A homemade vegan cheddar cheese made from a few ingredients. This recipe is gluten, nut, oil, and soy free! The base of this recipe is made with red lentils, combined with tapioca starch and seasonings to make a delicious vegan cheddar cheese.
It has been about a year and a half since I made my vegan mozzarella recipe and that one was a huge hit. So I decided it was time to tackle a vegan cheddar. When thinking of this recipe I thought about why the vegan mozzarella was so popular. First reason, it is very allergen friendly. Second reason, easy to find ingredients and nothing weird. Final reason, it provides a healthier and easy to make alternative. So I thought how could I do that again, what can I use to make a vegan cheddar? Then it hit me. Red lentils.
I love red lentils. They are soft, tender, creamy, and cook much quicker than brown or green lentils. The color is of course perfect for a cheddar cheese and not to mention they are little powerhouses for nutrition. I love red lentils for this because I think they are pretty accessible, easy to find, and usually inexpensive. The second ingredient that is essential for this recipe is tapioca flour/starch. This is made from cassava flour and it is what will give the cheese it’s stretchy, gooey texture. There is no replacement for this but it is easy to find online and in most larger food stores/health food stores.
Now let’s talk about what you can do with this vegan cheddar cheese… pretty much anything you want! I used it to make a vegan grilled cheese. You can use it for vegan macaroni and cheese, quesadillas, enchiladas, cheeseburgers any place you want to use it. This will make about 8 ounces of the vegan cheddar. It can stay in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days and it will become thick enough where you can cut it into little cubes or pieces to melt.
Looking for more recipes? Check out my new cookbook Plantiful: Over 75 Vibrant Vegan Comfort Foods!
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1/4 cup (45g) red lentils
1/2 cup nondairy milk (120ml) unsweetened and unflavored, divided
2 tablespoons (12g) tapioca flour/starch
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon salt, to preference
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, just a small squeeze
- Soak the lentils in a bowl with water for 5 minutes until water turns cloudy, then drain.
- Place the lentils in medium pot with 1 1/2 cups (360ml) of water. Boil on medium high for 20 minutes, until the water has been mostly cooked off and lentils are extremely mushy. They will also turn yellow in color.
- Add the lentils into a blender (a high speed blender is preferred) with 1/4 cup nondairy milk. Blend until extremely smooth for around 30 to 45 seconds.
- Then add in the remaining nondairy milk, tapioca flour, nutritional yeast, paprika, garlic powder, lemon juice, and salt. You can start with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and add more to your preference. I usually do 1 teaspoon.
- Blend on high until it is thicker liquid, it should be easy to pour. If not add another tablespoon of nondairy milk.
- Pour into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring frequently until it has thickened. This will take about 5 minutes so don’t worry if it takes a few minutes to thicken up. It will turn thick and stretchy resembling a thick cheese sauce.
- Use immediately or wait for it to cool before transferring into a container.
Makes about 8 ounces (230g)/about 4 servings
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