- Hide menu

Vegan Pepper Jack Cheese

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

Vegan-Pepper-Jack-Cheese1

A cheese with an attitude!

This vegan cheese recipe is not 100% raw.  I used agar which has to be dissolved in boiling water / liquid.   If you are opposed to using a “cooked” ingredient then please check out the other raw nut cheese recipes that require fermenting / culturing.   But if you want to give this recipe a try, let me explain as to why certain core ingredients are used.Vegan-Pepper-Jack-Cheese14

Water  or nut milks ~ water is needed to create the agar gel.  This requires boiling.  Nut Milk  can be  used for a more authentic flavor, but it is not required.  You can use water instead.  Once you heat the nut milk it will no longer be a raw product.

Raw Cashews ~ Raw cashews are very popular because they have a neutral taste and create a very creamy texture.  Other nuts and some seeds can be used instead, but will give the recipe a different flavor and sometimes, texture.

Agar Powder ~ Agar  is a sea vegetable.  It is a magical ingredient in this recipe, because it gives the cheese the structure.  Without it, your cheese will…. well will be more of a sauce or dip.  Nothing wrong with that, just depends on how you want to use the cheese.  For more information on agar, you can read about it here.  You can use agar flakes instead of the powder  but you’ll have to use 3 times as much.  It is also more difficult  to dissolve  the agar flakes in the small amount of water called for in this recipe.  I don’t recommend it, but it can be done.  Flakes are also harder to measure in volume, as they tend to fluff up.

Tahini ~ Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds.  It gives the cheese a hardier and more convincing flavor.

One really fun thing to do with these type of cheeses, is to make them in different sized and shaped containers.  You have to move quick when pouring but if you have them all lined up and ready to beforehand, it is easy.   For this recipe, I used this mold.  It made 6 (3″x 1.5″ x 1″) cheese blocks.

Ingredients:Vegan-Pepper-Jack-Cheese12

  • 1/2 cup almond milk or water
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked 2 + hours
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice 
  • 2 Tbsp tahini butter
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup diced peppers (jalapeno, fresno, yellow pepper, or some combination)
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 Tbs agar flakes or 1 1/2 Tbsp  agar powder

Preparation:

Cheese base:

  1. After soaking the cashews, drain and rinse well.  Add to high-powered blender along with the water (or nut milk),  lemon juice,  tahini,  nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder and garlic powder.   Blend until creamy.  Stop occasionally and test the cheese for any grittiness by rubbing it between your thumb and finger.  If you feel grit, keep blending until you don’t.  Have this step done before adding the agar gel.
  2. Prepare the cheese container (s).  Have them set in place and ready for action!

Agar gel:

  1. In a small sauce pan whisk the agar into the 1 cup of water bringing it to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until the agar is completely dissolved.

Putting it together:

  1. Start the blender up, getting a vortex in the cheese sauce.  A vortex looks like a mini tornado, this helps pull ingredients down into the mix and not just pool on top.
  2. Once the vortex is going, slowly drizzle in the agar gel and blend until fully combined.  Add peppers and just blend for maybe 10 seconds.  We want the peppers to show but you need to move quickly since the agar will start to thicken.
  3. Working quickly, pour the cheese batter into the mold (s).  Tap the containers slightly on the countertop to work out any bubbles.
  4. Place in the fridge uncovered till firm.  This usually only takes 15-30 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!  Eat within 5-7 days.

pepper-jack-cheese-peppers

These are the peppers that I used for this recipe.  I identify peppers by looks rather than
by name.  The small green one… HOT mama!

Vegan-Pepper-Jack-Cheese13

This cheese pairs beautifully with my Thin Crust Pizza Crackers… (soon to come)

Vegan-Pepper-Jack-Cheese15

This also pairs beautifully with my Raw Hearty Smoked Chili

_--Hearty-Smoked-Chili-and-Vegan-Pepper-Jack-Cheese1

Facebook Pinterest Twitter Plusone Stumbleupon

55 thoughts on “Vegan Pepper Jack Cheese

  1. Veronica says:

    This is freaky! I just downloaded a recipe on Cauliflower pizza crust that includes Pepper Jack cheese and since we do not have it here I was thinking about what to substitute it with.. Then I open my mailbox and find your recipe for Vegan Pepper Jack cheese! Amazing! :)

    • amie-sue says:

      That sounds freaky good! hehe I love it when stuff like that happens. :) I hope this is just what you are needing for your pizza! Keep me posted. amie sue

  2. Veronica says:

    The thin pizza cracker with the cheese and.. is it jam on top?.. Looks delicious! Please post cracker recipe soon!
    Oh, I do hope it is jam! Crackers with cheese and some sweet jam and bean sprouts on top, yummy!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Veronica,

      I will get that recipe out this week for sure. That isn’t jam, just a raw marinara sauce that I made. :) Your combination sounds good though! Be well and enjoy. amie sue

  3. Christine says:

    This recipe looks fabulous! I’m really looking forward to trying it. In the directions you mention adding thyme but there is no amount of thyme listed in the ingredients :)
    How much would you use?

    • amie-sue says:

      Morning Christine,

      Thank you for the kind words. :) If you look at the second ingredient from the bottom, under the “spices”, I have the thyme listed there. :) Enjoy and many blessings, amie sue

  4. Tami says:

    Thank you so much! I cant wait to make this!! Just need to go get agar powder

    • amie-sue says:

      It is really fun to make Tami… be sure to read through the directions first so you have a clear understanding of the process. Towards the end, things happen quick. hehe Keep me posted and have a splendid day, amie sue

  5. Lyn L. (mom of many) :] says:

    Good Golly Molly (opps – I mean Amie Sue :],

    This looks really amazing, yummy,and I can’t wait to try this out on Gene this weekend. Amie Sue can I use hemp milk with this? It seems to be the only milk (besides sunflower ) he can have. Can I sub. out the cashews for sunflower seeds ? He will be so happy as he can’t have any dairy, welllll “undairy” :] just walked back into his life :] – I am living for the weekend!!!! Thank you again and again, :] Lyn

    • Lyn L. (mom of many) :] says:

      Oh I am so sorry Amie Sue,

      I got SO EXCITED to see the picture of this cheese, that I forgot to read through your directions and peoples questions, before I asked you my questions (I just want to make this right away) !!! :] So don’t bother answering me as you already did – :] Thanks!!!

  6. Lyn L. (mom of many) :] says:

    P.s. The thin crust pizza crackers look awesome too, can’t wait to try those too. Yes , I’m sorry it was a hint :], no pressure though. You are one lucky man Bob, you not only get to see the new recipes, you get to devour them too!!! :] Lyn

    • amie-sue says:

      That recipe will be following today or tomorrow Lyn :) Hint all you want… keep me on my toes. Eating around here is an adventure. You have no idea how many times I dish up his plate, hand it to him and say, “WAIT, I should snag a picture of that.” Then off I go with his plate. One thing about raw dishes is that you don’t have worry about it cooling off. lol He always laughs at me. Thank goodness he has a good sense of humor. One needs it to live with me. Now days, every time, well almost every time, he goes to take a plate of food, or take a snack off the counter… he stops and asks me if I need a picture first. hehe Sometimes, he sneaks off with my test samples and I have to start all over, but really, how can I get mad at him for that? Anyway, enjoy. hugs, amie sue

  7. IsisDC says:

    Looks great, but when do you add the peppers?

    • amie-sue says:

      IisDC,

      Thank you, I forgot to add that. Sometimes I just get to excited and need to slow down a bit. :) You will find that info under “preparation” Have a great evening, amie sue

  8. ben says:

    This looks astonishing–very like the chili-laced jack cheese blocks in the shops. I’m trying this soon. Thanks as always.

  9. kate says:

    will try to keep this short..at the coop here, they make a ‘raw’ tiramisu’ and it has agar agar in it, so i called, and asked about the dissolving in boiling water. The guy I talked to said that they just blend the powder up with the almond milk in the recipe. Maybe they warm the milk a little?? Do you think the agar powder would dissolve in the warm almond milk???
    thanks, kate

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Kate,

      My guess is that they are either heating it to a high temp OR just dissolving it in the nut milk and using it more for stability than for creating the same texture that is required for these cheese recipes.

      In order for the chemical reaction to take place, agar-agar must be brought just to boiling and then cooled. I am willing to learn so if anyone knows anything different and has tried it, please let me know. amie sue

  10. Heather says:

    This sounds great and I’d love to try it! But I still do not see where you add the peppers in to the recipe? I even read it aloud to make sure I was not missing it! I’d love to know as I think the blender might chop them up a bit? Thanks!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Heather…goodness gracious. I am sorry! I made the changes but it didn’t save. Oy-vey :) I got it put in and saved!! Have a great evening, amie sue

  11. Dee says:

    I just came back from my local health food store getting the ingredients to make this over the weekend. They didn’t have agar powder but they had guar gum or powder. I didn’t buy the guar since it was almost $12 and I wasn’t sure if it would be a proper substitute. Can I use the guar gum or should I make the trip to whole foods tonight? I will be anxiously awaiting your answer so I can make this cheese, along with the hearty smoked chili and the pizza crackers over the weekend. Yummy! :-)

    • amie-sue says:

      Morning Dee,

      I am sorry that I didn’t get to your comment yesterday. We were gone from the house from morning till night. I am glad that you didn’t buy the guar gum. I haven’t ever used it, so I don’t know how it works. I can only speak for agar since that is what I use, so I recommend getting that. :) Good luck and keep me posted. Off to a great weekend! amie sue

      • Dee says:

        Update: So I did end up going to whole foods for the agar flakes and I’m glad I did. I just made this and I must say you are an absolute genius! This cheese here is amazing! I’m so excited to be able to finally eat cheese again, and it does taste like cheese! Wow! I am going to put this on my collard green wraps for Sunday dinner tomorrow..The possibilities are endless. No more searching thru the stores wishing they had a cheese made out of coconut milk..I have my own! Yay!

        I think you can make a spicy cheddar cheese version of this by taking your spicy nacho cheese sauce and adding the agar flakes. Also, do you think the agar flakes would work for a raw vegan cheesecake? I think it would make it set perfectly and give it a nice texture that I find l lacking in most raw vegan cheesecakes.

        • amie-sue says:

          Hello Dee…

          Thank you so much for letting me know how it turned out for you. You are so right in saying that the possibilities are endless. So happy that you have your cheese again. hehe

          And yes, it can be used in the cheesecakes. I made a tiramisu with agar, which is posted under “cakes”. You can take a peek at how I did it. I just ordered some more agar to do some playing around with. My mind is racing, if only I could keep up!

          Many blessings Dee. Enjoy!

          • Dee says:

            One last thing. When I made this I didn’t realize I was making a combination of all three of your white cheeses. I thought it was one recipe..lol! Now I realize you have pepper jack, smoked ghouda, and swiss…I made this one but omitted the peppers for more of a “swiss cheese” type of taste..I said all this to say that I took it a step further, and after a few days of it being in the fridge, I put it into the food processor with fresh garlic, fresh spinach and artichokes…mmmmm! Artichoke, spinach dip!! After processing it, I mixed in some marinated (not raw) artichoke chunks…talk about good! I am even more excited because I have been trying to find a good “raw” vegan artichoke dip and most of the one I found either use tofu or require baking..But this was was sooooo good! Thanks so much Amie Sue!

            • amie-sue says:

              lol Dee… well I am glad that it came out. :) After reading your comment, I find myself hungry. hehe It all sounds so yummy. Thank you sharing that with me…us. Have a great day and enjoy! amie sue

  12. Andrea says:

    First of all, I love your beautiful inviting website!! And thank you for posting this recipe!!! I was about to try it and then was a little confused about the water/almond milk in the ingedients. The first ingredient listed is 1/2 cup almond milk and the instructions says to blend that with the cashews. Then there is 1 cup water listed near the end of the ingredient list, which I assumed was for the agar flakes, but in the directions is says to bring the flakes to a boil with the 1/2 cup water or almond milk. What is the 1 cup water for? Sorry if I am missing something in the recipe. :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Sorry for the confusion Andrea… I fixed the recipe. You use 1/2 cup water (or nut milk) in the “cheese sauce” and 1 cup water in the agar gel. Thanks for pointing that out. :) amie sue

  13. Nancy Baughman says:

    Could you mention some resources to buy some more difficult items, or even some more common ones, do you order through the mail? Can you say through which companies? which are your favorites? I have the pizza crackers in dehydrator now, can’t wait to try them. I want to try to make your pepper jack cheese without peppers and instead put in garlic and green onions, to eat on top of your pizza crackers with mushrooms, sounds great. Thank you for all you share.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Nancy,

      Do you have particular items that you are looking for? It would take me a long time to go through all the ingredients I use and list out where they come from. Usually, the harder ingredients, I create links in the ingredient list to help people see what I am using. My “store” on the site, a good place to reference to so you can see what I use. But it changes as I find ingredients readily available or not. So, I might get my almonds from 5 different places, it just depends.

      I hope you make the crackers and cheese. Both are so yummy! Have a great day Nancy. amie sue

  14. RenB says:

    I look forward to your recipes everyday! Your website has been such an inspiration on my journey into vegan life and more specifically trying for very high raw nourishment. Today I am making the cheese and got confused about some of the ingredients: the cashews, lemon juice, and thyme. Although my cashews had swelled to more than 1/2 cup after soaking, I added the whole thing…(hope it turns out okay); also, I was not sure at what point to add the lemon juice so I added it with the first set of ingredients that went in with the cashews. With the thyme, I just added a 1/4 tsp, since I could not find the measurement for it. I will let you know how it turns out. Now I’m tackling the chili recipe! WooHoo! I can’t wait for dinner!

    Thank you so much for sharing your amazing and beautiful creativity and your wonderful healthy recipes!

    • amie-sue says:

      Let me see if I can clear any of the confusion for you RenB.

      Q ~ “the cashews, lemon juice, and thyme. Although my cashews had swelled to more than 1/2 cup after soaking, I added the whole thing…(hope it turns out okay)”

      A ~ Yes, the cashews do swell and you add all of them. One way to read recipes is like this..

      1/2 cup soaked cashews (the recipe writer has indicated to measure out 1/2 a cup of cashews that have already been soaked)

      OR

      1/2 cup cashews, soaked (the recipe writer is indicting to measure out a 1/2 cup of dry cashews and then soak them, thus using all of the end product after swelling)

      ALL of my recipes will read the dry measurement of nuts and seeds used. It would be wasteful and confusing to the reader to make you soak more nuts than what are needed for the recipe.

      Q ~ also, I was not sure at what point to add the lemon juice so I added it with the first set of ingredients that went in with the cashews.
      A ~ Goodness, that was my error in not adding it in the list of items to add under preparation. I fixed that, thank you.

      Q ~ With the thyme, I just added a 1/4 tsp, since I could not find the measurement for it.
      A ~ Blushes with embarrassment. I didn’t use thyme, but not to worry, I am sure it will come out wonderful regardless. I am not normally so absent minded, my apologies. I hope I didn’t lose your trust in my recipes.

      Have a wonderful afternoon RenB… and thank you for all your comments. Blessings, amie sue

      • RenB says:

        Thank you so much for helping me. The cheese came out wonderful and I used all of the cashews – I thought about how you had written it and it really makes so much sense – no waste! If I might say so myself – it’s delicious and the thyme didn’t really show up! Your website and recipes are amazing. I’ve tried many or your crackers, ice creams, and bars, but never commented before today because I was always rushing to make dual meals for myself and my family. Your emails are the first ones I look for every morning to stay inspired.

        I am working on the chili right now and can’t wait to taste it this evening! I will post the results when I’m done!

        Thanks again for sharing your gifts! Blessings, RenB

        • amie-sue says:

          Good evening RenB,

          Your comment made my night. I am so happy that the cheese came out. :) I love hearing from those who try the recipes, good or bad, it helps me too. So thank you so much for taking the time out to share your thoughts, I know your time is valuable. I hope to hear from you in the future! Thank you for your kind words tonight. Many blessings to you and your family. amie sue

  15. Elissa says:

    I just discovered your website… and bravo is all I can say! Excited to try some of these recipes. Do you have to use a cheese mold? I was thinking maybe I could try a silicone mold? What are your thoughts?

    Thanks in advance!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Elissa,

      Thank you… I hope that you can sense my passion throughout my site. I don’t use a “cheese” mold… I use everything and anything! Silicone is really fun to use for the vegan cheeses. They pop right out. Use any shape and size… have fun! amie sue

  16. Terence says:

    Hi Amie-sue,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful site. I am curious, have you ever tried freezing these vegan cheeses? Do they hold up well?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Terence,

      Thank you for your kind words. I have tried freezing it and it doesn’t thaw the best. The flavor also seemed to diminish some. So, I wouldn’t freeze it. Have a great day, amie sue

  17. Nancy says:

    hi do you have a recommendation of where to buy cheese rings? thanks Nancy

  18. Nadia says:

    Hello, i am new to this site and would like to thank you for the recipes! I tried this out last night, but the texture of the cheese was very – “rubbery”. I used 1.5 tbsp of agar powder and boiled it as per your instructions. Have you experienced this outcome before?? Too much powder? Was it the way i blended in the gel? I only have a magic bullet so i had to mix it all at once. Could that be my issue?

    Thanks for assistance and once again, for the recipes!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Nadia,

      Welcome to my site. :)

      If you used the exact same measurements as I did, it shouldn’t be rubbery but then it might seem more on the rubbery side if you were expecting the outcome to be exactly like the texture of real cheese, or the type of cheese that you are use to. Do you suppose that could be the issue?

      After making the agar gel on the stove top, you then poured it into the the Bullet with the other ingredients that were already blended? Let me know and lets see if I can help you. :) amie sue

      • Nadia says:

        Hi Amie-Sue,

        Yes, i blended the other ingredients first, then added the gel and blended it all together. Then i poured it into a muffin pan and put it in the fridge.

        I’ve never had nut cheese or made it, so maybe i was looking forward to a texture similar to real cheese? lol Your pictures make the cheese look like real cheese, so i was hoping for the same outcome!

        Do your other nut cheeses have similar textures to this one?

        Thanks again for all your help!

        Nadia

        • amie-sue says:

          Hello Nadia…

          OK so it sounds like it was just a different texture than what you expected. :) The nut based cheeses without the agar tend to be more on the soft side than a normal cheese. Unless you let it “age” in the fridge for many weeks. But if you skim through the other cheese recipes, the ones using agar will have a similar texture as this one. Have a great evening, amie sue

  19. mary says:

    Hi amie-sue!

    Made this today and must say it was wowwowweeeee!! I put in some chipotle spice and smoked paprika also and it turned out great! My only question is, in one of the comments you say to let the agar cool….I didn’t do this, just poured it in like you stated in instructions then added the peppers. The texture is like fresh creamy mozzarella wow! If I was supposed to
    Let it cool what would it be like and what is the reason for cooling it? All I know is that it was yummy!!
    Also your suggestion for grinding the sheets of agar worked great, turned it right into powder and was able to measure my 1 1/2 T. Thanks for all your help.
    Mary

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Mary,

      Soooo happy to hear that you are liking the cheese! I love your additions. I am not seeing “that” comment Mary about letting it cool. Help :) Are you referring to the chilling process after everything is blended?

      Great job on being brave in playing with agar. It can be so much fun. :) Have a blessed evening, amie sue

  20. mary says:

    Hi amie-sue
    It’s the reply to Kate. ..Oct. 8th
    “A chemical reaction occurs when it’s boiled and cooled”, I didn’t do this and wondered what happens when you do, does the texture change?
    Thank you amie-sue…. you’re the be best

  21. Angel CocoNUTS says:

    Does this cheese melt? ohhhh i hope so!!

  22. Jokuh says:

    Hi Amie Sur,
    The cheese is fantastic, the taste to die for. I only have this question: how can I make it a bit harder? It is like a cheese spread. I would like to ve able to shave som cheese, if you know what I mean. Have you any tips for me?

    Greetings,
    Jokuh

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Jokuh, you can increase the agar if needed. With that measurement it was shreddable for me but just add maybe 1/4 – 1/2 a tsp and see how that is. You can easily over do it and end up with a rubber bouncing ball. hehe Have a great day, amie sue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nine + eighteen =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>