The Washington Post

Vegan Everyday Cheese

Vegan Everyday Cheese 2.500

Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post

Sep 27, 2017

The viscous quality of aquafaba — the liquid we typically pour off from a can of chickpeas or other beans — proves to be a terrific emulsifier in this nondairy, non-nut-milk cheese that is a worthy substitute for mozzarella and other mild white cheeses.

You can use aquafaba from canned beans (chickpeas or garbanzo beans are the most commonly used, as the liquid has a fairly neutral flavor) or from your own homemade beans. Remember when using homemade beans that the aquafaba comes from the cooking, not soaking, liquid. You will need an instant-read thermometer.

Make Ahead: The cheese needs to be refrigerated in an airtight container for at least 6 hours and up to 2 weeks.

Where to Buy: Powdered agar-agar is available at natural and health food stores.

2.5 cups

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: 2.5 cups

  • 3/4 cup aquafaba (see headnote)
  • 4 teaspoons powdered agar-agar (see headnote)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white or chickpea miso
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plain soy milk or almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons refined coconut oil, liquefied
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened plain non-dairy yogurt


Stir together the aquafaba and powdered agar-agar in a medium saucepan; let sit for 3 minutes, to thicken.

Combine the miso, nutritional yeast, tapioca starch and salt in a small container.

Combine 1/4 cup of the soy or almond milk with the coconut oil in a liquid measuring cup.

Heat the agar-agar mixture over medium heat, whisking thoroughly to incorporate. Once it begins to bubble, cook undisturbed for 1 minute. Then, while whisking vigorously, add the milk-oil mixture in a slow, steady stream.

Add the nutritional yeast mixture and whisk until smooth, then gradually whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, bringing the mixture back to a bubbling. Cook for 5 minutes, until the cheese reaches a temperature of 195 degrees, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. Whisk in the yogurt and return the cheese to barely bubbling.

While the cheese is still hot, transfer it to a 2 1/2-cup heatproof container. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours (or until firm). Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe Source

Adapted from “Aquafaba” by Zsu Dever (Vegan Heritage Press, 2016).

Tested by Kristen Hartke.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per 2-tablespoon serving: 25

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 3g 5%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 160mg 7%

Total Carbohydrates: 1g 0%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 0g

*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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