Best Vegan Cheese

These 17 Vegan Cheeses are the Real Deal

Dairy-free doesn’t mean “faux” anymore. There’s nothing fake about these vegan cheeses.

With more people than ever eating dairy-free, the quest for plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy products is set to soar. In fact, according to Google Trends data, searches for “vegan cheese” spiked by 47% in 2020.

Finding a good gouda for your grilled cheese or a melty mozzarella for your pizza is a game-changer. These days, vegans cheeses come in a variety of forms – blocks, shreds, slices, cream cheeses, soft spreads, dips, quesos, and even cheese sauces. Whilst some are nut-based, and others contain coconut oil, tofu is touted as a key ingredient in many. The good news is, with vegan cheese, you can rest assured that your parmesan is plant-based and your camembert, cruelty-free.

Here, we’ve curated the best of the bunch – 17 delicious vegan cheeses for your pizzas, panini or platters.

Best Dairy-Free Cheese

1. Asda Free From Mature Cheddar Alternative

The runaway winner in a 2020 BBC Good Food taste test, this block of yellow heaven delivers everything you want from your Cheddar. It’s creamy to taste and crumbly to bite. Plus, it has that distinctive Cheddar smell and acidity. This stuff is so good it can be eaten alone but put it on a cracker or in a sandwich and you’ll be equally happy. One thing to note; when cooking, add a little water to create a smoother sauce.

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2. Violife Just Like Parmesan Wedge

This is an essential purchase for those who can’t do pasta without a hefty sprinkling of parmesan. An added bonus? As well as being gluten- and soy-free, this hard cheese has no preservatives. The crumbly texture and sharp tang is enough to even fool an Italian waiter.

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3. Tofutti Milk-Free Better Than Ricotta Cheese

Not just ice cream anymore! Tofutti makes a wide variety of other dairy-free soy based products. Soft, creamy and billowy, Tofutti has excelled itself with this nut-free ricotta. Instead, it’s a blend of oils, tofu, and soy protein. Perfect to add to a lasagne or dollop on a lentil salad, the texture is unbelievably ricotta-like in spite of being 100% vegan. In fact, it’s better than ricotta.

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4. Treeline Herb-Garlic French-Style Cheese

A fromage for Francophiles, Treeline’s French-style cheese will have the Gallic guffawing with delight. And gusting out garlic. This cashew-based pleaser has a simple ingredient list, but is loaded with garlic herb flavor. It’s a great pick for vegan cheese boards and easy to spread on anything from crusty bread to veggies. Good to know, Treeline cheeses are all made with ethically sourced and sustainably-farmed cashews from Brazil.

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5. Good Foods Plant-Based Queso

Plant-based people – you should not need to go without a delicious dip for your crackers, crisps, tortilla chips, or crudites. This plant-based super-creamy concoction should be your go-to. Made mainly from ….wait for it…. cauliflower, and not much else, this super-clean queso-style dip won’t leave you feeling dirty!

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6. Green Vie Mozzarella Flavour Block

Green Vie provides the much needed “goo” factor here with its super-stretchy vegan “mozzarella”. Perfect for salads and sandwiches, you can even eat this super-creamy, slightly salted option raw. Even better, it melts like a true “mozzy” on pizzas and in panini. What’s not to love? Green Vie also do cheddar, gouda and parmesan flavour blocks.

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7. Follow Your Heart Dairy Free Italian-Style Shredded Hard Cheese

Follow Your Heart has been honing its veganise craft since 1970 and is rather good at it. So good, in fact, that you may find yourself eating handfuls of this parmesan-like grated cheese from the pack rather than sprinkling it on your risotto. With it’s piquant, salty flavour and melt-on-the-tongue texture, this one is better than the real thing. Props to this Californian crew, too, for being the first plant-based Zero Waste-certIfied facility in the US!

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8. Happy Cashew Organic Smokey Red

Don’t be put off by the slightly odd texture of this red cheese. Instead, celebrate the paprika-piquancy and smokey undertones. Imagine a smooth and spicy ricotta – unique and expensive, but worth every penny. A cheeseboard highlight or great in a baguette.

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9. Siete Mild Nacho Cashew Queso

Siete is a Mexican-American family from South Texas, who specialise in grain-free tacos and fajitas. According to the company, Grandma Campos says that Siete tortillas taste better than the homemade flour tortillas she’s made for decades! Every tortilla needs a queso. And Siete’s cashew-based dip is a no-brainer. Velvety and incredibly cheesy, you’ll want to drizzle it over pretty much anything you eat.

Get it here. 

10. Sheese Creamy 100% Dairy Free Original

To call this a near-perfect imitation of regular cream cheese is to do it a disservice. In a taste-off, Sheese would win. It has all of the same thick, creamy, cool texture, as well as the slightly sour flavour. Spread on toast, crackers or in sandwiches. You can also stir through risottos, pastas, and add to sauces as it doesn’t split on cooking.

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11. Kite Hill Dairy Free Cream Cheese Alternative

Just in case you can’t get your hands on the Sheese, Kite Hill is here to help! This tangy almond-based cream cheese alternative is what your bap, bagel or baguette has been bellowing for. In fact, it’s just one of many award-winning plant-based products from the Kite Hill gang, who pride themselves on creating vegan fare that is more-ish and sustainable.

Get it here.

12. Violife Just Like Feta

You cannot have a Greek salad without feta. Now, you don’t need to. This block of white genius has the Holy Trinity of salty, crumbly, goaty loveliness that you expect from your feta. Don’t get stuck on salads. Sprinkle this it over roasted veg, pasta dishes and soups to add some contrary tartness. How do Violife do it? Well, it has been committed to making amazingly tasting food in a vegan-dedicated community-based in beautiful Thessalonica in Greece since the 90s.

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13. Violife Just Like Smoked Provolone Slices 

Another stand-out in the Violife vegan arsenal, it’s so good to see the sheer range of vegan cheese products on offer these days. These provolone slices are no exception. Soft but not rubbery, smoky but not synthetic, this cheese is worthy of your sandwich. And a glass of Rioja.

Get it here.

14. So Delicious Dairy-Free Cheddar Flavored Shreds

Spoiler alert. The colour of this cheese is full-on. It’s practically neon. That said, it’s pretty hard to find a quality vegan shredded cheddar. In spite of its crazy colour, it’s a true crowd-pleaser — totally cheesy and salty. And it melts beautifully. To be sprinkled on baked potatoes, pasta and pizzas. Sunglasses optional.

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15. Tesco Free From Coconut Oil Alternative Wensleydale and Cranberry

Wensleydale is a very unique British cheese, loved and hated in equal measures. Tesco’s version is so spot-on, it could fool any Wensleydale-lover. Crumbliness? Check. Cool, slightly sour taste? Check. Tangy, chewy cranberries? Check. Go crackers — literally and figuratively — with this vegan wonder. 

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16. New Roots Free The Cow Soft White Camembert Alternative

New Roots get the prize for the best camembert alternative. Ever. Picture the joy of having friends over and not having that camembert-shaped space on your vegan cheese platter. Let’s face it, we eat with our eyes too. So, the realistic rind on this New Roots offering is half the battle won. Yes, the colour is slightly odd and it doesn’t melt in true camembert fashion. But, on a cracker with a nice chutney, you’ll finally feel at peace. Plus, New Roots supports the Co&xister sanctuary, which rescues animals from the food industry, by donating 1% of every purchase to the charity.

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17. Frauxmagerie Botanic True Blue

Frauxmagerie uses cashews and a vegan probiotic in the fermentation process to create a nutritious alternative to dairy-based cheese. The beautiful Botanic True Blue is the ultimate treat for frauxmage connoisseurs. Its got that rich aroma, smooth texture and sharp flavour, that blue-cheese lovers live for. Pair with dried fruit, pears and walnuts or a giant glass of vegan Chianti.

Get it here.

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