Vegan Cheese: A Guide To Plant-Based Cheeses

Say cheese! No, not just any cheese, but the plant-based kind that is making waves in the culinary world. Vegan cheese may have once been viewed as an unappetizing alternative to dairy cheese, but today it is a thriving industry with options that rival the real thing. 

Explore the world of vegan cheese, its components, its benefits, & the various types available in this guide. Whether you're a cheese lover turned vegan or looking for a change, get ready to discover a new world of deliciousness.

What Is Vegan Cheese?

What is vegan cheese? 

Vegan cheese is a non-dairy type of cheese made entirely without the use of animal products. Instead, it is created using plant-based ingredients that mimic the texture & flavor of traditional dairy cheese, making it an ideal substitute for those following a vegan or lactose-free diet. 

With its wide range of flavors & textures, vegan cheese offers a delicious & nutritious alternative to conventional cheese. It can be used in various recipes to create tasty, plant-based meals.

Also Know More About: What is Vegan Chicken?

What Is Vegan Cheese Made Of?

Vegan cheese is made from various plant-based ingredients carefully combined to create a cheese-like texture & flavor. Here are the key characteristics & ingredients commonly used in vegan cheese:

  1. Texture: Thickeners & stabilizers such as starches, agar-agar, carrageenan, nut milk, soy milk, tofu, or coconut oil create a textured range from soft & spreadable to firm & sliceable, with a smooth or slightly grainy consistency.
  2. Color: Natural food colorings such as annatto, turmeric, or paprika use to achieve colors that vary from white to yellow/orange or blue/green (natural food colorings).
  3. Flavor: Vegan cheese can have a range of flavors, from mild & nutty to sharp & tangy, achieved through nutritional yeast for a cheesy taste & herbs, spices, & fruits for unique profiles. Some brands also use fermented ingredients like miso or kimchi to add a pungent taste.
  4. Odor: Vegan cheese can have a mild or pungent odor, depending on the ingredients used. Fermented ingredients like miso or kimchi can give vegan cheese a pungent odor, while some brands make a vegan cheese with a mild odor similar to traditional dairy cheese.
  5. Innovative ingredients: Some vegan cheese brands use innovative ingredients such as pea protein, potato starch, or chickpea flour to enhance the flavor & texture of their products.

To prepare vegan cheese, ingredients blend in a food processor until achieving a smooth, creamy texture. Then, the mixture is shaped into a cheese ball or spread & refrigerated until it is firm enough to serve. Some vegan cheeses can be aged using techniques such as culturing or smoking for a more complex flavor.

Also Check: What Is Vegan Curd And Their Benefits

Regular Cheese Vs Vegan Cheese


Regular Cheese

Vegan Cheese

Made from

Animal milk (cow, goat, sheep, etc.)

Plant-based ingredients (soy, nuts, coconut, etc.)


Creamy & melty

Can vary from soft to firm, but generally less creamy & melty than regular cheese


Creamy & stretchy or depending on type & aging process

Wide range of flavors, but may have a slightly different taste than regular cheese


Contains protein, calcium, & other nutrients, but can be high in saturated fat & sodium

Can vary in nutritional content, but generally lower in saturated fat & sodium than regular cheese


Contains lactose & casein, which some people may be intolerant or allergic to

May contain nuts or soy, which some people may be allergic to


Animal agriculture is resource-intensive & contributes to greenhouse gas emissions

Plant-based ingredients are generally more sustainable & have a lower environmental impact


Also Check this: What Is Vegan Milk And Their Benefits

Types of Vegan Cheese

Many types of vegan cheese are available, & each has its unique flavor & texture. Here are some popular types of vegan cheese:

Type of

vegan cheese

Made from




Nut-based cheese

Nuts like cashews, almonds, & macadamia nuts

Rich & creamy



Soy-based cheese

Soy milk

Mild & creamy


Melts easily, good for pizza

Vegetable-based cheese

Vegetables like potatoes & carrots

Mild & tangy

Firm & crumbly

Good for sandwiches & crackers

Seed-based cheese

Seeds like sunflower & pumpkin seeds

Nutty & slightly sweet


Good for spreading on crackers or bread

Coconut-based cheese

Coconut milk

Slightly sweet & nutty


Good for desserts or as a cream cheese substitute

Mushroom-based cheese

Mushrooms such as shiitake or portobello

Rich & earthy


Good for pasta dishes or as a dip

Rice-based cheese

Rice milk

Mild & creamy


Good for sandwiches, wraps, or pasta dishes

Legume-based cheese

Legumes such as chickpeas or lentils

Mild & nutty

Smooth & creamy

Good for dips, spreads, or as a sandwich filling


Check This: Top 10 High Protein Indian Vegan Breakfast

Is Vegan Cheese Healthy?

Why vegan Chicken was healthy

Vegan cheese is generally considered healthier than regular cheese, as it is lower in fat, calories, sodium & cholesterol. It can also be a good source of protein & certain vitamins & minerals, depending on the ingredients used. 

However, it is important to note that some vegan cheeses may contain additives, such as oils & salt, that can be unhealthy if consumed in large amounts. Therefore, reading the labels & choosing vegan cheese made from natural, whole-food ingredients is important.

Also Check This: Plant Protein vs Whey Protein: Which is Better

Benefits of Vegan Cheese 

Consuming vegan cheese offers many benefits, such as:

  1. Lactose-free: A suitable alternative for people who are lactose intolerant or have trouble digesting dairy.
  2. Vegan-friendly: A perfect option for individuals who follow a vegan diet & wish to avoid animal products.
  3. Healthier option: Made from plant-based ingredients typically lower in saturated fat & sodium & higher in fiber & nutrients, making it a healthier option than regular cheese.
  4. Environmental sustainability: Made from plant-based ingredients with a lower environmental impact than animal-based products used in regular cheese production.
  5. Variety: Offers a wide range of flavors & textures, making it a versatile option for individuals following a vegan lifestyle.


Vegan cheese is an alternative to dairy cheese, a flavorful & nutritious option that can mimic the taste & texture of traditional cheese. It is formulated using plant-based ingredients, which offer diverse flavors & textures & have less fat, calories, & cholesterol than regular cheese. Suitable for vegans, lactose intolerant, or people who like to try to explore a new realm of plant-based deliciousness!

Also Check This: What Is Mock Meat?


Does vegan cheese taste like cheese? 

The taste of vegan cheese can vary depending on the type & brand, but many options have a similar texture & flavor to dairy cheese.

What makes vegan cheese vegan? 

Vegan cheese is made without animal products, such as milk or cheese cultures from cows or other animals. Instead, it is made from plant-based ingredients like nuts, seeds, soy milk, or vegetable starches.

Does vegan cheese melt? 

Some types of vegan cheese can melt, while others may not. The melting point & texture of vegan cheese can vary depending on the type & brand.

Is vegan cheese good for cholesterol? 

Vegan cheese made from plant-based ingredients is typically lower in saturated fat & cholesterol than dairy cheese, which can benefit heart health. However, some types of vegan cheese may still contain added oils or other ingredients that can affect cholesterol levels.