A couple of weeks ago, my husband came up to me and said, “You know what you haven’t made in a long time? Cashew cheese. Can you make that pizza cashew cheese that I like?” Um . . . I’ve never made pizza cashew cheese before, but that sounded delicious! He was probably thinking of a sun-dried tomato basil version I made a long time ago, but regardless, I set out to make him a pizza version. What resulted was my new favorite cashew cheese flavor, so I had to share the recipe!
Before you dive in and start making this pizza cashew cheese, I urge you to check out my Basic Cashew Cheese recipe if you’ve never made cashew cheese before. There is a little preparation and technique involved, so make sure you know what you’re doing first, especially if you’re planning on serving this cheese to guests!
This pizza cashew cheese tastes a lot like pizza because of the naturally creamy, cheesy flavor from the cashews combined with the tomato paste, basil, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder. It’s great served warm or cold with Nut Thins or your favorite cracker, bread, etc. I also like to serve it with apple slices for some flavor contrast.
My whole family loved this cashew cheese flavor, so it didn’t last long!
- 1½ cups raw cashews
- 1 T. tahini
- 1 T. tomato paste
- ¼ cup water + 2 T. (plus more if needed)
- 1 T. lemon juice
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. dried basil
- ¾ tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
- Few grinds black pepper
- Optional: more dried herbs and sea salt for topping
- Place cashews in a bowl, cover with water, and allow to soak at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Drain cashews and add to a high-speed blender along with the rest of the ingredients (minus optional topping ingredients).
- Blend on high, scraping down the sides as necessary, until completely smooth. If the mixture does not blend well, try adding one Tablespoon of water at a time and continuing, keeping in mind that less water is better in the long run. Taste for seasoning.
- Place a small strainer over a mixing bowl and line the strainer with cheese cloth that is doubled or tripled to prevent the cheese from oozing through the mesh (see photos in basic cashew cheese recipe). Pour the cheese into the cheese cloth and gently fold the excess cloth over it to protect it. Allow the cheese to sit on the kitchen counter 4-5 hours to let any excess water drip into the bowl. (If you allow it to dry out too much, the cheese will dry into the cheese cloth, making a mess when transferring to a dish. It will still taste good, but won't be very pretty.)
- Preheat oven* to 190 degrees (or the lowest setting). Gently unwrap the top of the cheese ball, lift it out of the strainer, and flip it out into an oven-safe dish. Top the cheese ball with desired herbs, salt, etc.
- Bake until warmed and dry on the outside, 30-60 mins. It's OK if it cracks a little.
- Serve warm or cold (I prefer warm) with apple slices, crackers, bread, etc. Enjoy!
The leftovers should keep for about 4 days loosely covered in the fridge. I've found that the cheese is thicker and more slice-able the next day, which is great if you're planning on putting it on a sandwich.
If you're not sure where to buy cheese cloth, I've been able to find it at most grocery stores in the "kitchen essentials" section. I've also seen it in cooking stores, but a grocery store is your best bet.
I can tell I’m going to be making this pizza cashew cheese a lot in the near future. I’m hooked!