Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese (High-Protein!)

This Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese is creamy, tangy, and high in protein thanks to a surprise ingredient – tofu! Flavored with freeze-dried strawberries and lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup, it’s the perfect spread for your morning bagel. 

Photo of vegan strawberry cream cheese spread on a bagel on a white plate with freeze-dried strawberries sprinkled around it. Text overlay reads "High protein vegan strawberry cream cheese"

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love the classic combination of creamy, tangy cream cheese on a bagel! Unfortunately, vegan cream cheese products at the store can be pricy and the flavor can be hit-or-miss.

And nutritionally speaking, a bagel with cream cheese alone for breakfast can be a bit unbalanced and may leave you feeling hungry again soon after.

That’s why I love this Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese – it’s a nutrient-dense recipe packed full of plant-based protein, making it a great option for vegans looking to get more protein in their diet.

If you’re looking for a delicious non-dairy cream cheese alternative that’s also high in protein, I’ve got you covered!

Ingredients

  • Extra-firm tofu – The base for our cream cheese! Tofu blends up beautifully, is high in protein, and is neutral enough in flavor to let the strawberries shine.
  • Lemon juice – Adds a pleasant tang.
  • Maple syrup – Provides just the right amount of sweetness.
  • Salt and cinnamon – Brings out the flavor of the whole recipe.
  • Cashew butter – Adds creaminess and texture.
  • Freeze-dried strawberries – Provides the strawberry flavor for our cream cheese without adding too much moisture
Photo of ingredients used to make vegan strawberry cream cheese: freeze-dried strawberries, cashew butter, tofu, lemon, salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup

How to Make

First, make sure your tofu has been drained and pressed very well to remove as much moisture as possible. I use a tofu press, but you can also wrap the tofu in paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and place it under a heavy pot or even a stack of textbooks.

Tofu press on a gray countertop

Add all ingredients except the freeze-dried strawberries into a food processor. 

Vegan strawberry cream cheese ingredients in a food processor

Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides with a spatula as needed. It will look dry and crumbly at first, but don’t worry – the longer you blend, the smoother the mixture will become.

Vegan strawberry cream cheese being blended in a food processor

Next, add the freeze-dried strawberries and blend until smooth, scraping the sides of the food processor as needed. 

Vegan strawberry cream cheese ingredients in a food processor

Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, or maple syrup as desired.

Ingredients being blended in a food processor

Nutrition & Health Benefits

  • One serving of Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese packs 10 grams of protein, making it easy to eat a filling, balanced vegan breakfast or snack. I’ve noticed many vegans struggle when thinking of ways to include more protein at breakfast, so I created this recipe as a simple solution.
  • The vitamin C present in freeze-dried strawberries makes the iron in tofu more bioavailable, meaning that the body will absorb more of it! It’s always a good idea for vegans to pair iron-rich foods with a source of vitamin C.
  • Most tofu is an amazing source of plant-based calcium, so be sure to check for calcium in the ingredients list! Just one serving of this cream cheese provides 20% of the daily value for calcium.

Recipe card

Bagels spread with vegan strawberry cream cheese on a white plate surrounded by freeze-dried strawberries, all on top of a gray granite countertop

Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese (High-Protein!)

Stephanie Wells, MS, RD, LD, ACSM-CPT
This Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese is creamy, tangy, and high in protein thanks to a surprise ingredient – tofu!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 145 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 14 oz block extra-firm tofu (drained and pressed)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  • ½ tsp salt iodized
  • 2.5 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp cashew butter unsalted
  • 1 oz freeze-dried strawberries (I found mine at Kroger)

Instructions
 

  • Add all ingredients except the freeze-dried strawberries into a food processor.
  • Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides with a spatula as needed.
  • Add the freeze-dried strawberries and blend again until smooth.
  • Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, or maple syrup as desired.

Notes

  1. Don’t skip pressing the tofu – otherwise, the cream cheese will have too much moisture and won’t be as thick and creamy.
  2. Using iodized salt when cooking at home is a great way for vegans to meet their iodine needs!
  3. Idea to use freeze-dried strawberries adapted from The Vegan 8

Nutrition Info

Per serving:

  • Calories: 145
  • Protein: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 14g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Added sugars: 6g
  • Fat: 6.5g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 238mg
  • Calcium: 280mg
  • Iron: 2.2mg
  • Zinc: 1.3mg

Variations & Substitutions

  • Extra-firm tofu – Firm tofu will work as long as it’s pressed well. Don’t use silken tofu as it will add too much moisture.
  • Freeze-dried strawberries – If you like, try using other freeze-dried fruit like mixed berries or peaches

Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese FAQ

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, this recipe is gluten-free. Be sure to spread it on a gluten-free bagel as well!

Is this recipe dairy-free?

Yes! Tofu is used in place of dairy to make this vegan cream cheese.

Can I use something else in place of tofu?

I wouldn’t recommend replacing the tofu as it provides the main base for this recipe.

Make ahead / storage / reheat tips

This cream cheese can be made ahead for the week. Store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. It should keep for 5-6 days. 

Serving Suggestions

  • Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheese is perfect spread on a bagel! Serve with a side of fruit for a balanced breakfast. 
  • Use as a dip or spread for fruit

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