Creamy and tangy with diced fresh veggies throughout, this dairy-free veggie cream cheese spread is perfect on bagels or toast, as a spread in sandwiches or wraps, or as a dip for crackers or raw vegetables.
When I was in college (Go Hawkeyes!) I ate a LOT of sundried tomato bagels with veggie cream cheese from the local bagel joint, Bruegger’s Bagels. Breakfast, lunch, snack – I loved them! I still dream about that bagel/cream cheese combo.
Since giving up dairy, I haven’t found a store bought cream cheese that I love. Luckily for me, and now you, I created the tangy, creamy, dairy free Veggie Cream Cheese of my dreams.
Now I just need to find some vegan sun dried tomato bagels and my life will be complete!
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Garden fresh veggies and herbs make this vegan cream cheese so flavorful and delicious! I used bell peppers, carrots, and green onions – all of which were included in that amazing cream cheese I remember from my college days. I went one step further and added fresh parsley and dill – because – yum!
A few extra ingredients and you’ve got tangy, creamy, dairy free veggie cream cheese! It’s super easy and made with the ease of a food processor.
Cashews ~ Use raw, unsalted cashews for the best flavor and smoothest texture.
Lemon juice ~ Fresh squeezed lemon juice is best. 100% bottled juice will work in a pinch.
Apple cider vinegar ~ This adds to the tangy flavor that cream cheese is known for. If you don’t have it or can’t have it, pickle juice would be the next best thing.
Spices ~ A little onion powder and garlic powder, and of course, salt is all you need. I like adding a dash of paprika from time to time – it’s delicious, but be aware that it will turn the color of the cream cheese darker and more orange.
Herbs ~ I love fresh parsley and fresh dill. You can use just one or the other, if you prefer.
Add-ins ~ Bell pepper, carrot and green onion work perfectly in this recipe. Be sure to dice/shred the veggie very small so they incorporate well into the cream cheese.
Red onion, radishes, and celery would all be good choices, too. You could even add a jalapeño if you like a little heat.
How to make the recipe
For exact ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.
Soak the cashews in hot water for several hours (1) or even overnight. This will allow them to soften and blend up perfectly smooth.
After soaking them, rinse them well (2) and add them to a food processor fitted with the S blade (3). Add the spices, fresh lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides every so often to ensure all the ingredients get mixed in thoroughly. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time through the tube in the top until you reach the desired consistency (4).
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl (5) and add the veggies (6). Mix well until the veggies are fully incorporated throughout (7).
This veggie cream cheese is perfect for breakfast on bagels or toast, for lunch as a spread on a sandwich or in a wrap, or for snack as a dip for crackers or raw vegetables.
I use it as the spread in my easy Veggie Tortilla Rollups, which I often take to parties and everyone loves them!
If you prefer your vegan cream cheese on the sweet side, check out my Maple Walnut Vegan Cream Cheese – it’s amazing!
Storage and freezing
Fridge: This vegan cream cheese will keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for 4 to 5 days.
Freezer: You can also freeze it! Transfer it to a freezer safe container or plastic bag. It should keep well for up to 3 months.
Pro tips for success
~ Use raw unsalted cashews.
~ Soak the cashews in hot water for several hours or even overnight to ensure they blend up smooth and creamy.
~ Stop the food processor and scrape down the sides as necessary to allow for all the ingredients to get fully incorporated.
~ Be patient when processing. It will take several minutes to come to the correct smooth consistency.
~ Stir in the veggies by hand. Do not process them in the food processor with the cashews.
~ Place the veggie cream cheese in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow it to set up and get cold.
Soaking the cashews will soften them up helping them to purée into a smooth consistency.
Yes! Store this veggie cream cheese in an air-tight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
Cashew cream cheese has protein, fiber, healthy fats, and no cholesterol. This veggie version also boasts plenty of vitamins and minerals.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Veggie Cream Cheese Spread
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews soaked in water for several hours or overnight, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika optional
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup shredded carrots
- ¼ cup diced sweet bell pepper any color
- 2 tablespoons diced green onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Be sure your cashews have soaked for several hours, or ideally, overnight. The longer they soak, the creamier your cream cheese will be. After soaking, drain and rinse the cashews.
- To the bowl of a food processor, add the soaked cashews, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika, if using. Start to process to break up the cashews. You'll need to stop the food processor and scrape down the sides frequently to keep the mixture moving. Add the water 1 tbsp at a time until it comes together into a smooth spread. Be patient as this could take 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once it’s smooth, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the carrots, red pepper, green onion, parsley, and dill. Stir to combine.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt or a tiny splash of vinegar or lemon juice, if necessary.
- Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and store in the fridge. It will set up and thicken slightly as it sits in the fridge and gets cold. You could eat it right away, but it’s better cold.