Vegan goat cheese

by Mary on January 27, 2013

vegan pine nut macadamia 'cheese' shown with yellow bell pepper strips

pine nut macadamia ‘goat cheese’

I have yet to find a vegan cheese in the grocery store made wholly with ingredients that I’m excited about, so I’ve tried making my own non-diary ‘cheese’ a number of times. This is the first one that I like well enough to share. It doesn’t have the ‘goaty’ flavor of actual goat cheese, but it has tanginess from the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, saltiness and umami from the miso, and a bit of the cultured taste of a real goat cheese from the yogurt starter.

Most people would use cashews in a recipe like this since they cost less than half as much as pine nuts, but I love pine nuts and am allergic to cashews. So far I’ve tried this recipe with all pine nuts and with half pine nuts and half macadamias, both versions were good. Cashews are harder and might need soaking or water added to the recipe.

If you would rather have a firmer cheese, I’m sure it would work to tie the cheese in a few layers of fine cheesecloth and let it drain for a few hours as I have often done when making soft dairy cheese. For my purposes this time a very soft cheese was fine. I may make a firmer cheese and report back with new photos: I will also test this recipe using acidophilus from capsules as I have seen in other vegan cheese recipes. I know most people don’t have yogurt starter on hand.

For further reading and recipes, check out Golubka’s soft cheese plate, The Holy Kale’s Vegan Dairy Lover’s Guide, Spabettie’s Vegan Goat Cheese, and the Vegetarian Times cashew ‘goat cheese’ which uses draining and baking to make a firm log of cheese.

vegan 'goat' cheese shown with stalks of celery

pine nut vegan ‘goat cheese’


Vegan 'goat cheese'
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 1 cup pine nuts and 1 cup macadamia nuts (or 2 cups of either one)
  • 2 Tbsp. mellow white miso
  • juice of 2 small or one extra large lemon (about 4 Tbsp.)
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. yogurt starter (powder)
  1. Blend all ingredients well in a food processor or blender. Your taste may vary from mine on the amount of lemon juice and/or apple cider vinegar to add: start small and add to your taste.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah January 28, 2013 at 2:30 am

I must admit, I don’t often use pine nuts at all, but I’d love to see how they work in this soft “goat” cheese. It certainly looks delicious! Perhaps I need to work on my own appreciation of the pine nut.
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mary February 9, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Maybe you can learn to appreciate them more some year when there has been a good crop and the price is down…..


Kiersten January 30, 2013 at 9:47 pm

I agree with you, I’m not crazy about store bought vegan cheeses. Some are okay, but I want something better than okay! Maybe I will have to try making my own…
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mary February 2, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Yeah, I’ve picked up the new TJ’s vegan mozzarella in the store a couple of times to read the ingredients. The ingredients are OK, but just OK, nothing I proactively want to add to my diet. That’s kind of how it goes with me so far on the commercial vegan cheeses.


Yo Momma Runs February 2, 2013 at 6:30 pm

I’ve been thinking a lot about trying to figure out a cheese substitute. This could do the trick. Where do you purchase your yogurt starter powder? Somewhere like Whole Foods?
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mary February 2, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I picked it up here: You keep it in the freezer, it’s supposed to last for at least a year. IMO it actually lasts much longer than that, which is good because it’s an up-front expense. I used it to make dairy yogurt regularly for a long time.


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