Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Macadamia Nut Cheese Recipe

This vegan nut cheese recipe is perfect for topping homemade gluten-free pizza or for using in between layers of lasagna noodles, vegetables, and sauce. It is easy to make using a high powered blender, such as the Vita-Mix.

I find the flavors of this dairy-free "cheese" sauce are best balanced with the acidity of tomatoes, such as my Homemade Pizza Sauce recipe.

Macadamia nuts are expensive and exotic, I know. Just think of this sauce as a treat. A little goes a long way, macadamia nuts are very rich.

Macadamia Nut Cheese

When purchasing the macadamia nuts, be sure to buy the raw, unsalted variety. You'll need a high powered blender to get the sauce ultra creamy. Well, actually this is just my assumption, I have only made this in my Vitamix so I just don't know the difference. I remember trying to make cashew sauce in my old blender and it just never came out very smooth. If this works for you in a regular old blender please let me know or leave a comment below. Happy Cooking!

1 cup raw macadamia nuts
1/2 cup hot water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Herbamare

Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.

I am sure this sauce would also be delicious with the addition of a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper or even some crushed red chili flakes.

Use the sauce as an alternative to shredded cheese for topping a gluten-free pizza crust. Bake as your crust recipe directs. Enjoy! Source:

Other recipes you might like:

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Was wondering if there is anything to sub. for the nutritional yeast?
    Thank you for all your amazing recipes.

  2. I cannot wait to try this cheese recipe! I am already thinking about different ways I might try it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you for yet another, "I have to make this over the weekend" recipe.
    Now off to find the raw macadamia nuts.
    Hope all your holidays were wonderous and happy.

  4. The Community Food co-op has them in their bulk section. They replaced pine nuts due to the current high costs. This may be temporary so get them while they last.

  5. Thank you Ali! Happy New Year to you and your family!


  6. Very cool Ali! I love this idea =D. Macadamia nuts are delicious, so I'm sure this is just perfect!

  7. Thank you Ali! I was wondering what that topping was on the pizza picture. Now what kind of greens did you put on?

  8. Thanks for the comments, as far as subbing the yeast, not sure, maybe a little tahini?

    And for the greens on the pizza, I used large spinach leaves in between the pizza sauce and the cheese sauce. I sprinkled fresh basil over the pizza just after it came out of the oven.

    Hope you all enjoy! Let me know what you think when you try it. Happy New Year! -Ali :)

  9. I have gotten cashew cheese in my regular blender to come out really smooth, however the cashews were soaked overnight first, so I am sure that made a difference. When choosing a blender, I couldn't afford a vitamix so I just looked at reviews online to find a cheaper one that got lots of good reviews. I love the one I have!

  10. Wow, that looks like an awesome non-dairy alternative! I have no idea if I can get raw macadamia nuts in my area, but I'd love to try this recipe. :-)



  11. I love this recipe! I cant wait to try it with pizza :)

  12. Hey I just made this on top of the buckwheat pizza and it was really good. I didn't use any nutritional yeast and used no substitution. It was still excellent. By the way, I used my cuisanart food processor, which worked well.

    The pizza all together, came out wonderful, and I had to ask my non-vegan-gluten-free family not to eat it all so I could have some for tomorrow.


  13. Ali,

    Is there any way to make nut cheese that tastes good without nutritional yeast? It is one of the things I can't tolerate. Thank you!


  14. I need to eat yeast-free and was hoping you had a substitution for this great looking dairy-free cheese recipe! Thank you, I am looking forward to the buckwheat crust too.


  15. I have used gluten-free miso to replace the nutritional yeast with great results! Use equal amounts. Enjoy!

  16. What is Herbamare? Is there any substitution? I've seen it in a few of the recipes, and I have a feeling my local stores won't carry it!

  17. I have always made a similar recipe using raw cashews soaked for 2 hours ahead of time. And I have always skipped the nutritional yeast. I let it sit for 5 or 6 hours after to firm up and then it is great on pizza.

  18. Thanks! I used half soaked cashews for this and along with a pinch of salt added coconut sugar and vanilla for "whipped cream" atop my dairy-free son's apple "pie". We all loved it!

  19. I am so anxious and excited to try this recipe! I like to use fresh ingredients whenever possible. Do you think it will alright to add fresh garlic and onion instead of powders and if so how much? Thanks!!

  20. I use a cheap hand blender to make nut cheeses with cashews and they always turn out smooth and bit-free! I don't think a high-powered processor is necessary.

  21. Just wondering...How do macadamia cheese and cashew cheese differ in taste? My husband is allergic to cashews and i am trying to find another good vegan cheese option!! (especially for lasagna)


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)