This simple tofu cream cheese alternative reminds us of the old-school alternatives. The original uses firm silken tofu and olive or vegetable oil. That does produce softer results, so we’ve updated the recipe with ingredients that make it a little firmer, but still very spreadable.
Tofu Cream Cheese Alternative: The Classic Dairy-Free Recipe
There are a few brands of silken tofu on the market, but the shelf-stable ones by Morinu seem to work best. They aren’t as heavily soaked in water, and still blend into a nice puree.
You can also adjust the seasoning to taste. The original contributed recipe calls for “3 tablespoons of lemon juice or 2 tablespoons of vinegar.” But that might be a little strong for some tastes. Feel free to add it 1/2 tablespoon at a time, and taste as you go.
And I don’t really recommend using white vinegar. It can work, but is a little harsh, and might not be met well by some taste buds. Apple cider vinegar and ume plum vinegar tend to be a little milder and more flavorful. But in a pinch, you can try white vinegar or even white wine vinegar.
I added a touch of miso to the original recipe, as it helps to round out and mellow the flavor. It also provides a little of the cheesy umami. This is still a very soft “cream cheese” that readily spreads on bagels. Feel free to season it with additional herbs and spices for bolder flavor.
Special Diet Notes: Tofu Cream Cheese Alternative
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, nut-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, and keto friendly.
- 1 cup extra-firm silken tofu (about ¾ of a 12-ounce package), room temperature
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice OR ½ to 1 tablespoon ume plum or apple cider vinegar OR a combination of lemon and vinegar, to taste (see notes in post above)
- ½ teaspoon white miso
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Drain and gently press the tofu to remove excess water (the silken tofu is fragile).
- Put the tofu, oil, lemon juice or vinegar, miso, and salt in your blender. Puree until smooth.
- Scrape the mixture into a container, even it out, and refrigerate it for a few hours, or until set.