Tofu Cream Cheese

This vegan cream cheese recipe is perfect on bagels, sandwiches, or anything else that needs a creamy, mild spread.

(Note: the ingredients may seem unusual, but they are well worth seeking out for this delicious "cheese." If you prefer simplicity and speed over taste, try simple tofu cream cheese.)

Tofu cream cheese
Yield about 2 cups
Time 45 minutes (but 30 of that is inactive)
  • medium saucepan
  • food processor
  • rubber spatula
  • 1 pound medium tofu OR 2 c soybeans, white beans, or chickpeas, soaked and cooked or canned/drained/rinsed
  • 2-3 T umeboshi plum paste
  • 4-6 T cashew butter
  • 2 t coconut oil
  • 1-2 t agave syrup
Directions If using tofu: slice it lengthwise into two slabs, place in pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain, then press for 30 minutes. Crumble into the food processor.

If using beans, stick them in the processor.

Add the smaller amounts* of the remaining ingredients to the food processor. Process for several minutes until perfectly smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides as needed.

Taste and add more umeboshi (for saltiness and tang), cashew (for savoriness), and/or agave (for sweetness).

You should end up with a thick but spreadable cheese. If you like, you can add a bit of non-dairy milk to make it creamier.

Notes *Because the flavor of different brands of tofu and beans can vary, it’s best to start with the smaller amounts of each ingredient, then add more as needed.

Flavored vegan cream cheese: You can jazz up this simple recipe with garlic, green onions, herbs, dried fruit, sun-dried tomatoes, or roasted peppers. It’s always nice to offer a selection of flavored cream cheeses at brunch!

Mock cheese and dairy recipes

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Shown: Plain cream cheese, rosemary cream cheese, and roasted red pepper cream cheese

Flavored vegan cream cheese