By Erik Marcus
The first time you try an upscale vegan cheese, you just might be blown away by its sophisticated textures and flavors. You can find excellent brands in stores worldwide, and you can also make fantastic versions right in your kitchen. I know the idea of making dairy-free cheese at home might sound daunting, but it’s surprisingly easy and the results can rival anything made commercially. This article ends with a list of cookbooks specifically devoted to dairy-free cheese recipes.
The Evolution of Vegan Cheese
If the last time you last tried vegan cheese was ages ago, you owe it to yourself to try the newest offerings. The first non-dairy cheese brands on the market deserved their bad reputation. They were usually made from highly processed ingredients, and most brands didn’t even melt properly.
That’s all changed as companies have stepped up their game. Today, many vegan cheese brands qualify as truly gourmet. Most use premium ingredients such as nut milks that carry rich and satisfying flavors. They’ve also innovated production methods that deliver the satisfying texture and flavors of real cheese. With so many superb dairy-free cheese products crowding the market, mediocre offerings don’t survive long.
The following lists feature the best vegan cheese brands available in North America and worldwide. These products come in every variety, including artisan hard cheese blocks, spreadable soft cheese in tubs, and pre-shredded varieties perfect for pizza and casseroles. You can even buy a vegan grated Parmesan-style cheese, which is the ideal dairy-free spaghetti topping.
Vegan Cheese Brands (USA & Canada)
- Daiya Foods: Shreds, Slices, Blocks, and Cream Cheese
- Dr. Cow: Aged Cashew Cheese
- Field Roast: Chao Slices and Plant-Based Queso
- Follow Your Heart: Shredded, Sliced, Specialty, and Blocks
- Good Planet: Shreds, Slices, and Wedges
- Kite-Hill: Cream Cheese and Soft Spreadable Cheese Alternatives
- Miyoko’s Creamery: Farmhouse & Pepper Jack, Mozzarella, Cheese Wheels, & Cream Cheese
- Nona: Vegan Cheesy Sauces (Canada)
- Nuts for Cheese: Organic Fermented Cashew Product
- Parma: Vegan Parmesan
- Parmela Creamery: Shreds & Slices
- So Delicious: Dairy-Free Shreds
- Treeline: Soft French-Style, Aged Artisinal, & Cream Cheese
- Violife: Blocks, Grated, Slices, and Cream Cheese
- Vromage: Various Artisan Styles
Internationally Distributed Dairy-Free Cheese Brands
- (Europe, Canada, Brazil) Violife: Blocks, Grated, Slices, and Cream Cheese
- (UK) Applewood Vegan Cheese: Blocks & Slices
- (UK) Tyne Chease Ltd: Various Artisan Styles
- (UK) I Am Nut OK: Various Artisan Styles
- (Scotland) Bute Island Sheese: Sheese (Blocks, Slices, Grated, & Cream Cheese Style)
Vegan Cheese Cookbooks
While the products we just looked at will keep you going for quite a while, you’ll have vastly more options if you make your own cheese. Take a look at all these exciting cookbooks:
- Vegan Cheese: Simple, Delicious Plant-Based Recipes, by Jules Aron
- One-Hour Dairy-Free Cheese, by Claudia Lucero
- Super Easy Vegan Cheese Cookbook, by Janice Buckingham
- This Cheese is Nuts!, by Julie Piatt
- The Cheesy Vegan, by John Schlimm
- The Art of Plant-Based Cheesemaking, by Karen McAthy
Moving Towards Dairy-Free Living
Most people switching to vegan cheese also want to reduce or eliminate their consumption of dairy products. If that’s the way you’re headed, you’ll get a great deal out of reading our Dairy-Free Guide. It’s crammed with all sorts of helpful tips and expert guidance. You will also want to check out our Vegan Alternatives page, since it links to top vegan replacements for every sort of dairy product.
Finally, I can’t send you on your way without offering a recipe. So here’s my famous cashew cheese. It’s got just eight ingredients and you can make a batch in five minutes. Serve it on pizza or include it in grilled cheese sandwiches. Also try it spread cold and topped with sprouts on a toasted bagel.