Dairy-Free Makeover Version of Bob’s Big Boy Roquefort Dressing

I didn’t move to California until I was 12 so I don’t have any fond childhood memories of eating at Bob’s Big Boy fast food joint, but my husband sure does. It seems as if most native Californians have stories about Bob’s this or Bob’s that; I remember someone even telling me about a college fraternity prank for stealing the mascot statue one night (I am possibly incriminating my husband here?).

So, the other night when I decided to make my own version of nut cheese after being blown away by Gena’s cashew cheese, I certainly did not intend to make a makeover version of Bob’s Big Boy Roquefort Dressing, but that’s what Alan immediately declared it tasted like (with much glee, I might add).

This recipe uses the same base as the cashew cheese: nuts, lemon juice and dried herbs. I simply thinned out the cheese with some apple cider vinegar to make it a dressing. I started with walnuts and pine nuts. I then added marjoram, oregano and lemon balm, because those are the dried herbs that have very high antioxidant activity, according to Dr. Greger.

By the way, I order my dried herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs. I don’t have any special deal with them or anything, but I like that they have organic versions and seem to be a great company. I order in bulk and then satisfy my anal-retentive tendencies by putting them in glass and stainless steel containers complete with labels:

Dried herbs.

If you soaked the nuts in water for a few hours ahead of time, then you could easily make this dressing in the food processor. I used the Vitamix instead and it worked great, too. Here’s what it looks like pre-blended:

Makings of my vegan blue cheese.

After adding the lemon juice, the mixture blended pretty easily into a perfectly fantastic nut cheese that tastes very reminiscent of a blue cheese:

Vegan blue cheese.

You can stop here if you want and put the cheese on top of a salad or in a collard wrap:

Collard wrap with vegan blue cheese.

I even served it along side my dinner last night as a topping for a baked sweet potato, steamed spinach, beans, chopped onions and chopped zucchini:

Baked sweet potato, steamed spinach, beans, onions, zucchini and vegan blue cheese.

To take it to the next step for a dressing, however, you’ll need to use some apple cider vinegar to thin out the cheese a little bit. I prefer to just stir the vinegar by hand into the cheese as opposed to blending it more in the blender because it then stays a bit chunky with little bits of walnut. Personal preference.

Here’s what the dressing looks like on a salad:

Green salad with vegan blue cheese dressing.

Gosh, this new technique of making nuts into nut cheeses has opened up a whole new world of dairy-free possibilities for me. As I eat more and more vegetables to stay healthy, I find that the flavor, texture and satiety that comes from using a nut-based dressing or topping makes all the difference. Avocados achieve the same result for me, but hey, after two years of popping avos, I need a little variety in my life.

I really hope you enjoy this new cheese and dressing, please let me know if you like it or if you have any nut cheese faves.

Dairy-free version of Bob's Big Boy Roquefort Dressing
Bob's Big Boy Roquefort Dressing...Veganized aka Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing 8 servings
Recipe type: Dressing
Serves: 8
  • 1½ cups walnuts
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • (or your choice of dried herb)
  • 1 teaspoon dried lemon balm
  • (or your choice of dried herb)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • (for thinning out cheese to make dressing)
  1. If using a food processor, soak the walnuts in water for 4 hours. Drain and rinse nuts before adding to food processor. If using a high-speed blender, you do not need to soak nuts before using.
  2. Combine nuts, lemon juice, dried herbs and garlic in a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse or blend on medium speed until blended but still chunky. Use a spoon to wipe down the sides and pulse again or blend again.
  3. Use a spatula to spoon resulting nut cheese into a container. If you want to make the dressing, simply pour the apple cider vinegar onto the cheese and use a spoon to mix together. Start with a 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and add more until dressing reaches the desired consistency.
  4. Use a spatula to spoon resulting nut cheese into a container. If you want to make the dressing, simply pour the apple cider vinegar onto the cheese and use a spoon to mix together. Start with a 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and add more until dressing reaches the desired consistency.

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    • says

      Thanks for the comment, Vicky! Ohhhh, fermented nut cheese sounds like a cool next step for me. Any tips? In regards to the emotional eating, the program EBT is based on a book called Wired for Joy by Laurel Mellin and the Shrink Yourself program is based on a book by the same name. I think either one would be great options for working on the issue. I think it will probably be something I always have to work on, but getting help is such a fantastic first step and is making all the difference for me. Hugs to you on your journey!

        • says

          Well that certainly looks easy enough. Thanks Vicky! Does the flavor taste much different than making the cheese with lemon juice? Do you know if healthy bacteria forms after letting it sit overnight?

          • says

            Yes, the flavor is much different than with lemon juice…. much more authentic tasting! Yes, healthy bacteria does form after letting it sit out. I have made it both with and without using a kefir starter (Body Ecology brand) and was able to make it both ways. You can tell when it is done, because there will be lot sof air bubbles throughout the mixture (make it in a glass jar so you can see) and it will smell slightly sour. If you have trouble, I would suggest first trying to leave it out for a full 24 hours, or buying some starter. Also, once you make it you can use 1 T as a starter for subsequent baches and it shortens the fermenting time! Let me know if you try it and how it works out for you!

  1. says

    I can’t wait to make this and the timing is so perfect! I actually worked at Bob’s Big Boy, first as a server, then manager, for about 8 years! Since you know the desert, where I worked is now a Coco’s on E. Palm Canyon, close to Native Foods (small prayer here that it will reopen).

    What makes the timing so right is that I just wrote the other day, referencing how my life and diet had changed, that when I worked there, my meal every day was 2 pieces fried chicken, french fries, a “salad” (iceburg lettuce and a tomato slice) with extre blue cheese dressing to dip the fries in. Your husband will probably know that this was called the Chicken Snack.

    Sorry for the long story, but your recipe got me so excited!

    • says

      Hi Debbie! Thanks for much for the comment. Are you a member of the Vegan Meet-Up group here in the desert? I’d love to meet you in person someday. Thanks for sharing your Bob’s story, you’ll have to tell me if the dressing tastes at all similar to you. I think the walnuts are what gives it a blue cheese flavor and the lemon juice gives it the zing. I was also just thinking today how different my diet is now that I eat fresh fruits and vegetables as opposed to processed animal-based products. No wonder I have more energy than I’ve ever had in my entire life! Keep up the good work and thanks again for writing. 🙂

  2. Robyn :) says

    Do you remember California Grill that was across the street from Whittier College? That was a Bob’s Big Boy and my dad, grandma, and I would go there for lunch in the summers after picking her up from her hair appointment 🙂 I liked sitting next to the window with the air conditioning vent.

    I loved their dressing, too, so I am excited to try this version sometime.

    • says

      Hi Robyn! I definitely remember the Bob’s before it turned into California Grill, I think I went there once with one of our classmates and her parents. Thanks for sharing your memory. 🙂

  3. says

    the next time you guys are in Portland, you will have to drive up NW Glisan to NW 23rd Ave – on the corner there (above the spa) there is a condo with floor to ceiling windows… in the corner window is one of the original Bob’s Big Boy statues!

    we learned to ferment cheese like this in class, VERY fun. and now that I have Irish moss, it is easy to make a “block” of cheese – so cool! 🙂


  1. […] What’s in it? Warming up this plate for the fall, I’ve adjusted the meal slightly to what appeals to me now at the Farmer’s Market. Baked sweet potato, sautéed spinach or fall greens, beans (I’d make chili or barbecue beans, personally), caramelized onions, roasted beets (or pickled – yum), and Carrie’s vegan take on Bob’s Big Boy Roquefort cheese spread. […]

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