One of the hardest ingredients to replace in recipes is cheese. Personally, I can count the few times I’ve eaten dairy-free cheese, not only because vegan cheese is comparatively more expensive but also because it’s hard to find in outside the city, where I live.
Once heated, the solid milk fat in dairy cheese liquefies and you get this gooey texture that makes foods like pizza, mac n’ cheese, and certain pasta dishes so addicting. With vegan cheese, it’s not always the case.
Finding vegan cheese is easy, what isn’t easy is finding a cheese that can melt like real cheese, so that you can make your vegan pizza or mac and cheese incredibly delicious. Below, I’m going to list five vegan kinds of cheese that melt like real cheese, and I’m going to dive deeper into how vegan cheese is made, and I’ll also provide you with a few recipes to make your cheese at home.
5 Vegan Cheeses That Melt Like Real Cheese
1 – Applewood Smokey Cheese “That Melts Beautifully”
Applewood’s vegan cheese has a unique message on its packaging that speaks to what you’re probably looking for in a vegan cheese — one that “melts beautifully”.
This delicious vegan cheese is a smoky flavored alternative that is smooth and creamy, as well as free from soya and gluten. Also, people often point out that vegan cheese is not a good source of calcium (which may be true in some cases), but Applewoord’s vegan cheese is fortified with vitamin B12 and calcium.
These are the ingredients Applewood uses to make their vegan cheese:
If you want to get your hands on this vegan cheese, you can do so by visiting the Vegan Kind Supermarket.
2 – Violife Epic Mature Cheddar Cheese
According to customer reviews, the Epic Cheddar Cheese by Violife is among the best tasting vegan cheese in the world, and it’s certainly the most popular across international markets.
This type of cheese (block-style) can be sliced or grated and be added to pizzas and pasta. Its ability to melt and deep flavor make it a perfect addition to any of those dishes.
To many people, myself included, this is probably the best vegan cheddar cheese out there.
These are the ingredients Violife uses to make their vegan cheese:
Like Applewood’s vegan cheese, you can also find Violife’s Epic Mature Cheddar Cheese at the Vegan Kind Supermarket.
3 – Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda
This decadent hickory-smoked Gouda is wonderful when combined with caramelized onions for a Gourmet panini, but you can also add it to mac and cheese for a deep, sophisticated flavor.
Needless to say, like the other vegan cheese varieties on this list, this cheese melts decently.
These are the ingredients Follow Your Heart uses to make their vegan cheese:
Find Follow Your Heart’s Smoked Gouda Cheese at the Vegan Kind Supermarket.
4 – Daiya Mozzarella Style Stretches
According to Daiya’s website, their Mozzarella Style Shreds melt, ooze, bubble, and stretch just like genuine mozzarella cheese. What’s more, they’re free from gluten, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts.
These are the ingredients Daiya uses to make their vegan cheese:
Find Daiya Mozzarella Style Stretches at Daya Foods.
5 – Violife Just Like Mature Cheddar Slices
If you miss the strong flavor of mature cheddar cheese, then this mature cheddar by Violife is the perfect option for you with its perfect blend of texture and tang to satisfy your cravings.
These are the ingredients Violife uses to make their vegan cheese:
Find Violife Just Like Mature Cheddar Slices at Amazon.
What Are The Ingredients in Vegan Cheese?
Vegan cheese is without animal ingredients and made using vegetable-based proteins.
Most cheese is produced using soy, but you’ll also find many varieties made from nuts like cashews and macadamias, as well as vegetable oils such as coconut oil. That’s not all, however, agar, peas, tapioca, and arrowroot can also be used to make vegan cheese.
In other words, vegan cheese can be made from a variety of ingredients, but soy, coconut, and nuts are the most popular core ingredients.
How is Vegan Cheese Made?
Vegan cheese is made using a process that starts similar to traditional cheese but without dairy milk.
The plant proteins are separated from bacteria and then ingredients like oils and thickeners are added to create the desired cheeselike consistency.
Akin to traditional cheese, the vegan cheese is left to ferment, allowing the vegetable protein and bacteria to break down and form flavors that are unique and close to traditional cheese.
Vegan Cheese is Available in Multiple Styles
Nowadays vegan cheese comes in almost every style that traditional cheese does, so “dropping cheese” is no longer a good reason to prevent people from going vegan.
The most popular vegan cheese styles include:
- Parmesan-style: Grated vegan parmesan cheese is often used for topping pizza, pasta, and sometimes even popcorn.
- Shredded: Shredded-style vegan cheese is generally available as mozzarella and cheddar, with the latter being one that melts wonderfully. Shredded vegan cheese is ideal for sprinkling on top of pizza, pasta, tacos, casserole, or potatoes.
- Cream cheese: Vegan cream cheese is great for spreading on toast, bagels, or vegan croissants. Much like traditional cheese, they are available in a variety of flavors.
- Block and slice: This type of cheese also comes in different varieties, including gouda, cheddar, provolone, and American. They taste the best in crackers or a sandwich
- Soft cheese: This type of vegan cheese can be found in the form of ricotta, brie, and camembert cheese.
- Nacho cheese dips: Vegan nacho cheese is an option that is now available, and which you can use to dip tortilla chips in. They’re also easy to make at home.
Is Vegan Cheese Healthy?
Whether vegan cheese is healthy or not depends on the variety you choose, and how often you consume it, but like traditional cheese, they shouldn’t be mindlessly consumed.
Too much of one food can be dangerous, especially if you’re disregarding other foods and nutrients.
While it varies from one vegan cheese to another, some types of cheese contain highly processed ingredients, which is a less healthy way of eating. We have research suggesting that emphasizing whole foods over processed foods is a way of obtaining more nutrients and being healthier in general. (study 1, 2)
Highly processed vegan cheese often contains huge amounts of oil, preservatives, color additives, and sodium, while also being void of important micronutrients. In other words, these foods should be minimal in our diet.
Naturally, if you have vegan cheese that is primarily made with whole ingredients like ground nuts and seeds or cooked vegetables with added spices, then it can play a bigger role in your diet.
If you’re interested in vegan cheese that is made with whole ingredients, then the recipe below will certainly make you happy.
Make Vegan Cheese That Melts (At Home)
Thanks to creative people like Sam (the person behind It Tastes Like Chicken), vegan cheese recipes that are both healthy and delicious are now a reality.
This melty, stretchy, gooey vegan mozzarella recipe only requires 7 ingredients and takes 15 minutes to make. It’s perfect for pizza, lasagna, grilled cheese, fondue, nachos, pasta, and more!
If you’ve been looking for vegan cheese that melts beautifully in pizza, mac & cheese, popcorn, or potatoes, then consider the five options we’ve mentioned in this blog post.
They’re all delivered from competitive and trustworthy brands within the vegan space, and they’re constantly innovating both texture and taste. They’re constantly optimizing their products and launching new flavors that are very close to tasting like REAL cheese.
If you found this blog post helpful, please share with friends or family that may also feel the same.
Our Recommendation For Vegans
Future Kind’s Essential Vitamins: This is our favorite multivitamin. It’s not the typical multivitamin because it was formulated to specifically address potential shortcomings in the vegan diet. It contains the essential vitamin B12, vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA) delivered in necessary doses so you don’t have to worry about potential deficiencies. Want to learn more about it? Check out the review we did on it.