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Vegan Cream ‘Cheese’, Spiced Pickled Beetroot & Lettuce Sandwich

Vegan Cream Cheese, Spiced Pickled Beetroot & Lettuce Sandwich

This vegan cream cheese, pickled beetroot & lettuce sandwich is fabulous for packed lunches. Indeed it’s a good standby for any time you need a quick meal in a hurry. The recipe for vegan cream ‘cheese’ is super simple to prepare and is made with only 3 ingredients (not counting salt and water). If you’re a beet fan like me, you’ll also find an easy recipe for spiced pickled beetroot.

Vegan Cream ‘Cheese’, Spiced Pickled Beetroot & Lettuce Sandwich

If I’m at home at lunch time, I tend to have an omelette or poached egg on toast, but when I’m taking a packed lunch to work, I invariably make up a cheese and beetroot sandwich. Sometimes, however, I feel a break from dairy is needed. That’s where this vegan cream ‘cheese’ comes in. It’s principally made from cashew nuts that have had a good soak in water. Cashews are brilliant for absorbing flavours and they are easier than other nuts to blend too. I used my Optimum Vac2 Air Vacuum Blender*, which did a brilliant job, as ever.

Vegan Cream Cheese

I know beetroot isn’t everyone’s favourite vegetable, but I really like it. Pickling these deep purple roots is a good way of having some to hand in an accessible and tasty form. Throw in a few spices and a hottish chilli and it transforms this most humble of veg into something almost exotic. If pickled beetroot really isn’t your thing, you could use some of these delicious carrot pickles instead.

Spiced Pickled Beetroot

For my sandwich bread, I cut a couple of slices from my homemade rye & spelt sourdough bread. I don’t have the exact recipe on my blog, but it’s very similar to this apple and hazelnut spelt rye sourdough loaf. Instead of adding apple, hazelnuts and cinnamon, I throw in a variety of seeds. My favourites are linseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and caraway seeds.

My vegan cream ‘cheese’ tastes surprisingly like a good tangy dairy cream cheese. It’s really very tasty. It’s also easy to spread on bread or crackers; making sandwiches has never been less trouble. I spread both slices of my sandwich bread with the cream ‘cheese’, then add a layer of beetroot and a layer of lettuce. It works for me.

Vegan Cream Cheese, Spiced Pickled Beetroot & Lettuce Sandwich

Once you’ve made your sandwich, you’ll have the added benefit of a large jar of delicious spiced pickled beetroot slices and a bowl of vegan cream ‘cheese’ to enjoy for many days to come.

5  Ways to Add Variety to Your Vegan Cream Cheese

The recipe I’ve given is for a basic cream ‘cheese’. This is very good on its own, but sometimes it’s good to change things up a bit. Here are a few optional extras that’ll make your vegan cream ‘cheese’ more interesting.

  1. Stir in a very good grinding of black pepper.
  2. Substitute smoked sea salt for ordinary sea salt.
  3. Add ½ tsp smoked paprika at the blending stage.
  4. Blend in 1 clove raw garlic or 2 cloves of roasted garlic.
  5. A few sprigs of fresh herbs. Choose your favourite or mix them up a bit. Chives are particularly good. These can either be added at the blending stage to make a light green cheese, or finely chopped and stirred in afterwards.

Suma Wholefoods

Suma is one of my favourite wholefood suppliers. They’re ethical, have a massive range of organic produce and you can buy in bulk. Space is a bit of an issue, as I don’t have a particularly big kitchen, but I try to bulk buy some items as a) it’s cheaper and b) I like to be well stocked with a few basics.

Vegan Cream Cheese Sandwich Suma Order

Initially, I wasn’t quite sure what spices I was going to use for my spiced pickled beetroot, so I ordered a few to give myself some wiggle room. In the end I went with a cinnamon stick, a clove, star anise and one of our own dried chillies.

Apple cider vinegar is my favourite vinegar for pickling. It isn’t too harsh and it has a fantastic flavour. Its also quite good for you, especially if it hasn’t been heat treated. Suma stock a really nice brand that produces raw vinegar, just as I like it.

Rather than use cane sugar, as I normally do when pickling, I decided to try coconut sugar instead. It’s said to have a lower glycemic index than ordinary sugar and contains quite a few welcome minerals. I’ve used it quite a lot in baking, but reckoned it would work well with the earthy flavour of beetroot. It did.

As for the vegan cream ‘cheese’, I ended up using cashew nuts only, though I had considered adding tahini at one point. I might try that next time I make some.

Other Vegan Sandwich Recipes You Might Like

And for even more ideas take a look at these 31 healthy vegan lunch recipes.

Keep in Touch

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this vegan cream cheese sandwich, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Vegan Cream ‘Cheese’ Sandwich. PIN IT.

Vegan Cream Cheese, Spiced Pickled Beetroot & Lettuce Sandwich.

Vegan Cream ‘Cheese’, Spiced Pickled Beetroot & Lettuce Sandwich – The Recipe

Vegan Cream Cheese, Spiced Pickled Beetroot & Lettuce Sandwich
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5 from 5 votes

Vegan Cream 'Cheese', Spiced Pickled Beetroot & Lettuce Sandwich

This tasty vegan sandwich is fabulous for packed lunches and when you've made the cream 'cheese' and pickled beetroot, you'll have a well stocked fridge that will keep you going for days.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Soaking Time8 hrs
Total Time1 hr
Course: Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: beetroot, cashews, cream cheese, pickles, sandwich, sandwich spread, vegan
Servings: 1 sandwich


  • 2 slices of good quality wholemeal bread
  • 1-3 crunchy lettuce leaves depending on size

Spiced Pickled Beetroot

  • 4 medium sized beetroot - scrubbed well
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 200 ml cider vinegar
  • 50 g coconut sugar
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 clove
  • 1 dried chilli hot
  • 1 star anise optional

Vegan Cream Cheese

  • 175 g cashew nuts
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp filtered water


Spiced Pickled Beetroot

  • Place the beetroot and salt in a medium pan and cover with water. Cook for 30-40 minutes until just tender, but still firm. Drain, but reserve the salted cooking water.
  • Allow the beets to cool, then cut into slices - about the thickness of a £1 coin.
  • Place the remaining ingredients into a pan along with 125ml of the cooking water and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Bring to the boil then pour over the beetroot slices. Allow to cool, then seal.

Vegan Cream Cheese

  • Place the cashew nuts in a bowl and cover with filtered water. Place a lid or plate on the bowl and leave to soak overnight.
  • Drain and rinse the cashews.
  • Place all the ingredients into a blender or small bowl food processor - I used a Froothie Power Blender - Optimum Vac2 Air Vacuum Blender*.
  • Pulse until the cashews are finely ground, then blend on low speed for a 2-5 minutes, until you've achieved a smooth and non-grainy consistency. The time taken will depend on  the machine you're using. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides occasionally. If the mixture is too stiff, add a little more water.
  • Spread a tbsp of the cashew cheese over each slice of bread.
  • Lay 2-4 slices of pickled beetroot over one slice (depending on size of slices).
  • Cover with lettuce, then sandwich with the remaining cheese covered slice.


Cheese will keep covered in the fridge for a good week or so. Once opened, the beetroot will keep in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks.
Star anise has a distinctive and powerful aniseed type flavour, so use it with caution.
If you can't get hold of coconut sugar, use dark muscovado sugar instead.


This vegan cream cheese, spiced pickled beetroot & lettuce sandwich is my sixteenth recipe for the Suma Blogger’s Network.

I’m also sharing this vegan cream ‘cheese’ & spiced pickled beetroot sandwich with Casa Costello for #CookBlogShare. As both the beetroot and ‘cheese’ will last a while, I’m sending the recipe to Searching for Spice for #CookOnceEatTwice.

Some of the ingredients for this recipe were provided by Suma Wholefoods. I was not expected to write a positive review and all opinions are, as always, my own. This post contains affiliate links to Froothie Optimum products*. Links are marked with an *. Buying through a link will not cost you any more, but I will get a small commission. Thanks to my readers for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging. 

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  1. Mary

    21st November 2018 at 1:29 am

    I made this sandwich for my lunch today and it was superb. I admit that the cream cheese was from the shop, also though the bread was fresh homemade it wasn’t wholemeal and the beetroot was also from the shop. But the sandwich was great!! And I’ll have another tomorrow. 🙂

    • Choclette

      21st November 2018 at 10:07 am

      Haha,thatdid make me laugh Mary. Glad you liked the sandwich 😉

  2. angiesrecipes

    21st November 2018 at 5:18 am

    What a delicious sandwich! Have to make one for my lunch too 🙂

    • Choclette

      21st November 2018 at 10:07 am

      I’ll be needing a packed lunch tomorrow and Friday, so guess what I’ll be having Angie?

  3. Corina Blum

    21st November 2018 at 9:44 am

    I keep seeing so many recipes at the moment using nutritional yeast and I’m intrigued to try it. I love the sound of your vegan cream cheese and beetroot sandwiches too. Thanks for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice!

    • Choclette

      21st November 2018 at 10:09 am

      Nutritional yeast is really useful for giving that umami, slightly cheesy flavour to vegan foods. Great for vegan cheese, scrambled eggs and gravy.

  4. johanna @ green gourmet giraffe

    21st November 2018 at 10:16 am

    Your sandwich sounds fantastic – I really like your cashew cream cheese – but I am quite fussy about taking out sandwiches and would never take one with beetroot because it bleeds into the sandwich too much. I would be delighted to eat this sandwich fresh made at home

    • Choclette

      21st November 2018 at 11:27 am

      Hahaha, what a fuss pot Johanna. I know what you mean though, blood red sandwiches, don’t really look that appealing. Luckily, by the time my lunch break comes around, I’m the only one to be found in the staff room.

  5. Camilla Hawkins

    21st November 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Love the idea of the cashew nuts in this vegan cream cheese, will have to try it!

    • Choclette

      21st November 2018 at 6:47 pm

      Apart for the time spent soaking the cashews, it’s a really simple recipe.

  6. Anna | Once Upon A Food Blog

    21st November 2018 at 3:43 pm

    I love a good sandwich, something interesting and a bit different. This one definitely ticks those boxes. I don’t often eat beetroot but am eager to start eating it more as it’s so good for you. This looks like a great place to start!

    • Choclette

      21st November 2018 at 6:48 pm

      Sandwiches are one of the few things I can eat it beetroot in. CT isn’t keen on this amazing veg at all 🙁

  7. kellie@foodtoglow

    21st November 2018 at 5:43 pm

    I am a fan of cashew soft cheese, using very similar approach to it (nooch is such a great ingredient, isn’t it?). I love your pickled beetroot recipe and I bet it is fab with your homemade soft cheese. Or, like you note, use carrots instead to look less murderous at work! 😉

    • Choclette

      21st November 2018 at 6:50 pm

      I had to do a double take then Kellie. I’ve not heard the term nooch before, but having just googled it I can see it’s common parlance 😀 I may feel murderous at work, but it’s probably not a good idea to look it.

  8. Jasmin | VeeatCookBake

    21st November 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Oh yum I love the adding of anise. That sandwich must taste heavenly

    • Choclette

      21st November 2018 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks Jasmin, the star anise gives a very definite flavour.

  9. Jacqueline Meldrum

    22nd November 2018 at 12:32 pm

    I do love a cheese and pickled beetroot sandwich, but I am lazy and buy my cheese (vegan cream cheese too) and my pickled beets. I shall just be impressed with you instead.

    • Choclette

      22nd November 2018 at 6:05 pm

      Hahaha,well I don’t make my own dairy cheese very often, but cashew cream cheese is so easy.

  10. Heidi

    22nd November 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Now this looks like an awesome sandwich which I would love to have for supper with a cup of tea!!!

    • Choclette

      22nd November 2018 at 6:06 pm

      Yes, I reckon, it would make a good sandwich for whenever you’re feeling hungry Heidi 😀

  11. Janice

    22nd November 2018 at 8:11 pm

    I’m a huge fan of beetroot and this sandwich sounds totally delicious.

    • Choclette

      24th November 2018 at 5:00 pm

      Luckily it is – I had it for lunch several days on the trot 😀

  12. Sharon

    23rd November 2018 at 11:01 am

    I make cashew cheeses for pasta dishes and pizza toppings, but I’ve never thought of making a cream cheese for filling sandwiches. What a brilliant idea! I was delighted to read how tasty you find this cheese and that its flavour is similar to a good tangy dairy cream cheese. That’s definitely a seal of approval!! I’m excited to give it a try!

    • Choclette

      24th November 2018 at 5:02 pm

      I’ve made ‘cheese’ sauce for pasta, but never an actual ‘cheese’ you could grate or put on a pizza. I’d better head over to you to find out how to do it.

  13. Mandy

    24th November 2018 at 6:07 pm

    This looks lovely Choclette – beetroot and cream cheese go so well together don’t they

    • Choclette

      24th November 2018 at 8:21 pm

      Thanks Mandy. It’s one of my favourite combinations – well any sort of cheese and beetroot really 😀

  14. Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder

    24th November 2018 at 8:24 pm

    What a delicious sandwich! I adore beetroot and love the sound of your vegan cream cheese. I have never tried it before but am now really tempted as it sounds gorgeous!

    • Choclette

      24th November 2018 at 8:26 pm

      Once you’ve soaked the cashews overnight, the cheese is super simple to make. I’ve been having it for lunch for quite a few days.

  15. Michelle Newcomb

    25th November 2018 at 4:56 pm

    I’ve never had pickled beet root mostly because I’m one of those that is not a fan of beets but I love cream cheese. I have however, recently started trying to incorporate them into my life because of the health benefits. You have me intrigued by this sandwich. I’m going to try this but I will be buying my pickled beets too. ha ha

    • Choclette

      25th November 2018 at 5:00 pm

      Well, if you’re not a fan of beetroot, this sandwich might not be for you. But I always reckon, most things are worth a go when it comes to food.


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