I Want To Go Vegan But I Can’t Give Up Cheese

Welcome friends!

So you want to go vegan, but you can’t give up cheese? This is hands down the most common rebuttal to adopting a vegan lifestyle that I hear. A lot of vegans roll their eyes at this statement, but since it is so common I thought that it needed to be addressed rather than gawked.

First of all, if this was three or four years ago, I feel you. Vegan cheese was pretty nasty a few years back. Lucky for all of us the vegan cheese market has exploded and a lot of amazing products have hit the shelves!

Plate with Mac No Cheese from Homegrown Smoker in Portland, OR

It really speaks to how addicting cheese is that it’s such a common reason that people don’t want to go vegan. And I get it, no matter what you do to it vegan cheese will never be the real thing, but the real thing comes at such a high price.

I recommend watching the documentary Cowspiracy to learn more about the dairy industry and why we need to boycott it. It will go into so much better detail than I can provide here in this post. After learning what I have, I would make the ethical decision to have vegan cheese any day.

Plant Based Cheese Alternatives

You can get vegan cheese at just about every supermarket, so choosing an ethical option has never been easier. Several vegan cheese brands have made their way to the market so the choices are pretty damn great. If you have access to a store like Whole Foods then you will have a decent selection of delicious vegan cheese alternatives. But these vegan cheese are being sold at Kroger, Safeway and even Walmart – they are so accessible! I’ve compiled a list of my favorites below.

Fantastic bowl of vegan mac n cheese from Vtopia in Portland, OR

Additionally, there are so many talented vegan food bloggers that have amazing vegan cheese recipes. You can find blocked cheese, feta, ricotta, vegan cheese sauce, and so much more. Honestly the amount of vegan cheese recipes is pretty epic! I will list my favorites down below.

Purchasing Vegan Cheese

If you’re new to veganism or are working on finally breaking up with cheese you might wonder where to buy vegan cheese. What are the best brands? What are the best products from vegan cheese brands? Is it worth your money?

Don’t worry – I got you covered! I’ve compiled a list of my favorite plant based cheeses by brand and what products I love from each brand.

Best Classic Vegan Cheese

Follow Your HeartFollow Your Heart began in 1970 as a little soup and sandwich shop and has expanded to a worldwide vegan empire. Seriously, they are crushing it and continue to grow every year.

Follow Your Heart shreds melted on a vegan meatball sub

My favorite plant based cheese alternative from this company are the American and Smoked Gouda slices, the grated Parmesan and the Vegan Gourmet Shreds. I love Follow Your Heart because the vegan cheese products are fairly mild as far as sharpness and they pack the flavor. They melt fairly well and there are so many options!

You can find Follow Your Heart at Fred Meyer (Kroger), New Seasons, Whole Foods, Safeway (Vaughns), Albertsons and more!

DaiyaDaiya Foods came onto the vegan scene in 2009 and it’s one of the biggest plant based brands today. It’s the first vegan cheese brand that I ever tried and it’s really come a long way. People say that Daiya has a specific taste and it turns them off. Personally I am not offended by the flavor and I have always like Daiya.

The Vegan Chile Relleno Burrito w/ Daiya Cheese from El Nutri in Portland, OR

My favorite products are the Farmhouse Blocks. They are a perfect block of cheese that you can slice, shred or cube for a cheese board. I love the Jalapeno Havarti flavor! Next I like the cutting board shred series. If you’re going to try Daiya shreds definitely go for the Cutting Board shreds. They are a new and improved recipe and they are way meltier and have a little less of the “Daiya” taste. And lastly the vegan cheese slices are delicious. I would say they are pretty comparable to the Follow Your Heart slices in that they are mild and great for a sandwich!

Find Daiya at Safeway, Fred Meyer (Kroger), New Seasons, Albertsons, Walmart, Winco and more. Also, you can get Daiya cheese at Mod Pizza and the cream cheez and some Einstein Bros Bagel shops! So cool!

Highly Rated Vegan Cheese

Violife – The company Violife was born in Greece in the 90’s and burst onto the US vegan food scene a couple years ago. And let me just say, the first time I tried Violife I had the Mozzarella Shreds on a pizza and it was life changing. This vegan cheese has that delicious sharpness that you get with traditional cheese and it melts! All hail melty vegan shreds!

1/2 Spicy Ru 1/2 Vegan Ninja with Violife vegan cheese from Rudy’s Gourmet Pizza in Portland, OR

My next favorite product from Violife are the Smoked Provolone slices. Again, the first time I had these I was blown away. They are so tangy and creamy and wonderful. I could eat the whole block in one sitting. I won’t, cause self control, but I could.

You can find Violife and Safeway, Albertsons, New Seasons, Natural Grocers, Whole Foods and more!

Field RoastField Roast is a Seattle based mock meat and vegan cheese creator founded in 1997. The company was founded with the goal to share amazing grain meats and artisanal vegan cheese made from whole ingredients. Their plant based cheese substitute line is called Chao Creamery and the slices are amazing! They are a little firmer than some other slices, but I like the heartiness.

A vegan “tuna” sandwich with Creamy Original Chao cheese

The slices come in three flavors: Creamy Original, Tomato Cayenne and Garden Herb. My personal favorite is the Garden Herb. The cheese melts so beautifully in your mouth as the herbs come to life. The Creamy Original and Tomato Cayenne have the same wonderful creaminess and melt really well on a grilled cheese!

Find Field Roast at Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Safeway, New Season’s, Winco, Fred Meyer (Kroger), Walmart, and more!

Miyoko’s – Coined as “Tomorrow’s Creamery” Miyoko’s is absolutely killing it in the vegan cheese scene. Just like some people struggling to give up cheese Miyoko was a cheese-aholic herself! She went vegan and set out to create amazing cultured cheese that truly compared to traditional animal cheese. And oh man did she do the thing!

I’ve never tried a Miyoko’s product that I didn’t like, but I do have some favorites! I love love love the Vegan Cheese Wheels, my favorite being the Classic Double Cream Chive. These are perfect for charcuterie boards or for dipping crackers into.

Unlox Your Dreams vegan cream cheese by Miyoko’s

The Miyoko’s Vegan Mozzarella is probably the best vegan mozzarella on the market. It’s so close to the real thing! And lastly I love the cream cheese line. Because they are cultured you get that perfect tang that you get with classic cream cheese. I love the Plainly Classic and Unlox Your Dreams.

You can find Miyoko’s at Fred Meyer (Kroger), Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Trader Joe’s, Target, Food Fight! (a local Portland vegan grocer), and more!

Best Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipes

Having one or two really good vegan cheese sauces in your recipe arsenal will do wonders to satisfy your cheesy cravings! When I think of cheese I think of indulgent, comforting meals and vegan cheese sauces are just that. They are silky, cheesy, and delicious and will be that perfect indulgent substitute in your life.

In addition to all that you are satisfying that craving with a much healthier alternative. Vegan cheese sauces are typically made from delicious, whole ingredients that are actually good for you. So indulge while nourishing your body!

Vegan Shmegan Blog Sunflower Seed Cheese Sauce – I’ve made potato, cashew and tapioca starch cheeses and this sunflower seed cheese might be my favorite. It’s just so easy and accessible. You don’t need anything crazy to whip this one up and it’s super affordable. It’s all nut free! I like to have mine as a mac n cheese sauce. Yum!

Sunflower Seed Cheese Sauce by Vegan Shmegan Blog

Oh She Glows All Purpose Vegan Cheese Sauce – We all need a good vegan cheese sauce to rely on and the Oh She Glows recipe is perfect. It’s a great balance of whole ingredients supported by cashews, nutritional yeast and an amazing lineup of flavorful ingredients.

Creamy vegan cheese sauce over macaroni noodles

Knowing how to make a good vegan cheese sauce is so important because you can make homemade mac n cheese, queso (just add in some pickled jalapeno), thin it out and make it a soup base, pour it over broccoli, the options are really limitless.

Best Vegan Cheese Recipes

Hot For Food Herb Garlic Tofu Cream Cheese – I can’t stress enough how easy this tofu cream cheese recipe is to make! It gives you those cultured cream cheese tangy vibes without having to leave it out on the counter to culture for days. My husband and I go through this cream cheese like nobody’s business! It’s just so damn good. And a great way to use up some extra tofu you might have in the fridge!

Garlic Herb Tofu Cream Cheese – Recipe by Hot For Food

It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken Melty Stretchy Gooey Mozzarella – This is my go to cheese recipe to make at home. I use it on pasta, on pizza and even refrigerate it to firm it up to have cold. Sam (the website author) just came out with a new cheese recipe called the Best Vegan Mozzarella that is shredable and melts perfectly. I can’t wait to try this recipe and will report back when I do.

Pasta with It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken mozzarella cheese

Minimalist Baker Cashew Parmesan – Making homemade grated parmesan cheese is so easy and affordable! You just need a couple of ingredients and if you follow Minimalist Baker’s recipe you will not be dissapointed. This stuff is like crack and I put it on everything!

Avocado Toast with Minimalist Baker Cashew Parmesan

Sweet Simple Vegan Tofu Ricotta – My awesome friends Jasmine and Chris recently came out with a tofu ricotta and it’s killer. Some vegan ricotta cheese lacks that bright sharpness that a Ricotta should bring, but this recipe definitely hits the mark. With a mix of tofu, lemon, olive oil and some more simple ingredients, the flavor is explosive. My favorite part? You can whip this recipe up in no time!

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! The vegan cheese guide perfect for the person who won’t go vegan because they love cheese.

In 2019 it’s truly a non-issue. The ethical reasons behind not eating cheese vastly outweighs the taste. I won’t go into detail here because that’s a topic for another blog post, but I recommend watching Cowspiracy to learn more.

Vegan cheeseburger from Next Level Burger in Portland, OR

I loved getting to share my favorite plant based cheese brands, including Violife, Follow Your Heart and Chao Creamery, with you! There are so many amazing vegan cheese products to give a try. Your body and the animals with thank you for making the switch.

And we are so lucky to be graced with some extremely talented recipe creators like Hot For Food, It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken and Sweet Simple Vegan. They have all shared some amazing recipes that make enjoying vegan cheese so much easier!

Do you have a favorite vegan cheese product or recipe I didn’t mention here? Let me know in the comments because I’d love to try it!

Talk to you soon!

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