Make Paleo Almond Cream Cheese from scratch with only 5 ingredients. This thick spreadable vegan cheese is perfect for bagels, dairy-free cream cheese frostings, dips, and so much more!
What’s a good vegan substitute for cream cheese? This paleo almond cream cheese, of course! Truthfully, I’ve never had much luck with non-dairy cream cheese alternatives. They never really taste like cream cheese, except for Kite Hill brand.
With some trial and error, I created this almond cream cheese recipe, and it’s the perfect Kite Hill copycat. This spreadable mixture is rich, subtly tangy, and sweet -just like cream cheese!
💗 Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Budget-friendly – Making almond cream cheese from scratch is less-expensive than some of the store-bought brands.
- Only 5 ingredients, all of which are vegan and paleo.
- Versatile – You can keep it plain or customize with your favorite cream cheese mix-ins.
- It’s 100% Whole30 compliant!
🌰 Ingredients & Substitutions
- Almonds – You will need blanched almonds with the skin removed. They can be slivered or whole. If you have blanched almond meal, that works too.
- Oil – Any neutral tasting oil like olive oil or avocado oil.
- Salt – to enhance the flavor and texture.
- White Vinegar – for the subtle tangy flavor. You can also use lemon juice here.
- Water – or unsweetened almond milk to add moisture and make a velvety consistency.
- Recommened Equipment – high-speed blender, Vitamix or Ninja, rubber spatula, and a mason jar.
📖 How To Make Cream Cheese Using Almonds
1️⃣ Soak almonds:
Submerge almonds in a bowl of filtered water, covering the almonds with at least 3″ of water over the top. Soak overnight.
2️⃣ Rinse almonds:
After soaking, rinse the almonds and drain them well. Add the almonds to a high-speed blender.
3️⃣ Blend ingredients together:
Add the avocado oil, salt, vinegar, and half of the water. Pulse the ingredients together until a thick and creamy mixture forms
4️⃣ Adjust consistency:
Add the remaining water, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
👉 Recipe Tips
- Be sure to rinse and drain the almonds well. If your almonds have skins, I recommend removing them. If you leave the skins on, your cream cheeese will be darker in color.
- I don’t advise soaking the almonds in boiling water to speed things up. Soaking them overnight softens them without altering the flavor.
- A heavy-duty high-speed blender is key to whipping the almonds into a rich cream cheese. If you do not have a high-speed blender, you can make this with cashews.
- When adjusting the consistency, keep in mind the cream cheese will thicken more as it sits in the fridge.
Take inspiration from your favorite cream cheese flavors. Check out the list below for my personal favorites!
- Chive & onion – add dried onions flakes and chopped chives
- Garden veggie – stir in finely diced red bell pepper, green bell pepper, scallions, celery, carrot, and parsley
- Pumpkin pie – add canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice
- Everything – season to taste with everything bagel seasoning
- Cinnamon sugar – add cinnamon and coconut sugar
- Honey almond – add finely chopped almonds and raw honey
- Roasted garlic – Puree roasted garlic to add to your cream cheese.
- Nutrional yeast – to add deep and savory cheesy flavor.
🥯 Serving Suggestions
This paleo almond cream cheese is the perfect dairy-free spread for bagels, crackers, and sliced raw veggies. You can also:
- Make vegan cream cheese frosting by using almond cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese.
- Make your favorite creamy dips, casseroles, and sauces with almond cream cheese. This is a great way to adapt all of your favorite cream cheese containing recipes to be Whole30 compliant.
- Use in keto cream cheese frosting.
♻️ Storing & Freezing
Storing: Your paleo cream cheese will last about 2 weeks if stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
Freezing: not recommened; the ingredients will separate when frozen.
Yes! You can use cashews instead of almonds. Cashews are inherently softer than almonds, so you’ll only need to soak them for a few hours. Keep in mind, cashew cream cheese isn’t as thick.
I can’t speak for them all, but this one in particular is delicious. You can hardly tell the difference between almond cream cheese and the real deal.
Yes, Kite Hill makes a fantastic line of cream cheese alternatives. However, making it from scratch tastes better and costs less.
Almond milk won’t necessarly become a fluffy whipped cream. However, soaking the almonds first, using quality flavors, and adding an acidic component gives it a similar texture.
More Paleo Sauces, Dips & Dressings
Paleo Almond Cream Cheese
- 1 high-speed blender vitamix or ninja
- 1 rubber spatula
- 1 mason jar with lid
- 1 cup almonds (blanched) use almonds without skin (can be slivered or whole)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or any neutral tasting oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice
- ⅓ cup almond milk or water
- Submerge almonds in a bowl of filtered water, covering the almonds with at least 3" of water over the top. Soak overnight.
- After soaking, rinse the almonds and drain them well. Add the almonds to a high-speed blender.
- Add the avocado oil, salt, vinegar, and half of the water to the blender.
- Pulse the ingredients together until a thick and creamy mixture forms.
- Add the remaining water, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. The cream cheese will continue to thicken as it chills in the fridge.