Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vegan Crock Cheeze made with Tofu

My friend Eileen offered me some of her vegan sister Denise’s Crock Cheeze. Thicker than a dip, it reminded me of the soft cheese in brown ceramic crocks my friend Biffy and I used to eat after school when I would visit her family’s restaurant. The crocks were set out along the bar in the darkened room, and we would sit on tall stools while slathering the cheese on crackers.

This vegan cheeze was not orange colored, but it had the same texture and tang. What was in it? I had to know! Denise kindly emailed me the recipe, which came out of Jo Stepaniak’s 1997 vegan cookbook, Vegan Vittles. The cheeze turned out to be tofu-based, not nut-based, as I thought it might have been.

I doubled the recipe, as Denise recommended, and I added red pepper, since my paprika was kind of old and brown looking. Note to self: buy some fresh paprika. Next time I might add some turmeric, for its yellow color. I also think some roasted red pepper would be a nice addition.


1 lb. – block of extra firm tofu, rinsed, squeezed in towel, broken into pieces
6 Tbl.—nutritional yeast flakes – necessary for that cheesy flavor
4 Tbl. – tahini – sesame seed paste will add flavor and fat
4 Tbl. – fresh lemon juice – there’s the tang
3 Tbl. – sweet white miso – this is the mildest miso; others will lend a different flavor. This adds salt and the aged quality that is cheese-reminiscent.
2 tsp. – onion powder
1 ½ tsp. – salt
1 tsp. – paprika
½ tsp. – garlic powder
½ tsp. – dry mustard – I ground up brown mustard seeds in my coffee grinder. You could also use yellow mustard seeds.
½ tsp. – liquid smoke – this is not necessary, but adds complexity to the flavor.
½ tsp. – cayenne red pepper – only if you like it hot

A processor makes mixing this a lot easier, though I suppose you could attempt it in a blender. I think it is too thick, though. If you mashed the tofu and then added the other ingredients, it would still be good, but would lack the requisite smooth texture. Chill and serve with crackers, carrot sticks or thin, crisp slices of twice-baked bread.

One of the twins spread some on bread and made a sort of melted cheese sandwich. I would love to bite into a pastry stuffed with it. This cheese had universal appeal among the seven people I’ve been with who’ve tried it.


  1. this looks wonderful. thank you for posting. I am a new vegan and struggling with missing cheese.

    1. This reminds of of that Cheeze Whiz in a can, but in a better sort of way...!

  2. I'll be making another batch to bring to my friend's bridal shower Sunday. It's so good!

    1. I think I didn't hit reply to you, so, again, thank you so much for introducing this to me, through your sister...!

  3. I'll say! I've made it twice so far. The second batch was much more orange, due to fresh paprika, and I left out the hot pepper. I may have overdosed on the liquid smoke, though. Great with pita chips on a road trip. Seems to stay good without refrigeration overnight. Thank you so much!