Cheese. It’s known as one of the most difficult foods to “give up,” an idea that scientists attribute to the food’s addictive qualities that have been compared to hard drugs. But more people than ever are looking to ditch dairy, partly due to its high saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol levels and its association with conditions like osteoporosis, asthma, arthritis, acne, and digestion issues, as well as type 1 diabetes and cancer.
Animal welfare and environmental concerns are also motivating people to scrap dairy cheese for good. But what if you could drop the animal product without having to “give up” a thing? Here are 13 of our favorite brands that make delicious, dairy-free, vegan cheese.
13 Vegan Cheese Brands That Make It Easy to Ditch Dairy
1. Follow Your Heart
Non-dairy brand Follow Your Heart has been pioneering the plant-based market since the 70s. Its range of cheeses include provolone, shredded cheddar cheese, and mozzarella. You can sprinkle its grated Parmesan onto a lasagne or pasta bake, and if you’re looking for more Follow Your Heart products, the brand also makes mayonnaise and vegan eggs.
Tofutti’s product “Better Than Cream Cheese” – made with tofu, natural soybean oil, and olive oil – is ideal for spreading onto bagels, dipping into with crackers or sliced veg, or using in vegan cheesecake. Tofutti also makes mozzarella and ricotta.
Miyoko’s Creamery, founded by vegan cookbook author and entrepreneur Miyoko Schinner, is on a mission to revolutionize dairy with plants. With cashews and coconut cream, the brand crafts vegan cream cheese, mozzarella that melts, and artisanal flavors like Double Cream Chive and Sundried Tomato Garlic. Miyoko’s also makes vegan butter out of coconut oil.
An industry leader in plant-based food, Daiya makes cheese for every occasion so you can “crave without compromise.” It writes on its website, “You may be lactose intolerant, allergic, vegan, or simply living a healthy lifestyle, but don’t tell your tastebuds that. They still want flavor.”
Shredded cheddar and mozzarella as well as smoked gouda and Swiss-style slices are on offer. Daiya also makes vegan mac and cheese that tastes like Velveeta.
5. Field Roast
Though Field Roast is best known for its vegan grain meats, especially its meat-free sausages, the company also produces a handful of plant-based dairy products out of its Chao Creamery. Made from tofu and coconut, its rich and creamy dairy-free cheese peels easily, shreds well, and melts “like a dream,” the brand says. It also makes vegan mac and cheese.
6. Kite Hill
Kite Hill’s cream cheese-style spreads offer a “complex flavor” and a “velvety smooth texture,” it writes on its website. Smear your favorite type – whether it be chive, jalapeño, or original – onto a bagel or serve alongside fresh fruit or grilled vegetables. Or if you’re after buttery fresh vegan ricotta instead, Kite Hill may be your new favorite find.
7. UPrise Foods
Organic, dairy-free, and free from cholesterol, this brand’s Cashew Grated Cheeze brings plant-based “cheeziness” to every bite. It’s made with non-GMO ingredients and contains no soy or gluten. Add it to soups, pasta, salads, popcorn, avocado toast, or just about anything else.
8. Tesco Free From
If you’re based in the UK, drop into leading supermarket Tesco for a wide range of dairy-free cheeses. Block, sliced, and grated cheeses are available as well as cream cheese in flavors original and garlic and herb. Blocks of jalapeño and chilli cheese, blue cheese, and Wensleydale and cranberry are also on offer. While you’re at Tesco, you could check out Wicked Kitchen’s expansive range of vegan food.
9. Bute Island Foods
Bute Island Foods has been “passionate” about vegan products for 30 years, it says on its website. In 1988, it created the soy-based “Scheese.” Now, cheese-lovers can enjoy its products – like garlic & herb cream cheese or chive cream cheese – in countries like Australia in the UK. Bute Island Foods even features on Papa Johns’ new vegan pizzas in the UK.
10. Mad Millie
Mad Millie is not a vegan brand nor a producer of cheese but it does sell cheese making kits that allow you to make your own at home. The vegan version lets you craft “guilt-free” vegan mozzarella, halloumi, cream cheese, mascarpone, ricotta, and feta in the comfort of your kitchen.
11. Kinda Co.
This startup brand was founded by a “life-long cheese addict” who believed that ditching dairy would result in the “end of my love affair with all things cheesy and good.” Founder Ellie Brown proved herself wrong. She now offers Greek-style, smoked paprika, chilli, farmhouse spread, faux lox + dill, and white cheddar + cranberry vegan cheeses. Brown’s products may soon expand; in a recent “Dragon’s Den” style contest, Kinda Co. secured £25,000 in investment funding and £10,000 in funds for branding as well as a year’s worth of mentoring.
12. Nush Foods
Nush Foods believes in “doing dairy free differently,” it writes online. The company uses the highest quality natural ingredients and the most ethical suppliers to craft its vegan, soy-free, dairy-style range. Its cheese spreads, in flavors natural and chive, are thick, creamy, and contain 60 almonds per 150 grams. The natural flavor is great for sauces, pancakes, soups, cheesecakes, cake frosting, and dip, Nush Foods says, whilst its chive version is well suited for jacket potatoes, canapés, and bagels. They also make low-carb vegan peanut butter cake, in case you didn’t know.
Greece-based Violife – that’s team is made up of a “very happy bunch of foodies” – has been drumming up a lot of attention lately. It recently launched a commercial for its dairy-free cheese that is one of the first vegan adverts to appear on mainstream television. The brand also appeared on The Grocer’s 2018 Top Product Survey as one of the 20 best-selling cheese brands – vegan or not – in the UK. Plant-based parmesan cheese wedges, shredded mozzarella, cream cheese, and slices made from coconut oil are all part of Violife’s range.