This vegan blue cheese is simply mind-blowing! Naturally cultured and prepared with just 5 ingredients, it makes use of traditional cheese-making techniques. The result is a sharp, creamy, and rich vegan blue cheese like you have never tried before!
IT IS HERE. The vegan blue cheese recipe is finally here, guys!
I’m really, really excited about this recipe. First, because I have been working on it for several months, and second, because it tastes exactly like blue cheese.
⭐️ Why You Should Try This Recipe
- The texture is just perfect. It’s creamy so you can spread it easily on a slice of bread, but firm enough to cut it into slices. Plus, it has those natural blue veins that are so characteristic of blue cheese.
- It has that rich and strong aroma. This cheese is actually even stronger in taste than my vegan aged camembert! Non-vegans could not believe it was not “real” blue cheese!
- It’s a fun experiment. Whether you are new to vegan cheese making or made some before, the process of making this blue cheese is interesting and exciting at the same time. You will see the mold slowly grow over a few weeks!
- It’s a reader’s favorite. With 244 ★★★★★ ratings, this recipe is a must-try! James said “Just tasted my first batch of this. It is quite simply, the best vegan cheese I have ever made. All thanks to you Thomas – another epic recipe.”
🧀 What is Blue Cheese
Blue cheese is a type of semi-soft cheese that is made with Penicillium roqueforti cultures. This edible mold not only creates a sharp and piquant flavor, but it is also responsible for the blue/green veins inside and outside the cheese.
Historians say that Gorgonzola is one of the oldest types of blue cheese, appearing around AD 879.
🥛 Ingredient Notes
Just like my vegan aged camembert, this blue cheese is made with just 5 ingredients. Here is what you will need:
- Cashews – The base of this cheese is raw cashews. They bring the perfect amount of creaminess and richness. Do not use roasted cashews.
- Probiotics – To give the blue cheese its tangy flavor, we will be using probiotics that will trigger the fermentation process. I recommend using either Acidophilus or Mesophilic. The latter is specifically made for cheese making and yields a superior flavor.
- Mold culture – Penicillium roqueforti is the mold that will give the cheese its rich flavor and blue color.
- Coconut oil – The coconut oil is here to add creaminess, it also helps the mold grow since it requires a lot of fat. I recommend refined coconut oil, that has been deodorized.
- Salt – Salt not only enhances the flavor but also prevents bad mold from growing.
About the Penicillium roqueforti: You can get the penicillium roqueforti mold here. It might seem a little bit expensive but a little goes a long way. For 4 pieces of cheese, you will only need 1/8 tsp. It can be stored in the freezer for months.
🥣 How to Make Vegan Blue Cheese
The recipe is actually pretty easy to make; the hardest part is to be patient since the whole process will take over a month.
Prepare the cashew cream
Start by soaking the cashews in water for at least 5 hours or overnight. Then, blend them with water and coconut oil until it forms a smooth cream. Next, add the probiotics and penicillium roqueforti and blend again.
Transfer the cashew cream to a bowl and cover it with plastic film to touch. It needs to ferment at room temperature for one day to kick off the fermentation process.
Shape the cheeses
Next, it’s time to shape the cheeses. Line springform pans or cookie cutters with parchment paper and fill each one with cashew cream. Note: the size or shape of your pans doesn’t matter too much, so use what you have on hand.
Place the cheeses (still in the pans) in a container and refrigerate overnight.
Salt the cheeses
The next day, it’s time to remove the cheeses from the pans and salt them. Salt will help with mold growth, so it’s essential. To do so, sprinkle sea salt on the top and sides of each cheese and use your finger to rub the salt. Very carefully flip the cheeses and sprinkle salt on the opposite side.
Place the cheeses on parchment paper and put them back in the container.
Age the cheeses
It’s not time to age the cheeses and let the mold grow! Age the cheeses in your refrigerator at a temperature of about 47-52°F (8-11°C) and flip them every day.
After 7 days, you should start to see some light blue/green mold spots; it’s a good sign! Continue the process for another 7 days.
Crumble and re-shape
After a total of 14 days, your cheeses should be a bit firmer and almost completely covered with blue mold. It’s now time to crumble them.
Why crumble the cheeses?
It’s the blue mold that gives the cheese its characteristic flavor. The problem is that the mold needs to be in contact with the air to grow, so you need to have many small openings inside the cheese for better mold growth. Regular blue cheeses are often pierced several times with a skewer to make holes. I tried this way but with no success. After several tries, I thought of scrambling the cheese into little pieces and then forming it again without pressing too much to leave large holes inside it. It worked!
Using clean hands, scramble the cheese in a large bowl (just like you would scramble tofu). Next, line springform pans or cookie cutters with parchment paper and re-fill them with the cashew cream without pressing too much to leave large holes on the inside.
The final step is to keep flipping the cheeses every day and wait…Your cheeses will be ready in 3 more weeks, but if you are patient enough to wait for an extra 2 weeks I promise you won’t regret it! It will become even stronger and sharper.
Serve this blue cheese alongside vegan camembert, onion chutney, and grapes and you have one of the best vegan cheese platter!
- Age the cheeses in a container during the complete aging process. Mold needs humidity to grow. That’s why you need to keep the cheeses in a small box or container in your refrigerator. If you were to let the cheeses uncovered, they would dry out before the mold gets a chance to grow.
- Do not omit any ingredient. This recipe is not versatile, so I do not recommend substituting or omitting any ingredient.
- Use latex gloves. By using gloves each time you handle the cheeses, you reduce your chances of seeing bad mold growing. Latex gloves are pretty cheap and come in large boxes, so do not hesitate to get yourself a box.
- If you are making vegan camembert at the same time: I recommend you keep them in two separate boxes. Mold can transfer very easily, and you could end up with white mold on your blue cheese or blue mold on your camembert.
- Regarding the appearance of the cheese. The rind of this blue cheese is dark blue because I didn’t scrape the sides. Be aware the rind is edible, but if you prefer the exterior to be white, you can gently scrape the mold using a clean knife every two weeks. I prefer to leave the rind because it looks cooler, and after about a month, it will become a little bit firmer. Creamy inside + firm rind = perfect cheese to me.
Yes, blue cheese contains a natural mold that is called Penicillium. This type of mold gives the cheese its flavor and color.
Blue cheese has a sharp and tangy taste with subtle piquant/spicy notes.
As long as it’s good mold, yes!
It’s very easy to tell if a cheese has gone bad; just smell it. If it has a rotten eggs smell, you should trash it. If there is some pink or black fuzzy mold, it’s not good either.
Roquefort is a type of blue cheese that is only produced in a specific area of France. It is a protected designation of origin.
No, this vegan blue cheese does not melt. It will only become softer once heated.
Yes, once the ripening process is done, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
- The links provided here for Penicillium Roqueforti may not redirect to a fully vegan product as Amazon sellers change product references frequently. Be aware that non-vegan ones are grown on lactose, meaning they contain *traces* of lactose. Considering the amount used, you could still consider your cheese 99,99% vegan. It’s up to you to choose which one fits your beliefs best. One more thing, fully vegan Penicillium roqueforti exists; you will have to do your own research to locate it.
- Many people have been making this cheese without giving any credit back and labeling it as their own. I worked really hard to create this recipe from scratch and had to do a ton of experiments before releasing it, so please give credit by tagging @fullofplants on Instagram or linking to this website.
I hope this recipe will prove it’s possible to make everything with plant-based ingredients. If you are not vegan yet, you don’t have to give up on cheese anymore!
Please let me know if you try this recipe, and feel free to ask if you have questions about the process!
The day before
- Soak the cashews in filtered water for at least 5 hours or overnight.
Forming the cheese
- Drain the cashews and place them in a large glass bowl. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, pour the water directly onto the cashews. Let sit 1-2 minutes, and drain the cashews again. This step will help kill possible bacteria.
- Transfer the cashews to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Add the coconut oil and 5 tablespoons of filtered water. Blend on high speed, scraping down the sides from time to time, this step might take about 10 minutes, depending on your blender. You should get a smooth, thick mixture.
- Open the probiotic capsules and add the powder to the blender.
- Add the penicillium roqueforti. If your penicillium roqueforti is in powdered form it works the same way as the liquid one. Blend for another 10-15 seconds.
- The mixture should be smooth but thick. If needed, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until smooth. Do not add too much water otherwise the mixture will be too liquid, you want a thick consistency.
- Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with plastic film, and let sit at room temperature in a dark place for about 24h. This step is important to let the cheese ferment.
- The following day, place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 4 hours to make the mixture easier to work with.
- After that, line a baking sheet or flat plate with parchment paper. Place 4 small springform pans on top (I used two 3-inch cookie cutter rounds for each cheese, stacked).
- Cut strips of parchment paper and lay them in 4 small springform pans. You want to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. You can also use plastic film if you prefer. The goal is to prevent the cashew mixture from touching the metal. Fill each pan with the cashew mixture and press it down using plastic film, so it doesn't stick to your hands.
- Place a container upside down on the plate where the cheeses sit. This step is essential to keep some humidity inside. It's important for good mold growth. Place the cheeses in your refrigerator (you will age the cheeses covered in your refrigerator during the whole aging process).
- After 2 days, sprinkle salt over the top of the cheeses, and lightly rub with clean hands. Carefully flip the cheeses using a small plate lined with parchment paper, and remove the springform pan. Sprinkle salt on top and the sides, rubbing gently. You will only salt once. The cheeses will still be very soft, but they will be easier to work with after a few days.
- Flip the cheeses every day, always using clean hands. You can use gloves or work with a plastic film to make sure you are not touching the cheeses.
- Blue mold should start to appear after about 7 days. The mold will be slightly darker or lighter, depending on the humidity and temperature of your fridge.
- After 2 weeks, scramble the cheese into little pieces (just like when you scramble tofu) in a clean bowl. The cashew mixture will still be quite soft, so try to make small pieces. For this step, I highly recommend wearing latex gloves.
- Lay strips of parchment paper into springform pans and fill each pan with the scrambled cheese without pressing too much. This step is important to create holes inside the cheese as the mold needs to be in contact with air to grow. You can remove the cheeses from the springform pans right after shaping them. Place the cheeses on the baking sheet or plate, cover them with a plastic box or container, and place them back in the refrigerator.
- Continue to flip the cheeses every day for the next 3 weeks, always using clean hands or gloves. This step only takes a few seconds every day.
- After a total of 5 weeks, the inside and the outside of your cheeses will be covered with blue mold. They will be ready to eat soon!
- Wrap each cheese in cheese paper or aluminum foil and wait another 3-7 days. The longer you let them age in the refrigerator, the stronger the taste.
- The cheese will keep for about one month in the refrigerator and will become firmer and sharper.
- Age the cheeses in a container during the complete aging process. Mold needs humidity to grow, that’s why you need to keep the cheeses in a small box or container in your refrigerator. If you were to let the cheeses uncovered, they would dry out before the mold gets a chance to grow.
- Do not omit any ingredient. This recipe is not versatile so I do not recommend substituting or omitting any ingredient.
- Use latex gloves. By using gloves each time you handle the cheeses, you reduce your chances to see bad mold growing. Latex gloves are pretty cheap and come in large boxes so do not hesitate to get yourself a box.
- If you are making vegan camembert at the same time: I recommend you keep them in two separate boxes. Mold can transfer very easily and you could end up with white mold on your blue cheese, or blue mold on your camembert.
- Regarding the appearance of the cheese. The rind of this blue cheese is dark blue because I didn’t scrape the sides. Be aware the rind is edible, but if you prefer the exterior to be white, you can gently scrape the mold using a clean knife every two weeks. I prefer to leave the rind because it looks cooler and after about a month it will become a little bit firmer. Creamy inside + firm rind = perfect cheese to me.