Creamy and cheesy with just the right blue cheese tang, this vegan blue cheese dressing is made with tofu and cashews, along with other ingredients to give it a unique blue cheese taste that goes perfect on a salad, as a dip for veggies or cauliflower wings, or as a dressing for burgers or other sandwiches.
To be honest, I wasn’t always a lover of blue cheese dressing – even in my non-vegan days. It took some growing up of my tastebuds to appreciate that creamy, slightly lumpy and chewy texture, and tangy flavors. It was about the time that discovered that yes, I love blue cheese, that I was also beginning to explore plant-based eating options and so my blue cheese dressing days were rapidly cut short. And I missed it and felt sad…
Lucky, I discovered the joy of vegan dressings, sauces, and cheeses made with raw cashews, or tofu, or BOTH! So it was only a matter of time before I had fiddled around with various combinations and seasonings to come up with the best tasting vegan blue cheese dressing you’ll eat.
Reasons to love this vegan version blue cheese salad dressing
- creamy smooth dressing with just the right amount of “cheesy” chunky texture
- tart actual blue cheese dressing taste
- oil-free (but not fat free)
- extra protien from the tofu and cashews
- no vegan mayo used
- perfect with vegan cobb salad
- gather all your veggies for this vegan blue cheese dip
- great as a topping for plant-based burgers or sandwiches
- Did I mention cauliflower wings?
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Ingredients needed to make vegan blue cheese dressing
I know it looks like a lot, but mixed and blended together, these special ingredients and seasonings make the perfect creamy/chunky, smooth and tangy, blue cheese dressing – all without using dairy, vegan mayonnaise, special probiotics, or other “weird” vegan stuff.
- firm tofu (not extra firm tofu)
- raw cashews
- water for soaking cashews (discard), and
- water for blending
- nutritional yeast
- lemon juice
- capers and some brine from the jar
- white miso paste (you can also use yellow miso – but not red)
- apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegar
- yellow mustard
- salt and pepper
- chopped chives (or parsley if you don’t like the sharp chive taste)
How to make delcious tangy vegan blue cheese dressing
Step 1: prepare
Soak the cashews in hot water and press the tofu. You should do both at the same time since they each take about 30 minutes.
Make sure to use raw and unsalted cashews. If you use regular roasted cashews, you will need to soak much longer, perhaps overnight. If your cashews are salted then triple rinse them after soaking to remove the salty flavor.
Soak the cashews in very hot water and use a high-speed blender when it’s time to blend. If you use a regular lower-speed blender, your blend time will take longer to get that nice creamy sauce.
I have found that firm tofu works best for this recipe. Extra-firm tofu makes for too-chewy “cheese chunks” and silken tofu makes mushy chunks. I have not yet tried soft tofu because I stopped the tofu experiment when the firm tofu worked out so perfectly!
Use a tofu press of some sort and press for 30 minutes. If you don’t have a tofu press then you can always place the tofu between two plates and load the top with books or a cast iron pan or something similar.
The other ingredients
While the tofu is pressing and the cashews soaking, measure out the other ingredients into a small bowl and have them ready to go. Most of the ingredients are pretty straight forward with a few exceptions:
- The mustard. You need to make sure you use the entire teaspoon of mustard as measured. Scrape and little bits from the measuring spoon.
- The capers: Do not rinse the capers but use them straight from the jar. In fact, you will also be using some of the brine from the caper jar.
- The lemon juice. You can use bottled lemon juice instead of juice from real lemons. Just make sure it’s real lemon juice without added sweeteners.
- The vinegars. You might think it odd to use apple cider vinegar AND red wine vinegar and be tempted to just use one or the other. Don’t! The flavor of each is unique and adds it’s own special depth to this vegan salad dressing .
Step 2: Crumble the tofu
After the tofu has been pressed and drained, pat it dry with paper towels. You will want the crumbled “cheese” pieces to be quite dry going before into the flavored saucy mixture.
Next, eyeball or measure the tofu block into thirds. It doesn’t need to be precisely exactly into thirds, but it should be pretty close.
Then, with a knife, cut off one-third from the block of tofu. This small piece will be the part you crumble. The larger piece will be blended with the cashews and seasonings.
After cutting one-third from the block of pressed tofu, hand crumble into small pieces. These will become the chunks of cheese.
For a more authentic texture and appearance, it’s best to hand-crumble the tofu rather than cut it into tiny squares. It just won’t have the same effect if it is cut into tiny uniform squares.
Crumble the tofu into a medium/large-sized bowl. Remember, you will eventually be adding in all of the other ingredients. If you use a small bowl, it won’t all fit. Set aside until the rest of the ingredients are blended.
Step 3: Blend the ingredients
To your high-speed blender, add the soaked and drained cashews, the freshwater, red wine and apple cider vinegar, capers and brine, nutritional yeast, yellow mustard, and salt and pepper. Notice that we added everything except for the chives. We will add those at the end.
Blend until nice and smooth. This will take a few minutes. You should see little fragments of the capers after blending and that’s okay, but the tofu and cashews will be totally blended together.
In the last 30 seconds of blending, add the chives.
Step 4: Mix with the crumbled tofu
Pour the blended cashew/tofu mixture into the bowl over the top of the tofu crumbles. Gently fold so that it is all well blended. You don’t want to roughly stir and smash the small tofu pieces. Just fold until all is well incorporated.
Step 5: Let rest in refrigerator
The flavors will be better melded together after a couple of hours. I like to serve with a sprinkle of extra chives and capers. Pour it over the top, or spoon it on!
Serving suggestions for this fabulous vegan blue cheese dressing
This yummy vegan dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days in a covered container. (Make sure the expiration date on your package of tofu will not expire before then.
Use as a dipping sauce for vegetables or cauliflower wings (coming soon). I like to keep a big bag of cut veggies in the fridge and pull them out along with some crackers for an afternoon snack.
Not only is this dairy-free dressing perfect for a vegetable salad with buffalo chickpeas (coming soon), but it makes a pretty perfect dressing for making a vegan wedge salad.
Top a wedge of iceberg lettuce with cut tomatoes, vegan bacon bits, and pour on the dressing! I also like to add a few sprinkling of capers and chives.
Blue cheese dressing isn’t just for salad or vegetables either. It is ridiculously delicious as a topping for wraps, sandwiches, and burgers.
Just look at this drool-worthy Impossible Burger with sices of vegan bacon, tomato, and lettuce. This vegan blue cheese dressing took my burger from ho-hum to YUM!
For some other delicious vegan recipes for sauces and salad dressings from Veggie Fun Kitchen, try:
- Vegan Ranch Dressing
- Jalapeno Ranch
- Smoky Tomato Tahini Sauce
- Cashew Mozzarella Cheese Sauce
- Honey Mustard Dressing
- Chili Cheese Sauce
- Creamy Basil Dressing
The printable recipe card for vegan blue cheese dressing
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Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing Made with Tofu and Cashews, Oil-Free
- high-speed blender
- 16 ounces firm tofu
- ½ cup raw cashews
- water for soaking cashews discard
- ½ cup water for blending
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons capers don't rinse
- 1 Tablespoon white miso
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1½ teaspoons brine from the jar of capers
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon chives chopped, see notes
- Press the tofu and soak the cashews in hot water for 30 minutes. While pressing and soaking you can assemble the other ingredients.
- Drain the pressed tofu and pat dry. Cut one-third of the tofu from the rectangle and crumble. Set aside into a medium-sized bowl. Break the rest of the tofu into chunks and place in the high-speed blender.
- Drain the soaked cashews and discard the water. Place in the blender with the 2/3 block of tofu.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except for the parsley. Add the water, lemon juice, capers, white miso paste, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, brine, yellow mustard, salt and pepper. Bend until nice and smooth – about 3 minutes. You will still see little bits of the capers. That's okay
- Add the chives (or parsley) and blend for another 30 seconds.
- Pour the blended mixture over the crumbled tofu. Stir well.
- Allow to rest in the refrigerator for about an hour for the flavors to better develop.
- The flavor will only improve over time. This blue cheese dressing can keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to five days (as long as the tofu is within expiration).