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Mexican Chili Cheese

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This “cheese” is high-raw but not fully raw as I use using agar. There really isn’t a raw replacement unless you want to experiment with different textures.

There are a lot of recipes out there that use agar in vegan cheeses, but often they boil many ingredients together along with the agar.  I only boil water and agar, then add it to the blender along with the other raw ingredients.  So, I do my best to minimize the “damage.”

By omitting the agar, you would end up with a very thick creamy dip that would be excellent with fresh veggies or spread on sandwiches.   I was after a block of cheese that I could slice and shred, and that is just what I got. Love it when things work out.

Agar vegan cheeses are not the same in texture or taste as dairy cheese.  It’s funny… when I try to think of how to describe the taste of basic dairy cheese, it is very hard to come up with a full description.  Much like white bread… everyone (well, not everyone) tends to love it, but when you ask them what it tastes like, it forces a person to stop and think… often leaving them speechless. There are some flavors that are just hard to pinpoint.

This cheese has a very dense, firm texture but slices and shreds very easily.  It is more “wet” than a dry, crumbly cheese. Flavor-wise, it has hints of chili spice and Sriracha, which is what I wanted.

If you are new to making vegan cheese like this, you should know that agar sets up very quickly. Don’t be intimated by it by any means.  It is easy and fun, just be prepared. :)  You can use any container as a cheese mold which can be really fun.  I forgot to grab my mold when I was making this cheese, and I grabbed the closest thing next to my stove… a big mug/bowl!  See photo below.  I hope you enjoy this recipe! Blessings, amie sue


  • 1 cup cashews, soaked 2+ hours
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp raw coconut vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
 Agar gel:


  1. Place the cashews in a glass bowl, along with 4 cups of water.
    • The soaking process will help reduce phytic acid, which will aid in digestion.
    • The soaking also softens the cashews, so they blend nice and creamy.
    • After the cashews are through soaking, drain, and rinse.
  2. In a high-powered blender combine the; cashews, water, nutritional yeast, vinegar, chili powder, Sriracha, onion powder, salt, and garlic.  Blend until creamy and smooth.
    • Due to the volume and the creamy texture that we are going after, it is important to use a high-powered blender.  It could be too taxing on a lower-end model.
    • Blend until the batter is creamy smooth.   You shouldn’t detect any grit.  If you do, keep blending.
    • This process can take 2-4 minutes, depending on the strength of the blender.  Keep your hand cupped around the base of the blender carafe to feel for warmth.  If the batter is getting too warm.  Stop the machine and let it cool.  Then proceed once cooled.
    • Note: Sriracha sauce is not raw. You can use any hot sauce or even cayenne instead.
  3. In a small saucepan whisk together 3/4 cup of water and the agar.  Bring to a boil for about one minute, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, continually stirring until the agar is dissolved completely.
  4. Start the blender creating a vortex, CAREFULLY add the agar gel and blend just long enough to incorporate everything together.  Don’t over process.  The batter will start to thicken.
    • Be careful that the liquid doesn’t splatter, hitting your skin.
    • What is a vortex?  Look into the container from the top and slowly increase the speed from low to high,  the batter will form a small vortex (or hole) in the center.  High-powered machines have containers that are designed to create a controlled vortex, systematically folding ingredients back to the blades for smoother blends and faster processing… instead of just spinning ingredients around, hoping they find their way to the blades.
    • If your machine isn’t powerful enough or built to do this, you may need to stop the unit often to scrape the sides down.
  5. Pour the mixture into your mold of choice.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  7. You can grate this cheese using a box grater, or you can slice it any way you wish.

8 thoughts on “Mexican Chili Cheese

  1. Svetlana says:

    Hi Amie!
    My name is Svetlana and I am very new to your website and a vegan diet. I admire your experience and am looking forward to try many, many recipes of yours!
    Regarding this post I wonder if there is a substitute for Sriracha cause. At the moment I am on anti candida diet and this sauce contains sugar, white vinegar, and a couple of bad chemicals.
    Thank you!! :))

    • amie-sue says:

      Welcome Svetlana, so nice to have you here! I hope you find a lot of recipe to keep you inspired and full. :) The Sriracha sauce add a spicy flavoring so you can use any spice that brings in a little heat if you wish. Just spice to taste. Have a great day! amie sue

  2. Afsaneh says:

    Hi Amie Sue, have a question about agar agar powder.when and how do you add agar agar into hot? warm? room temp? water avoiding clumpy pieces and difficult to dissolve?
    many thanks :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Afsaneh,

      Agar needs to get to a high temp in order to fully dissolve and active its gelling properties. I explain the process under the preparation #3. :) I hope you give the cheese recipe a try. Have a happy and blessed day my friend. amie sue

      • Afsaneh says:

        Thanks Amie! So first add agar agar to water in room temperature, then bring the mixture to boil. I noticed if i add agar agar in hot water it will get clumpy and no chance to get dissolved. I will try to see what happens this time :) i would love to try all your recipes for sure..:) many thanks, XOX

        • amie-sue says:

          What form of agar are you using Afsaneh. You can soak first in water, it’s called “blooming” I use agar powder and never bloom it and it works for me. did you give the cheese a try yet? :) Blessings and hugs, amie sue

          • Afsaneh says:

            hi Amie! i use agar agar powder… and today i am going to make it…and i just found the answer! “if using powder,…never mix agar powder with warm/hot water,as it will clump and impossible to dissolve. stir into room temp liquid and then bring it to a rolling boil, making sure agar has dissolved.”… now i think it is going to work! i let you know when i made it :) i think you have always and naturally done it right or maybe it is my agar powder..;)i am going to try it.. many thanks,XX

            • amie-sue says:

              I never do that with the powder and it works fine but whatever it takes, right?! hehe I can’t wait to hear the outcome of your cheese. Heading outside of a brisk cool walk. hugs, amie sue

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