Traditional cheese is made from cow’s or goat’s milk, but you don’t need animal milks to make delicious, decadent cheeses. These vegan cheese recipes will change hearts and minds!
When I went vegan 10 years ago, cheese was the hardest thing to give up. Seriously, quitting cheese was harder for than quitting smoking, and that’s no surprise. Cheese is addictive. No, really. There’s science proving that cheese is as addictive as drugs.
Why eat vegan cheese when dairy cheese is already delicious?
Why even bother giving up dairy cheese? There are lots of good reasons, some health-related and some ethical. For me, giving up dairy began more to improve my health. At age 25, my cholesterol was 290, despite eating what I thought was a healthy diet and bike commuting 10 miles round trip every weekday.
My doctor wanted to put me on statins. At 25. For life. I asked for some time to adjust my diet and cut out dairy that day. Three months later, my cholesterol was normal, and it has been ever since.
Since going vegan 10 years ago, I’ve met many other vegans with similar stories—people who took control of their health by cutting out animal foods.
I went vegan for my health, but the reason that I don’t eat dairy today is ethical. Cows don’t make milk for us, and they don’t produce milk constantly. They make milk for their babies. To meet demand for dairy—including cheese—we forcibly impregnate female cows, then take the babies away after as little as 24 hours. The newborn calves either become dairy cows themselves or become part of the incredibly cruel veal industry.
But you don’t have to support any of that to satisfy your cheese cravings. Below, you’ll find recipes for cheese spreads, cream cheese, queso and even sliceable vegan cheeses. No animals harmed.
Vegan Cheese Recipes
Back in 2006, when I went vegan, plant-based cheese was….terrible. Let’s be honest. It was bad. In the past decade, though, vegan cheese has come a long way, baby. You can get everything from American-style cheese slices to brie made from plants, and you can even make lots of delicious vegan cheese right in your own kitchen. Let these vegan cheese recipes knock your socks off!
1. Jalapeno Cashew Cheese Spread – This cheesy party spread is thick, creamy and perfect for serving up with crackers.
2. Roasted Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese – This is possibly the best cream cheese I’ve ever had, vegan or otherwise. Pass the bagels!
3. Veggie Cream Cheese – This homemade vegan cream cheese reminds me of the veggie schmears we’d get at the deli when I was a kid!
4. Baked Tofu Feta – Use this anywhere that you’d use dairy feta cheese: in salads, on pizza, in sandwiches and wraps…it’s amazing!
5. Vegan Parmesan – Do you like a sprinkle of Parm on pasta or soup? This nut-based version has all of the salty, savory deliciousness with none of the dairy.
6. Cashew Queso – This vegan queso recipe is omnivore-tested and toddler approved. And it comes together in minutes in your blender! Serve it as a dip or over nachos.
7. Vegan Goat Cheese – No goats were harmed to make this rich, delicious vegan “goat” cheese.
8. Tofu Feta – This is a different tofu feta recipe. Instead of baking, you boil in brine, then marinate.
9. Strawberry Cream Cheese – Sweet, vibrantly-pink vegan strawberry cream cheese with only six ingredients.
10. Spiced Pumpkin Basil Cheese Ball – Make your next party spread extra amazing. Serve with plenty of crackers, chips, fruit, nuts and tiny pickles for an impressive cheese board.
11. Cheese Fondue – It only takes 10 minutes to make this decadent vegan cheese fondue!
12. Walnut and Black Pepper Cheese – This is a sliceable cheese perfect for sandwiches or for good old cheese and crackers.
Related at Care2
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- How to Find the Best Vegan Cheese
- You CAN Kick the Cheese Habit. Here’s How.
Image Credits: All images via recipe authors, used with permission.