Perfectly salty, crumbly, and creamy vegan feta cheese that's surprisingly easy to make. The combination of almonds and tofu creates amazing texture. As an added bonus, this vegan feta is made with healthy, whole-food ingredients (no coconut oil) and just 20 minutes of hands-on prep time!
Why This Recipe Works
I've experimented with a lot of vegan cheese recipes in the past ten years, mostly "quick cheeses," not cultured or aged. I love un-aged vegan cheese recipes because they're more accessible for the average person.
Cultured nut cheeses are fantastic, but the process is really more of a hobby than an everyday cooking skill. It requires space, special equipment, controlled ambient temperatures, and rare ingredients. This vegan feta recipe is much simpler and can be made the same day you plan to enjoy it.
The flavor and texture are on point.
Creating a quick vegan feta was more challenging than I anticipated, in part because we have very specific expectations from feta. Other vegan cheeses can get away with simply being salty, creamy, and cheesy tasting. But feta needs a certain briny acidity and needs to crumble while also having a creamy mouthfeel. This recipes checks all the boxes!
AND it's healthy!
We also love that this almond feta is oil-free, getting its creaminess from a little bit of tofu. Instead of using coconut oil to help the cheese set when chilled, we're calling on our friend agar agar to help the cheese firm up, similar to this popular Almond Queso Fresco.
Raw Slivered Almonds - starting with slivered almonds makes this recipe a bit easier, but whole blanched almonds can also be used. If you don't have access to either, check out this post by Serious Eats to learn how to remove the skins from whole raw almonds.
Extra Firm Tofu - usually found in a refrigerated section near the produce, extra-firm tofu is perfect for this recipe because it adds a creaminess plus extra protein, but without adding too much moisture. There's no need to press the tofu first, simply pat it dry.
Agar Agar Powder - if you're not familiar with agar, it's a fantastic ingredient to have in your vegan pantry because it can be used to help desserts and cheeses set without the need for a lot of saturated fat. It also makes delicious "jell-o" (as you probably know, gelatin isn't vegan). I use this agar powder by Living Jin.
You can also use agar in these recipes:
How To Make It
- Begin by soaking the slivered almonds in hot water for 1 hour. Then drain and pat dry.
- To the bowl of a large food processor add the almonds, tofu, lemon juice, brine, vinegar, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano. Blend until mostly creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Give it a taste, and add a bit more lemon or salt, if desired.
- Process again until the consistency is fluffy, creamy, and only slightly textured (see photos). Add the agar powder, and pulse to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to a small sauce pan over medium heat.
- Whisking constantly, heat the cheese until thickened and it has reached boiling temperature (this activates the agar).
- Transfer to a ramekin or other mold. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then cover with plastic and refrigerate until cold, about 2 to 3 hours.
Not exactly, but it can be used in hot dishes. It's possible that adding tapioca starch and refined coconut oil could transform this into a meltable feta, but I haven't tested that yet.
Stored in the refrigerator, I feel comfortable keeping the cheese for 6 or 7 days.
Yes! Almond feta is freezer-friendly. Make sure it is well-protected from air, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
It sure can! Raw sunflower seeds work very well as a substitute for the almonds. See the Notes section of the recipe below for full details.
I hope you love this healthier Vegan Feta Cheese. If you try the recipe be sure to comment below and leave a star rating to share your feedback!
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Vegan Feta Cheese (No Oil)
- 1 cup blanched slivered almonds (no skins) See Notes.
- half of a (14 oz) block of extra firm tofu, patted dry
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons brine from a jar of green olives
- 2 teaspoons white distilled or rice vinegar
- 1 to 1 ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- scant ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons agar agar powder
- Place almonds in a bowl, and cover with hot, but not quite boiling, water. Soak for 1 hour, then drain and pat dry.
- To the bowl of a food processor, add the drained almonds, tofu, lemon juice, brine, vinegar, 1 tsp salt, onion, powder, garlic powder, and oregano. Process until creamy, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
- Taste the mixture, and add more lemon or salt, if desired. *After the cheese is heated in the next step the flavors become more muted. So you want it to taste very tart and salty at this point. Run the processor again until the consistency is fluffy, creamy, and only slightly textured. Add the agar powder, and pulse several times to incorporate.
- Transfer the mixture to a small sauce pan. Whisking constantly, cook over medium to medium/low heat until the cheese is steamy hot and thickened, about 3 or 4 minutes. When you see bubbling and are certain the mixture has reached boiling temperature, continue to whisk and cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer the cheese to a ramekin(s) or small container, and smooth the top.
- Allow to cool on the countertop for about 15 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, 2 to 3 hours. The flavor develops and improves overnight.
- When ready to use, simply scoop individual servings straight from the ramekin/mold, or run a butter knife around the edge, and turn the whole wheel of cheese onto a serving platter.
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. For the most accurate nutrition information we recommend calculating it yourself to reflect the specific ingredients used in your dish.