It just takes less than 5 minutes to make this tofu cream cheese substitute. It is easy to make and perfect for spreading or dipping and makes a healthy cream cheese spread alternative.
This tofu cream cheese is simple, delicious, and full of protein and flavor. It is low in fat, making it healthier than dairy cream cheese or an all-nut alternative.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- If you want a healthy alternative to regular cream cheese, make this recipe for a dairy-free cream cheese substitute! It's so delicious!
- This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, low fat, sugar-free, vegetarian, and vegan.
- However, it is not suitable for those of you who have a nut allergy because it does have cashews as an ingredient.
- This plant-based recipe is simple and fast to make.
- It's budget-friendly.
Cost to Make
Estimated cost = $3.45 or $0.35 a serve
Please note that below is a guide for some of the ingredients we used in the recipe. The printable recipe further down the page has the complete list of ingredients, including quantities and step-by-step instructions.
Tofu - use extra firm tofu for this tofu cream cheese because it contains less water than medium, soft, and silken tofu.
If you can't get extra firm tofu, use firm tofu but press it to remove as much water from it before using.
Cashews have a nice flavor and are slightly sweet. They become creamy when blended, a texture that goes so well in this tofu cheese spread.
Nutritional yeast - yeast gives the tofu cream cheese a cheesy flavor. Read our article "What is nutritional yeast?" to learn more. We use this in other recipes like my vegan bacon bits and scrambled silken tofu.
You don't need that much, we used two tablespoons, but you can add more if you want a more intense cheesy taste.
Miso paste - use white miso paste. It gives a nice flavor boost to the cheese.
Lemon juice - to add a hint of tanginess.
Apple cider vinegar is also for tanginess and flavor.
Salt - a little bit of salt will help to balance out the flavors.
Food processor, blender, or immersions blender.
Step 1 - Extra firm tofu does not require pressing because it does not have a lot of water. However, we like to place it on a paper towel, pat it dry and let it air dry for about 20 minutes.
While the tofu is draining, prepare the cashews. Place the cashews in a mug or small bowl, then pour boiling water over the cashew adding enough water to cover them.
Soak for 5 - 10 minutes and then drain. Soaking the cashews will make them soft and helps to take away the raw taste.
Break the tofu into pieces, place it into the food processor with the other ingredients, and process until it becomes smooth and creamy. Stop from time to time to scape the walls.
Step 2 - Check the consistency and flavor. If you think it is too thick, blend in 1-2 teaspoons of water at a time to get the desired consistency. And adjust the flavors to your liking by adding more nutritional yeast, miso paste, or salt.
- Add more nutritional yeast for an extra cheesy boost.
- You can eat it straight after making it, but for the best flavor, store it covered in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight so the flavors can develop.
This recipe makes about 1 ⅓ cups which is about 10 servings. A serving size is 2 level tablespoons (32 grams / 1.1 ounces).
Calories Per Serve
One serve of this recipe has 51 calories.
We love eating this dairy-free alternative because it not only is low in fat and calories it is so versatile:
- It is a delicious and healthy spread to put on your breakfast toast or bagels.
- Use it as nutritious filling in wraps and sandwiches.
- Make simple appetizers by spreading the cream cheese on crackers or crostini and topping them with alfalfa sprouts, crispy bacon pieces, store-bought or homemade vegan bacon bits, quick pickled pink onions, pickled carrots, or whatever topping you like.
- You could even flavor it up and use it as a flavored spread or as a dip. See our Variations section below for flavor ideas.
To add variety to the dairy-free cream cheese recipe and flavor it, try adding:
- Dried seasonings like garlic and onion powder.
- Finely chopped fresh herbs or dried herbs.
- Minced spring onions (green onions), or chives.
- Finely diced drained and sundried tomatoes
- Artichoke hearts drained and chopped.
- Roasted vegetables like eggplant or capsicum (bell peppers)
- Chopped olives.
- Make it spicy with chopped jalapenos, canned green, or other fresh chilies.
Don't use the miso paste. Replace this with a ¼ cup of icing sugar (powdered sugar) or to taste.
- Fruit - Mash or finely chopped fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, or sweet mango. Don't use frozen fruit or like melons because they have high water content and will make the cheese watery.
- Spice it up with powders like cinnamon, mixed spice, or pumpkin pie spice. Start by mixing in 1 teaspoon, then taste and add more if needed.
- Cocoa powder - mix about 3-4 tablespoons, add more to taste if needed. If you have used unsweetened cocoa powder, you may need to mix in more powdered sugar.
Refrigerator - Tofu cream cheese will keep for up to 7 days in a sealed container in the fridge.
Freezing - This is best eaten fresh, but you can freeze it for about 2 - 3 months. It will be a little grainy after thawing, but you can still eat it.
No. The main ingredient for this recipe is tofu.
Tofu Cream Cheese For Dip and Spread
- 250 grams (8.8 ounces) extra firm tofu – (1 block) pressed
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 4 teaspoons white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- salt or to taste
- Water as needed
- Drain the tofu for about 20 minutes to remove excess moisture.
- Place the cashews in a mug and cover with boiling water and soak for about 5 - 10 minutes to soften, and drain well.
- Break the tofu into small pieces and place it into a blender with the other ingredients. Blend until it becomes smooth and creamy.
- If the mixture is too thick, blend in 1-2 teaspoons of water at a time until the correct consistency is achieved.