unlike virgin coconut oil, has no coconut taste at all. It keeps the recipe creamy and even helps to thicken it up when it’s in the fridge. The coconut oil is key in this recipe, I don’t recommend making this cream cheese with no oil.
Lots of spices! Garlic, onion, a bit of dill, salt and pepper. Feel free to get creative and add in some basil, parsley or cilantro.
How to make this recipe
Remove the tofu from the package and wrap in a dish towel. Slightly pat it to remove any excess moisture.
Cut into cubes and add to a food processor along with all remaining ingredients.
Process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. I usually add a bit more salt and chives, but feel free to add any additional herbs of your choice such as fresh basil, thyme, parsley or cilantro.
It’s ready to serve as is, but I do recommend placing in the fridge for about an hour to set/chill for best results.
Does it keep? Yes! Thanks to the vinegar and lemon juice, this recipe keeps really well. Once it’s prepared, just transfer to an air tight container and keep in the fridge for 1 week.
Can it be used in baking? Since this recipe is herby and savory, I don’t recommend using it in any baked goods that call for cream cheese. Even if you omit the seasonings, it may not be able to achieve the same result in baking as a dairy filled version would. This recipe is best as a spread for bagels, sandwiches or a dip for veggies!
Is vegan cream cheese healthy? This recipe is made with such simple and good for you ingredients, so I’d definitely consider it healthy! It won’t leave you feeling heavy and weighed down like a regular dairy cream cheese would.
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Vegan Tofu Cream Cheese
- 1 package extra firm tofu (14-16 ounces, either is fine)
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice (start with 1)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3 tbsp fresh chopped chives (plus more for serving)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil (refined, not virgin)
- ¼ tsp dried dill
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Remove the tofu from the package and wrap in a dish towel. Slightly pat it to remove any excess moisture.
- Cut into cubes and add to a food processor along with all remaining ingredients.
- Process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. I usually add a bit more salt and chives, but feel free to add any additional herbs of your choice such as fresh basil, thyme, parsley or cilantro.
- It's ready to serve as is, but I do recommend placing in the fridge for about an hour to set/chill for best results.