Some of this cheese is nuts…literally. From creamy spreadable herb cheeses to faux-grated parmesan, check out the best vegan cheese substitutes you can buy in 2020.
If you ask the average vegan what the hardest part of making the switch was, you’ll most often get a resounding “cheese.” Sure, almond milk’s not as creamy as cow’s milk, and nothing packs a protein punch quite like eggs in the morning, but when it comes to lusted-after foods, cheese is sort of in a category all its own (you won’t see a trendy shop in Brooklyn dedicated to yogurt, after all).
That’s why we’re so happy that due to some awfully clever food innovators, vegans no longer have to live a completely cheeseless existence. And while it’s tough to compare to the real thing, an ever-growing crop of delicious vegan cheese options continues to hit the market. From creamy vegan cream cheese to sharper shredded vegan cheddar for nachos, and even gooey vegan cheese sauces, these are some of the best vegan cheeses you can buy today. (But if you like to DIY, learn how to make vegan cheese at home.)
Over pasta, garlic bread, or anything else that calls for grated parmesan, this crumbly cashew cheese has a salty, nutty flavor, just like the real stuff. Made with organic ingredients including hemp seed, nutritional yeast, and spices, you’ll get the cheesy taste, added benefits of protein, and none of the woes that come with a dairy allergy.Buy Now
Vegan cheese sauce is a good choice for a gooey mac n’ cheese, to pour over steamed broccoli or cauliflower, or to stand in for queso. While it’s not going to have all the flavor of real cheese sauce or a bechamel, it’s the next best thing if you have vegan prioritiesBuy Now
Related Reading: Mmm, Soy Good: The Best Vegan Foods at Trader Joe’s
If you’ve got a thing for soft, herbed, spreadable cheeses like Boursin but need a vegan option, then you’d be wise to snag a package of this soft and creamy nut cheese. Treeline cheese comes in a few great-tasting flavors including scallion and cracked pepper, and classic herb and garlic (pictured above). Excellent on sandwiches or simply smeared on crackers.Buy Now
This sturdy Greek vegan cheese is made with coconut oil and tofu and melts down nicely over a burger, bread, or piece of chicken (fowl or faux). A dose of cracked black pepper kicks it up, too.Buy Now
Nachos, quesadillas, chili, baked potatoes, grilled cheese. You know what to do with this vegan cheddar cheese substitute. Completely dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free as well as vegan, it’s also shredded for easy melting.Buy Now
While cashews and other nuts are used for a lot of the new vegan cheeses, tofu still makes a great candidate for the softer substitutes like vegan cream cheese. Creamy as the real stuff, Tofutti packs in some protein atop your bagel, too.Buy Now
Related Video: A Visit with the Queen of Vegan Cheese, Miyoko Schinner
Header image courtesy of Treeline