The Best Non-Dairy Cheeses

Cheese. Although I have no scientific data to back this claim up, I’m going to go ahead and say it’s America’s favorite food. Sorry apple pie (although come to think of it, a whole lot of folks put a slice of cheddar on top) but cheese reigns supreme. Seriously. Think about it …

  • Cheeseburger
  • Pizza
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Fettuccine Alfredo
  • Nachos

The list goes on … and it doesn’t even mention the most basic and most glorious way to enjoy cheese which, IMO, for hard cheese is sliced, thin, with a bit of apple or pear; for semi-soft or soft, warmed slightly and again, with a bit of apple, pear or maybe apricots. 

A few days ago I mentioned that it’s National Dairy Alternative month, so I took a little time to comprise a list of my favorites. Well, I take that back, because truthfully I’ve been tasting non-dairy cheese for years and honestly have, for the most part, thought they taste like shit, don’t melt or crumble like their dairy counterparts. BUT. What I’ve learned is this … 

Plant-based cheese isn’t going to taste like it’s made from cow’s  milk OR behave like it is—so it might take a little bit to retrain your taste buds and brain to the new texture and taste.

And with that being said, yes, there are a lot of shitty vegan cheeses on the market … BUT there are a lot of really amazing ones too. Here’s a short list of my favorites. Oh, and yes there are multiple soft, spreadable vegan cheeses on the market that are divine, and I make this vegan Parmesan that works great for sprinkling on top of everything from popcorn to pizza to soup, but this is a more “traditional, every-day” cheese list. Enjoy!

Miyoko’s Mozzarella: It’s lovely served cold in a caprese salad, but if you want it for baking lasagna or pizza, I suggest slicing it super thin and adding to the top a few minutes before your timer goes off. Like dairy cheese, it can burn quickly when under direct heat.

Daiya Cheddar Style Slices: OMG even the teenage boys like this stuff—truly perfect when used in a grilled cheese or served on top of that piece of apple pie.

Violife’s Plant-based Just Like Feta: Crumbled and added to salads, it doesn’t carry the same strength of flavor as goat or sheep cheese, but honestly, I find the flavor easy and just enough when used as a topping for grilled vegetables or addition to a great salad.

Vegan Gourmet Shreds: Caveat, I’m not a fan of shredded, melted cheese … even when I did eat dairy, I always ordered pizza without cheese. So I’m not a huge fan of this, but, I “taste-tested” this with some non vegans as a taco topper and they all agreed it’s “just like real cheese.” So there you go.

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