I’ve done the seemingly impossible and made amazing Beer Battered Vegan Cheese Curds with Homemade Marinara! These were actually so simple to make and you’ll have a tray of them ready to go in an hour.
These vegan cheese curds came out fantastic! The beer battered outsides were fried to crispy perfection and the cheese inside was gooey but didn’t melt away. Dip these amazing balls of love into my homemade marinara and you have a real party going on!
The vegan cheese I use in my recipe is completely homemade and surprisingly simple. You will need some tapioca starch, but we’ll get to that later! I love this vegan cheese because you can use it so many ways and it’s a staple in our house.
You guys are in for a real treat this week!
The theme throughout March here on the blog is vegan snack attack! This was inspired by the ever so popular March Madness, that time where you bet on college basketball teams you have no clue about. I figured we all need a little something to snack on and I’m coming through with the vegan snack recipes!
Even if you’re not a Basketball fan, these vegan game day recipes hit differently. They are all delicious, fun and easy to make. I know that you’ll find something you like and I can’t wait to see your recreations!
Vegan Cheese Recipe
I’ve been making variations of this vegan cheese recipe for the past three years – I can’t believe it’s been that long! It’s so delicious and it has the best mild, mellow flavor. It’s perfect for recipes that use mozzarella, or a light cheddar, like cheese curds.
You only need one sort of weird ingredient for this recipe called tapioca starch (or tapioca flour). This stuff gives the cheese an amazing texture! It’s really cheap and you can find it at most grocery stores or you can get it on Amazon. I bought a big bag for $5 a couple years ago and I still have it! I just keep it in a mason jar or other air tight container and it’s good to go.
Making this cheese is actually pretty simple!
You’ll start off by whizzing up all of the ingredients in your high speed blender. After that you simply heat the mixture on medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes until delicious, gooey cheese forms. It’s actually really cool to watch!
Just learning how to make this cheese is a recipe on its own, but I wanted to take it to the next level!
If you’re seeing the title of this post and wondering what the hell are cheese curds, let me help you out! Cheese curds are a springy, mild cheese because it is cheddar cheese before it is aged to be cheddar. They are also referred to as “squeaky cheese” because they squeak on your teeth when you eat them.
Cheese curds are popular in Canada (think poutine) and the Northern Midwestern part of the USA. The first time I had cheese curds (obviously this was before going vegan) was from an A&W. So I don’t know how authentic they really were, but I thought they were delicious. Great hangover food!
So I had to veganize those little morsels! Now, my cheese doesn’t squeak, but it’s a damn good mild, springy cheese! It’s the best vegan substitute for traditional cheese curds, in my humble opinion!
To actually turn my cheese into cheese curds I cool the cheese down in the fridge so that I get a nice block that I can cut from. It’s too soft to grate or anything like that, but it’s perfect to chop into bits for cheese curds or enjoy as cold mozzarella style cheese.
You then remove the block from the fridge and chop it into chunks roughly ½ inch by ½ inch. They don’t need to be uniform at all. Then you’ll dredge the cheese in the beer batter, fry for 2 minutes and boom, Vegan Cheese Curds!
I am a firm believer that you can’t have cheese curds, or mozzarella cheese sticks, without a tasty marinara! And when it comes to marinara, homemade is best and really simple.
I love making homemade marinara because you can really pack a ton of flavor into it. Way more than the jarred kind from the store. I season my marinara with fresh onions, garlic and basil and I love it so much and it goes great with the cheese curds!
Without further ado, let’s get into this recipe!As always please share your recreations on social media and don’t forget to tag me! I love to feature your recreations on my Instagram stories!
- ½ cup cashews
- 1 cup water
- 3 tbsp tapioca starch
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp white vinegar*
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ medium onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- 10 leaves Fresh basil, divided
- 1 batch vegan cheese
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup beer
- 2 cups unflavored oil
Boil the cashews for 10 minutes
Add all ingredients to a high speed blender
Blend until well combined, about 30 seconds
Add the mixture to a small saucepan and bring to medium heat
Stir the mixture constantly
Clumps will begin to form and then the cheese will come together to form a thick, gooey texture
Remove from heat and transfer to a glass bowl
Cover with saran wrap or clean kitchen towel
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
Bring a saute pan to medium heat
Add olive oil
Add onions and saute for 5 minutes
Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes
Add crushed tomatoes, all seasonings and about 3/4 of the basil
Combine in pan and reduce heat to medium low
Simmer for 6-8 minutes under extra moisture cooks off
Top with remaining fresh basil and set aside
Add flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper to a large bowl and combine well
Add in the beer and mix until everything is well combined, but don’t overmix
Lay down a piece of wax paper
Remove Vegan Cheese from the fridge and chop into roughly ½ inch by ½ inch pieces on the wax paper, they don’t need to be uniform
Heat about 1 inch of oil in a medium saucepan to 350F – if you don’t have a thermometer this is about a 7-8 out of 10 heat
Bring the batter and cheese curds close to your oil
Dunk one piece of vegan cheese into the batter and add it to the hot oil – BE CAREFUL
Add up to 3 pieces at one time
Cook until golden brown, carefully flipping around as needed
When cooked set aside either on a wire cooling rack with a baking sheet under it or on a plate lined with a paper towel
Continue frying the cheese curds in batches of 3 until they are all cooked
Serve hot with fresh homemade marinara
*lemon juice can be substituted for vinegar