Easy Vegan Tofu Feta Cheese
This Vegan Tofu Feta Cheese is a great, addictive and easy to make vegan substitute for traditional feta. Delicious in salads or on its own as a snack or appetizer!
I recently got a major craving for my Greek Style Tomato Cucumber Salad, so I began searching the web for an easy vegan feta recipe. Sadly, I couldn’t find one that seemed to exactly fit the bill. Some seemed great but were a lot more work than I cared for; I’ve been feeling a tad lazy in the kitchen lately! As for the super easy ones, most were merely just cubed tofu, marinated in oil, lemon juice and vinegar, and called for very little salt… I mean hey, let’s face it: feta cheese is crazy SALTY! And tangy. But mostly, salty! So surely you can’t go making fake feta cheese without adding a liberal amount of salt!
Since I couldn’t find what I was after, I decided to create my own version, using not oil and vinegar as a marinade, but brine and salt. This, is what I figured would come closest to what feta should taste like. And the experiment turned out pretty good, if I may say so myself!
Now I’m not gonna lie to you: this does NOT taste exactly like feta cheese and you’re not going to have anyone fooled with it either. BUT, it does have a super tangy, salty flavor to it that’s very reminiscent of the real deal, and a real firm, squeaky texture that’ll keep you coming back for more!
In salads, it definitely does the trick! but it’s also delicious as is, so it makes for a fantastic snack or appetizer, especially if you’re going to serve it with a handful of mixed gourmet olives and crusty bread!
Just one word of caution before you embark on the project: although this vegan feta is super easy to make and will require almost no effort on your part, it does need to marinate for at least 48 hours! So yeah, you are going to need to plan ahead if you are going to make this.
Perhaps you should make a double batch? Just because, you know…
Now, if you didn’t happen to own a tofu press, don’t go running to the store just to get one… You can very quickly set up a little rig that’ll work just as good:
- Grab a cooling rack and place it over a container of some kind, to collect all the liquids that’ll drip. I chose to use a glass loaf pan, but practically any container will do!
- Next, place your block of tofu onto that cooling rack and then place a small plate or other flat object right over that block of tofu…
- Finally, place a heavy object, such as a large book or a cast iron skillet, over that plate or flat object. Now simply put that entire rig aside and let your tofu slowly drip away for about an hour.
Then, in a glass measuring cup, combine all the ingredients for the brine, stir vigorously with a whisk and pour that right over the cubed tofu.
To make my brine, I chose to use sauerkraut brine, olive brine and lemon juice for a really tangy base, to which I then added nutritional yeast — for a bit of cheesy flavor — a little bit of garlic powder and a generous amount of SALT. Because yes, feta is supposed to be salty! But don’t worry though… this vegan feta is far from being overly salty. In fact, I probably could’ve added even more, but I think you should start with this amount and then if you feel you want more, go ahead and add more next time.
Now place the tofu in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 48 hours. Yes, that’s 2 days! You want that tofu to really absorb the flavors of the brine, and I’m afraid 2 hours just won’t cut it this time. You could even go as far as leave it in there for an extra day or two, if you wanted to. Trust me, this tofu is in no rush to get out of its salty bath!
Once your tofu is done soaking, drain it really well, then add about a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil to it, as well as a teaspoon of dried Italian herbs (or your favorite dried herbs), a little pinch of freshly ground black pepper and a dash of red chili flakes, if you’re a fan…
Technically, you could use your vegan feta right away, but if time permits, I suggest that you put in back in the fridge for a few hours, to give those newly added flavors a chance to mingle with the others and develop to their full potential!
Any leftovers will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week (but really… I give it an hour or two, tops!)
Vegan Tofu Feta Cheese
- 1- 14 oz package extra-firm tofu, pressed
For the brine
- Remove the tofu from its packaging, drain and press it for at least 1 hour to release excess liquid, and then pat it dry with a clean towel.
- Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes and place it in a medium sized bowl. In a glass measuring cup, combine the ingredients for the brine, stir vigorously with a whisk and pour over the cubed tofu.
- Place the tofu in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 48 hours, then drain well.
- Add the olive oil, dried herbs, black pepper and red pepper flakes to the drained tofu and stir delicately until evenly coated.
- You could use your vegan feta right away, but if time permits, put in back in the fridge for a few hours for flavors to mingle and develop.
- Keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.