As more and more people discover the environmental, health and ethical advantages of turning toward plant based diets, the number of recipes continues to rise. Having been vegan for years, we have discovered countless recipes that have been able to satisfy our cravings. However, there was one thing that seemed to always be just out of reach.
Finding the right alternative to dairy-based cheese that provided the same texture, flavor, and stretchiness we had grown to love prior to veganism was next to impossible. The good news is that many companies have entered the market and now we are able to enjoy a vegan lifestyle while still enjoying one of our favorite staples. Now you can too!
What Is Vegan Cheese?
We understand that giving up dairy products is often the biggest obstacle in becoming fully vegan. Luckily, alternatives like vegan cheese are here to save the day, but what exactly is it?
Simply put, it’s the solution that the world of veganism has wanted for years. This plant-based alternative satisfies our taste buds, improves our favorite recipes, and conquers even the toughest cravings.
What Is Vegan Cheese Made Of?
The gaining popularity of veganism has led to a larger demand of plant-based products. With this demand has come an explosion of new products and recipes. You’ve probably seen your fair share of plant-based products while walking through your local supermarket, but have you ever wondered what exactly their made of? We like to know what we are putting into our bodies and we’re sure that you do too. You’re about to learn everything you need to know.
Vegan Cheese Ingredients
The ingredients used in this healthy alternative to dairy products often varies slightly between different brands and homemade recipes.
However, the most common ingredients are:
• Plant Milk
• Coconut Oil
• Nutritional Yeast
• Nuts – Almonds, Macadamias, Cashews
• Bacterial Cultures
• Tapioca Flour
• Pea Protein
• Vegetable Glycerin
Keep in mind, as people continue to experiment with their own homemade recipes, the list of possible ingredients continues to grow.
Vegan Cheese Substitute
One of our favorite things about plant-based products is that everyone can enjoy them. Whether you’re lactose intolerant or fully vegan, this substitute gets rid of the guilt and the health concerns that come with dairy based products. You’ll love it and your body will too!
Is Vegan Cheese Healthy?
Some people may be surprised to learn that not all vegan cheese is necessarily healthy. We learned that the hard way through tons of research and trying several different brands. What we learned was that some options contain very little healthy ingredients. Instead, they are highly processed. If you’re anything like us, processed foods are simply not something you want in your body.
The good news is that through our research we discovered that options containing high amounts of whole foods, such as seeds, ground nuts and even vegetables are quite healthy. These healthier options can even promote optimal gut and digestive health. However, even healthy options should not be relied on as a main source of nutrition.
Plant Based Cheese
People ask us all the time if we are able to tell the difference between plant-based and dairy based products. The truth is, yes, we can tell the difference. However, we think vegan cheese is better. You might not believe us at first, but the best way to find out is to try it for yourself. Luckily, there are many different options available that make the perfect addition to any dish and the best treat for any occasion.
Types Of Vegan Cheese
Just as with dairy-based products, vegan cheese comes in a wide variety of flavors and textures. As demand began to rise, so did the available options. These days, if you can think of a type of cheese chances are likely that there is a vegan solution for it. We like some types better than others but we’ve found that almost everything we’ve tried is great.
Vegan Cream Cheese
Never worry about a dry bagel or an unsatisfied cream cheese craving again. This vegan alternative takes food that’s just good and makes it amazing. Many of the brands we’ve tried have created the perfect texture and taste that makes a great spread on anything. It also makes a great addition to some of our favorite dishes.
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
Who doesn’t love cream cheese frosting? If you’re new to the world of veganism it’s probably one of the things you miss the most, but the truth is, there’s no reason to miss out. Thanks to several brands that offer a healthier and dairy-free alternative, this treat is something we can all still enjoy while sticking to our lifestyle.
Vegan cream cheese frosting is even incredibly easy to make. Check out this simple two step recipe that only takes about 10 minutes. (Credit to Minimalist Baker)
Here’s what you’ll need:
½ Cup Vegan Butter – For best results, soften the butter to room temperature and use a stick instead of a tub.
8 Ounces of Vegan Cream Cheese – Allowing the cream cheese to soften slightly is recommended.
3-5 Cups of Organic Sifted Powdered Sugar
How to make your delicious treat:
You’ll need to grab a large mixing bowl and then add the butter. Beating or whisking the butter is your next step. After combining the butter, the next step is to add in the cream cheese and then mix the ingredients again until smooth and creamy.
Begin mixing in the powdered sugar in 1 cup increments. It’s important to make sure the frosting has a thick consistency. Keep adding in more sugar until your result is a thick frosting that is spreadable and sweetened to your desire.
Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Want to spruce up your favorite vegan pizza, make unbelievable pasta or turn boring old breadsticks into something that can be a meal on their own? Vegan parmesan cheese has you covered. One thing is for certain, you’ll love the way this healthy alternative brings every dish to life.
Vegan Cheese Sauce
We love vegan cheese sauce. It can be added to so many things and the texture of it is so close to dairy-based cheese that it’s almost unbelievable. It’s great for fondue, makes incredible quesadillas and also makes a great addition to any meal you want to spruce up.
Vegan Nacho Cheese
Cheeseless nachos are just boring. We got tired of eating plain vegan chips and that’s why we were so excited when we found this alternative. Now we really enjoy nachos again and sometimes we even experiment with our own recipes and blow ourselves away with the results. Easy to make, affordable and delicious, what more can you ask for?
Vegan Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese enhances everything from fruit to salad. It also works great on sweet and savory dishes. These days, it’s just another one of the many types of vegan cheese available on the market. There are even brands that don’t use tofu for those of you who aren’t a big fan. The texture is phenomenal, and the taste is on point. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we do.
Vegan Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta is somewhat like an unsung hero. It adds creaminess to dry dishes, and it goes with almost anything. Plus, it makes incredibly easy to prepare meals possible. Believe it or not, vegan ricotta cheese even makes a great desert. Just top it with strawberries or bananas and you have yourself a delicious treat ready in minutes that’s easy to take with you if you live an on-the-go lifestyle.
Vegan Blue Cheese
Missing that unforgettable tangy and chunky taste that only blue cheese can deliver? You’ll have a hard time believing that plant-based ingredients can replicate the distinct tangy taste that so many of us love, but it’s the real deal. We love using this healthy alternative as a dip for veggies. It also happens to be one of our favorite salad dressings and it quickly becomes a crowd favorite when used in a number of dishes.
Vegan Feta Cheese
If you’re looking for one of the most versatile vegan alternatives that can be used on anything that needs a touch of salt, feta is where it’s at. We use it all the time on soups, salads and even pastas. It makes a great addition when we prepare roasted vegetables and as time goes on, we find more and more dishes that go from ordinary to extraordinary with the help of feta.
Vegan Goat Cheese
We want to clarify right away that while the word goat may be in the name of this alternative, there are absolutely no animal products in this substitute. Completely plant-based, this alternative packs just as much flavor as its dairy-based relative. The only real difference between the two is the health and environmental advantages. It tastes the same, if not better, and you feel good about eating it.
Vegan Cheddar Cheese
There’s no doubt about it. Cheddar is amazing. You can eat it alone or put it on almost anything. It takes boring dishes and turns them into something your taste buds will do backflips for. Truthfully, it was one of the things we missed the most for many years. Our life as vegans changed forever the day we found plant-based cheddar. If you haven’t tried it yet you’re missing out.
Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce
If you want something versatile that can be used on a wide variety of dishes, cashew cheese sauce will soon become your new favorite. This alternative is offered in several different flavors. It’s commonly used on dishes like pasta, pizza and more. Simple to make and extremely flavorful, this alternative serves as a simple way to spruce up toast, veggie dip and salad dressing as well.
Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella compliments so many different types of food that it’s almost hard to believe. It is undoubtedly the perfect solution for anything that needs and extra kick of flavor and texture. It’s great on it’s own, but we’ve found that it’s even better when combined with other dairy-free alternatives. Some of our favorite dishes we use this substitute on are zucchini noodles with eggplant and tomatoes, roasted zucchini lasagna, eggplant parmesan and cheesy squash and kale casserole.
Vegan Shredded Cheese
Our favorite thing about this substitute is that it allows us to enjoy everything from Mexican inspired recipes to Italian and everything in between. You can find shredded alternatives for almost any type of dairy-based product you can think of. The best part is that these plant-based substitutions come with all the taste and none of the guilt.
Vegan String Cheese
Who doesn’t love this tasteful snack that’s a lot of fun to eat? Sometimes we have to let ourselves be kids again and there’s no better way to do that than a healthy snack that you get to pull apart. Easy to take on the go, filling and incredibly tasty, this is an alternative that we recommend everyone gives a try. Kids love it too. Check it out and see for yourself.
Vegan Pimento Cheese
We love using this alternative as a flavorful dip. The texture of it works perfectly with a veggie platter, but the possibilities don’t end there. We’ve found that it tastes amazing on almost anything we put it on. However, some of our favorites are creamy pimento with spinach, pimento stuffed celery, peppadew poppers (stuffed pimento peppers), stuffed squash, and even macaroni.
Vegan Swiss Cheese
Ready to take that mushroom burger to the next level or make your vegetable strata something people will go crazy for? This alternative has you covered. You don’t have to go without swiss anymore! Give this alternative a try the next time you want to improve one of your favorite meals. You’ll be glad that you did!
Vegan Cheese Recipes
While there are plenty of brands to choose from on the shelves of your favorite stores, homemade vegan cheese is something that you can easily make yourself. Using simple and affordable ingredients, you can make dairy-based products a thing of the past without sacrificing on flavor or texture. Check out these recipes.
Vegan Cream Cheese Recipes
We’re currently working on a delicious recipe for this crowd favorite. Keep checking back often for updates!
In the meantime, here are some of the common ingredients needed for this substitute. Maybe you can do your own experimenting and share your creations with us.
• Raw Cashews
• Unsweetened Dairy-Free Yogurt
• Lemon Juice
• Apple Cider Vinegar
• Onion Powder
Vegan Parmesan Cheese Recipes
There are countless recipes for plant-based parmesan. We’ve tried a lot of them and we were more than impressed. This is another recipe that we are currently trying to perfect. Keep checking back to see what we find.
While you wait, try experimenting with the following ingredients:
• Raw Cashews
• Nutritional Yeast
• Sea Salt
• Garlic Powder
Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipes
We’re still working on our own recipe at this time, but you can get creative and make your own with the following common ingredients.
• Gold Potatoes
• Nutritional Yeast
• Lemon Juice
• Apple Cider Vinegar
• Onion and Garlic Powder
• Brown Mustard
Vegan Nacho Cheese Recipes
Never be disappointed by plain nachos again. Instead, spruce up those chips and create a party in your mouth with an easy to make recipe. Once again, we’re working on perfecting our own recipe and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s done.
In the meantime, try experimenting with the following ingredients. We would love to hear your recipe ideas!
• Raw Cashews
• Lemon Juice
• Nutritional Yeast
• Smoked Paprika
• Garlic Powder
• Onion Powder
• Chili Powder
• Sriracha Sauce (Optional)
Vegan Cheese Brands
The days of struggling to find alternatives for dairy-based products are long gone. These days, it couldn’t be any easier to find the right brand that offers the exact taste and texture you’re looking for. We’ve tried many different brands, and we have to admit, we were overly impressed with most of them. Ready to tame your cravings? We recommend that you give the following brands a try.
Chao Vegan Cheese
Satisfying, creamy and rich in flavor, Chao has really made a name for themselves in the plant-based market. Using fermented tofu, Chao is able to provide a distinct taste that will thrill your taste buds.
There most popular products are:
• Creamy Original Chao Slices
• Tomato Cayenne Chao Slices
• Garden Herb Chao Slices
Chao even offers ready to cook dairy-free treats such as Creamy Mac ‘N Chao as well as Chili Mac ‘N Chao.
Aldi Vegan Cheese
You’ve probably heard of Aldi before, but you might not know that they offer their own line of vegan cheese. They currently offer cream and mozzarella, but word is going around that they are in the works of creating several new options to choose from.
Follow Your Heart Vegan Cheese
Follow Your Heart not only claims to have the perfect plant-based alternative for every occasion, they prove it! From slices, to spreads and even shreds, Follow Your Heart has everything you need to take an average dish and make it amazing.
Daiya has put a strong focus on creating a substitute that anyone can enjoy. With an amazing taste, the right consistency and amazing melting abilities, it’s an alternative that we have grown to love. Containing no nuts, gluten or animal products, this brand offers a solution that everyone can enjoy.
Dr. Cow is another brand that offers a wide variety of tastes and textures, but don’t let their name fool you. We can assure you that there are no animal products in any of their substitutes. Treat yourself to something you’ll never forget with Dr. Cow’s healthy and delicious products.
Currently, Kite-Hill only offers two plant-based alternatives which are cream and ricotta. We love the taste of their products, but we wish they had more options. However, they have a wide selection of other plant-based products that you’re sure to love.
Miyoko’s Creamery is doing their part to elevate plant-based alternatives and they’re winning awards while they do it. Artisan cultured dairy-free products are their passion, and we must say, they have mastered it. Being creamy, bold and satisfying, products from Miyoko’s Creamery are definitely worth trying.
Parma! sticks to what they do best, and that’s a lactose-free, plant-based alternative that doesn’t skip out on taste and consistency. Their parmesan alternative is incredible and simple to use. Just shake to taste, it’s really that easy. We use it in a lot of different dishes, but one of our favorite snacks is popcorn seasoned with Parma!.
Parmela Creamery has made it clear that they have one goal in mind; providing people with an amazing alternative that even the biggest dairy-based product enthusiast will love. Environmentally friendly, delicious, healthy and completely plant-based, what more could you ask for?
Punk Rawk Labs
Punk Rawk Labs does their part to make sure all their products are amazing by creating small batches. They’ve achieved awards, and after trying their products, we see why. This one definitely makes it on the list of must-try’s.
So Delicious Dairy-Free Shreds
So Delicious Dairy-Free Shreds is completely free of dairy, gluten and soy. We’ve found that this brand pairs perfectly with anything that is better with cheese, and if you’re anything like us, you know that means on everything.
Chicago Vegan Foods: Teese
Don’t just tease your cravings, satisfy them with Teese, the perfect alternative to sauces, slices and shreds. This line of products was originally created for restaurants, but now it’s available to you too. Enjoy!
Three Girls Vegan Creamery
Offering alternatives with authentic taste and elegant appearances, this brand has quickly made a name for itself. We simply love the fact that they garnish their products with edible flowers.
Treeline Treenut Cheese
Looking for an alternative that goes great with any dish, tastes amazing on its own as a snack or a way to elevate your next gathering? This brand has you covered with dairy-free, cholesterol-free and guilt-free products everyone can enjoy.
When you eat Vromage brand, you’re literally eating a piece of history. Being the first shop committed to plant-based alternatives, Vromage has established a reputation that many other brands simply can’t compete with thanks to the quality of their products and the quality of their service. We have tried it; we love it and we recommend that you give it a shot too!
Violife Vegan Cheese
Violife is your one-stop-shop for non-GMO certified plant-based alternatives. Offering everything you need from blocks, to shreds and even spreads, Violife is changing the way people see veganism. No more relentless cravings, no more boring dishes, just amazing dishes you can’t get enough of.
Whole Foods Vegan Cheese
Whole foods is well-known for their mission to provide the public with quality food that’s healthy. Now, they’re taking things a bit further by offering their own coconut oil-based alternative. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Trader Joe’s Vegan Cheese
We’ve always loved Trader Joe’s and now we love them even more thanks to their line of vegan cheese. Healthy and tasty, it’s a great fit for any taste or budget.
Best Vegan Cheese
We’ve gone over a lot in this guide and you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with all the different brands, recipes and information. You might find yourself wondering, “Where in the world am I supposed to start?”. Well, we’ve got you covered. Through our own personal experience with plant-based products, we believe we can help you skip the hassle by pointing you directly toward the best dairy-free alternative.
Chao Brand Easily Wins
Chao is our favorite for so many reasons. The texture is phenomenal, the taste is remarkable and it keeps us coming back for more. We actually had a hard time believing it was dairy-free the first time we tried it. Believe it or not, we even found ourselves checking the ingredient list.
Chao is a brand that can always be found in our home and used in our dishes. We love it and our friends and relatives do too. With Chao’s help, we’ve been able to help spread the word about healthy alternatives that can make a real difference in our world.
Where To Buy Vegan Cheese
You might think that this alternative is hard to find. While that may have been true at one point, these days it can easily be found at a number of places.
We’ve always loved going to Whole Foods and now we have another reason to visit as much as we can. Whole foods offers several different brands, and they even carry their own. Take a moment to browse their selection the next time you’re shopping. You’ll love what you find.
Natural Grocers is doing their part to improve the environment and the health of society by offering a large selection of alternatives and substitutes that cheese fanatics love. Whether you’re looking for a long-time favorite brand or something new to treat yourself to, you can find it here.
Trader Joes reserved a special place in our hearts the first time we stepped foot into one of their markets. That place in our hearts became even bigger the moment we found out they offer a wide assortment of vegan cheese brands and even their own products.
Walmart has a little bit of everything. If you’ve ever been in one of their stores, and we’re sure you have, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The next time you’re walking through the aisles of America’s largest supermarket chain, make sure you take a moment to check out their selection of vegan cheese brands.
Almost Every Grocery Store Will Have At Least One Brand Of Vegan Cheese
You don’t need to live near a Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Trader Joes, or Walmart to live a vegan lifestyle. Almost every grocery store carries at least one brand of plant-based alternatives. As time goes on, more brands will likely become available. Remember, if you can’t find a brand in a store near you that you like, you can always make your own right from home.