This vegan mozzarella cheese stretches and melts just like the real thing! Nut free, super easy to make in less than an hour and no fancy ingredients required. Perfect for pizza, lasagna, grilled cheese and so much more!
What You’ll Need to Make Stretchy Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
Sunflower Seeds: To keep this vegan mozzarella cheese recipe nut free, I like to use hulled sunflower seeds. I have also tried making this with tofu, but I prefer to use sunflower seeds for their rich and creamy texture when blended. Make sure you buy your seeds are raw (not toasted) and hulled, meaning they have the black shell removed.
Baking Soda: In order for the seeds to blend up nice and smooth, they must be boiled for about 15-20 minutes. Adding a bit of baking soda helps break down the tough fibers in the seeds. Just a heads up, it will turn the water green, it’s totally fine— more on that later.
Refined Coconut Oil: I recommend using refined coconut oil, also known as deodorized coconut oil, because you don’t want the cheese to taste like coconut. It will still work with unrefined, but the flavor might be a little overpowering.
Tapioca Starch: This is the magic ingredient that’s going to make out cheese thick and stretchy. Tapioca starch, also called tapioca flour is derived from a cassava plant and can be found in most grocery stores. You may see that cornstarch can be used as a substitute in other baking recipes but that is not the case here. Only tapioca starch will create that stretchy consistency.
Nutritional Yeast: Texture isn’t everything, we also want the mozzarella to taste good! Nutritional yeast adds that cheesy savory flavor to our vegan mozzarella.
Miso Paste: For another punch of umami and “cheesy flavor.”
Apple Cider Vinegar: Just a little acid to add some tang.
Salt: Very important. Do not forget the salt. If you do, this stuff is not going to taste very good, trust me. Cheese is quite salty so you might need more than you think. Taste just to be sure.
How to Make Stretchy Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
Step 1: Boil the sunflower seeds: just add the seeds and baking soda to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Hold at a steady simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Ok, here’s where it gets weird. The water is going to turn green. This is completely normal, it’s just a chemical reaction between the natural compounds in the seeds and baking soda. I promise once you drain and rinse the seeds the color will go back to normal.
Step 2: Blend: Drain and thoroughly rinse the seeds under cool water. Add to a high speed blender (such as a vitamix) along with the other ingredients. Blend until very smooth. This may take up to 2 minutes of continuos blending.
Step 3: Heat over the stove: Transfer the liquid to a saucepan and place on the stove over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture becomes thick and stretchy. This can take anywhere from 2-6 minutes, just keep stirring!
Now that the cheese has thickened, you can use it immediately or pizza or lasagna or store it in an airtight container for later. This stretchy vegan mozzarella will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge.
What Can I Make with Stretchy Vegan Mozzarella?
Anything you can do with normal mozzarella you should be able to do with this cheese. Spread it on top of Vegan Lasagna Bolognese, pizza, grilled cheese, pasta bakes and more!
Tips for Success
- You need a high speed blender for this recipe in order to get the seeds nice and smooth. A food processor won’t work and neither will some plastic smoothie cup. I use a Vitamix and it works great.
- For pizza, lasagna and other “bakes” I recommend using the cheese right away when it’s hot, simply because it’s easier to work with. It can also be sliced once refrigerated and placed on grilled cheese and other sandwiches.
- This vegan mozzarella also browns really nicely under the broiler. If you want that oily cheese look, go ahead and brush it with a little olive oil once it comes out of the oven.