Not being able to eat cheese is something that I'm sure stops many people from becoming vegan. I myself had a really tough time with it - I had a cheese drawer for goodness sake!
What most people don't know is there are also plant-based cheese recipes, including ones that melt so if you give up the dairy kind you won't be missing much!
As a vegan, you probably tried several store-bought plant-based cheese options and experienced disappointment. I can totally relate. The good ones are rare and usually not too cheap. The good news is, you can make plant-based cheese at home and there are so many variations to choose from.
Vegan cheese balls, spreads, dips, and more specific varieties like melty cheeses, parmesan, and mascarpone, you will find recipes for all of them and more, below.
Vegan Cheese Staples
Making your own Vegan Parmesan Cheese is so easy with this recipe and only requires 5 ingredients! I always have a batch of this on hand for any time I need a little extra cheesy flavor.
This Vegan Mozzarella Cheese is a great way to have a tasty pizza or "parm" sandwich without dairy. It's reminiscent of fresh mozzarella and stretches in the same way when heated.
Tofu Ricotta from cadryskitchen.com
Ricotta is used in so many popular recipes including pizzas, lasagna, and many other types of pasta. Give this vegan and gluten-free recipe a try and you won't be disappointed.
Vegan Cheddar from lovingitvegan.com
This cheddar cheese recipe has an amazing smoking flavor and works for just about anything. It's soft enough to mash but also hard enough to grate and it melts nicely!
Plant-Based Cheese Balls
My Vegan Port Wine Cheese Ball made with creamy cashews, sun-dried tomatoes, and port wine make for a delicious combination that no one will realize is dairy-free! It's a perfect appetizer for holiday parties or anytime you want to impress guests. Or save it all for yourself - I've done it before!
Smoky Vegan Cheeseball - Bohemian Vegan Kitchen
This cheese ball combines smoky flavors with delicious cheddar cheese and is rolled in pecans and herbs. Takes only 10 min to make and is naturally dairy-free and gluten-free.
Vegan Bruschetta Cheese Ball from veggiesdontbite.com
If something can be both healthy and decadent at the same time it's definitely this tangy plant-based cheese ball.
Cheese Hedgehog from vegandollhouse.com
This cheesy hedgehog looks so cute I would almost feel bad for eating it... almost!
Cashew Cheese Ball from rhiansrecipes.com
Cheese balls look great on the table and this one tastes just as good. This cheese is creamy, tangy and full of flavor!
Vegan Cheese Dips
Nothing screams cheesy more than my Vegan Chipotle Queso. This delicious recipe will satisfy any cheesy craving. It’s made with cashews and tastes just like the queso dip at Mexican restaurants but it’s dairy-free!
Beer Cheese Dip from vegantraveleats.com
With all the ingredients available in stores today there's not much we're missing out on as vegans and this delicious beer cheese dip is the perfect example.
Swiss Cheese Fondue from connoisseurusveg.com
Vegan fondue sounds like a dream and the best part is it's easier to make than its dairy counterpart.
Spreadable Vegan Cheeses
Vegan Cheddar Cheese Spread from veggieinspired.com
A cheddar cheese flavored spread? Yes, please! It's made with only 5 ingredients in the food processor so anyone can make it.
You only need a few ingredients to make this flavorful plant-based cheese spread so it's perfect as a last-minute appetizer for holidays, birthdays and any other event.
Tangy Herbed Cheese Spread from diannesvegankitchen.com
Oil-Free Vegan Cream Cheese With Roasted Garlic & Herbs - Glue and Glitter
Roasted garlic and fresh herbs give this oil-free cream cheese a dreamy taste I'm sure even regular dairy eaters will appreciate.
Garlic and cheese go hand in hand even if it's plant-based cheese we're talking about. This amazing recipe is perfect as a dip or a spread on pretty much anything.
Garlic & Herb Almond Cheese Spread from delightfuladventures.com
Unique Plant-Based Cheeses
My Tofu Feta Cheese is a wonderful alternative to the dairy version. It
has a delicious tangy-ness that is perfect in salads or on sandwiches. Even though feta wasn't always my favorite cheese, I eat this one all the time because it is so tasty!
Can you really make vegan goat cheese? It's certainly not something most of us would dream of being possible. Guess what, it is, and it's also full of beneficial bacteria and other healthy ingredients.
Vegan Goat Cheese from spabettie.com
Smokey flavors always get me excited. Interestingly, this cheese is baked and doesn't use any oil of nutritional yeast. Definitely worth trying!
Baked Smoky Cashew Cheese from thevegan8.com
I think it's totally appropriate that we wrap this up with a sweet treat, but not an overly sweet one. This cashew mascarpone doesn't require any fancy ingredients and pairs well with fruit, bread, and chocolate.
Sweetened Cashew Mascarpone from veryveganval.com
Have you ever made plant-based cheese at home and do you have a favorite kind?
Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who empowers vegans to feel clear and confident about what is uniquely nourishing to them. Mary Ellen's recipes and nutrition information have been featured on Yahoo News, Parade, VegNews, LIVESTRONG, Dr. Axe, Greatist, LIVEKINDLY, Brit+Co, Well+Good, and more.
Jeanette Anne Kirkman-Prain says
I have just discovered your Vegan Parmesan, and am going to get the ingredients today. Looking forward to finding more recipes for plant based cheeses.
Mary Ellen Valverde | VNutrition says
I hope you enjoy the vegan parm, Jeanette! I love trying new plant-based cheese recipes. 🙂
Lynn McDonald says
I have the same issues with cheese. I don’t say I’m vegan because sometimes I just have to eat real cheese. I do buy and enjoy store bought plant based cheeses.
Mary Ellen says
Hi Lynn, yes cheese can be hard to quit. I think it's great you're trying some plant-based cheeses. 🙂
Just started this life style and cheese is my vice. So I am looking for ways to make cheese.
Mary Ellen says
Glad to help, Norman. I know how you feel, I was the same as you before going vegan - it was my vice as well!