If you're looking for the best vegan cheese for pizza, casseroles, lasagna, and more, this vegan mozzarella recipe is the way to go! It's so easy to prepare and has that melty, creamy, rich, and cheesy flavor and mouthfeel you want. Plus, it's made without soy or gluten and can also be free from cashews, oil, and coconut!
The recipe includes TWO versions:
- a thinner, pourable vegan mozzarella that's perfect for pizza
- and a slightly thicker vegan mozzarella that's great for dishes like quesadillas and stuffed crust pizza!
Why You'll Love This Vegan Mozzarella
I'm not exaggerating when I say this homemade vegan mozzarella is SO EASY. It's basically instant gratification.
In less time than it would take you to drive to the store and buy some shredded vegan cheese, you can have this healthier - and much more delicious - vegan mozzarella on your pizza and in your mouth!
A mild and melty vegan cheese like this is such an all-around useful and delicious vegan cheese to know how to make. So I figured it was about time this creamy, meltable vegan mozzarella cheese got its own post!
- Why You'll Love This Vegan Mozzarella
- How to Make Vegan Mozzarella
- Do I need to include agar?
- What is the purpose of oil in vegan mozzarella?
- Ways to Use Vegan Mozzarella
- More Ways to Use Tapioca Starch
- More Ways to Use Agar Agar
- You Might Like
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Homemade vegan mozzarella is versatile, too. Make it:
- with cashews OR sunflower seeds
- with or without oil
- with or without agar, depending on how you plan to use it. Agar helps it set and makes it easier to handle if you plan to make stuffed crust pizza.
- and you can easily adjust the salt and acidity to get the flavor just right for your palate!
As I mentioned, there are TWO different ways to make the recipe. The original version is thicker and stretchier. It's great for stuffed crust, grilled cheese, and quesadillas.
The NEW version (added December 2022) is closer to a liquid vegan mozzarella, although not quite as thin as Miyoko's liquid pizza mozzarella. It's perfect for pizza and drizzling on top of a casserole or pasta bake.
Thicker Vegan Mozzarella (Original Recipe)
- raw cashews or raw sunflower seeds - you only need ⅓ cup nuts/seeds for the whole batch, making this cheese relatively light (even though it tastes rich).
- nutritional yeast - all "nooch" is not created equal! I highly recommend this non-fortified one by Sari Foods. Non-fortified refers to it not having added folate or B12, but it's still rich in other naturally occurring B vitamins.
- tapioca starch - tapioca is important for achieving the best melty, stretchy consistency. See below for more ideas and ways to use it.
- lemon juice - adds a fresh and cheesy acidity.
- garlic powder - adds a touch of savoriness without tasting too garlicky. Feel free to use one small garlic clove instead.
- sea salt - in the interest of keeping the recipe simple I opted for sea salt for 100% of the saltiness, but you can also use white miso or chickpea miso to replace some of the salt.
- agar powder (optional) - this seaweed-based vegan gelatin substitute isn't necessary for the recipe, but it can come in handy if you'd like the cheese to set slightly when cool. More on this below.
- refined coconut oil (optional) - this is the type of coconut oil that does NOT smell or taste like coconut. Adds richness and a more authentic cheesy mouthfeel but isn't necessary for a deliciously gooey and meltable cheese.
- white vinegar (optional) - include this if you prefer an extra tangy cheese.
NEW Version: Best Vegan Mozzarella For Pizza!
- raw cashews - I haven't tested this one yet with other nuts (like blanched almonds) or seeds, but I do think these subs will be fine.
- olive oil (optional) - for this more liquid, pourable vegan cheese, I've switched to using olive oil instead of coconut oil. I haven't tested this one yet without oil. If you give it a try let us know in the comments below.
Update! I tested it on lasagna recently and omitted the oil (here's the photo I shared on facebook). It worked great! Also, several readers have reported back that they made this version without oil and loved it.
- tapioca starch - we're using half the amount of tapioca here to keep the cheese more melty, milky, and creamy.
- vinegars - instead of lemon juice, I wanted this recipe to be more more pantry-friendly. So a combination of rice vinegar and white vinegar create just the right amount of cheesy tang. There's the option to add a bit of lemon juice at the end if you feel like it needs it.
- garlic - one small/medium clove or garlic adds savory depth of flavor. This is critical to the overall flavor.
- chickpea miso - adds a subtle fermented, cheesy flavor plus umami and saltiness. Sub white miso if you don't have chickpea. If you don't have miso, increase the salt to taste (the flavor of the cheese will be slightly affected).
- sea salt - I used fine sea salt. Tip: in any recipe, never substitute table salt in the same amount, as it would be much too salty.
- sugar - just a small amount of sugar helps the cheese brown, more like dairy mozzarella. If you include the optional lemon juice, the natural sugars in the juice also help with this.
- lemon juice (optional) - after blending the cheese, give it a taste and decide whether you want another layer of acidity. You may find the vinegars are enough.
Honestly, I just don't always have a fresh lemon on hand, and I figured you might not either. So I made sure this recipe tastes great and cheesy enough even without lemon.
Tip: Even without nutritional yeast we thought the pourable vegan mozzarella was super cheesy. But if you'd like to add some nooch to the recipe it certainly won't hurt!
See the recipe card below for quantities and full instructions.
How to Make Vegan Mozzarella
The instructions for the two versions of the recipe are the same. In the photos below you can see the difference in consistency.
First, add everything to a blender EXCEPT the tapioca and any optional ingredients. A high-speed blender works best here, but if you remember to plan ahead and soak the cashews (or seeds) a standard blender is fine, too.
Next, grab a small sauce pan, whisk, and silicone spatula, and get ready for the magic!
- Pour into a small saucepan and place over medium heat. As the vegan mozzarella mixture is coming to temperature, be sure to whisk frequently, scraping the bottom and corners of the pot. You'll see signs of thickening.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. The cheese will quickly become more uniformly thick. Keep whisking.
- And after just a few minutes, your vegan mozzarella is ready! Use it warm dolloped on top of pizza or other hot dishes, or transfer it to a bowl or container to cool.
Once the cheese has cooled, refrigerate until ready to use. It will firm up quite a bit after chilling. However, it won't be firm enough to grate or shred. That would require a few changes to the recipe.
The two photos above show the more liquid-y, new version of the recipe.
After heating for about 3 minutes it becomes silky smooth and reminiscent of bechamel sauce. Where I dragged my finger across the spatula you can see the consistency.
Do I need to include agar?
The agar powder is optional (and only part of the original, thicker recipe). You really only need it if you want the cheese to be firmer and easier to handle.
For example, this is useful when making stuffed crust pizza because the cheese is more solid as you arrange it around the perimeter of the pizza dough.
Including agar won't transform this into a shreddable vegan mozzarella, though. That would require more saturated fat, starch, cashews, and some kappa carrageenan.
What is the purpose of oil in vegan mozzarella?
Refined coconut oil is often used in vegan cheese recipes because it's higher in saturated fat than other oils (dairy is high in saturated fat). Not only does coconut oil melt when hot, it causes the cheese to firm up when cool.
For the newly updated version of the recipe, the liquid vegan mozzarella, I was inspired by Miyoko's liquid pizza cheese. I didn't want the firmness of the saturated fat in coconut oil, so I decided to use Italian olive oil. It adds depth and richness but stays creamier as it cools. You could substitute another neutral-tasting oil here if needed, such as avocado oil.
Though oil also creates a more decadent mouthfeel, it's completely optional in both recipes. So if you avoid oil in your diet don't feel like you'll be missing out on the whole vegan mozzarella experience!
- tapioca starch - this is the ideal starch to use for vegan mozzarella, but if needed you could substitute potato starch, corn starch or arrowroot.
- nut-free - raw sunflower seeds are a perfect nut-free option.
Ways to Use Vegan Mozzarella
You can certainly eat this cheese cold if you'd like, but both versions of the recipe are really meant for hot recipes where you need a gooey melted mozzarella like:
- on top of pizza
- stuffed inside pizza crust
- vegan quesadillas and grilled cheese sandwiches
- vegan tuna melts
- baked ziti and lasagna
- layered into pasta bakes
- added to mashed potatoes
- and on top of loaded baked potatoes
RELATED: If you love homemade vegan cheeses, don't miss this popular Vegan Pimento Cheese Spread!
A high-speed blender works best for blending nuts and seeds, but if you don't have one you can always soak the cashews. Soak overnight or quick-soak in hot water for about an hour. Then drain very well before adding to the blender. If using sunflower seeds, a quick-soak in hot water should be enough to help with blending.
You'll also need a whisk and a small saucepan.
Store vegan mozzarella in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It's also freezer-friendly. Place in an airtight container, and thaw before use.
More Ways to Use Tapioca Starch
If you're concerned about buying yet another specialty ingredient and then not knowing how to use it, I'm here to help! Check out all these fun ways to use tapioca flour:
- the BEST vegan gluten-free pie crust
- oil-free queso
- homemade almond yogurt
- nut-free vegan mac and cheese
- cauliflower gratin
- oil-free queso dip
More Ways to Use Agar Agar
Agar is known for being a plant-based substitute for gelatin, so of course it makes amazing vegan jell-o. Try it in this veganized Strawberry Pretzel Salad!
You Might Like
I hope you LOVE these vegan mozzarella recipes. It always makes my day to hear from you, so if you try the recipe be sure to give it a star rating and comment below to let us know! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Vegan Mozzarella for Pizza and Melting
Thicker version (great for quesadillas, stuffed crust, and grilled cheese):
- 1 cup water
- ⅓ cup raw cashews - or raw sunflower seeds; see Note 1
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons refined coconut oil, optional - See Note 2. Adds richness but can be omitted.
- 2 teaspoons agar agar powder, optional - See Note 3.
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
New version (thinner consistency; perfect for pouring on top of pizza and casseroles):
- 1 cup water
- ⅓ cup raw cashews - or raw sunflower seeds; see Note 1
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, optional - can be omitted for oil-free diets
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chickpea miso - or white miso
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon organic sugar
- ½ to 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, optional
- For the thicker version, combine all ingredients except tapioca and agar, if using, in a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste and adjust salt and acid as desired. Now add the tapioca and agar, if using, and blend again.For the new pourable vegan mozzarella, combine all ingredients except tapioca and lemon in a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste and decide whether you want to add the lemon juice. You can also wait and add the lemon directly to the pot in the next step. Add the tapioca and blend again.
- Pour the mixture into a small saucepan over medium heat. The mixture cooks quickly so don't walk away! Whisking frequently, bring to a low simmer. When the mixture is getting hot, continue whisking and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 3 minutes or until thickened (see photos above for reference). The thicker mozzarella will be gloopy and stretchy. The thinner version should look more like a bechamel sauce.
- Vegan mozzarella can be used immediately on pizza or in other dishes. Or if preparing the agar version for stuffed crust pizza, transfer the cheese to ramekins or a small bowl, and refrigerate until firmer and cool enough to handle.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.