Updated: Apr 20, 2020
One of the questions I get asked most by non-vegans is “what’s a good vegan cheese?!” And with the rise of plant-based eating, I'm only seeing this question more and more.
And I get it because most of the easily accessible vegan cheeses are not that great. I’ve sent the same email to numerous people, and now I’m creating this blog so it can live on the internet forever and hopefully help many of you!
Before we get started, did you know that casein, the protein in milk, releases casomorphins when it breaks down during digestion? These substances create an addiction response as strong as heroin! You can read more about this here, but the point being, it's an addiction and not having (cow's milk) cheese will help you not crave it!
Now that you're ready to try some non-dairy cheese alternatives, let me share my favorites!
Violife - This is my favorite vegan cheese! If you ever see this anywhere, get it! It's so good, and the most realistic. They have a large variety of cheeses, even a hard parmesan that you grate yourself as well as a really delicious feta! Their slices (especially the mature cheddar) are snackable right from the package and also make a great cheese sauce when melted. Not all of their products have made it over here from Greece yet, so keep an eye out for when they launch more!
Miyoko's - Makes fantastic gourmet cheese. Smoked Farmhouse is my favorite, but they're all delicious. She makes a great mozzarella that you drop on a pizza! I’m not a fan of her cream cheeses, but she does have a few unique flavors. p.s. she also makes a really great butter!
Follow Your Heart - This brand is pretty accessible. The slices are really good; I especially love the Gouda. I like to melt the slices with a little water or unsweetened almond milk and some spices to make a cheese sauce. Their shreds and blocks are just ok. I don't care for their cream cheese or sour cream.
Kite Hill - They make the best cream cheese and ricotta. Tofutti cream cheese is the OG and pretty good, although the ingredients aren’t great. I still splurge for Kite Hill! All of the flavors are great; plain, chive, jalapeno and everything.
Trader Joe's Cashew Queso - This stuff is so good, I eat it cold!
So Delicious - Their shreds are ok and I sometimes get them if they're on sale or I'm in a pinch.
Daiya - Some people love this cheese, but I don't recommend it. It’s the most accessible which is great, but I don't care for their shreds/blocks/slices/cream cheese/dressings, although I do like their boxed mac n cheese and pizza. I know they have the new “cutting board” series out which is supposed to be way better, but I haven’t used it yet. Also, their ingredients aren't great. I always opt for Violife as it's cleaner and way better!
You may also have some amazing local brands in your area, just google! If you're in LA, here are a couple local brands I recommend:
You can also sprinkle nutritional yeast on things to give them a nutty, cheesy flavor, or make your own cheese! It's not as daunting as it may seem. Here are a ton of vegan cheese recipes for all skill levels.
And here's a recipe video I made showing you how to make my cashew queso! Don't do nuts? Just swap the cashews for sunflower seeds.
What's your favorite vegan cheese? Know of a local brand? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!
Curious about some of my other favorite vegan foods? Check out my list on Amazon.