Herb-Crusted Smoky Pumpkin Vegan Cheddar Wheel

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This smokey vegan cheddar cheese wheel is covered in a savory herb crust and made with a deliciously spreadable base of creamy cashews and pumpkin!

As the title suggests, this cheese has a lot going on. But also, as I confirmed with my family over the Thanksgiving holiday, this vegan cheese has got it going on.

Most notably going on here: pumpkin! Not that the flavor is super-pumpkiny, but pumpkin isn’t normally a thing you’d find in vegan cheese.

Here’s the funny thing though: I made this way back in mid-October and froze it for Thanksgiving. Then, when I served it as a pre-Thanksgiving dinner appetizer, my family, who loved it, quizzed me on what was in it, and I totally forgot about the whole pumpkin thing. I was all, “Oh, just the usual, some cashews, nutritional yeast…that kind of stuff.” It was definitely smoother and more orange than normal though, and I couldn’t figure out why! Then when I went to write this post, I referred to my trusty kitchen notebook, and there it was — pumpkin!

The other thing that’s different, though not so different for me, is the smoky flavor. (Here’s my other use of smoky vegan cheese on this site.)

I got it in my head that I needed to make a smoky vegan cheddar. At some point a few years back I had a regular old smoked cheddar and loved it, but since I gave up regular old cheese shortly after that, I haven’t had a chance to enjoy it. I’m also really into the whole flavoring up my food with liquid smoke thing. A lot. I’m sure you’ve noticed. (No apologies!)

So smoky vegan cheddar it was, and since the end-of-year holidays are just about upon us, I decided to get all festive with some herbs, which were delicious, even if I’m not the most skilled of herb-crusters. (I dressed up the wheel a lot for the pics. In real life it wasn’t quite as pretty.)

Since Thanksgiving is over, maybe you can make it for the end-of-year holidays. It’s perfect Christmas/New Year’s material — savory, creamy, (potentially) nice to look at, and perfectly spreadable on a cracker. What this is not, is sliceable. Maybe someday I’ll work on a sliceable vegan cheese recipe, but for now, I find the spreadable variety just as delicious, while requiring less fuss.

5 from 1 vote Print

Herb-Crusted Smoky Pumpkin Vegan Cheddar Wheel

This smokey vegan cheddar cheese wheel is covered in a savory herb crust and made with a deliciously spreadable base of creamy cashews and pumpkin! CourseAppetizer CuisineAmerican Prep Time 4 hours 15 minutes Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes Servings 12 Calories 237 kcal Author Alissa


For the Vegan Cheddar Wheel

  • 2cupsraw cashews,soaked in water 4-8 hours and drained
  • ½cupcanned pumpkin puree
  • ½cupmelted coconut oil*
  • ¼cupnutritional yeast
  • 3tablespoonsred wine vinegar
  • 2tablespoonssoy sauce or tamari
  • ½teaspoonliquid smoke
  • ½teaspoononion powder
  • Salt to taste,if needed

For the Herb Crust

  • ¼cupfinely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2tablespoonsfinely chopped chives
  • 1tablespoonfresh thyme leaves


  1. To make the vegan cheddar wheel, place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. Season the mixture with salt to taste.
  2. Line a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper, and then transfer cashew mixture to the cake pan, spreading it out evenly.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator until set (about 4 hours). It should be a bit firmer than your typical cream cheese.
  4. While the cheese wheel chills, combine the herbs in a small bowl.
  5. Invert the cheese wheel onto a dish and remove parchment paper. Press herbs onto the surface. Serve with bread or crackers.

Recipe Notes

I used unrefined coconut oil, and the coconut flavor was very subtle — nobody could detect it until I pointed it out. If you want to avoid the coconut flavor altogether, use a refined coconut oil.

Nutrition FactsHerb-Crusted Smoky Pumpkin Vegan Cheddar WheelAmount Per ServingCalories 237Calories from Fat 181% Daily Value*Fat 20.1g31%Saturated Fat 10g50%Sodium 157mg7%Potassium 170mg5%Carbohydrates 11.2g4%Fiber 2.5g10%Sugar 1.6g2%Protein 6.5g13%Calcium 20mg2%Iron 2.2mg12%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.« Butternut Squash Jeweled RiceCauliflower & White Bean Baked Samosa Burritos »

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LOVED IT my first vegan cheese recipe. I replaced the herb crust with a dried cranberry ( Craisins) and chopped up almonds crust and it was the perfect mixture


  • Hi, I’m Alissa! I’m a former attorney turned professional food blogger. I love creating vegan recipes with bold flavors!

    More about me →

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