Easy Creamy Vegan Sunflower Seed Cheese

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This Creamy Vegan Sunflower Seed Cheese recipe is one of my favorite recipes, and I think you’re going to love it too. It’s a creamy vegan seed cheese with a tangy flavor that’s packed with delicious garlic and chives, is simple to make, nut-free, and is so much cheaper than store bought vegan cheese.

sunflower seed cheese with crackers on wood cutting board

Instead of the usual cashew or almond base, this is a nut-free vegan cheese. Having a cheese made with sunflower seeds is great of course for those who are allergic to nuts, but it also means it’s great since it can be packed for school lunches at nut-restricted schools.

This Almond Feta is a fantastic cheese but having a nut-free alternative is doubly good.

Sunflower seeds have a bit of a stronger flavor, than almonds, but adding garlic and chive makes this cheese taste simply delicious.

ingredients for sunflower seed cheese with labels.
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Ingredients

Following are the ingredients you’ll need for this cheese. For the amounts needed, simply scroll down to the recipe card below.

Instructions

Following are the basic instructions for making this cheese. For the full details, scroll down to the recipe card below.

  • Add ingredients to blender or food processor
  • Blend or process to combine
process photos of making sunflower seed cheese in high powered blender.
  • Form and serve raw or bake in the oven (or put on the grill) for an even better result.
process photos for sunflower seed cheese showing raw and after being baked.
  • Top with chopped chives if desired.
finished photo of sunflower seed cheese on cutting board with cheese spreader.

Serving Ideas

There are so many ways to enjoy this creamy cheese. You can make it baked or raw, and even grilled. You can also use it as a

spread on wraps or flatbread
dip for veggies
topping for burgers
spread for crackers
sprinkle on top of pizza
topping for salads like this broccoli salad or this spaghetti squash salad
or gently melted and served on main dishes

So many options!

sunflower seed cheese with crackers on wood cutting board

Recipe Notes

  • Note that the miso and nutritional yeast are optional. They add a nice extra flavor, but the sunflower cheese tastes great even without!
  • Paleo : If you are eating paleo, and are concerned about miso, you can leave it out, however some die hard paleo eaters do eat miso due to its stellar nutritional profile, including the fact that it is fermented.
  • Soy-free: You can substitute chick pea miso for the soy miso if necessary.
  • Storage: You should be able to store this in the fridge for about a week.
  • Baking Notes: Baking the cheese isn’t needed, but it will result in a firmer top and sides, which I personally love. Either way, this cheese will still be very spreadable.

sunflower seed cheese with crackers on wood cutting board

Other Vegan Recipes You’ll Love

sunflower seed cheese with crackers on wood cutting board

Garlic and Chive Sunflower Seed Cheese (Dairy and Soy Free)

This Garlic and Chive Vegan Cheese Recipe is a sunflower seed cheese so it’s great for almost all special diets. Great as a dip or a spread.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, Vegan, whole30
Keyword: sunflower seed cheese
Servings: 32
Calories: 75kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup chives (loosely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon miso (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)

Instructions

  • Soak sunflower seeds at least 8 hours or overnight (up to 24 hours) in water with 1 teaspoon of salt. 
  • Drain and rinse.
  • Place the sunflower seeds and the remaining ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  • While processing, you can stop every so often to scrape down the sides of the blender / processor if needed.
  • Taste the mixture, and add more seasoning if desired.
  • Form the cheese into whatever shape you'd like. You can free form it, make one or a few smaller wheels of cheese, or use a silicone mold to make it into any desired shape.
  • Serve raw, or you can also bake this vegan cheese recipe for even better results. Following are the directions to do so.
  • Preheat oven to 200F. Spread the mixture or form into a disk a parchment paper lined pan,approximately ¾ inches thick.
  • Bake for about 40-50 minutes.
  • Top with chopped chives, if desired.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Notes

    • Raw vs. Roasted Seeds: It’s very important that you use raw sunflower seeds for this recipe. Roasted seeds will give it a completely different taste, and you likely won’t enjoy it.
    • Miso and Nutritional Yeast Options: While the miso and nutritional yeast are optional, they add a nice extra flavor.
    • Paleo: If you’re eating paleo, and are concerned about miso, you can leave it out, however some die hard paleo eaters do eat miso due to its stellar nutritional profile, including the fact that it is fermented.
    • Soy-free: You can substitute chick pea miso for the soy miso if necessary.
    • Storage: You should be able to store this in the fridge for about a week.
    • Baking Notes: Baking the cheese isn’t needed, but it will result in a firmer top and sides, which I personally love. Either way, this cheese will still be very spreadable.

Nutrition

Serving: 14.3g | Calories: 75kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 31IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg | Net Carbs: 1g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

 What would you eat this sunflower seed cheese on?  

Note that this post was originally published in November 2013. It was mostly rewritten, with new images added, and republished in December 2023.

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Recipe Rating




 

52 Comments

  1. This was an amazing dish for my New Year’s Eve party. Everyone kept going back for more. Thank you for posting this recipe. I’m making a second batch right now.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this cheese and loved it! Thanks so much for sharing it here. I am doing a 30 day vegan challenge and this has helped make it more pallatable for my family:)

  3. Yuck! From all of the comments I was excited to try this out, but it was SO disappointing ! It had more of a consistency and tase of edamole and didn’t NOT resemble anything tasting like or texture wise of cheese. I tried baking it but in the end threw it all out in the trash. Waste of time and ingredients. Going to try a cashew cheese next.

    1. Hi Kim–I’m so sorry that you didn’t like this. Did you mean edamame and not edamole? Either way, not sure I understand as edamame is a bean. Did you use raw sunflower seeds? Sorry for the delay in my responding. I lose track of comments sometimes and they get buried.

      I’m actually working on revamping this recipe with a few additional ingredients so maybe that will help. But I don’t think it tastes like edamame. As for the texture, this is more of a spread–there are different types of cheese and cheese spreads, etc. This is more of a spread.

  4. This recipe looks great! I’m actually searching for a cheesecake recipe that is dairy-free and nut-free. We can use lactose-free milk, but daughter is allergic to all nuts (peanut and tree nuts). Any ideas for me??

  5. One other thing I wanted to mention. I don’t have a vitamix, but I have one of the high powered ninja blenders. This took about 10 minutes on the highest setting, and I had to scrape down a few times. I’m sure in a vitamix this would be much easier, but if you are like me and haven’t made the investment yet, I just wanted to mention that it did work. Just took some time.

  6. Just made this, its really good. I love the sunflower seed, lemon taste combo. I think i may try this with roasted sunflower seeds next time just to see what the flavor is like.

    1. So glad to hear it. I think it will taste more like peanut butter if you use roasted ones so depending on what you want you may or may not like it. Thanks again!

  7. Hi Adrienne,
    Well turns out they might be raw! I thought it might say raw on the bag, but then again if they were toasted, it would be labeled that as well! It doesn’t say either, so I wasn’t sure. I’ll go ahead with them, I’m sure it’ll taste great. Looking forward to it. Thanks!

  8. Hello! I’m excited to make this “cheese” but realized my sunflower seeds aren’t raw 🙁 I’m wondering if it’s still possible to use them? Or do they have to be raw? I have to agree with others, it’s hard to find some nut-free (though I’m in Australia!)
    Thanks! 🙂

    1. You could still use them, but if they are toasted the cheese will taste different. What do you mean by “not raw”?

  9. Hi Candace, Can you tell me where you get your sunflower seeds from. All the ones in the stores near me are all made in a facility with other nuts and my grandson is allergic to nuts. I think he would just love this recipe. Thank you

      1. Thanks for replying Adrienne. It’s unfortunate but I just checked out Country Life and they do process in a facility with peanuts and tree nuts. My search continues.

        1. Their 25 pound bags are different. I would call them and ask. I have always purchased in bulk from them b/c of allergies, especially in years when we were worried about cross contamination. These years we are not as concerned about it but I still do it to save money almost all the time :).

    1. Hi Laura,
      Cross-contamination has not yet been an issue for us but I am getting more and more sensitive to things so I may have to find another supply. I am going to check into the big bags of Country Life and see. Thanks for the tip Adrienne!

  10. I have been googling for a sunflower seed “cheese” for a couple of hours now, and you recipe looks great and manageable, yay! I just wondered if you know how long it will keep in the fridge? I have never made one before, and I wasn’t sure how long it keeps for.

    1. Hi JJ,
      I am so glad you found this recipe. It is super easy, especially with the Vitamix but I am sure it can work with other appliances. Honestly I keep this in the fridge for two weeks. There is no science behind this decision, that just seemed right to me. It does make a lot of “cheese” although I don’t think we’ve ever had any last two weeks. However, I might freeze some next time. I have not tried freezing but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. But to answer your question I say 2 weeks. Adrienne, how long do you say for your almond feta?

      P.S. I am working on a fermented sunflower seed cheese…yum…I hope =).

      1. I make no claims either Candace :). I haven’t made it in awhile and my son devours it whenever I make it. He is the one deathly allergic to dairy. :).

        1. Thank you both for your replies 🙂
          I have halved the recipe to start with, but after trying it, I don’t think it will hang around long enough to be stored for two weeks!
          I might try making a bigger batch next time and freeze some.
          Thank you for sharing the recipe!

          1. So glad you liked it JJ! If you do happen to freeze some before I do please let me know how it works out!

    1. I’m so glad you like it. I can’t believe I haven’t tried it on celery, what a great idea, thanks for sharing!

  11. Quick question, how important is the lemon juice? Id love to make this more my multi allergic 1 year old and citric fruits are a no no. Thanks!

    1. Hi Ashely,
      Sorry for the delay. The lemon juice adds tang, so it might taste less “cheesy” without it. I have not tried it but perhaps some nutritional yeast or even some rhubarb juice would work as a substitute. Or even some water kefir or kombucha vingear! I am going to have to try that myself! I hope that helps!

  12. I found this post through the Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead. I can’t WAIT to make this cheese! It sounds delicious. Thanks for the great read!

  13. Thanks for this!!! I’ve just never been able to make a good cheese substitute, I just can’t wait to make it 🙂

    xo,
    Cassidy

  14. I had the same question as Joya, so I contacted Candace. She was so nice and got back to me right away. Here is her response: “Thank you for getting in touch with me. It looks like that direction is something that Adrienne popped in there and I can see why you are confused.
    I do not soak and dehydrate first. I soak them overnight or up to 24 hours, rinse, and make the cheese. So just to be clear the seeds are wet when I do it. Maybe she knows something we don’t though!
    I will talk to Adrienne to clear this up, thank you for bringing this to my attention.
    I hope you enjoy the cheese! ”

    I received a second email (wow, great follow-up!): ”
    The recipe has been updated. Adrienne keeps soaked and dehydrated nuts and seeds on hand so that is where she was coming from. So glad you reached out.
    Thank you again!”

    I am so happy I found this recipe. Three people in our family must stay away from dairy. I can’t wait to try it!

  15. Hi there! So when making the garlic & chive sunflower cheese, after you soak the sunflower seeds, should you then dehydrate them? Your ingredients say yes but your directions do not mention the dehydrating process…. Thank you!

    1. Ooh, raw mayo sounds great! I wonder if you blended some of that mayo with this recipe –might make a great party dip?