Incredible, easy-to-make, vegan feta cheese, made with chickpea flour! It is naturally soy-free, grain-free and nut-free, plus high in protein. Enjoy it plain, as a snack or appetizer, or crumble and use in any recipe calling for feta cheese.
You might think you’ve seen the limits of what chickpea flour can do. For example, as an all-around grain-free flour, egg substitute, or soy-free tofu.
Cue the drumroll (this deserves one): Chickpea flour can also be used to make cheese!
It’s very easy and inexpensive, too.
For starters, I offer my Chickpea Flour Feta Cheese.
Oh, how I am loving this cheese! The taste and texture is so much like traditional feta, with just the right amount of tangy-ness and a firm consistency that crumbles beautifully.
In addition, unlike other DIY, dairy-free cheeses, this fabulous feta is:
*Super-simple to make
The process for making the cheese is like the method for Burmese (chickpea flour) Tofu: a small amount of chickpea flour and salt is combined with cool water, and then the mixture is added to boiling water and cooked until very thick.
However, for the cheese, several key ingredients are added to the initial chickpea flour mixture to create the first layer of feta cheese flavor: nutritional yeast flakes (for umami cheese flavor), olive oil, and a bit of fresh lemon juice.
Be sure to set aside a 9×5-inch loaf pan BEFORE you begin cooking. Once cooked, the cheese mixture sets up very quickly; you’ll want to have your pan close at hand.
Bonus: placing the pan nearby is the only requirement for prepping the pan!
Now, back to the cooking. Once the chickpea-water mixture is added to the boiling water, whisk, whisk, whisk over low heat for about 7 to 10 minutes until very thick. Be sure to scrape around the edges and bottom to avoid any lumps.
Use a rubber spatula to scrape the soon-to-be-feta mixture into the awaiting pan, smoothing the top. Don’t worry about it being perfectly smooth; it will settle and smooth out more as it cools.
Now, head off to do something else while it cools, and then chills. Feel free to forget about it for several days!
Once the cheese has set, drain off any accumulated liquid and unmold onto a cutting board (it slides right out). You can now enjoy it as it is (delicious!), but for the distinctive, briny flavor of feta, it needs one more step; an easy, fast marinade.
Cut the cheese into cubes. Mine are about 3/4-inch thick.
In a medium covered container, combine the marinade ingredients (more lemon juice, cider vinegar, water and dried herbs). I used herbes de Provence, but you can use Italian herb seasoning, oregano, dill, or no herbs at all. Add the cheese cubes, cover, turn a few times to coat, and then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (it does not take long for the cheese to absorb some of the marinade).
And just like that, you’ve got feta cheese!
The cheese will last for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator, ideal for easy. minimal-prep eating on hot summer days.
Enjoy all of the delicious eating ahead! I have more amazing chickpea cheeses to come.
- For the cheese:
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1-1/2 cups water, divided
- 1-1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- For the marinade:
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried herbs such as herbes de Provence, Italian herb blend, or dill
- Cheese: Set a 9x5-inch loaf pan close to your work area.
- In a small bowl, whisk the chickpea flour, salt, ¾ cup of the water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and olive oil until blended and smooth.
- In a small saucepan, bring the remaining ¾ cup water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the chickpea mixture. Cook, whisking constantly, for 7 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is very thick and glossy. Immediately pour and scrape it into the loaf pan, smoothing the top.
- Cool the cheese to room temperature and then place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours until very firm (or up to 5 days).
- Drain any water from the pan (water will release from the cheese as it sets); invert the cheese onto a cutting board and cut into ¾-inch cubes.
- Marinade: In a covered container or large mason jar, combine the marinade ingredients. Add the cheese; tightly cover and turn to coat. Let marinate at least 30 minutes before using. Store the feta in the marinade.
Fat Free Feta Variation: If you do not eat oil, feel free to omit the olive oil.