Ah, the human obsession with cheese! I myself was vegetarian 5 years before going vegan because I didn’t want to give up cheese. With the abundance and variety of vegan cheese options available today, there are now more dairy-free choices than ever so you can have your cheese and eat it too!
Whether you are looking for something to serve on a fruit and cheese platter, need an ingredient for your classic lasagna, or want a tasty sprinkle for Taco Tuesday, this vegan cheese guide has options for everything. You need these plant-powered cheeses in your life!
Best for Melting
This is the gold standard of vegan meltable cheese, in our book. It’s the perfect cheese to shred or slice atop pizza, in our vegan meatball subs, and anywhere else you want melty mozzarella goodness. The only downside is the price—it is a bit pricier than the other options because it’s an artisan and more gourmet product. But it’s so worth the price if you can afford it!
These sandwich slices are delicious cold on sandwiches, but they are also great melted in grilled cheese sandwiches and on top of other dishes that need a melted cheesy finish!
These vegan cheese shreds are becoming widely accessible and also quite popular! They’re delicious on pizza and casserole bakes.
We organized a vegan cheddar cheese shreds taste-test with a longtime vegan, a new vegan, and an omnivore. The Follow Your Heart cheese was the unanimous winner (when served in a quesadilla)!
Parmela Creamery’s vegan cheese shreds are newer to the market but they’re quickly growing their distribution and becoming a favorite of many! The won second place in our vegan cheddar cheese face-off competition.
Daiya is one of the most widespread vegan cheese company in the United States. You can now find their cheeses in many mainstream grocery stores and on the menu in countless pizza shops and restaurants. Daiya’s shredded varieties include Mozzarella, Pepperjack, Cheddar and original. They stretch and melt as well as the dairy alternative. Mozzarella is my go-to for topping pasta and lasagnas. Their sandwich slices are perfect for grilled cheeses and melted paninis.
Best for Sprinkling
This is a great replacement for the classic Parm in the green can that most of us grew up shaking on top of spaghetti. It also works great in homemade pesto. GoVeggie! also makes slices, cream cheese, and shreds, but I love this product from them the best!
I haven’t found another cheese that I enjoy more for sprinkling in salads. Whether it’s a finishing touch to a classic Caesar or a simple sprinkle on fresh arugula dressed with lemon juice, this cheese tastes better than the dairy version.
This artisan cheese shop recently introduced shreds that have become a favorite in my house for sprinkling fresh on tacos. Their Cheddar flavor is the closest thing I have tasted to the dairy version. They also have Mozzarella.
Violife has been a popular vegan brand in Europe for some time, but they are just not entering the United States. And thank goodness they’re here because their cheese is amazing! The make a phenomenal grate-able parmesan block and lots of other delicious cheeses that are all vegan. Plus, all their cheeses have added Vitamin B12!
Nutritional yeast isn’t quite cheese, but it carries a cheesy flavor and is commonly used as a cheesy sprinkle! It’s also used in many vegan cheese recipes—for cheese sauces, mac and cheese, and beyond. “Nooch”—or “Vegan Fairy Dust” as it is lovingly referred to—is a staple in most vegan households. You can learn more about it here.
Best for a Sandwich
These are widely considered the best sliced vegan cheese on the market. You’d never guess that they’re coconut-based! They’re delicious in a panini, but I also devour them as a cold slice straight from the package or stacked on a sandwich.
Follow Your Heart has a whole array of vegan cheese options for you. With six sliced and eight block options to choose from, they have your sandwich needs covered. Take your pick from Pepperjack, Smoked Gouda, Provolone, Garden Herb, Mozzarella, American, Jack, Cheddar, and Nacho!
Violife has basic cheddar and provolone slices, as well as fancier smoked provolone, provolone with herbs, and provolone with hot peppers (for the spiciest among us). They’re all quite delicious and will hopefully be widely distributed in grocery stores soon!
Best for a Cheese Plate
Hands down, this is the best cheese I have ever had—dairy or not. With about a dozen varieties, your cheese plate will wow guests with varieties like Herbs de Provence, Double Cream Chive, and French Style Winter Truffle. They recently introduced an amazing Smoked Mozzarella, and announced a Blue Heron cheese that is coming soon!
The cheeses from this Los Angeles shop also ship online so you can enjoy gourmet selections like Brie and Manchego even if you aren’t a local Angelino.
The artisan cheeses from this Portland store take cheese to a whole new level. Delight your taste buds with inspired offerings like Port Cheddar, Caramelized Onion, and Peppercorn Brie.
The Soft Fresh Original and Truffle Dill & Chive are cheese plate perfection. Their Ricotta also gets my pick for Italian dishes (see below).
Best for Spreading
The creamy and flavorful vegan cheeses from Treeline are made with cashews. Their creations are inventive and robust with flavor and include Herb-Garlic, Chipotle Serrano Pepper, and Black Pepper. Their smooth consistency spreads easily on a baguette or crackers.
Coconut-based Violife cream cheese spreads on smoothly and is a great addition to any bagel, slice of bread, veggie, or even slice of fruit! It’s soy-free and is also free from cashews, almonds, and many other common allergens. You can choose from Plain, Garlic & Herb, and Cheddar! Pro tip: the Garlic & Herb goes great in mashed potatoes!
The almond milk cream cheeses from Kite Hill are my top choices for smearing on a bagel. They are decadent, flavorful, and have a perfect consistency. Their vegan cream cheese comes in three flavors: plain, chive (my fave!), and jalapeño.
With six cashew-based spreads to choose from, you’ll go to cheese and cracker heaven with choices like Smoked Gouda, Peppery Jack, Onion Chive, Jalapeño Lime, and Garlicky Herb.
Best for Italian Dishes
I crumble this vegan ricotta cheese liberally in lasagnas and often sprinkle it in salads (Caprese, anyone?). It’s a cheese staple in my house.
I mentioned the Smoked VeganMozz above, but I had to also give a shout out to Miyoko’s traditional VeganMozz. I have used it to make marinated mozzarella balls, skewered with cherry tomatoes and basil for an elegant appetizer. It also slices beautifully for a traditional Caprese salad without the dairy and makes a delicious Caprese sandwich, fresh or grilled on a panini press. And of course, it works perfectly on homemade vegan pizza!
Hungry for more? Check out our guide to vegan macaroni and cheese!