Lessarella Cheez (Vegan, Nut-Free, Wheat-Free, Soy-Free)


The following recipe came from the 5 star "Country Life Vegetarian Cookbook" by Diana Fleming. 



  • 2 cups water
  • 3 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs onion powder
  • 1/4 cup tahini (if you don't have tahini, you can use sesame seeds – tahini is sesame seed paste)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Optional: You can also add 1/2 chopped red bell pepper if you want to make the cheese more orange coloured. I like to do this. Also, if you are not going to set the cheese, you can leave out the cornstarch. The oats are enough to thicken the cheese for pizzas and other savoury cheese dishes.

Blend all ingredients on high for one minute. Pour into saucepan and cook on medium, stirring constantly until thickened. Put into loaf pan or other mold. Chill overnight. Remove from mold and slice. Delicious on crackers, pizza or in sandwiches. For pizza or fondue, use half the amount of arrowroot.

You can use this cheese on pizzas, to make lasagna, macaroni cheese, on the top of mashed potatoes when making a beanshepherd's pie, on toast with tomatoes. You can make it thick and set it and cut it the next day or you can make it thinner and pour it over vegetables as a cheese sauce. I use this recipe most frequently as it has no nuts or seeds which makes it cheaper. However, if you can afford them, the recipes with nuts and seeds are so good for nutritional value.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


    • I haven’t tested it myself, but based on what the author states, this should work okay in quesadillas, too. I would make the recipe as is, with the starch – otherwise it may ooze out too much!

  1. Hi, this is my first try at vegan cheese, i’m a breastfeeding mom and I’m trying to eliminate dairy products from diet to see if that is what causes my daughter so many tummy troubles, i’m also italian and of course love pizza and lasagne, i was wondering if for lasagna use (and pizza) this cheese is going to melt even AFTER it has been set. Thank you in advance!

  2. For all those asking to replace tahini: I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I use white miso to add the cheesy flavour to most of my non-dairy cheese creations.
    You can buy it only or in an asian shop, just be sure to check if it’s vegan (some contain fish) and be careful not to use too much – it’s super salty.

  3. I made this cheese about a week ago but didn’t need as much of it as I thought. There’s still a lot in the fridge. Can I freeze it? How long will it keep? Thanks.

  4. Hi Alisa,

    Could you use cornmeal to make it solid instead of a spread? Also would that melt if you were to shred it ontop of a casserole after storing overnight? I will try it tonight and see how it fairs tomorrow morning on a pie dish. Could you post me any of your favourite dairy, wheat free recipes please?

    Thanks this has been really helpful!

  5. Recipe looks great…but I have both a nut AND sesame allergy. Is the tahini necessary?


    A carnivore who’s thinking about going vegetarian/vegan

  6. Hi there, I made this last night and though it taste great, it set as a spread and not a block. I stirred it till it was quite thick… What do you think happened?
    Could adding some agar agar help in solidifying it?

  7. Hello–I have a tree-nut allergy (almonds and pine nuts, as well as peanuts, are fine) but I also cannot have tahini. Could I use something else to substitute the tahini?

    • Tahini gives it some of that tangy, cheesy flavor, so you would need to experiment a bit with the recipe. There isn’t really a direct substitute. Adding some lemon, salt, and nutritional yeast might help, but I couldn’t give you exact amounts without testing!

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