I’ve been vegan for a long time, and I. Love. CHEESE! As a cheese lover, I’ve tried many brands and recipes over the years. These are my absolute favorites.
Giving up cheese is hard, y'all. Cheese is addictive (literally), and until relatively recently, plant-based cheese options were…awful. Let’s be real. For the most part, old school vegan cheese did not taste like cheese.
Wondering why vegans eat cheese alternatives in the first place? Dive into the why of vegan cheese and meat alternatives here!
But in the 14 years since I kicked dairy to the curb, vegan cheese has upped its game. Today, there are vegan cheeses out there that are just as tasty as their dairy-based counterparts, no animal cruelty required.
These are the vegan cheeses that are me-tested and omnivore approved. I’ve served these to friends who eat dairy cheese, including my mother, who is French, and picky toddlers who devour them. If that’s not rigorous testing, I don’t know what is.
Wow, have store-bought cheeses come a long way since 2006! We have such an abundance of options now, and they range quite a bit in flavor and price. I'm breaking the list below into everyday options and fancier (aka pricier) cheeses.
Eating vegan doesn’t have to be expensive, and these delicious vegan cheese options prove it. These brands cost around $6 or less for a package, and they’re the ones that we keep in the fridge for everyday stuff like grilled cheese sandwiches and mac and cheese.
- Daiya Farmhouse Blocks - If you’ve tried Daiya shreds and disliked them, I encourage you to give the Farmhouse Blocks a try. They don’t have that “Daiya” taste that some people find unpleasant. My son and mom both love the Farmhouse Cheddar!
- Field Roast Chao - Chao is a traditional, Vietnamese fermented tofu, and it’s what gives Field Roast cheeses their well-rounded flavor. My favorite is the Creamy Original. If spicy food is your jam, try the Tomato Cayenne, and if you are a coconut lover, the Coconut Herb is also amazing. Your grilled cheeses will never be the same.
- Follow Your Heart - Follow Your Heart makes a few slices options, and they are all amazing. I am a huge fan of the Smoked Gouda, and they also make great Provolone, Pepperjack and American slices. Their blocks are good, but the slices are a cut above, in my opinion. My family loves their Parmesan shreds. If you're missing feta, their vegan version is top notch, as well!
- Kite Hill - Looking for crowd-pleasing vegan cream cheese? Kite Hill is one of my absolute faves.
- So Delicious - So Delicious shreds are great anywhere you'd use dairy shreds. As of this writing, they make cheddar, cheddar jack, and mozzarella.
- Violife - I am yet to meet a Violife cheese that I haven't loved. Their shreds are a dream in mac and cheese. The feta is stellar on a Greek salad. And they make a Parmesan-style wedge that will up your pasta game forever. Violife also makes my husband's favorite vegan cream cheese. I've found that their shreds don't do a great job melting on top of casseroles, but if you cover the top with foil for the last 10 minutes or so of baking, it melts just fine.
Do you have a favorite store-bought everyday cheese that I missed? Tell me all about it in the comments! I love trying new brands!
Nut-based vegan cheeses are pricier, but you get what you pay for. If you're putting together a fancy cheese plate, these are the cheeses to spring for. These range from $7-$12 in price.
- Dr-Cow - This Brooklyn-based vegan creamery makes aged cashew cheeses that are perfect for a fancy cheese plate! These can be hard to find outside of the NYC area, but if you come across them, I definitely recommend picking up a package.
- Kite Hill - These soft, fresh cheeses are perfect for slicing. Kite Hill also makes a ricotta that is perfect for any recipe calling for dairy-based ricotta cheese. You can also find Kite Hill ravioli stuffed with their cheeses plush veggies and herbs. Recommended!
- Miyko’s Creamery - Miyoko Schinner is sort of the godmother of artisan vegan cheese. Her line of fermented, nut-based cheeses is vast, and I’m yet to try one that I haven’t loved. She also makes a palm oil-free vegan butter that’s top notch.
- Treeline Spreads - These cheesy spreads are creamy perfection. Perfect for spreading onto crackers or your favorite sandwich.
Do you have a favorite store-bought special occasion cheese that I missed? Drop a comment, and tell me about it!
You can make some amazingly creamy, exceptionally flavorful vegan cheeses at home. These are my absolute favorites.