Vegan feta cheese adds creamy, tangy flavor to salads, mezze platters, and wraps. Made with blanched almonds and baked, it has the perfect dense but creamy texture. Vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free.
I love a good vegan feta cheese. It sets off garlicky and briny flavors just right.
I often have store-bought non-dairy feta in the refrigerator. And I’ve even been known to make quick, feta-inspired marinated cashews when the urge strikes.
But a couple months ago, I started making my own vegan feta cheese with almonds. And I haven’t stopped since. Now I always have this staple in the refrigerator or freezer, ready at a moment’s notice.
This recipe was originally inspired by one from Vegetarian Times circa 2017. I’ve changed the amounts, ingredients, cooking temperature, and methods significantly. Their version included a lot more water, a nut milk bag, and required considerably more time since it had to sit & condense for 12 hours.
My version takes very little time on task, especially if you have almonds that are already blanched and a high-speed blender.
(If you don’t have a high-speed blender, no worries. I give workarounds in the recipe box below.)
For the best creamy texture and bright white color, blanched almonds are a must. You can find them in grocery stores, like Natural Grocers.
Or you can skin raw almonds yourself. That’s not hard to do. I recently shared instructions in this post, how to blanch almonds.
Olive brine adds tanginess
There’s a secret ingredient in my almond feta, and it’s olive brine! Feta already goes so well with olives, so this is a match made in heaven.
I use the brine from Castelvetrano olives, which are my favorite. (Then you can use the olives from the jar in this warmed Castelvetrano olives appetizer.) They have a light, bright quality that works especially well here. However, any kind of olive brine will do.
If you’re not a fan of olives, don’t worry. It doesn’t take over at all. It just adds a tangy background tone.
How to make vegan feta cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put the following in a high-speed blender:
- Blanched almonds – store-bought or skinned by hand
- Lemon juice
- Olive brine
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Garlic clove
Blend until smooth.
Smash the parchment down into the container to line it fully. Then cut off any excess from around the top.
Pour the creamy almond cheese mixture into it, and smooth the top with a knife.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
You’ll know it’s done with the top is cracked and lightly brown around the edges.
Allow it to cool slightly before removing from the cocotte or ramekin.
You can serve this feta warm with crackers as-is. The exterior reminds me a little of puff pastry. However, for best results, put it into the refrigerator to cool & firm further.
When you’re ready to use it, crumble it into uneven pieces with your hands.
Make it your own
You can make this cheese your own by varying/adding certain ingredients.
Instead of olive brine, use the juice from a sauerkraut or pepperoncini jar
Sauerkraut juice is similarly salty and nuanced with an umami quality.
Or you can use the liquid from other briny things like the juice from a jar of pepperoncini.
Vary the amounts/types of oil
For a more pronounced olive oil flavor, add an additional Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Or swap out one of the Tablespoons with a flavored oil, like the oil from a jar of grilled artichoke hearts or truffle oil.
I don’t recommend replacing the olive oil entirely with a flavored oil, because this cheese is mild. It’s easy for a flavored oil to completely take over if given the chance.
Add your favorite herbs and spices
After blending the cheese until smooth, stir in a pinch or two of your preferred complimentary herbs like dried oregano, dried basil, or dried rosemary. For an even brighter flavor, add some lemon zest.
What to do with almond feta
There are so many options for this vegan feta cheese.
You can eat it right out of the blender like a spread. (Although, I recommend halving the salt if you’re going to enjoy it that way. Once baked, the salt is less pronounced, especially in small bites in a salad or wrap.) It’s great with vegan caviar or as a filling for vegan jalapeño poppers.
You can enjoy it warm, hot out of the oven with crackers.
Use it as a topping on olive hummus along with a sprinkling of chives.
Use it as a filling for pitted Castelvetrano olives & enjoy them just like that.
Or use the cheese-stuffed olives to make fried olives!
Here are a few more ideas:
- Stir it into Mediterranean pasta with olives and roasted grape tomatoes.
- Sprinkle it in a veggie wrap with vegan chick’n strips and tahini dressing.
- Sprinkle it on vegan shakshuka for breakfast.
- Put it in zucchini lasagna instead of or in addition to tofu ricotta.
- Crumble it in Israeli couscous salad just before serving.
- Add it to a baguette pizza with artichoke hearts, olives, and seitan pepperoni slices.
- Put it on black bean tacos or refried beans, like a vegan cotija cheese
How long does it last?
Store this almond cheese in a covered container in the refrigerator. It will last for two weeks.
Does it freeze well?
Yes! Freezing does change the texture slightly, but it’s not enough to make an enormous difference. After freezing it’s slightly more dense.
To really make this last, I like to freeze it in crumbles. It’s easier to grab just a few pieces if it’s already crumbled.
To freeze it, put the crumbled cheese in a freezer safe container. Then when you want some, use a butter knife to break it up in the container to free it loose.
Let it thaw in the refrigerator.
Or you can use the defrost function on the microwave. But be careful! You don’t want to microwave it for long and make it hard. Simply use the defrost function, and stay close. It typically needs less than 30 seconds. You don’t want the cheese to get warm – just softened.
Vegan feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Put all of the ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides for even blending, if necessary.
- Line an 8-ounce mini cocotte or ramekin with parchment paper. Use scissors to cut off any excess paper from around the edges. Then pour in all of the almond cheese mixture from the blender. Use a spoon to smooth the top of the spread.
- Put the cocotte or ramekin into the oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. You'll know it's done when the top starts to crack and brown slightly, like a perfectly done toasted marshmallow.
- Remove from oven and allow it to cool slightly before removing the cheese from the cocotte or ramekin. You can serve the cheese warm. But for the most feta-like experience, put it into the refrigerator to cool in a covered container. It will continue to firm.
- When you're ready to use it, crumble the almond cheese in your hands into rough feta shapes.