This vegan pistachio cheesecake recipe is light and creamy while being full of fragrant pistachio flavor. With just 10 main ingredients, it's surprisingly easy to make with no baking required. Topped with syrupy macerated strawberries which add freshness and compliment the creamy pistachio flavor so well.
Notes about the ingredients
- For the crust, you can use any vegan cookies of your choice. I like to use digestives or ginger nuts, you can also use graham crackers. If you want to make a gluten-free pistachio cheesecake, simply go for GF cookies.
- Coconut oil is an essential ingredient for setting the filling, so please don't skip it! Coconut oil solidifies when chilled, meaning you don't need setting agents like agar-agar or gelatin which is found in many traditional cheesecakes.
- As always, I add vegan yogurt to most of my vegan cheesecake recipes. It adds lightness and creamy consistency without being overly rich. Vegan Greek-style soy or coconut yogurt works best.
- Vegan cream cheese and lemon juice create that tangy cheesecake flavor. Combined with pistachios, this gives the most amazing cheesecake flavor, ever!
- If you can get them, I recommend using pistachios that are already shelled as this saves you a step in the preparation!
A note on preparing the pistachios
Preparing the pistachios is done in the same way as in my pistachio ice cream and pistachio tart recipes, they first need to be soaked and the skins removed. They need to be de-shelled, soaked, and the skins removed in order to reveal that beautiful vibrant pistachio green color. It does require a bit of effort, but it's worth it!
If your pistachios are still in their shells, the first step will be removing them. Add the pistachios to a large bowl, cover with water and refrigerate for 4 hours. Rinse the pistachios with clean water and remove as many of the skins as possible. They should come off easily using your fingers as the water will have loosened them.
🥣 How To Make pistachio cheesecake
(1) To make the cookie crust, add the dry ingredients to a food processor and blend them down into a sandy consistency. That's the vegan cookies and sea salt. Once the cookies are crushed, add the vegan butter and blend again.
(2) The mixture will start to stick together when you press it between your fingers. At this stage, press it into a 7″ cake pan with a removable base that's been lined with parchment paper. Use the back of a large spoon to smooth out the crust.
(5) For the pistachio cheesecake filling, add all of the ingredients (soaked pistachios, vegan cream cheese, vegan yogurt, maple syrup, coconut oil, lemon juice, and vanilla) to your blender and blitz until smooth and creamy.
(6) Pour the filling on top of the crust and smooth out the top with a spatula. Place it in the fridge for at least 4-5 hours, or until completely set to the touch. Overnight works well!
(7) CAREFULLY remove the set cheesecake from the tin by gently pushing the base of the pan upwards. If needed, you can wipe the outside of the pan with a damp cloth which will help to loosen the cheesecake inside.
(8) Garnish the cheesecake with fresh strawberries or macerated strawberries and chopped or slivered pistachios. To make macerated strawberries, simply toss them in sugar in a large bowl and cover for 30 minutes.
👩🍳 Recipe Success Tips
- You can save some money by using unsalted roasted pistachios instead of raw pistachios, as these are generally less expensive. Note that this will give the no-bake pistachio cheesecake a more toasty flavor and the color will likely not be as "vibrant".
- To save time, quick soak the pistachios in boiled water for an hour. This speeds up the soaking process and makes it easier to peel skins off of the pistachios.
- If you can, use a good quality high-speed blender. It will be a reliable investment that will get you amazing results when making no-bake desserts.
- Be patient with the blending process. All blenders are different, and some just take a little more time to do the job. Give it a little break between blitzing if it appears to be struggling or taking a bit longer to blend the ingredients. Make sure you also scrape down the edges with your spatula every now and then to give it a helping hand to get the creamy result.
💬 Frequently Asked Questions
Place the cheesecake in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated. It'll stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you're topping the cheesecake with macerated strawberries do so just before serving, as the syrup will soak into the cheesecake during storage. Still delicious if you want a strawberry-infused pistachio cheesecake!
Yes, to make the cookie crust without a food processor, simply pop them into a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to bash them into crumbs. Melt the vegan butter and mix them together in a bowl before pressing the crust into the prepared cake pan.
Yes, you can freeze it in an airtight container for up to a couple of months. I recommend slicing the cheesecake into individual servings to make it easier. Just defrost the slices an hour before serving, or overnight in the fridge.
🍰 More Vegan Cheesecakes
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- 160 g (5.64 oz) vegan cookies, digestives or ginger nuts work well
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 60 g (4 ⅓ tablespoons) vegan butter
- 250 g (1 ¾ cups) fresh strawberries, cut into quarters
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 50 g (⅓ cup) pistachios, slivered or chopped
- To soak the pistachios, add them to a large bowl, cover with water and refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours. Alternatively, you can quick-soak them in boiled water for 30 mins to an hour.
- Line the bottom and sides of a 7.5 or 8" cake tin (with removable base) with some parchment paper.
- Add the cookies and sea salt to your food processor and blitz for about 30 seconds until evenly finely ground. Add in the vegan butter and blend again until evenly combined and the mixture sticks together between your fingers. Press the cookie mixture into the base of the cake tin, and smooth it out with the back of a spoon, making sure it is compact. Set aside in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
- Add all of the filling ingredients to a high-speed blender and blitz for several minutes until smooth and creamy with no lumps. Pour the mixture into the cake pan and place back in the fridge to set for a minimum of 5 hours (or overnight if preferred).
- Add the strawberries to a large bowl with the sugar. Toss them in the sugar and cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
Serving and storage
- Once set, carefully remove the cheesecake from the cake tin by lifting the bottom of the pan. Top with macerated strawberries just before serving. Use a hot wet sharp knife to slice the cheesecake into portions.
- Place the cheesecake in an airtight container and refrigerate. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it in an airtight container for up to a couple of months. I recommend first slicing the cheesecake into individual portions so that you can defrost them as needed. Then just allow them to sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.
- Soaked pistachio kernels: Soak the cashews in water for 4 hours, rinse and drain. (alternatively, soak in boiled water for 1 hour, rinse and drain).
- If needed, you can use unsalted roasted pistachios instead of raw pistachios. Note that this will give the pistachio cheesecake a more toasty flavor and the color likely not be as "vibrant".
*This recipe was originally published in July 2020. The recipe has since been improved and updated to simplify the ingredients and include more detailed instructions.
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