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Cashew Cheese Quesadillas

I cook with cashews a lot. Not only are they delicious, they’re a vegan cook’s BFF. With a little cajoling, you can turn them into milks, creams, and cheeses of all varieties. The cashew cheese recipe here is similar to the one for my Macaroni and Cashew Cheese, but it is a little thicker and works perfect as a spread for quesadillas.

Top with a little guacamole and these quesadillas are perfect. I made one for my mother last weekend. She took a bite and said, “You should put these on your menu when you open a restaurant.” Thanks for the confidence, mom! 🙂

Cashew Cheese Quesadilla

Makes 4 quesadillas

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews – soaked
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • 8 Flour Tortillas
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 3 chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 diced roma tomatos
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Step Zero: The Cheese

This cashew cheese absolutely needs a few hours to chill (preferably overnight) for the flavors to develop. Make it ahead of time and it will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. It is also helpful to soak the cashews for an hour or two before pureeing.

Add everything from the first list (drained cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, and pepper) to a food processor and puree until completely smooth. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate.

Step One

Toss the filling ingredients (black beans, corn, tomato, and cilantro) in a mixing bowl and set to the side.

Cashew Cheese Quesadilla

Prep the quesadillas by laying 2 tortillas flat and coating each with a thin layer of the cashew cheese. On one of the tortillas, add a layer of the filling ingredients and cover with the other. Press down so that everything sticks together. Repeat for all the quesadillas.

Step Two

Heat a skillet with a drop of coconut oil and add a quesadilla. This cheese won’t necessarily melt, so the goal is simply to heat the interior ingredients and allow the outside of the tortillas to develop a golden crust (about 4 minutes on each side).

Slice the quesadillas and serve with a side of simple mashed avocado (or full-blown guacamole with lime juice, tomato, diced jalapeño, and cilantro).

Cashew Cheese Quesadilla

25 Comments

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  1. Hi Andrew,

    What brand of flour tortilla do you use for your quesadilla recipe, or do you make your own?

    Thanks!

    • These were flour tortillas from Trader Joe’s. Technically they were not a “one ingredient” food, but you could make your own (sounds like a fun experiment!) or use corn tortillas which are typically one ingredient.

      • Great thank you for the response. I actually found a spelt flour tortilla recipe online that is very clean. I bought the Spelt flour at Sprouts, the Red Mill brand, yes one ingredient. They will be fun to make

    • Hi Amy, I see that I mentioned water for the cashew cheese… you may not need any. If the cashews have been soaked (and then drained) they should have enough water to create the right texture. I’ve updated the text of this recipe to reflect that.

  2. Tried this and the concept turned out great but I thought the cashew cheese tasted very much like hummus – you could make it with chickpeas for a fraction of the cost!
    I also mashed the black beans a bit with some avocado, lime juice & chili powder to add more creaminess inside the tortillas.

    • Interesting! I really like those substitution ideas. I didn’t think this tasted *too much* like hummus, but that’s actually a really good idea – why not try it with hummus?! 🙂

      • Now that I think about it, you’re right, it doesn’t taste much like store bought hummus – but I make my own and don’t use lots of tahini so it’s thicker more like the consistency of the cashew cheese!

        • Ah, that makes sense. It does kind of have a tahini-ish taste and I could see a thicker hummus with extra “weight” from the tahini working really well in something like this.

  3. Hi! I have been looking at your recipes and I am looking forward to trying them, but I don’t have access to nutritional yeast. (I live in Mexico, and even if someone DID sell it, it would probably be really expensive) Any ideas of what I could use instead? Thanks!

    • Hi Audra, hmm… I don’t think there’s anything *quite* like nutritional yeast in terms of flavor, but ground cashews (pulse them in the blender until they turn into a dust) makes a nice parmesan-like topping that you may want to try.

    • Edit: Whoops, I thought this was the Mini Mexican Pizzas recipe, sorry! 🙂 It obviously wouldn’t make sense to add cashews into the cashews, haha. In this case, you might be able to simply omit the nutritional yeast without anything too terrible happening.

  4. Hey Andrew
    Just made this and it was really good. Didn’t have any lemon juice, so I used half rice vinegar and half white wine. I also added more nooch, because I love the stuff. I don’t know how it is supposed to taste with the lemon juice, but it tasted great anyway. I used it on my vegan pizza with a whole wheat tortilla as the crust. Next time I will try to have lemons on hand. Thanks.

  5. This was so tasty and super easy to make. I added home made guacamole and some Cajun spice to the bean mix for a spicy kick.
    Four of my friends said it was one of the best quesadillas they have had and they couldn’t believe it was dairy free.

    Loved it, keep the recipes coming!

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