Best Vegan Cheese Brands
The overcoming of cheese
Cheese is the most popular dairy product across the globe. Going vegan may feel like you’re going to miss all your favorite varieties but that’s just not the case anymore.
Vegan cheese has come a long way since it was first produced in the 1980s when the taste was not so pleasant. The market for this product has exploded in the last few years and creative plant-based versions are now in close competition for taste and texture with the animal product, some even surpassing them.
This is also good news for people who are lactose intolerant and need a dairy-free diet as there is now a wide selection of flavors and types to choose from.
We can buy grated vegan mozzarella and cheddar ready for sprinkling on top of pizzas, tacos and casseroles. Slices or blocks include cheddar, smoked gouda, provolone and American, which all make a nice addition in a sandwich.
Tasty cream cheese with lots of flavors are delectable spreads for the morning. Soft cheeses like vegan ricotta, brie, and camembert will surprise you with their exquisite goodness. They are cheese that can win over even the most devoted milk cheese connoisseur.
Parties with nachos won’t be dull anymore because dips and sauces are also available to pair with these snacks. Grated vegan parmesan for pasta is my idea of a happy meal!
Vegan cheeses are made from a variety of plant-based ingredients. You can purchase them from the store or make them at home if you please. There are even artisanal cheeses that will simply blow your mind – and your taste buds.
Go for whole-food ingredients
Some of the cheeses contain large amounts of refined oils, preservatives, color additives, and sodium that have no nutritional value.
So go for minimally processed versions made from whole-food ingredients like ground nuts and seeds with added spices so it can contribute to your healthy diet. Extra bonus is that they are also cholesterol free.
A wide variety of base ingredients are used: nuts such as cashews, macadamia, almonds, and pecans; seeds such as pine nuts, sunflower and pumpkin; coconut; soy; starchy flour such as tapioca, arrowroot and potato combined with plant-based milk; root vegetables and aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas) often used in baking as a replacement for eggs.
Usually, the nuts or seeds are soaked, blended, and fermented with the same types of bacteria used to make dairy cheese. Other ingredients like salt, nutritional yeast, or herbs may be added for flavor.
Best Vegan Cheese Brands
Artisanal cheeses are the best. In most vegan-friendly cities, there is a great chance you’ll find at least one artisanal vegan producer, so make sure to take the opportunity to taste cheese of the best quality.
Here are some of the tastiest cheeses that you can find in supermarkets, specialty stores, and online. They melt, they spread, they stink beautifully, they are cheeseylicious! Here are some brands that you must try:
Treeline Treenut Cheese
Treeline Treenut Cheese is based in New York, US and makes cheese from cashew nuts that are naturally cultured and aged to acquire perfection. With flavors like Cracked Pepper, Green Peppercorn, and Herb-Garlic, we swear they taste better than dairy-based cheese.
Tyne Chease promise a slice from the cheeseboard of the future by following tradition inspired methods that go back thousands of years. The small family-run company is based in the UK.
Nuts for Cheese
Nuts For Cheese is a Canadian brand based in London, ON that offers organic cheese free from fillers and gum ingredients.
Miyoko’s Creamery offers the best vegan mozzarella. Fresh VeganMozz is similar in taste and texture to the traditional mozzarella di buffalo.
Miyoko’s is a brand that can be found in many stores in the US such as Target, Whole Foods Market, Walmart, Sprouts Farmers Market, Kroger, but also online.
Kite Hill has some amazing cheese alternatives and the spreadable Cream Cheese Style Spread is outstanding.
The depth, sweetness, and subtle tang is due to the use of cultured artisanal almond milk and the use of “traditional techniques” involving microbial cultures and enzymes. You can also find it in the stores mentioned above and online.
Follow Your Heart
Cheese enthusiasts will not feel complete if a pasta dish isn’t smothered in Parmesan. A star among this kind arises from Follow Your Heart that produces a Parmesan Grated Cheese alternative.
Another grated goodness is this creative and delicious blend of fair-trade cashews, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, and spices concocted by UPrise Foods.
NOOCH IT! Vegan Cashew Grated Cheese makes the ultimate finishing touch to any roasted veggies, pasta dish, or whatever needs a twist of flavoring.
Looking for a really good cheddar? Mature Cheddar Alternative is the answer. ASDA’s Free From savory option has a balanced salty and tangy taste that also melts nicely.
Rawkers is Romania’s first family-owned, vegan artisanal producer and so far, it’s kicking taste buds with bursting flavors. Made with cashews and almonds, the variety is impressive and addictive: Smoked Paprika, Italian aromatic herbs, Mediterranean, Sumak, Watamu, and Chives and onion.
Wildbrine also uses cultured cashews to make one of the best bries that you will go nuts for.
If you feel like making your cheese at home, there are some good recipes to guide you. From parmesan to brie, anything is possible and the recipes are delicious.
This recipe of garlic and herb vegan cheese sound too good not to try!
All you need is 2 cups of cashews soaked for 12 hours in the fridge. Blend them in the food processor along with 2 cloves of crushed garlic, ½ tsp garlic powder, lemon zest from one lemon, ¼ cup or 60 ml of lemon juice, 2 tsp nutritional yeast, ½ tsp salt, 2 tbsp olive oil and ½- ¾ cup water, depending on the texture.
Process until smooth, taste, and adjust the seasoning if needed. Over a large mixing bowl, place a colander lined with cheesecloth and pour in the cashew mixture. Gathering the corners, twist the top to form a wheel cheese and secure the cloth with a rubber band.
It needs to sit for 6 to 12 hours in the fridge until all the excess liquid drains away and it holds together. Before serving, cover it in chopped aromatic herbs and handle with care. Bon appetit!
If it tastes like feta and it crumbles like feta then it must be feta! Curious?
Then blend together 1 cup (150g) raw and soaked overnight cashews, 8oz (220g) firm tofu, 1/4 cup (60ml) water, 5 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp white vinegar, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, 2 and 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp onion powder.
The resulting mixture will be thick. Set it aside and grease a non-stick loaf pan. Separately, add a tablespoon of agar-agar powder to 1 cup of water, bring to the boil, and stir constantly for one minute. Quickly add the agar-agar mix to the blender with the other ingredients and blend. Transfer the mixture to the loaf pan and let it set in the fridge. To finish, cut it into cubes and cover with ½ tsp dried oregano and ½ tsp dried dill. Now it’s ready to be tossed in salads.
There are also full kits that are fun to use or that would make a great gift for your plant-based friends and loved ones: