If you believe in joy and happiness, you probably love cheese. That doesn’t make you a bad person, and it certainly doesn’t make you an evil enemy of the planet! Cheese is delicious, and comforting, and sometimes more life-affirming than a religious service. And to be totally honest, when we first tried to swap our beloved brie for types of vegan cheese, we were seriously underwhelmed with the options.
Thankfully, the past few years have brought some real contenders for a best plant-based cheese. In some cases, it’s even impossible to tell the difference between dairy options and cheese alternatives. How do we know? Because we’ve tested trays of plant-based cheeses to bring you the very best options. Scroll through to see our favorite vegan cheeses.
Got one to add? Email us with your suggestion—we’ll never turn down a new excuse to snack.
The Best Vegan Mozzarella
Whether you’re making your own pizza or simply serving up caprese salad, a good plant-based mozzarella cheese is essential for vegan Italian dishes. We love this one from Miyokos because of its firm texture and super-creamy taste. Bonus: It’s so widely available, you can even buy it at Target!
The Best Vegan Ricotta
Attention, lasagna fanatics: all is not lost when it comes to a totally plant-based recipe. That’s because Kite Hill’s ricotta is a top-rated swap created with almond milk and easily found at most supermarkets and online delivery services. You can also use it for homemade cannolis.
The Best Vegan Parmesan
Violife’s “Just Like Parmesan” is so legit, you even have to grate it, and unlike many plant-based cheese alternatives, it’s totally nut free. If you prefer snack-sized bites instead of pasta topping, try Moon Cheese’s bag of garlic parmesan chunks instead.
The Best Vegan Cheddar
The coconut-based shredded cheddar from Follow Your Heart is a perfect addition to baked potatoes, nachos, or breakfast scrambles. For days when you’re craving sliced cheddar as a snack or sandwich addition, Violife’s Epic Mature Cheddar Block is top-rated among chefs and shoppers alike.
The Best Vegan Brie
This is a tough one! Brie is such a coveted and tricky cheese that many (many, many, many…) vegan blogs have recipes for a DIY version. Meanwhile, Toronto’s Future of Cheese and London’s Left Coast Culture have award-winning options that aren’t yet available in the US. Fortunately, two new versions of plant-based Brie have hit the American market, and they’re really delicious. Nuts for Cheese’s Un-Brie-Lievable has a cheesy name (sorry!) but a fantastically creamy texture and taste. And for parties, The Uncreamery’s truffle brie is a decadent cashew-and-tapioca spread that looks and tastes like the real thing.
The Best Vegan Swiss Cheese
Finally, for all you grilled cheese fans out there, Daiya’s Swiss Slices are available at a larger-than-expected range of supermarkets, including some Walmarts! They melt easily, are perfectly sized for small skillets, and cost less than $5 per pack.