No nuts and no oil? Yes, it’s true, here’s a cheese for almost everyone. It gets a cheesy taste from vegan lactic acid in addition to the traditional nutritional yeast! The downside is it does require you to invest in some ingredients. It will cost around $30 to get them, but you can make over a dozen batches.

Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking in Your Instant Pot by Kathy Hester, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Kathy Hester

Chickpea Sliceable Cheese [Vegan, Oil Free]



  • 2 cups (475 ml) water
  • 1 1/2 cups (250 g) cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons (12 g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (11 g) sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (8 ml) lactic acid
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 3 tablespoons (33 g) tapioca starch
  • 2 tablespoons (10 g) kappa carrageenan


  1. In the jar of a strong blender, combine the water, chickpeas, nutritional yeast, salt, lactic acid, granulated onion and garlic. Blend well.
  2. Add the tapioca starch and kappa carrageenan, and blend for 5 to 10 seconds until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into a large saucepan or your Instant Pot on sauté. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking continually. Continue cooking, whisking continuously, for about 7 to 9 minutes, until the mixture has thickened nicely and is very glossy.
  4. Pour the cheese into a container that can hold a minimum of 2 cups (475 ml) in volume. I like small loaf pans or glass bowls.
  5. If properly cooked, the cheese will start to set right away. Allow the cheese to set at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then cover and refrigerate the cheese to finish setting for 3 to 4 hours.
  6. If the cheese doesn’t set up properly that means you haven’t cooked it long enough. If this happens to you, throw it back into the saucepan and cook for a few minutes more! It will remelt and then you can pour it back into the mold for it to solidify.
  7. Remove the cheese from the mold and serve. Store leftovers in the fridge. The cheese should last 10 to 14 days in the fridge.

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