Best Vegan Cheese

Best Vegan Cheeses of 2021

Have you recently adopted a vegan diet? Or have you always been a vegan, and you are looking for some good tasting, healthy non-dairy cheese to incorporate into your diet? Or maybe, you are lactose-intolerant, and you want a practical way to manage your cheese craving.

There are various types and brands of vegan cheese available in the market that taste just as good as dairy cheese and have the same creamy, soft texture.

In this article, we review some of the best brands of vegan cheese on Amazon. We also explore vegan cheese, its sources, and how to choose the right one.

Best Vegan Cheese Reviews: Our Top 8 Picks for Vegan Cheese

Below is a review of some of the best vegan cheese on the market. While some products are 100% organic, others incorporate a few chemical ingredients.

1. Best Premium Choice: Go Veggie Dairy-Free Grated Parmesan Cheese

Go Veggie Dairy-Free Grated Parmesan Cheese
Check Latest Price

 

Ingredients

Soy protein concentrate, instantized rice flour, coconut oil, soy lecithin, vegetable glycerin, natural vegan flavors, Vitamin A Acetate, tricalcium Phosphate, citric acid, rice maltodextrin, rice meal, and non-dairy lactic acid.

Allergens: Soy

The Go Veggie Dairy-Free Grated Parmesan Cheese is a non-dairy grated parmesan style cheese. It is made with soy protein concentrate as the base and is not suitable for people allergic to soy. It is non-GMO, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, sugar-free, and cholesterol-free. It is a great option for people who are lactose-intolerant, gluten-intolerant, vegans, and vegetarians.

It has up to 30% less fat than ordinary cheese but with double the level of calcium. It can be used in a wide range of recipes, including a topping on pizzas, salads, soups, pasta, and popcorn. The manufacturer recommends against freezing it. However, it should be refrigerated after opening

Pros

  • Has a delicious cheese flavor
  • Low-fat content and cholesterol-free
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free
  • Contains high levels of calcium
  • Can be used on a wide range of recipes

Cons

  • Contains soy and is not suitable for people allergic to soy

2. Best Budget Choice: Daiya Cheese Sauce Variety Pack

Daiya Cheese Sauce Variety Pack

Check Latest Price

 

Ingredients

Cheddar and Alfredo flavor: Tapioca starch, filtered water, vegan lactic acid, yeast extract, Xanthan gum, Annotto food color, onion, canola oil, safflower oil, coconut oil, sea salt, natural vegan flavors, pea protein isolate, cane sugar, and titanium dioxide.

Cheddar zesty flavor: Cheddar flavor ingredients and blended jalapenos and bell peppers.

The Daiya Cheese sauce variety pack comes with three packs of three types of cheese, including cheddar, Alfredo, and Zesty cheddar. All the vegan cheese packs are dairy-free, non-GMO, gluten-free, and soy-free.

The sauces have a rich cheesy flavor and texture. They are ideal for people who are allergic to lactose, soy, and gluten. While the sauces are rich in calcium, they are high in saturated fats and low in protein.

They can be used together or separately on various recipes, including pasta, veggies, soups, noodles, baked potatoes, nachos, dips, etc. or it can be warmed or served as is.

Allergens: None

Pros

  • Has a rich, creamy cheese flavor
  • Free from the most common allergens, including gluten, lactose, soy, selfish, peanuts, eggs, shellfish, and animal products
  • Non-GMO and cholesterol-free
  • Can be used in a wide range of recipes

Cons

  • Too oily and salty

3. Best Overall Choice: Follow Your Heart Pepper Jack Style slices cheese alternative

Follow Your Heart Pepper Jack Style Slices Cheese Alternative

 

Check Latest Price

 

Ingredients

Filtered water, palm fruit oil, soyabean oil, chicory root extract, soymilk powder, soy protein concentrate, sea salt, plant-based lactic acid, rice starch, lemon juice concentrate, plant-based natural flavor, xanthan gum, and locust bean gum.

Allergens: Soy

The Follow Your Heart Pepper Jack Style slices are a non-dairy cheese alternative. The ingredients include various forms of soy, including soybean oil, soymilk powder, and soy protein concentrate, and may not be ideal for people who are allergic to soy.

They are highly perishable and should be frozen if not being used immediately and refrigerated once opened. These cheese slices melt easily and can be blended with green jalapenos and sweet red peppers to create zesty and creamy sauces. If melted into a sauce, they can be used in soups and pasta dishes. Otherwise, you can use the slices in sandwiches and burgers.

Pros

  • Dairy-free and gluten-free
  • Have a cheesy flavor
  • Melt easily
  • Can be made into a sauce
  • Can be used in a wide range of recipes, including burgers and sandwiches

Cons

  • Contains soy
  • Highly perishable

4. Pimp My Salad Vegan Cashew Parmesan Cheese

Pimp My Salad Vegan Cashew Parmesan Cheese

Check Latest Price

 

Ingredients

55% cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, dried kale, lemon peel, and Himalayan pink salt.

Allergens: None

The Pimp My Salad vegan cashew parmesan cheese is dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free. It is best used as a salad topper or can be consumed on its own as a snack. It has a rich nutty taste and texture due to the use of cashew nuts as the main ingredient.

It is also rich in fats and can be used in keto recipes. It can also be used as an ingredient in burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, and even mac and cheese.

Pros

  • Soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free
  • Keto-friendly
  • Can be used in a wide range of recipes

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a cheesy taste or flavor

5. Chao Cheese Slices

Chao Cheese Slices

Check Latest Price

 

Ingredients

Filtered water, coconut oil, fermented Chao tofu, modified corn, potato starch, sea salt, natural flavor, olive extract, and beta carotene.

Allergens: Soy

The Chao tofu cheese slices are creamy slices made with fermented Chao tofu as the base. The fermented Chao tofu is made from soybeans, water, salt, calcium sulfate, and sesame oil. These Vietnamese cheese slices can be used in sandwiches and burgers. Their taste almost resembles that of cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.

Pros

  • Dairy-free and gluten-free
  • Can be used in various vegan sandwiches and burgers
  • Has a rich cheesy taste

Cons

  • Contains soy

6. Violife Vegan Cheese Shreds

Violife Vegan Cheese Shreds

Check Latest Price

 

Ingredients

Filtered water, coconut oil, starch-modified, corn starch, salt, cheddar flavor, olive extract, vitamin b12, powdered cellulose, paprika extract, and beta carotene.

Allergens: None

The Violife cheddar cheese shreds are 100%vegan and plant-based. They are tasty and melt easily. They are gluten-free, lactose-free, and soy-free. They are also free from any animal products or preservatives. They are made with coconut oil and corn starch as the base. They are fortified with vitamin B12. These shreds can be used on a wide range of recipes, including quesadillas and nachos.

Pros

  • Soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free
  • Fortified with Vitamin B12
  • Can be used in a wide range of recipes

Cons

  • Requires a bit of heat and stirring to melt properly

7. Kite Hill Vegan Ricotta Cheese

Kite Hill Vegan Ricotta Cheese

Check Latest Price

 

Ingredients

Almond milk, salt, tartaric acid, cultures, and enzymes

Allergens: None

The Kite Hill Ricotta cheese is made minimally with only five ingredients. Its main ingredient is almond milk that gives it a rich, creamy taste. It is a great alternative for ricotta cheese and tastes like ricotta cheese only with a creamy almond taste.

It is versatile and can be used in a wide range of recipes, including lasagna and desserts. It does not contain soy, gluten, dairy, preservatives, or GMOs.

Pros

  • Gluten-free, soy-free, and Non-GMO
  • Tastes like real ricotta cheese
  • Versatile: can be used in a wide range of recipes, including savory recipes
  • Minimalistic cheese formulation with only five ingredients

Cons

  • The almond taste may be too much if you won’t like almonds

8. NOOCH It! Cashew Grated Cheeze

NOOCH It! Cashew Grated Cheeze

Check Latest Price

 

Ingredients

Cashew nuts, nutritional yeast, brown rice flour, organic garlic powder, organic hemp seeds, and sea salt.

Allergens: None

The NOOCH IT gluten-free grated cheese is a vegan parmesan cheese. It is made from organic, fair trade cashews. It tastes good on a wide range of recipes, including steamed or roasted veggies, veggie salads, pasta, pizza, soup, and popcorn.  It does not contain soy, and all its ingredients are non-GMO.

Pros

  • Made from organic fair-trade cashew nuts
  • Gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free
  • Suitable for salads, veggies, pasta, and soups
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Has a pronounced cashew nut taste

Vegan Cheese Buying Guide and FAQ

This section covers critical information that you need to know to make the right vegan cheese buying-decision. It answers some of the top vegan cheese FAQs, common ingredients in vegan cheese, and most common vegan cheese types.

What is Vegan Cheese?

Vegan cheese is a dairy-free alternative for cheese. There has been a debate between vegans and dairy cheese lovers on whether vegan cheese is really cheese. Well, the verdict is not yet out. In fact, some people refer to vegan cheese as veganeese.

What Is Vegan Cheese Made Of?

Vegan cheese can be derived from a wide range of plants, including:

  1. Soy. Soy is the most common ingredient for making vegan cheese. Soya beans are used to make soy protein concentrates, isolates, flour, and even tofu.
  2. Tree nuts and seeds such as macadamia nuts, almonds, cashew nuts, peanuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, and sunflower seeds, among others.
  3. Coconut. Coconut is an excellent ingredient for making vegan cheese due to its high-fat content and creamy taste and texture. It is mixed with starchy ingredients such as corn starch or potato starch to make its texture dense. Cheese made with coconut as the base also has flavor-boosting ingredients such as salt, lemon juice, or nutritional yeast to tone down the strong coconut flavor.
  4. Root vegetables such as potatoes and arrowroots. These are used to make starch flours combined with other ingredients such as soy milk, cashews, or coconuts to make cheese. More starchy flour is used for a sauce-like consistency, while less starchy flour is used to make block-style or slice style vegan cheese.
  5. Other less common ingredients used for making vegan cheese include root vegetables and the liquid from canned chickpeas, commonly known as aquafaba. Root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots are cooked until soft. Then they are blended with ingredients such as water, oil, and spices to create creamy, soft cheese or cheese sauce. On the other hand, aquafaba, while commonly used as an egg substitute when baking, has recently found use in vegan cheese making. When used as a base, it makes cheese that easily melts when heated. When used for making cheese, it is combined with binding ingredients such as agar-agar and an oil such as cashew nut oil or coconut oil.
  1. Preservatives, including glycerin and sodium lactate. Glycerin is commonly listed as a humectant in most vegan cheese ingredient lists. It is used as a preservative to extend the shelf life of the vegan cheese. It also works as a sweetener and a moisturizer to keep the cheese moist. On the other hand, Sodium Lactate serves as an acid regulator and also serves as a preservative.

Common Styles of Vegan Cheese

Like dairy cheese, vegan cheese comes in all forms, shapes, colors, and sizes. Below are some common styles of vegan cheese.

  • Shreds: Some brands shred and conveniently pack vegan cheese for easy as toppings. Mozzarella and cheddar vegan cheese are the most common flavors of shredded cheese. It can be used as a topping in your salad, to make pizza, or whichever other way you would like to use it.
  • Blocks and wedges. As the name suggests, some brands cut their vegan cheese into blocks and wedges. The most common flavors of cheese packaged this way include cheddar, mozzarella, and Monterey Jack. Wedge or block vegan cheese is most suitable for making vegan lunchboxes.
  • Slices. Sliced vegan cheese is also ideal for making vegan lunchboxes. All you need to do is stack up a few slices with some veggies between two slices of your favorite bread, and boom! You have a tasty, filling, and healthy sandwich for your lunch. You can also use vegan cheese slices as bugger toppings.
  • Cream cheese. Cream vegan cheese can be used for a wide range of recipes, including cheesecakes, bagels, dips, creamed spinach, etc.
  • Soft cheese. Soft, creamy cheese serves as a great spread on crackers or bread. You can also use it to make sauces or a topping on vegetable salads.
  • Parmesan cheese. The good old parmesan type of cheese goes well with pasta dishes and even salads.
  • Cheese sauce. Cheese sauce can go with any type of food, including macaroni, nachos, and pretzels, among others.

Is Vegan Cheese Healthy?

Is vegan cheese healthy? First of all, the concern for most vegans is how to hit their daily recommended protein intake. While dairy-free cheese does not have casein, which is the main protein component in dairy, most vegan cheese brands understand this concern and are keen to formulate vegan cheese products rich in proteins.

For instance, vegan cheese made from almonds, cashew nuts, or soy tends to have significant amounts of protein.

Secondly, high levels of saturated fats are a concern for most people who consume cheese. Therefore, the big question is whether vegan cheese has a lower saturated fat content.

Once again, this boils down to the ingredients used to make the cheese. The more oil-based ingredients are used to make the vegan cheese, the higher the amounts of fat in the cheese. Ultimately, high levels of saturated fats, whether plant-based, dairy-based, or plant-based, are bad for your heart.

The third concern is in regard to getting enough nutrients, especially calcium. Vegan cheese made with almonds tends to have a good amount of calcium. Besides, some manufacturers fortify their vegan cheese with calcium and Vitamin B12. For instance, the Go Veggie Dairy-Free Grated Parmesan Cheese is fortified with B12, while The Violife cheddar cheese shreds are fortified with B12.

Many vegan cheese manufactures are keen to manufacture healthy plant-based cheese that has a good distribution of macro-nutrients. There is a variety of SMO-free, gluten-free, preservatives-free, and additives-free vegan cheese in the market. However, they may be pricier than their non-organic counterparts.

It is crucial that you carefully look at the ingredient list of the vegan cheese in your consideration to investigate if it has enough protein-rich and calcium rich-ingredients. Pay keen attention to sodium and saturated fat percentage amounts and avoid products with a high percentage.

Also, avoid vegan cheese with many chemical ingredients. Note that most vegan cheese contains soy, which is a common allergen.

Top Vegan Cheese Brands On the Market

There are a number of vegan cheeses on the market that produce high-quality plant-based cheese. These brands are available in most local grocery stores across the US or can be bought on Amazon. They include:

  1. Treeline Cheese
  2. Dr Cow
  3. Miyokos
  4. Heidi Ho
  5. Kite Hill
  6. Punk Rawk Labs
  7. Vtopian Artisan Cheese
  8. Parmela Creamy Vegan Cheese
  9. Sister River Foods
  10. Field Roast
  11. Blode Kuh
  12. Daiya
  13. Go Veggie
  14. Follow Your Heart
  15. Tofutti
  16. Violife
  17. Delishu
  18. Bonsan
  19. Angel Food
  20. Sheese

Whether you are vegan, lactose-intolerant, or simply prefer vegan cheese, there are numerous products to choose from. Since different vegan cheese products are made from a wide range of ingredients, there is no standard vegan cheese taste or nutritional composition.

Try out the different options in the market to find out what you like. Also, a given product’s reviews will help you determine what to expect.