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Vegan Cotija Cheese

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 1 ½ cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Zesty, cheesy, and super quick to make, this Vegan Cotija Cheese is made in a blender or food processor with only four ingredients.


  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds (see note 1)
  • 1 ¼ - ½ tsp sea salt (see note 2)
  • 1 ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder


  1. Prep: Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend: Blend or pulse until the mixture is a coarse or fine powder, whatever your preference.
  3. Adjust: Taste and adjust salt + seasonings if needed. If it’s too salty, you can just blend in more raw sunflower seeds to mitigate the saltiness.
  4. Use: Sprinkle on vegan elote, pasta, tacos, tostadas, and more.
  5. Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


  • Note 1: Feel free to use cashews instead. If you want more of a wet and crumbly cheese, rather than dry and powdery, I’d recommend using firm tofu, crumbling it with your hand, and mixing it with the same seasonings, kind of like my vegan goat cheese recipe.
  • Note 2: Table salt is the SALTIEST of the salts. It’s super finely ground and just seems to taste the saltiest. I’d go easy on the salt (mix, then taste, then mix, then taste) if this is the kind you’ve got. Himalayan pink salt sounds kind of boujee, but that’s the kind of salt we use in our house because we love the flavor. It’s not too salty, and just has a really nice taste. Sea salt is what a lot of bloggers use because it’s somewhere in between the two. It’s not AS salty as table salt, but it’s a little saltier than my fancy pink salt. Use whatcha like/whatcha got.
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Category: Cheese, ingredient
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan Cotija, vegan cheese