Vegan "Mozzarella Cheese" Sticks w/ Dairy-Free Cashew Mozzarella

Vegan "Mozzarella Cheese" Sticks w/ Dairy-Free Cashew Mozzarella

Difficulty: 4/5 (5 being hardest)
Spice Level: 1/3 (3 being spiciest)

Prep & Cook Time: 3.5 hours in total (only about 10 minutes of actual cooking)
Servings: 20-25 sticks

The Challenge: Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Let's be honest. As much as I defend being a vegan and believe it is a better way to live your life - mozzarella cheese sticks are delicious. In my non-vegan days, I had just a few.... 

Overall, I have not been pleased with other cheese recipes for vegans or the lack of snackage. So, this blog seems like the perfect place to tackle this issue. What goes better with your tailgate or Sunday football watching? Not much I can think of. 

Here's the deal - this recipe is quite easy; however, it has quite a bit of prep time. For one, we are working with cashews to make this cheese. Wait cashews ... cheese? Just think about this. You can buy milk from a cow, and you can buy milk from almonds/cashews/soy etc. Why couldn't we make cheese out of it too? The only problem is that we need to soften cashews. I knew I was making these and soaked them in water starting in the morning while I ran some errands, so it didn't make it seem like a delay.

Once the cashews are soaked, we'll make a liquid that we can then thicken by heating in a pan. Then, we have to let that set for about an hour before coating and then baking. 

The result > AMAZINGGGGG FRIKINNNN AMAZZINGGGG CRAZY GOOD AMAZING. I cannot tell you how delicious this is. It's time for MOZZARELLA STICKS!!

Let's get into it.


Nacho Mozzarella Cheese

  • 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 2-3 hours
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened dairy-free milk (I used pea milk)
  • 3 tbl tapioca flour
  • 3 tsp arrowroot powder (adds thickness to make it stick)
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbl lemon juice
  • 1 tbl nutritional yeast
  • 6 tbl vegan butter
  • Spices: healthy two pinches of onion powder, garlic powder, old bay, red pepper flakes, and smoked paprika

Breading 1

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Milk Bath

  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened dairy-free milk (I used pea milk)
  • Spices: two pinches of garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika

Breading 2

  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • Spices: two pinches of dried oregano, dried basil, and dried thyme (optional)

Other

  • tomato sauce, for dipping

 


Equipment You'll Need:

Cutting Board . Medium Cutting Knife . Measuring Cups . Measuring Spoons . Small Bowl . Food Processor or Blender . Medium Frying Pan . Small Loaf Pan . Three Shallow Bowls . Parchment or Silpat . Medium Baking Sheet . Small Dish


Before You Cook:

  • Soak Cashews for 2-3 hours
 1. Soak cashews for couple hours or do it overnight. We need them to soften to get the right consistency.

1. Soak cashews for couple hours or do it overnight. We need them to soften to get the right consistency.

 2. After cashews have soaked, place all ingredients for cheese sauce into processor and turn on for 45-60 seconds until a smooth paste has formed.

2. After cashews have soaked, place all ingredients for cheese sauce into processor and turn on for 45-60 seconds until a smooth paste has formed.

 3. Next, pour the cheese into the pan and stir over medium heat for 8 minutes or so. We want to create a very thick paste similar to the inside of a mozzarella sticks (huh, makes sense).

3. Next, pour the cheese into the pan and stir over medium heat for 8 minutes or so. We want to create a very thick paste similar to the inside of a mozzarella sticks (huh, makes sense).

 4. Place sauce into a loaf pan that is fairly small. It won't fill the whole pan. You want it to be roughly 1/2 inch thick height. Set in fridge for one hour.

4. Place sauce into a loaf pan that is fairly small. It won't fill the whole pan. You want it to be roughly 1/2 inch thick height. Set in fridge for one hour.

 5. While the cheese is setting, set up your breading stations. We want three - one with flour, one with the milk bath (whisk together ingredients), breadcrumbs and spices.

5. While the cheese is setting, set up your breading stations. We want three - one with flour, one with the milk bath (whisk together ingredients), breadcrumbs and spices.

 6.  Chop your cheese into roughly 12 pieces about 2 inches long then cut in half so you have about 24 pieces. If it isn't set yet, throw it into the freezer for 5-10 more minutes. Preheat oven to 450F at this time.

6.  Chop your cheese into roughly 12 pieces about 2 inches long then cut in half so you have about 24 pieces. If it isn't set yet, throw it into the freezer for 5-10 more minutes. Preheat oven to 450F at this time.

 7. To bread, first place sticks into flour quickly to coat. 

7. To bread, first place sticks into flour quickly to coat. 

 8. Next, place very quickly into the bath for 1-2 seconds and remove, shake off excess liquid. Then add to the Italian breadcrumbs.

8. Next, place very quickly into the bath for 1-2 seconds and remove, shake off excess liquid. Then add to the Italian breadcrumbs.

 9. Place sticks on pan. Place into oven for 6-7 minutes then turn on broil a 525F for 4-5 minutes until browned. Remove from oven

9. Place sticks on pan. Place into oven for 6-7 minutes then turn on broil a 525F for 4-5 minutes until browned. Remove from oven

 10. Serve the mozzarella sticks with a tomato sauce for dipping. Yum!

10. Serve the mozzarella sticks with a tomato sauce for dipping. Yum!

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