Make Vegan Coconut Milk Cheese!

This recipe was inspired by the Bunny Kitchen’s 15 Minute Slice-able & Melt-able Vegan Cheese. First, I’m not a big fan of soy milk, but I am a big fan of fat. Yeah, I said it, I’m not a vegan for my health :p (Although this homemade vegan coconut milk cheese is cholesterol-free, and healthy enough if you don’t eat the whole block at once!) I changed up the seasonings to help mask the coconut flavor, and cut down on the nooch.
You can do this recipe paleo, grain free & gluten free.

How to Make Vegan Coconut Milk Cheese
I originally made my coconut milk cheese using an agar bar to set it, but you can also use agar flakes or powder.

And although I used cornstarch to thicken it, you can use tapioca powder as in the Bunny Kitchen recipe. If you use tapioca starch you can chill it in the freezer to get it nice and firm for grating, but if you use cornstarch it will turn spongy in the freezer.

How To Make Vegan Coconut Milk Cheese
Because the coconut milk has such a strong taste, I increased the salt and added more seasonings. I haven’t had dairy cheese in 15+ years, but I think this tastes kind of cheddar-y.

How to Make Vegan Coconut Milk Cheese
Just be sure to either use a silicone mold, or use parchment paper to line your glass mold for easy removal (you could also try oiling the glass mold, I haven’t attempted that yet).

How to Make Vegan Coconut Milk Cheese
During my experiments I noticed you may get a slightly different consistency using agar bars, flakes, or powder. You can experiment, too, and find the texture you prefer. My mom once added extra agar powder by accident and ended up with a cheese that was so sturdy, it sliced like meat and sort of tasted like bologna. So….yeah, keep that in mind 🙂

P.S. With no oil added, this cheese is perfect for a strict fasting day. And since it’s homemade and very inexpensive to make, I think it’s great for Lent!

Vegan Coconut Milk Cheese

1 can full fat coconut milk (approx 13oz)
2 tsp fine salt
1.5 tsp vinegar
1/2 agar bar* (or powder or flakes, see below for amounts)
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1 heaping tsp of smoked paprika (or to taste)
1/2 tsp of turmeric for color, optional
1/4 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)
1/8 tsp onion powder (or to taste)
2 Tbsp cornstarch*, plus enough water to make it pourable

Put 2 Tbsp cornstarch in a cup and mix in just enough water to make it pourable, set aside. Bring coconut milk to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in salt and vinegar, and throw in the agar bar*. Stir and mash until it breaks down as much as possible. Strain. Put coconut milk mixture back in pan, stir in nutritional yeast, paprika, and turmeric (if using). Pour cornstarch mix into coconut while stirring rapidly. Continue to stir as you slowly bring the coconut milk to a boil again. Then remove from heat, and pour into parchment-lined dish or silicone mold.
The cheese will look very oily at first, but you won’t notice it after it has set.

*You can replace the agar bar with 6 Tbsp agar flakes, or 6 tsp agar powder, and skip the straining step.
To make the recipe paleo/grain-free, substitute 4 Tbsp tapioca starch for the cornstarch.

I use vegan coconut milk cheese in quesadillas, soups, cheesy mac, sandwiches…what will you do with vegan coconut milk cheese??