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Swiss Cheese | Vegan | Oil-Free

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As you are well aware, you don’t see dairy as an ingredient in raw recipes.  Did you know that dairy is one of the top allergens? But there is a difference between a dairy allergy and dairy intolerance. You may be wondering why I am even talking about dairy since I don’t use it in my recipes.  I just thought that it might be beneficial to share just a bit of what I have learned. We can never have too much knowledge.

So what is the difference?  “Milk intolerance causes different symptoms and requires different treatment from a true milk allergy. Common signs and symptoms of milk protein or lactose intolerance include digestive problems, such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea, after consuming milk or products containing milk.” 

“A milk allergy is when your immune system thinks dairy is a foreign invader and attacks it by releasing chemicals called histamines. Symptoms can range from wheezing problems to vomiting and diarrhea.” (source)

Outside of those symptoms, dairy can affect you in many other ways.  For me, I break out on my face.  I can always tell if dairy was snuck into my food – ah, the risks of eating out.  Even the tiniest bit can bring on a pimple.  So, if you ever notice a new symptom pop up or perhaps an old one that you can never quite shake and if any dairy is in your diet, you might want to try omitting it for 1-3 months and see if things clear up.

On to this cheese…. this recipe is vegan but not 100% raw.  Agar is used, and it requires boiling water to dissolve and to activate its magic. Magic meaning, agar, is the crucial ingredient that gives that cheese texture to this recipe.  The fun part is that you can use any mold to shape it in.  If you have children, I think this would be a fun recipe to include them in on.  Let them select the container for the shape, and within a very short time, they can see the fruit of their efforts.  Nothing quite as satisfying as that.

As you know, Swiss cheese comes with holes in it, that is what gives it its unique look.  Below, you will see some pictures of how I created those holes to make it look authentic.  But that is entirely optional.   On a side note, this cheese would make a great gift to give to friends and family who are vegan (or just like different cheeses).  Wrap it in wax or parchment paper and tie it up with twine.

Enjoy and have fun with the process. Be sure to comment below. blessings, amie sue


yields 4″x4″x2″ brick


  1. Set aside a 3 cup container, or the mold of your choice to use as the mold for the cheese.
  2. In a high powered blender add, water, cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, tahini, mustard, salt, garlic, onion flakes, garlic powder, and dill. Blend until the mix is completely smooth.
    • Stop occasionally to test for grittiness.
    • It can take 1-3 minutes, depending on the blender.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to boil.  Slowly add the agar stirring with a whisk. Reduce the heat and simmer, often whisking, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until completely dissolved.
  4. Start the blender and create a vortex.  Slowly pour a little into the blender, be careful not to splatter yourself.  Working quickly.  Scrape the sides.   Process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender jar as necessary.
  5. Pour into a container and cool uncovered in the refrigerator.
  6. When completely cool, cover and chill several hours.  To serve, turn out of the container and slice.
  7. Store covered in the refrigerator.  It will keep 5 to 7 days.
  8. To make the “swiss holes,”  I used a drinking straw and poked it in at different angles.


80 thoughts on “Swiss Cheese | Vegan | Oil-Free

  1. What a lovely recipe – I’ll sure try this one. I’ve made nut cheese before but this is certainly stunning recipe. Beautiful photographs again, like all your recipes. Well done!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Laurinda. I am a huge fan of these cheese recipes. Let me know how it goes if you decide to make it! Blessings, amie sue

  2. Jana says:

    Good Morning Amie-Sue, well it’s morning here at my place. ;)

    Guess what? I’ve just started to soak the nuts, and I’m so excited of how the cheese will turn out!! I’ve also soaked the nuts for the cheese nip crackers, and the oats for some bread are “bathing” since last evening. :D
    I’m putting together a yummy raw food gift basket for a lovely couple I’ll be seeing on saturday. They love homemade healthy goodies and it is so nice to create beautiful raw food for them.
    I’ll tell you how everything turned out. I’m curious what my family will say about the swiss cheese!!! I haven’t had swiss cheese in 4 years, and I don’t want any of the real one but I need the comments of others since I can’t remember how real swiss cheese smells like.

    I believe it’s your catering day today?! Good luck, I’m so sure that everyone will love the food!

    Lovely greetings from Switzerland,

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Jana!

      Good for you for all the things you are trying out. My husband loves the texture and taste of soaked and dehydrated almonds. It is so much easier on a person’s digestion.

      That is so thoughtful of you to make up a gift basket of homemade foods. I am like that and love to give such gifts…you are giving the fruits of your love through it. You will be blessed. :)

      Keep me posted how the recipes go! Have a great day.

      Oh, yes, the catering is today. Catering raw/lliving food has its challenges. We are so volatile to the cost of foods, the availability when the time comes to making it, you can’t make most things up well ahead of time. Yesterday I stood in the kitchen from 7:30am till 9:30pm just to make the “fresh produce dishes”. I had been working through the week dehydrating crackers, kale chips, etc. I hope the food is well received!

      hugs, amie sue

  3. Alta says:

    Amie Sue, I have been looking for a vegan cheeze recipe, and this one looks really good. I do have a question about the recipe though. You mention ‘horseradish powder’ in the instructions, but I do not see it in the list of ingredients. Where do you find it, and how much do you use?


    • amie-sue says:

      Alta, OOPS….that was a typo, no horseradish powder is used. I fixed that….sorry about that and thank you for pointing that out so I could amend it. I hope you try the recipe though….we really enjoyed it!

  4. Claire says:

    I tried making this and also the mayonnaise but couldn’t get rid of the grainy texture. I am using almonds as my son is intolerant to cashews and wondered do you think using almond flour would work? That way my blender wouldn’t have to grind up the nuts

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Claire,
      I can see why you are getting that grainy texture, cashews do lend to a creamier consistency. When using the almonds are you soaking them first? Also, removing the skins might help make a difference as they are more fiberous. Just ideas. I haven’t used almond flour before so it would be an experiment and I can’t really comment for sure. Also, are you using a high-powered blender? I would love to be of help…so let’s start there. I hope you are enjoying your day. Today it is raining heavy and as gorgeous as can be. :) amie sue

    • Tiffany says:

      Blanched almonds tend to cream better than whole almonds with the brown coating still on them. Great recipe! I can’t wait to try it!!

  5. Claire says:

    I just have a normal blender. I haven’t had a problem with it before but I have only ground nuts in it to use as a cheesecake base or for raw brownies so they didn’t need to be so fine. Maybe that is the problem? I peeled the almonds but wasn’t sure how long to soak for so I left them for most of a day, probably about 8 hours

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Claire,

      It sounds like you soaked them long enough and are going through the right steps. It just might be that your blender isn’t capable to making it creamy enough, so hard to say without seeing it for myself. My guess is that it boils down to the fact of the makeup of the almond verses the cashew. Can you try using macadamia nuts? They get real creamy like the cashew nut. Keep me posted! amie sue

  6. Claire says:

    I think it is down to the blender as I made another batch using bought ground almonds and the texture is fine. may give the macadamia nuts a try too though. Thanks for your help

  7. Chris says:

    Yeah! Can you use hempseeds instead of cashews? What about Irish Moss instead of agar? Thanks, Amie Sue!

    • amie-sue says:

      Morning Chris,
      It’s good to hear from you. I haven’t tried hemp seeds or Irish Moss in this recipe so I can’t promise you what the exact outcome would be. It would be worth a shot though. To have an alternative to nuts would be great. I think we need to experiment on this and see what we come up with. :)

  8. Chris says:

    Is there a cheddar cheese version?

  9. Heather says:

    WOW, you are SO good to your hubby! He is a very lucky guy! Do you sleep very much because I’m wondering if you are a bit of an overachiever…this website and all these things you do are just so stellar! Thanks again for these great cheeze recipes!

    • amie-sue says:

      lol Heather…. so you think I am a bit of an overachiever? Your words made me giggle. I suppose I am but gosh darn I have fun in the meantime. hehe Sleep is by far over-rated. :P And I love my husband beyond words, and I would do anything for him and that includes making cheese. :) I am happy to hear that you are enjoying the recipes. Please keep in touch. amie sue

  10. kate says:

    I have made both the hard cheese recipes on your wonderful site in the last week and can say that I am absolutely addicted – the swiss cheese is particularly tasty. These cheeses are fabulous on raw flat breads or organic rye bread with sliced tomatoes and sliced pickled gherkins. Hurray for being able to make your own hard raw vegan cheeses with all the texture and flavour and none of the soy and mysterious “seasonings” that appear in the ingredients listings of big vegan commercial brands. Many many thanks. i am hooked.
    P.S. These cheeses are also delicious thinly sliced on top of sliced tomato pieces topped with gherkin slices as a snack. The possibilities are endless!

    • amie-sue says:

      That is wonderful to hear Kate. I love these “cheeses” as well! Thank you so much for sharing. I love it. Have a great day, amie sue

  11. Tiffany says:

    Does this cheese melt like other vegan cheeses? It looks good! I can’t wait to try it :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Tiffany, to be honest, I never tried melting it. In making it raw it would be my goal not to. hehe I hope you do try it, it was very good! amie sue

  12. Severine says:

    Hi Amie Sue, love your website and have drawn inspiration from it (and passed it on to friends and family) for the past year or so. Well done and thank you! I have tried this Swiss cheese a few times now following your recipe to the letter and, although it does taste nice and is a welcome change from other nut cheeses, I wonder how you get yours to be so ‘dry’ as in your pictures (similar to eg cheddar cheese)? Mine always turns out sort of ‘wet’, so more like a pate than a cheese and although I can sort of ‘grate’ it by forcing it through a grater, it still looks or taste nothing like cheese really (when other nut cheeses do). I do like pates but in this case I am expecting a grateable cheese-like product! Any ideas as to what I might be doing wrong?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Severine… it is good to hear from you. Thank you for all the kind words, it means a lot to me. Let’s see, regarding the cheese… Can you share with me what type of agar agar you are using? Flake or powder? I always use the powder form and never seem to have an issue with it. You can always add a tad bit more agar to get it to firm up even more. Also, are you draining the soak water from the cashews? Lets start with those questions and work from there.

      Have a happy day! amie sue

  13. Anna Stevens says:

    Are these cheese recipes Raw cheese recipes? I see that a lot have boiling water. I was just curious. I just started a raw food ‘lifestyle change’ (don’t like to call it a diet because I don’t want it to be a temporary thing) a week ago and went to a local raw/vegan restaurant. They had a raw chipotle cashew cheese that was delicious so I decided to look up some recipes to try myself! I am hoping that this is still considered ‘raw’. I love cheese normally but am trying to live a healthier lifestyle. Look forward to hearing from you! :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Anna, this “cheese” is not 100% raw due to the agar agar, but there are many raw “cheese” recipes on my site. Best of luck on your journey! I hope my site offers you inspiration to help you through your transition. Blessings, amie sue

  14. Jeani says:

    Hi, Amie Sue ~
    I’m not sure how I have missed your great site until now, but I am really glad I have found it!
    My question on this recipe is about the plastic storage container. Is there a reason that plastic is your choice? Would the recipe set up differently in glass?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Jeani,

      I am sorry that it has taken me so long to respond. I have been under the weather. You can use ANY container. Any shape, size or material. You can get really creative and have fun with it. I like to even use silicone molds and make different shapes. I am thankful that you found my site as well. I hope you find great inspiration throughout! amie sue

  15. Nuran says:

    we come around your web site ever since. And always we say let s write some thankful words to this wonderful human being… never did… but after this recipe we could not contain our selves…my husband said to invite you and your family whenever you d like to come to visit us in turkey and exchange some ideas on nutrition and happy living at the kitchen…thank you very very much for such a source of inspiration to so many people that want a healthier world…

    • amie-sue says:

      Nuran… your message here just warmed my heart. You have no idea how much it means to me for you to take time out of your day to share this with me. Thank you for the invitation… you just never know… Bob and I love to travel. ;) I hope to hear more from you in the future. Blessings to you and your family. amie sue

  16. Ana says:

    Hi Amie-Sue,

    Just wanted to thank you again for all your wonderful recipes. I have made this cheese and it came out beautifully! Love it! All the best

  17. Laurie says:

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!! OMG Amie Sue!!!! I can make your lovely cheeses now!

    I’m am over the wall excited!!! I was just given the name of a spice store in Montevideo that is famous for having everything. After looking at their website of the products that they have available to purchase from online, I was elated to find agar agar! And there are other things also. I never got all the way through the list because I had to run and tell someone. You were the first who came to mind. lol

    So now that I’ve lowered the pressure from excitement, I’m going to go look over the list with a magnifying glass and find out what process I have to do to place an order.

    Tener un día fantástico!

    PS. I owe you an email. Plus I want to inquire of the fonts you use on your photos. Have a project that might look good with a couple of them. =)

    • amie-sue says:

      What’s on the other side of the wall Laurie? I have been dying to know. lol

      You crack me up. Thank you for the giggle. I am just as excited as you are now so you must keep me posted as to how it goes! Please!

      I have been thinking about you and wondering how you have been. My inbox has me a bit buried but I am digging my way out hehe. Please do keep in touch and have a wonderful weekend. amie sue

  18. Sam McDougall says:

    Hi, I’m quite new to this website and this was the first recipe I tried from it. I turned vegan about 6 months ago and when I was vegetarian I loved swiss cheese. When I made the switch I could not find any swiss cheese so I just gave up, until I found this.

    Now, I have tried this recipe about 5 times and it hasn’t worked out the way I wanted out of all the go’s, but I am convinced I am doing something wrong.

    The first three tries failed because I did not have the right setting agent. I could not get my hand on Agar Agar so I was using Xanthan Gum. I was unsure how to use this as you only talked about using Agar in your recipes.

    The fourth time I had Agar, but I let it sit for too long and it hardened before I could get it blended in. The fifth time I had all the ingredients (bar dill weed) and I was sure it would work. The paste was smooth and I made sure I added the Agar before it hardened this time. I looked great and was probably the best mixture out of the all. I put it in the fridge and let it cool for a few hours. But when I took it out, it had the same consistency and was not hard like cheese should be but it was a sort of paste.

    I really don’t know what to do and wondered if you could help me with this.


    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Sam,

      Welcome to my site. I hope you find some fun and tasty recipes to add to your new healthy eating journey. :)

      It sounds like you have had quite the experiments going on in your kitchen. I have never used Xanthan Gum so I can’t comment on that. These “cheeses” that use agar will not have the exact texture as aged dairy cheese that you may have grown up with. Did you use agar powder or flakes? Did you soak the cashew prior? And did you drain them well? Was the agar completely dissolved? That can make a difference.

      It takes only takes 15-30 minutes for agar cheeses to set, it happens pretty darn quick.

      Let me know your thoughts. amie sue

      • Sam says:

        Thank you for the warm welcome. :-)

        I did use Agar Powder and I did soak the cashews. I tried to follow your recipe exactly, with the exception of a few things I could not help (such as not being able to get dill weed).

        The last time I did it, I did not want the agar to set in the pan like it had the time before, so I added it pretty well straight away. I’m not sure if that would have made a difference as it still would have been warm/hot.

        I did however let it sit for a while (the cashews, nutritional yeast and other herbs/spices) while I was activating the Agar.

        I will definitely try it again as I want to really nail it so that I can enjoy it like I used to.

        Thank you for your reply.


        • amie-sue says:

          Hi Sam,

          Once the agar gel is ready it needs to instantly go into the blender with the other ingredients that are already blended together… sounds like you did things correctly on that last try. Agar takes a little getting use to. I hope this next batch is perfect for you! amie sue

          • Sam McDougall says:

            Don’t worry I’ll definitely be trying to make it again soon.

            Although I would like to enquire about something else as well. Do you have any experience with vegan choux (shoe) pastry. I am vegan (not raw vegan) so I have been trying out making some pastries. Although they aren’t really turning out the way I had imagined, because choux pastry is hard to make at the best of times, let alone making a vegan recipe. But if you have any experience with it, please let me know.

            Thank you for all the help so far.

            -Sam :)

  19. Linda says:

    What an awesome picture and the recipe reads if its possible to make. Oh. Yeah. I’m from german and i’d like to know if nutritional yeast is normal yeast like i take to make bread? I ask because it is mutch – 1/4 cup… for a bread i need only 6 or 11 gramm?!
    So please let me know so i can start. I’m so excited, because my projects to make cheese runs not so well so far. So i hope so hard this will be the change.
    Best wishes from here to you.

  20. Kyla says:

    Just made this today, and it is the most delicious vegan cheese I’ve ever had, let alone made! Thanks so much for this recipe <3 .

    • amie-sue says:

      That is wonderful Kyla. Thank you for trying the recipe and commenting. Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend, amie sue

  21. Kathy says:

    I just made this cheese today. Firstly, never having used agar powder, I was amazed at its gelatinous texture. vegan ingredients are so new and interesting to me. However, regarding taste, I must say, this tastes nothing like “swiss” cheese or any cheese for that matter. I’ve made the cashew cheeses before and am familiar with their flavor, although all these recipes claim “cheddar” or “swiss”, they’ve yet to come close. You can really taste the onion and garlic flavors and I followed this recipe to a T! That being said, is an interesting flavor, but I wouldn’t say that is swiss, for those of us that used to consume dairy (yuck), this unfortunately tastes nothing like it. It was fun to make, and I’ll tinker with the quantities of ingredients to find a suitable flavor, but this was a miss in my book…but thank you for the experience.

    • amie-sue says:

      I am sorry that you didn’t enjoy this cheese and I appreciate your feed-back. :) But as you said, at least you go to experience what it is like to use agar. Have a wonderful evening, amie sue

  22. Rachel Herriott says:

    We LOVE this cheese. It is an absolute staple in our fridge. From time to time I add red pepper or herbs but usually we just enjoy it the way it is. Thank you for sharing!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Rachel :) So happy that you are enjoying the recipe and having fun with it. I appreciate that you shared this. Blessings, amie sue

  23. tarengil says:

    Your cheese is absolutely perfect!

  24. Made this recipe tonight to go with my seitan Reuben sandwiches. I’ve made many vegan cheeses before, and this one is definitely one of my faves! I’ll be adding it to my rotation of recipes, for sure. Wish I could send you my photos of it!

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh that sounds delightful. So happy that you enjoyed it Lauren. You are welcome to email me the photos if you want to [email protected] :)

      Thank you for coming back to share your experience. It means a lot. Blessings, amie sue

  25. Maia says:

    I just made this today for a party tomorrow. I did not taste it yet. However, mine didn’t come out anywhere near as uniform as the one in the photo. I had to keep scraping bits out of the blender, and some parts of the cheese dried before I could get it out. Did I do something wrong? Hopefully it will still taste fine.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Maia,

      I will do my best to help trouble shoot this but it can be challenging without being there to see exactly what you used and did. I need to ask some questions to better help.

      Please clarify what you mean by uniform? Did it not hold shape? etc.
      You do have to work quickly once you add the agar… with a little practice this will come naturally. If the cheese was setting up in the blender it sounds like it was cooling too quick. So either the ingredients in the blender might have been too cold or the timing was too slow in getting the agar gel into the blender.

      Let’s start there and see what we come up with. amie sue

      • Maia says:

        What I meant by uniform is that your cheese looks very smooth and even in texture. Mine was clumped and uneven. It tasted great, though!

        • amie-sue says:

          Hello Maia,

          It sounds like it was starting to cool down too quick, agar sets up fast so everything has to be set up and running smoothly. Don’t give up! Once you understand how agar works, you will have a lot of fun with it. Blessings to you, amie sue

  26. Lovely cheese recipe, I changed a few things as per availability of ingredients and it still turned out great! So good in fact I shared it on the blog.

  27. […] like to share another cheese recipe with you today.  This one was adapted from Nouveau Raw's Swiss Cheeze recipe.  It's a wonderful blog with a lot of handy vegan recipes, especially cheeses! There is no […]

  28. Jacinte says:

    I made your Swiss cheese recipe it looks just like yours. Do you think that 6 spoons of agar agar flakes to harden it wold make it harder like the Swiss cheese?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Jacinte,

      Thank you for sharing. The thing with agar is that it won’t really harden it like you are imaging dairy cheese is… it will make it like a rubbery bouncing ball instead. I am working on some vegan cheese recipes that require some aging so we can get that firmer texture. They won’t be 100% raw. So much experimenting to do, so little time. :)

      Have a blessed day, amie sue

  29. Jacinte says:

    Thanks a lot Amie-Sue for the advice. We are missing cheese so when you’ll put a new cheese recipe up, I will try it.
    But for the moment I’m looking more for finger food do you have any suggestions.
    Thanks you’re the best.
    Have a great day

    • amie-sue says:

      You’re welcome Jacinte.

      Finger foods… hmmm, that’s a wide open question. Are you looking for dehydrated goodies, goodies for the fridge, or what do you have in mind? Blessings, amie sue

  30. Jacinte says:

    Actually it’s something to nibble on to replace potato chips before the meal, when we have people over.
    Thanks so much you’re an angel. 👼

  31. Jacinte says:

    Thinking about it apparently we can make a meal with different kinds of finger food and it would not take any longer then preparing a regular meal. So if you can help me with ideas of finger food that would make a meal that would be great.
    Thank you so much for taking some of your time for me, thanks a lot.

  32. […] Vegan Swiss Cheese  from NOUVEAU RAW  […]

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