Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vegan Mozzarella

I have been searching for the perfect vegan mozzarella for a long time. To say that I am picky about my vegan cheese would be an understatement. Buffalo mozzarella was my favorite type of mozzarella. I loved the soft texture and the almost sweet yet salty taste. When Rose of Dandelion blogged about mozzarella, I knew I had to try it again. I blended the recipe I was most happy with, with the one Rose mentioned from Veganize It Don’t Criticize It, and that seemed to work well.

My mozzarella is equal parts silken tofu and almond milk with raw cashew added for richness. I used lemon juice for a very slight tang. The agave is added to mimic the sweetness dairy adds to fresh cheese. My cheese is a little higher in sodium than some of my recipes because I think that is necessary to come close to a dairy cheese taste since they all rely on salt.

This is definitely my best mozzarella so far. This cheese does not taste at all like tofu, or cashews. The flavor is very mild, like mozzarella. The texture is softer than commercial mozzarella, but not quite soft enough to mimic buffalo mozzarella, but close. Here is the recipe if you want to give it a try.

Vegan Mozzarella
Serves 10 (4 ounce servings)


1/3 cup of raw cashews
12.3 ounce package of Organic Silken Tofu, firm
1 ½ cups of almond milk (I used my version with oats)
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon of amber agave nectar
4 teaspoons of agar, powdered (NOT flaked)


Place the raw cashews in your blender. Process until they are a fine powdery meal (but not cashew butter). Add the remaining ingredients, except the agar and process until the mixture is completely smooth.

Pour the contents into a saucepan and sprinkle the agar on top the mixture and whisk it completely in. Allow it to stand for 5 minutes so the agar will bloom.

After the 5 minutes has passed, turn the heat on medium and cook, stirring continually. The mixture will start to bubble (like polenta) at about 160 degrees. You want to continue to cook it for about 5 minutes to come close to 212 degrees. The agar sets best when it has come to a least 185 degrees and is then cooled to 110 degrees.

If you want to use this on pizza, the temperature of the agar needs to reach 185 degrees before it will begin to melt again.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 170.76
Calories From Fat (15%) - 25.72

Total Fat - 2.95g
Saturated Fat - 0.42g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 452.35mg
Potassium - 571.46mg
Total Carbohydrates - 35.05g
Fiber - 3.49g
Sugar - 1.85g
Protein - 5.74g


If you are accustomed to commercial mozzarella this cheese will seem too soft to you. The texture of this cheese is closer to buffalo mozzarella, which is a much softer cheese. Unlike my vegan cheddar cheese brick this cheese retains a softer character but is still firm enough to slice. Next time I am going to back down a little on the agar to make the cheese a tiny bit softer (maybe ½ teaspoon).

I tried this with tomatoes and basil salt for a twist on vegan caprese salad for lunch and was very happy with the results. This will undoubtedly turn up this weekend on pizza if we don’t eat it all first.

I have frozen vegan cheese before, and it does fine. However, we normally don’t have any difficulty eating it before there is any worry that it will go bad. It will last a week in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container.


  1. This is great! Cheese really wreaks havoc on my digestion, but I still love it. Vegan cheeses are expesive to buy so I'm glad to see I can make my own! I'm going to try this soon.

  2. Janelle,

    Vegan cheese is very easy to make. The cheddar I posted a few weeks is similar and also uses agar powder.

    If you have difficulty finding agar powder (I did), go to and order it on-line. That is what we did. The container is larger and makes many batches of cheese. I am still using the same container I bought last fall and I cook a lot.


  3. Glad to see the mozzarella worked out well...although, I'm not surprised with your culinary skills. I started my fall classes this week, so I won't have as much time to play in the kitchen as I would like, but I'm definitely going to add this to my list of vegan cheeses to try.


  4. Rose,

    Thank you for the very sweet compliment. It was greatly appreciated. The cheese isn't completely perfect, close. I think with a touch less agar I will be happy with it. No issues with perfectionism here, not me. ;)

    Good for you going back to school. I hope you are taking classes you enjoy. I think about it periodically, but always decide I don't have time.


  5. Tried your recipe and it really is quite good! However when the "cheese" first set, it tasted really weird, almost crunchy even. However, after a couple of days in the fridge, the texture improved considerably to become very very similar to that of fresh mozz. Question: how can I get rid of the soy-ish smell? Yesterday I decided to make tomato salad with it, and drizzled them with balsamic vinaigrette. That masked the smell pretty well. But what if I want to have it in a dish that does not include balsamic vinaigrette? What can I add to it?


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