Yes, vegan cheese can be successfully made at home! This recipe for homemade vegan feta cheese uses a combination of extra firm tofu, white miso, and other seasonings, to create a delightfully salty, savory vegan feta. For best results, allow the tofu feta cheese to marinade for at least 4 hours in the fridge, but preferably overnight.
In many ways, the most hard-working recipes in my arsenal are every day, DIY staples.
By “staples,” I mean good dressings and dips, homemade proteins, and homemade vegan cheeses. These foods aren’t a meal on their own, but they can become the backbone of many different meals.
One of the staples I’m making most often is my DIY tofu feta. This salty, savory vegan cheese has found its way into so many of my recipes. It adds flavor to this barley salad, my tofu feta kale salad, and my pizza pasta bake.
Lately, I also love throwing it into simple grain bowls or using it to make a salad more protein-rich. No matter how you use it, you won’t regret having a batch in the fridge at the start of a busy week.
Isn’t it nice to live in a time when there are so many store-bought vegan cheeses to choose from? Vegan cheeses that are becoming more and more authentic and appealing with each passing year, too.
Before there were commercial options, however, there was the challenge of making dairy-free cheese at home.
This led me to a few tried-and-true vegan cheese recipes that I use to this day. Some of them, including my best cashew cheese recipe, vegan ricotta cheese, and vegan cashew parmesan cheese, are household staples that I make almost every week.
Others, like my vegan queso and vegan yellow cheese sauce, are perfect for topping bowls of chili, baked potatoes, nachos, and more.
I love bagel sandwiches for weekend brunch, and for those, I can’t get enough of my vegan cream cheese recipe. It’s made with a nutrient-dense tofu base, just as this vegan feta is.
Why use tofu as a base for vegan feta?
Texture, first and foremost. Tofu has a dense, yet crumbly texture that’s pretty comparable to regular feta. (To the naked eye, it also looks similar!)
As a registered dietitian, I’m always encouraging my clients to sneak in plant protein wherever and however they can. Tofu is an exceptional vegan protein source.
Using tofu as the base for homemade vegan feta means a dairy-free cheese that will also easily add some protein to your pastas, salads, bowls, and sheet pan dinners.
Tofu is also a good source of healthful fatty acids, anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, and vegan calcium. Win, win, win.
I use extra firm tofu to make the feta, rather than firm. But either variety will work in the recipe. I don’t recommend silken tofu, which is too soft.
Tofu has a neutral flavor, which makes it a perfect canvas for the briny, salty, lemony marinade in the herbed tofu feta recipe.
The process of making the vegan feta cheese is so simple and mostly hands-off. Here are the steps.
Your tofu won’t need a long press for this recipe, but it’s worth pressing it for about 30 minutes. Longer is fine if you like.
I have a tofu press, but you don’t need one. I used two plates and some tea towels to press tofu for years! This tutorial shares a little more about this simple technique.
Pressing helps tofu to absorb the flavor of a marinade and to retain a firm, chewy texture.
I like to prepare my vegan feta in one of two ways: crumbled or cubed. Crumbled feta is great for pizza, salads, and for finishing plates of pasta. Sometimes I add it to tabbouleh.
Cubed tofu feta works well in this pizza pasta bake, in bowls, and in traditional Greek salad. I make a vegan Greek salad with chickpeas that’s a summertime favorite, and I always use the cubed version of my tofu feta in there.
Once the tofu has been crumbled or cubed according to your preference, it’s time to marinate it.
The marinade that you’ll mix together for tofu feta consists of ingredients that are supposed to create salty, savory flavor. I use miso and nutritional yeast, which are both packed with umami (the sixth flavor, also sometimes articulated as savoriness).
The marinade also has plenty of lemon juice, some water, salt, and garlic, if you like. Sometimes I add garlic to my tofu feta, and sometimes I prefer the flavor without.
The same goes for herbs. You can use dried oregano in the vegan feta cheese if you’re craving that flavor. I make the herbed tofu feta variation often, since oregano is one of my favorite herbs.
Once the marinade is mixed, you’ll pour it over your prepared tofu.
I like to do this in a storage container with a lid. I add the marinade, cover the container, and give it a good shake to distribute everything. It’s easy to simply transfer this to the fridge and then allow the flavors to meld.
I think that vegan feta cheese tastes best when it marinates overnight or even for two nights. That said, four hours is sufficient time for flavorful vegan feta if that’s as much time as you have.
At this point, the vegan feta is ready to eat or to store until you’re ready to use it.
I generally use regular firm tofu for the vegan feta. However, extra firm tofu works well in the recipe, too.
White miso plays a big role in creating the salty, savory flavor of the tofu feta marinade in this recipe. It gives the tofu both saltiness and an umami that’s essential to the overall feta effect.
I like to use sweet white miso in this recipe and others, but if you have brown miso at home, that will work, too.
…and plenty of it. Be sure to use freshly squeezed.
It seems a little redundant with the lemon juice, but it adds a different kind of acidity to the recipe. Worth the extra ingredient, I promise!
If I make the herbed version of my tofu feta, I typically use dried oregano. I always have it at home for pasta sauce and pizza, and I think it works well with the long marinating time than fresh oregano.
In place of the oregano, you could use Herbs de Provence or dried basil.
I think that store-bought vegan feta tastes a lot like regular feta, honestly. It has that very vibrant, salty, acidic quality that I remember.
This DIY vegan feta cheese is a little different. It’s not quite as salty, and the lemon juice gives it a slightly sweet/sour quality in addition to the acid.
Here’s what you can expect the flavor to be like:
Fortunately, the vegan feta cheese keeps well. In fact, it becomes only more flavor-forward over time. You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five or six days.
When I make the feta, I usually serve it directly from the container in which I marinated it. No need to discard the marinade that’s in the container. It will continue to flavor the tofu and work its magic as the days go by.
However you like! Or, however you’d normally serve tofu. Some of my favorite places to put it:
Enjoy this easy vegan staple!
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What red wine vinegar do you use? There’s so many on the market! I just ordered the white miso that you use, so I’d like to know what red wine vinegar you use, thank you!
Sure thing! Here you go.
Tried this recipe two weeks ago and I’ve actually left the tofu to marinate for 5 days and omg – the flavour was simply next level! Thanks so much for sharing, been looking to try a tofu feta recipe for a while ✌
Thank you for sharing this recipe for feta! I cannot wait to try it!
Just wanted you to know that when you have lamented writer’s block and have posted simple recipes like this on your blog, that is when I love your blog the most. Most people also have full lives and it’s often only these these recipes that I actually make! I love your tofu egg salad recipe for example!