The Washington Post

Cauliflower Jack Vegan Cheese

Cauliflower Jack Vegan Cheese 1.000

Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post

Sep 27, 2017

This recipe offers a nut-free alternative to most vegan cheeses. The natural nuttiness of cauliflower pairs well with chives to create a lightly firm but still spreadable version of jack cheese that’s tasty on crackers and can even be melted on bread under the broiler.

To read the accompanying story, see: Astoundingly good cheeses that everybody — yes, even nondairy folks — can eat.

Make Ahead: The cheese needs to be refrigerated for 4 hours, or until firm. It can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 5 to 7 days.

Where to Buy: Powdered, unflavored vegan gelatin can typically be found in the same section in the grocery store where you would find traditional gelatin and/or baking supplies. Some kosher gelatins are vegan as well — just make sure to choose one that is unsweetened and unflavored. Common brands include Lieber’s, Natural Desserts and Bakol Jel. Powdered agar-agar is available at natural foods stores.

1 pound

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 1 pound

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (10 ounces)
  • Water
  • 4 tablespoons unflavored vegan gelatin (can substitute powdered agar-agar; see headnote)
  • 3 tablespoons organic refined coconut oil, liquefied, plus more for the container
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (powder)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives


Place the cauliflower in a basket steamer suspended over several inches of water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until tender. Reserve 3/4 cup of that water.

Place the gelatin in a bowl and sprinkle a little cold water over the top to hydrate it (if using powdered agar-agar, you can skip this step), then add the reserved cauliflower water and whisk to incorporate.

Combine the steamed cauliflower, coconut oil, lime juice, sea salt, nutritional yeast, onion powder and garlic powder in a blender; puree until smooth.

Add the gelatin mixture to the blender; puree until completely incorporated, then pour the mixture into a bowl so you can fold in the chives. Use a little more coconut oil to lightly grease a container large enough to hold/mold the cheese mixture, then pour in the mixture and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours, or until firm, before serving.

Recipe Source

Adapted from “Vegan Cheese: Simple, Delicious Plant-Based Recipes" by Jules Aron (Countryman, May 2017).

Tested by Kristen Hartke.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per 2-ounce serving (using agar-agar): 60

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 5g 8%

Saturated Fat: 5g 25%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 280mg 12%

Total Carbohydrates: 3g 1%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 1g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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