This comprehensive list of cheese alternatives for vegans will keep all dairy free eaters happy and satisfied. You won't be missing dairy with so many options!
Finding great tasting cheese substitutes when trying to go dairy free is so hard and overwhelming. Use this guide to help you stop wasting money and find the best of the best!
This post was originally published on February 7, 2022.
My dairy free cheese sauce is one of my top recipes with many five star reviews. It is so versatile and used for so many things, you won't believe how good it tastes!
Along with that, there are many others that are just as good. One reader hits the nail on the head with her review of my vegan nacho cheese:
"Never ever EVER would I have thought putting these ingredients together could produce something so amazing!!! Thank you for opening the possibilities to me!"
The Best Dairy Free Cheese
There are many kinds of dairy free cheese out there, both store bought and homemade. Some are full of artificial ingredients to try to mimic dairy cheese, and others (like all of mine) are created with real, whole food ingredients.
Whether you lead a plant based lifestyle, choose to avoid dairy for health reasons, or simply can't eat it due to intolerance, it doesn't mean you have to live without the gooey deliciousness that is cheese.
So, what's a good substitute for cheese? Below you will find a comprehensive list of cheese alternatives that you can find in stores or make yourself at home for all kinds of uses!
Store Bought Cheese Alternatives
I am so picky with store bought vegan cheese. It really is hit and miss and everyone's preferences are different. Each time you go shopping pick a different one to try, and soon you'll have your collection of go to cheese alternatives!
Miyoko’s Kitchen - This is one of my absolute favorite vegan cheese brands. They have sticks, blocks, slices, and already grated options! We love getting the blocks of cheese and shredding them ourselves. Choose from cheddar, pepper jack, cream cheese, and even mozzarella which is perfect for pizzas. Feeling a bit more snackish? They also have a bunch of yummy flavored options which are delicious.
Follow Your Heart – In addition to my favorite sliced provolone, they have 6 more sliced flavors to choose from as well as grated options. If you're into more crafty cheese they also offer dairy free blue cheese, feta, and Parmesan.
Trader Joe’s - I recently discovered their shredded mozzarella alternative and it is surprisingly good! The also have feta, Parmesan, and a cream cheese alternative available.
Loca Queso - For all of your dipping needs! Made from potatoes, both the mild cheddar and spicy jalapeño are excellent choices for chips, nachos, or tacos.
Nomad Eats - Another good queso option, it's made with cashews and veggies.
Treeline - They have a pretty good selection of shredded cheese, slices, and soft, artisanal, and cream cheese. This includes goat cheese in a variety of flavors, cream cheese, and your favorite classic flavors.
Kite Hill - They have a few good dairy free cheese options including cream cheese, ricotta, and a couple flavors of spreadable cheese.
Parmela - Their four plant based cheese flavors are available in both shredded and sliced forms.
So Delicious - You'll likely see this brand at your local store. They have a few shredded, sliced, and spreadable options.
Violife - There's a pretty good selection of blocks, shreds, spreads, and slices. It's a pretty popular brand but not my favorite.
Treeline - The line includes shreds, slices, and cream cheese, as well as artisanal style, blue cheese, goat style, and a softened cheese that resembles brie.
Babybel - They now have a plant based option available of their snaking cheese.
Boursin - Look for the flavored dairy free cheese spread.
Violife - You've likely seen this brand around at your store, they have a number of dairy free cheese forms to choose from.
Good Planet Foods - Like other brands they offer slices, shreds, but they also have snackable wedges, smoked wheels, and even snack packs!
Core and Rind - There are a number of flavors of creamy cheese-like dips to choose from.
Field Roast - In addition to other vegan offerings, they have shredded, sliced, blocks, and cheese dips.
Forager Product - They have a number of different flavors of shredded dairy free cheese.
Go Veggie - Their collection offers slices, shreds, cream cheese, and even grated.
Tofutti - Find their cream cheese, ricotta, and slices at your local store.
Farmer's Markets - Check out your local small retailers and farmer's markets if you have one. There are so many small businesses that make excellent vegan cheeses that are often way better than anything you'd find at a big box store!
Homemade Dairy Free Cheese Recipes
Making your own vegan cheese alternatives at home is actually really easy to do! All of the following recipes are made with simple whole food plant based ingredients. Make up batches and freeze the extras to have on hand!
- Both great for making mac and cheese or drizzling over veggies or a loaded baked potato.
- Spread on a bagel, use on sandwiches, make vegan cream cheese frosting, or mix into sauces to make them creamy. You can also make it in a variety of flavors!
- Sprinkle on salads, top hummus, or add extra flavor to your breakfast scrambles.
- For all your Italian food needs.
- This magical recipe can be grated or crumbled, and honestly goes with everything!
- Make nachos (duh), or use in tacos and burritos, or as a dip for taquitos.
- A staple needed to make Vegan Tiramisu of course.
- Dip crusty bread, mushrooms, tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, peppers, carrots, and more for a fun meal.
- Make poutine, fry them, or use as a topper for soups or salads!
- Load this vegan cheese alternative onto tacos, burritos, salads, soups, and more.
More Cheese Substitutes
You can also use other foods that aren't cheese or even designed to be cheese instead of cheese on a sandwich, in wraps, casseroles, or other recipes. Try any of these:
- Pesto - this vegan basil pesto is my fave!
- Hummus - plain is great but flavors like roasted carrot hummus are fun too!
- Tahini - you can find this at the store, or make your own tahini sauce.
- Dairy free sour cream - plenty of store bought options, or make homemade vegan sour cream.
- Nutritional yeast - this isn't my favorite but it's very popular to add a cheesy flavor to food.
- Avocado - simply slice or mash then spread on!
- Tofu - slice, press, and marinate tofu to complement the other flavors in your recipe.
There are a number of options of bases for dairy free cheese. Nuts such as cashews and almonds are popular, as well as soy, coconut, vegetable oils, oats, peas, and more.
It really depends on your nutritional needs. People that have sensitivities to lactose will benefit greatly from avoiding dairy and using cheese alternatives.
Even some dairy based cheeses have a lower lactose content than others, they include: muenster, brie, cheddar, provolone, gouda, blue, and Swiss cheese.