This easy dairy-free cheese spread is unique in several ways. It doesn’t require any advanced prep, and can be ready in 30 minutes or less. It uses a touch of vegan cream cheese for a more cohesive underlying flavor (read: use one you love or use up one you loathe – it will still be good!). You can enjoy it as a spread, rich dip, or even a thick sauce. It’s softer when warm, but can be cooled for a thicker consistency. And finally, it’s rich in healthy, plant-based ingredients, to help keep nutrition on track through the holidays and beyond.
Dairy-Free Cheese Spread that’s Made for Sliced Baguette and Crudités
This French-inspired dairy-free cheese spread recipe is from the Now We’re (All) Cooking campaign. It’s a partnership between Dole Food Company and Disney and Pixar’s Ratatouille. The chefs at Dole have created original recipes, like this one, along with several other fun downloads and videos, designed to get Americans back in the kitchen.
- No Soaking Required – The cashews are boiled with the potatoes to soften them. This makes for a creamier spread without the need for pre-soaking the cashews. If you prefer to soak the cashews, cover them with water and place in the refrigerator at least 12 hours before you make this recipe.
- Keep it Quick – The chefs warn against over processing the potatoes and cashews, because the potatoes can become a bit gummy if they are overworked.
- Salvage Cream Cheese Alternative – Did you buy a dairy-free cream cheese that didn’t meet expectations? Trust me, it happens to all of us. You can certainly use your favorite vegan cream cheese in this recipe, but it’s also a great way to use up one that you didn’t love. The alternative simply provides a rich and more seamless base, but lets the other flavors star in the show.
- The Consistency is Up to You – Once done, it will be soft, but very thick. You can serve it warm, for dipping, spreading, or as a thick sauce. You can thin it with a little water if you want a thinner sauce. Or you can refrigerate it for several hours. It will set up more as it chills. Once cooled, it will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. You can warm it again, if desired.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Cheese Spread or Dip
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
- 1 large (9-ounce) potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup plain dairy-free cream cheese alternative, softened
- 2 tablespoons miso paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Place the potatoes and cashews in a medium saucepan and cover with 1 inch of water. Place the pan over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes and cashews are very tender. Drain.
- Pulse the garlic cloves in a food processor to chop. Scrape down the sides and add the potatoes and cashews. Puree just until smooth - do not over process.
- Transfer the potato mixture to small saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the nutritional yeast, cream cheese, miso paste, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook until the cheese alternative is melted and the mixture is heated through.
- Let the spread cool for just a few minutes, and then transfer it to a small bowl. Cover the spread with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap onto surface. Optionally refrigerate for a thicker spread.
- Serve in the bowl, or invert the spread in the center of a large serving plate.
- Arrange the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, apple and baguette around spread.