Jul 10

Herbed Cashew Cheese & Spicy Tomato Jam

Herbed Cashew Cheese and Spicy Tomato Jam

Happy Thursday! I hope you’re all having a wonderful week. I’m currently en route to Colorado for the family vacation I mentioned last week. We’re road tripping out to Colorado, so we’ll be spending tonight and tomorrow night in South Dakota before making the final portion of the drive into Colorado on Saturday. For the next week or so, I’ll be posting from the mountainous comforts of Steamboat Springs and will be sure to mix in some scenic shots from our adventures.

To make up for only two posts this week, I’ve included two recipes in today’s post: herbed cashew cheese + spicy tomato jam. Both are equally delicious and can hold their own; however, they pair so well together that it made perfect sense to photograph and post them at the same time.

Herbed Cashew Cheese and Spicy Tomato Jam

The spicy tomato jam is one of a few recipes that I created for The Chalkboard. If you have an extra minute, you can checkout the recipes here. It’s made with just a handful of ingredients and is so full of flavor. It’s sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy and pairs well with everything from burgers to fries.

The herbed cashew cheese was something that I had been thinking about making for quite some time but kept backing out because it seemed complicated and fussy. However, I decided to give it a whirl a few weeks back and was thrilled with how easy it was to make. No fussy complications in this vegan cheese, just pure, creamy, flavor-packed, plant-based goodness.

I took the extra step of wrapping the cashew cheese in cheesecloth and refrigerating it overnight to pull out any excess water; however, you can skip that step completely if you need yo’ cheese now. The texture will be more like ricotta rather than a thick, spreadable cheese but it is just as flavorful. As someone who used to eat cheese every day, it was the food I was the saddest about giving up, because I believed that vegan “cheese” would never compare to the real thing; however, there are wonderful alternatives, and I haven’t missed dairy-based cheeses at all <– believe me, those are crazy words for me to type, speak, whisper, or even think, but they’re true. Whatever you want to call it (e.g., “cheese,” cheeze, cheez), vegan cheese can be just as good as the real thing.

If you’re able to make the cheese and tomato jam at the same time (I strongly encourage it), then your serving options are endless. Slather the cheese and jam on toasty french bread, dollop it on a flavorful vegetable sandwich, or toss it into a salad with arugula and roasted vegetables. The flavors pair well with so many things, and together, the cheese and jam have this awesome savory/sweet/spicy balance that brings a smile to my face.

Herbed Cashew Cheese and Spicy Tomato Jam

Herbed Cashew Cheese and Spicy Tomato Jam

Herbed Cashew Cheese and Spicy Tomato Jam

Herbed Cashew Cheese and Spicy Tomato Jam

Herbed Cashew Cheese and Spicy Tomato Jam

Herbed Cashew Cheese and Spicy Tomato Jam

4.8 from 15 reviews
Herbed Cashew Cheese
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Cheese, Appetizer
Serves: 1½ cups
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
For Garnishing
  • malden sea salt or other large flake sea salt
  • black pepper
  • chopped basil, thyme, oregano
  1. Soak the raw cashews in about 2 cups of water for at least 4 hours (I soaked mine overnight).
  2. Drain the cashews completely and add them to a food processor along with the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of water, white wine vinegar, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper. Process for 3-4 minutes or until you have a very smooth cream.
  3. Transfer the cashew cream to a bowl and stir in the chopped basil, oregano, and thyme.
  4. You can either enjoy the cheese as is or line a small colander with tightly-woven cheesecloth, pour the cashew cheese into the cheesecloth, fold the cheesecloth over top, and place the colander over a medium-size bowl so that it is suspended. Then, refrigerate overnight.
  5. Once refrigerated, unwrap the cashew cheese, transfer it to a serving platter, and garnish with sea salt, black pepper, and chopped herbs.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers.

4.8 from 15 reviews
Spicy Tomato Jam
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Condiment, Jam, Sauce
Serves: 2 cups
  • 4 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Add the tomatoes and maple syrup to a medium sauce pan on the stove.
  2. Turn heat on medium-low and cook for five minutes.
  3. Add in the sea salt, cumin, fresh ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes.
  4. Let cool and transfer the tomato jam to a jar or container.
  5. You can serve the tomato jam as is or, if you're looking for a ketchup alternative, pulse it a few times in your blender.



  1. What’s the bread recipe?! That looks amazing as well!

    • It was actually just a par-baked baguette from Trader Joe’s that I toasted in the oven for 10 minutes. Easy and delicious!

  2. That cheese looks DIVINE! I’ve tried numerous cashew cheeses and have yet to find the perfect recipe. This might be the one! :)

  3. This is very intriguing…you might turn me into a vegan after all.

  4. I love this! I have just started experimenting with making vegan cheeses and this herbed cashew cheese sounds so good! I also am kinda obsessed with tomato jam, so I am definitely putting this recipe on my list of things to make soon!

  5. Love the photography in particular – this sounds so tempting!

  6. Looks like a perfect recipes for parties – a much more satisfying and nutritious option than the usual chips and dip.

    • Thanks so much! This would definitely be a great vegan appetizer option for a party; filling and packed with goodness!

  7. Looks wonderful Ashley! I have been meaning to try a cashew cheese made this way after seeing so many around, but I’ve always just made cashew cheese sauce in my blender instead, which I really really love. My most recent baked cashew cheese was on a pizza and I loved the crust it formed on top when baked. Cashews sure are magical, aren’t they?

    • Thanks, Brandi! Cashews are so magical; thank goodness for them or it wouldn’t be quite as easy being vegan! I’ll have to try making it in the blender, as well — easier cleanup :)

  8. Maple syrup and tomatoes is such a great sounding combo. This whole dish looks great.

  9. Marleen says:

    Hello from Holland (Europe). Would love to make this, but raw cashews…. are quite hard to get over here. Do they really have to be raw? Supermarkets sell enough cashews but these are (mostly) either roasted or smoked.

    • Hi, Marleen! Unfortunately, they really do need to be raw for this recipe in order to get the right consistency and flavor. You should be able to find them online if you can’t find them in a store. I know it’s not ideal, but the recipe won’t turn out how it should if you use roasted or smoked cashews.

    • Elisabeth says:

      Marleen, I’m from Holland too. You can buy as well raw cashews. I don’t wanna do here the commercial, so you can buyit in one of the german supermarket, the name you can find out :(L)idia (I)vone (D)esire (L)idia. . And also you can buy in the bio supermarkets, or shops! Lots of possibilities to buy raw cashews, like other products, you just have to look at it in the several shops :) !

      • Elisabeth, thanks for commenting with tips for finding raw cashews in Holland; your insight is super helpful for other readers :)

  10. Donna Kohn says:

    Just wondering how long will this keep? Going camping (in a small trailer with a refrigerator) for a month. I would like to makethis before we go. We will have no power, so I need to prep a lot ahead of time.

    • Hi, Donna! This cheese should keep for 5-7 days when stored in an airtight container and refrigerated. So as long as the refrigerator in the trailer will be as cold as a standard refrigerator, I would say 5-7 days is a good estimate. I hope this helps and have a wonderful trip!

  11. Is there anything you can replace the vinegar with, we do not use vinegar of any kind. We generally sub with lemon juice but as there is already lemon juice in the recipe I wasn’t sure if there was another alternative. Thank you.

    • Hi, Penny! It’s still delicious without the vinegar, so I would just omit it. However, if you taste it and it needs more acidity to balance the richness, then up the amount of lemon juice a teaspoon at a time. I hope this helps!

  12. I make an almond cheese almost identical to this, but I bake it after keeping it in the frig overnight. You think I can do that too? So its not raw? Looks delish.

    • Hi, Kamini! Yes, it should bake up just fine. If you try it, I’d love to know what temperature and for how long you bake it!

  13. Janice Corey says:

    Living on the east coast of Canada there are no options for nut cheeses other than making…soo…this one is in process as we speak. Will provide the verdict..we have a taste panel of new vegans just itching to try this!

  14. Janice Corey says:

    Ok! I made it. I incorporated the following alterations: I doubled the garlic. Added a bit more herbs. It is amazing! The tomato jam is fabulous! serving tonight. Thank you for posting a recipe that shows eating well, vegetarian/vegan can be gourmet!!

    • Hi, Janice! You are so welcome! Thanks for commenting back with your sweet feedback and substitutions; I’m so glad you’re loving the cheese and tomato jam! The tomato jam is good on a wide array of things; even portobello burgers… or completely by its lonesome :)

  15. Elisabeth says:

    Thanks Ashley for the great and easy recipe!

  16. Holy awesome recipe Batman! I made this for tomorrow and my guests had to cancel, but I am not at all upset that I won’t have to share this!

    Keep up the wicked work! I think this is the beginning of a blissful basil addiction :)

    • Aww, thanks so much, Suzanne! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the cheese and tomato jam. Please, please go right ahead with your addiction :)

  17. Beautiful photos! And I just love the idea of cashew cheese. I’ve been meaning to make my own vegan cheese for a while… I think this is a sign that I should actually do it instead of procrastinating it!

    • Thanks, Genevieve! It is a sign! You totally need to try making cashew cheese. It’s surprisingly simple to whip together and so, so tasty!

  18. Whoaaaaa. This looks incredible! I still haven’t tried any cashew or almond cheeses but I think it’s about time to give it a go. Beautiful photos too!! xo

    • Thanks so much, Deryn! You HAVE to give cashew cheese a try. Aside from the wait time to soak and in the refrigerator, it is the easiest thing to make. I was so intimidated by the idea for so long and then finally caved last summer, and it’s become a staple in our house!

  19. I am internally screaming right now. Thank you so much for creating this website! I spent the better part of today just adding your mouth-watering looking vegan recipes to my bookmarks. Your husband, family, and friends are very lucky.

    • Aww!! What an awesome compliment to see just before starting a long but fun day of recipe testing. Thank you for sharing your sweet words, Dee. I’m glad you’re enjoying the site, and I hope you enjoy the recipes just as much when you make them. Have a wonderful day!

  20. Ashley, your blog continues to be one of my newfound favorites. I made both these for a wine and cheese night at a friends house and all of the non-vegans liked it as well!

  21. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It’s really yummy & totally satisfied a cheese craving. I added extra herbs like chive and parsley. Next time I’m going to try jalapenos:) Thanks again!

    • Hi, Amy! Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipe, and I love the idea of adding jalapenos. I’m a total spice addict, so you’re speaking my language with that one! :)

  22. C. Bonev says:

    I think that on this site, are using your image/pictures in very inappropriate way http://vegan-means-freeman.com/sirene-ot-cashu-s-domaten-dip/

    • Thank you for letting me know — you’re absolutely right. Looks like they lifted the recipe and photos with no credit back! I’ll see if they’ll add credit and a link back to my site. Thanks again for taking the time to give me a heads up.

  23. This is SO delicious. I added a little more water so my blender could blend it all and after it not thickening up enough with a cheesecloth I decided to use it as a pasta sauce. I added a little more lemon and HOLY **** it is amazing! This will be my new go-to meal for awhile

  24. Lovely recipe! My friends love it! I used toasted cashews (it was what I had at home) and added one teaspoon of miso and let it fermented over night. After I placed in fridge it got the texture I intended. The jam was also very nice, I skipped the ginger because I had none and added other spices (a little tumeric and black pepper) and substituted the agave for molasses and tasted great! And the combo chashew+tomato jam was pretty much amazing! So thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

  25. I’ve recently com to the sad and much attempted denial that dairy and my skin simply do not get along well. I look forward to trying this a a replacement and am soaking the cashews as I type! I you know how long this will last in the fridge? (provided i dont gobble it up in one day!)

    • Hi, Jen! Hapoy to hear you’re making this cheese! It should easily keep for up to three days in the refrigerator. Just make sure you wrap it tightly to prevent it from drying out. Enjoy!

  26. Making this for about the 10th time… So good. Great variation : dried cranberries! Sweet and salty! So good.

    • So glad you’re enjoying it, Yanic!! Dried cranberries?! That’s a fantastic idea! I’ll have to make that addition the next time I make it.

  27. Genevieve says:

    Soooooo easy to make and soooooo delicious! Thanks for this perfect recipe! :) xx

  28. This was AWESOME! I haven’t tried making vegan cheese before but I feel encouraged to keep making it since it was was so easy and tastes so great! Thanks for sharing this recipe, I’ll try the tomato jam tonight (will pop in for comment if I remember)!

  29. Jess Leigh says:

    i was SUPER sceptical about this at first, i am a vegetarian and have been for a number of years. i would like to say that i am an aspirational vegan, and slowly but surely cutting everything out! When i first made this i was somewhat disappointed, expecting to taste it and be blown away and never look back to dairy cheese – but that was not the case. Saying this however, trying it on its own, and trying it with something else, makes all the difference. I have just mashed some into the centre of a baked potato, and it genuinely tastes like some kind of cheesy creamy mash! I’ll look forward to trying your other recipes to help with my journey into a plant based diet! Thank you! Keep up the good work :-)

  30. Made the cheese and loved it! Made mine with lime instead of lemon as this was what I had on hand.
    Didn’t succeed with the tomato jam at all though, it turned out waaayyy runny and watery, but then again I didn’t have grape tomatoes so used Roma instead, maybe that was the problem. Thanks for great inspiration!

    • Hi, Anna! I’m so glad you enjoyed the cashew cheese. Great to know that it also works well with lime juice instead of lemon juice (thank you for the tip)! As for the tomato jam, I’m so sorry to hear it didn’t turn out, You’re spot on with your problem-solving guess though: Roma tomatoes will not work in this recipe as both the texture (thinness/thickness) and flavor will be off. I hope you have the chance to try making it again with grape tomatoes as it’s one of my absolute favorites to pair with this cheese! xo

  31. I just made the cashew cheese on the fly today and OMG…the best cashew cheese/cream I’ve tried yet. It really tastes like cheese! I often find cashew cream to be too sweet even with salt, lemon juice, and no added sweetener. The nuts are just naturally sweet which is why they make such great vegan desserts. But this is definitely the magic combination—thank you so much!

  32. Your photographs are so beautiful… I will make this for sure … Thanks for your inspired site xx


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