16 Vegan Cheese Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

Veganism has sprouted in popularity in recent years due to increased concern for the environment, as dairy, poultry, and animal production continues to dominate the use of water, land, and resources within the agricultural sector, as well as the health and moral drawbacks that come with consuming animal products. And while consumers can now enjoy tons of vegan products like BEYOND burgers, JUST egg replacers, and plant-based sausages, there is one thing the vegans can't seem to get right — cheese.

The science of replicating the texture, taste, and melting characteristics of cheese is the most difficult part of manufacturing a good vegan cheese. There are recipes to make your own vegan cheese at home with ingredients like cashews and nutritional yeast — as well as various dairy-free cheese alternatives to swap into meals. But you're unlikely to have the ingredients (and food science knowledge) to replicate the compounds found in pre-packaged, vegan cheese brands. 

We looked for a vegan cheese that resembled the dairy-free cheese it was trying to replace. For each brand, we compared its color, texture, and flavor to dairy-based cheeses we've tried in the past. Here are the brands that are hitting the mark with vegan cheese and those falling a bit behind the curve.

All prices are as of the date of publication and may vary based on region.

16. Go Veggie

We have very distinct memories of trying Go Veggie for the first time and being incredibly unimpressed by the flavor and quality of this dairy-free cheese. But to give the brand a second chance, we sampled its cheddar-style shreds made with modified potato starch as its primary ingredient. The issue with this ingredient is that it doesn't spread like saturated fat (such as coconut oil). And if you're buying cheese for a taco night or your morning breakfast burrito, you probably want it to be able to spread.

We found that this cheese was the most plastic-like of all the dairy-free cheeses we sampled. It lacked any recognition of cheese flavor and, while vegan cheese generally doesn't melt like regular cheese, it also stayed in tiny shreds when we tried to melt it in the microwave. And at around $5 at the time of publication, we would have liked to have a vegan cheese with some resemblance to our beloved cheddar. Go Veggie also offers other products like slices and cream cheeses, but we think we're going to leave this brand on the shelf for now.

15. Tofutti

Tofutti is likely most recognizable for its vegan cream cheese, but we decided to switch it up and sample its dairy-free American cheese slices. These slices are made with Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified palm oil, maltodextrin, and tofu. Therefore, these slices are not suitable for folks with soy allergies.

We ran into several issues with this Tofutti product — the foremost being it not melting. Instead of melting, we found that this cheese liquefies into a tiny oily puddle. And if your next reaction is to eat the slice unmelted, we would caution against that too. There was very little flavor in the cheese that resembled the classic American grilled-cheese-quality slices of our childhood. Moreover, if this is the only cheese you have and you feel obligated to use it on something, you could mix it into a veggie burger or disguise it as something else — just don't call it American cheese.

14. Daiya

Daiya is a major brand in the dairy-free cheese scene. Besides its selection of shreds, slices, sticks, and cream cheeze, you'll find many of its products in the frozen section of the grocery store, such as its cheezecake, vegetable crust pizza, and frozen burritos. For the sake of comparison, we choose to try its cheddar-style shreds. These shreds are made with tapioca starch, coconut oil, and chickpea protein, and are priced at $4.99.

The first thing we noticed about these shreds was the texture. Eating out of the bag was plasticky, brittle, grainy, and unpleasant. Granted, most people don't eat shreds (even dairy ones) straight out of the bag, so we decided to try and melt this cheese. The Daiya cheese was very globby when it was melted down and didn't spread evenly over the vegan nachos we tried to make. While there was a bit more flavor than the Go Veggie cheese we sampled, its poor texture makes Daiya one of our least favorite cheeses.

13. Babybel

Yes, it's the same Babybel that manufactures the snacking cheeses in the little red wax discs — just vegan. The brand released its plant-based snacking cheese in early 2022. These small snacks, which come in bags of six, are made with modified food starch, coconut oil, and calcium citrate. Each bag is listed at Target for $4.49, or about $0.75 per piece.

Babybel snacking cheeses are limited in scope because the lineup only contains one product. And unlike other dairy-free cheeses, it's made for snacking rather than for melting. Peeling these tiny cheeses is like a little bit of euphoria from our childhood, and the inside of the cheese resembled almost the exact flavor of cream cheese. There was a subtle tangy aftertaste on the cheese that made it feel like we were eating a ball of mozzarella. The texture was a bit like biting into a piece of clay — which was equally as disturbing as it was cool. Overall, we wouldn't go out of our way to pack one of these cheeses in a lunchbox.

12. Moocho

Moocho is a product from the Tofurky brand, which makes everything from tempeh to vegan Thanksgiving roasts. Its cheese line includes several different offerings, including the cheddar and fiesta blend, which we sampled, as well as a vegan shredded mozzarella. Moocho also makes vegan cream cheese in three different flavors: plain, garden vegetable, and strawberry. 

The main issue we found with this cheese was its powdery texture and lack of flavor. When we sampled the shredded cheese straight from the package, we noticed that it left a cornstarch-like residue on our fingers. The cheese was almost buttery and did not have the same squeaky pull as a good cheddar cheese. Moreover, we were disappointed that there wasn't a clear difference in flavor between the cheddar and the fiesta blend that we sampled. Both cheeses melted in the microwave but turned into a bit of a stodgy mess that lacked the authentic cheese-pull factor. 

The one good thing about this cheese was that it did, in fact, resemble the color and shape of a dairy-based cheese. There was also a subtle tang that was almost sour cream-like in flavor, but we didn't think it matched the right cheddar profile that the brand was going for. Moreover, we ranked this cheese low because it melted on our tongues rather than giving a pleasant chew. But it still wasn't as dry and bland as our lowest-ranked products. 

11. The Laughing Cow

The Laughing Cow carries a few plant-based products including its spreadable cheese alternative in original and garlic and herb flavor. Each cheese circle includes eight foil-packaged wedges for easy snacking and food on the go. This cheese is made with almond milk and fortified with vitamin B12 — which is a vitamin found solely in animal products (or fortified vegan products like this one) and helps prevent anemia and nervous system damage. These wedges also include coconut milk for creaminess, as well as food starches and pea protein for structure.

We were more impressed with the garlic and herb version of The Laughing Cow. The original lacked flavor and tasted a bit more gelatinous than the garlic and herb flavor, which had an undercurrent of spice that made the texture of the cheese a little less distracting. While we wouldn't eat this cheese regularly because of its texture, it might be a feasible option for someone building a dairy-free charcuterie board.

10. CHAO

CHAO creamery is an offshoot of Field Roast — which makes some of the most delicious vegan sausages we've ever had. So naturally, our expectations for CHAO's creamy original slices were very high. CHAO uses coconut oil, fermented tofu, and vegetable starches to craft its cheese. Each package contains 10 slices for a total of around $5.99. While there was a nice cheesy flavor to these slices, we were a bit distracted by how salty these slices are. If CHAO were able to rein in the saltiness a bit more, the slices would have scored a little higher on our ranking.

The texture of the slices was easy to handle and peel apart — which is important since CHAO does not individually wrap its slices. When melted, we found that the cheese resembles its sliced shape, but has some give to it as a dairy-based cheese slice would. We liked that the cheese didn't ooze like other brands and found that the flavor complemented our vegan burger patty well.

9. Kite Hill

Kite Hill focuses most of its products in the yogurt realm but has expanded to include butter alternatives, sour cream alternatives, filled pasta, and our sample, cream cheese. Kite Hill uses an almond milk base for its cream cheese along with enzymes, xantham gum, and mushroom extract (which the brand notes is used to preserve freshness). There are several flavors of dairy-free cream cheese available, including strawberry, garden veggie, chive, and everything. We purchased an 8-ounce container of the original cream cheese for $6.99, which makes it one of the most expensive cream cheeses we sampled.

The flavor of this cream cheese is strong and acidic, which has a striking resemblance to dairy-based cream cheese. There is a very little aftertaste, as well. However, several Amazon reviewers of this product found that it molds very easily, although we did not see any signs of spoilage when we purchased this product.

8. Miyoko's

Miyoko's is a high-end plant-based product company that makes everything under the sun from plant-based butter to vegan artisan cheese wheels. The only vegan product we could get our hands on from Miyoko's was the organic cashew milk mozzarella, which was priced at $8.49 for an 8-ounce package. The exorbitant price for this product is unrealistic for many consumers, so we would put the brand into the "sometimes buy" category rather than the "fridge-cheese" category.

In sampling this product, we were first reminded of our past run-ins with Miyoko's — most notably its fish-free cream cheese that sent us running from the Trader Joe's refrigerator aisle. It's safe to say the organic cashew milk mozzarella was a much more enjoyable experience than the lox-flavored cream cheese alternative. The texture of this cheese was soft and sliceable but resembled more of a creamy cheese spread than a mozzarella alternative. We found that this dairy-free cheese melts well in baked ziti and has some gentle flavor notes that make it resemble real mozzarella.

7. Nurishh

Nurishh offers a suite of dairy-free cheese products, including its slices, shreds, snack cubes, and cream cheeses. We sampled three varieties of the brand's cream cheese products: original, chive and onion, and strawberry. Unlike other dairy-free cream cheese brands, Nurishh's cream cheese is made of a non-animal whey protein, as well as coconut oil and food starches. The inclusion of non-animal-derived whey makes this product unsuitable for folks with dairy allergies. While this ingredient might help the cream cheese mimic the thick texture of dairy-based cream cheese, it excludes a lot of folks from being able to eat the product. The non-animal-derived whey in this product means it's not completely vegan, so if you're a flexitarian or vegetarian, this is a solid product for you.

That being said, Nurishh provided the best texture out of all of the cream cheeses we sampled. The flavor of the chive and onion cream cheese was onion-rich and resembled the thickness of a traditional dairy cream cheese. The strawberry flavor was a little artificial (and we have our reservations about fruity cream cheese) while the original had a solid texture that was easy to spread on a bagel. We thought the chive and onion cream cheese could also pass for a soft cheese on a cheeseboard, making this product more utilitarian than other vegan cream cheeses we sampled.

6. Follow Your Heart

We were pleasantly surprised by the flavor of the vegan feta crumbles from Follow Your Heart. These crumbles have the same tangy signature as feta, but just with a little more crumbliness — which we liken to the texture of freshly fallen snow. We would have liked to see a little more squeaky texture, like dairy-based feta. Like other cheeses, the base of this cheese is coconut oil and besides being gluten-free, it is soy-free, too. One container was priced at $4.49 at our local supermarket, making it slightly more affordable than brands like Violife.

Follow Your Heart carries other vegan cheese products, like dairy-free parmesan, crumbled blue cheese, shreds, and blocked mozzarella. You can also find several options for veganaise (vegan mayonnaise), dairy-free mac and cheese, salad dressing, and dips. Based on our assessment of the feta, we would reckon to say that Follow Your Heart gets the flavor profile of dairy-free cheeses well but may have some work to do on the texture of its vegan cheese products.

5. Earth Grown

While the quality of Aldi's vegan foods can vary depending on the product, let's focus on Earth Grown, the grocery store chain's in-house vegan and natural foods brand. Its dairy-free mozzarella and cheddar shreds are made with coconut oil, potato starch, and potato protein. These products are two of its regular offerings, but we have seen cheddar slices available at Aldi's before along with its seasonal feta and blue cheese crumbles. The 8-ounce shreds are priced affordably at just under $4.

For being so inexpensive, we found that both the cheddar and the mozzarella cheese melted at similar speeds to other brands. The flavor of the mozzarella was somewhat bland, like gnawing on plastic, but the cheddar flavor shone through on the other product. If you're looking for a cheap vegan cheese that melts well and has some resemblance of flavor, we would recommend purchasing the cheddar flavor over the mozzarella. And while you're at it, pick up some of Aldi's Earth Grown vegan meatballs to go with it.

4. Armored Fresh

The Armored Fresh cheese slices came in three flavor options: American, cheddar, and pepper jack. At first glance, all three of these slices resembled the dairy versions — down to the flaccidity of the slice once we unwrapped it from the individual packages. 

First, we sampled the American cheese, which smelled exactly like the Kraft singles of our childhood. The cheese had the tangy undercurrent of American cheese, but there was a slightly plasticky flavor that lingered on the palate. The cheddar gave us a similar consistency to the American slice with an aftertaste that tasted almost exactly like a Cheez-It. Lastly, the pepper jack cheese slice was certainly peppery and left a tingle on the tip of our tongue. It wouldn't be our go-to slice since we aren't a fan of how the peppery flavor masked the cheese, but we will give it some credit for being on par in flavor with other dairy-based pepper jacks we've tried. 

This cheese melted well and evenly, which gives us high hopes that it could be used as a sandwich cheese. All-in-all, if you stuck these slices between bread and made grilled cheese, we don't think you could tell it was a vegan sandwich. When eaten raw, these slices had a better texture than Violife, which is why they ranked so high on our list. But the plasticky undertone keeps it out of our top spots. 

3. Violife

Violife is the kingpin of vegan cheeses — and for good reason. The brand manufactures numerous vegan cheese products including mozzarella, cheddar, and Mexican-style shreds, vegan cream cheese alternatives, mature cheddar cheese slices, cheese alternative dips, feta, and shaved parmesan. If we were running this review on variety alone, it's clear that Violife would take the prize. As for price, we found Violife was one of the more expensive brands on the vegan cheese market. Its cheddar shreds were listed at Walmart for $5.28.

We found Violife to be well worth its price. Both the cheddar shreds and the mature cheddar shreds were strongly flavored like cheddar, with savory notes that paired well with a vegan burger. The slices melted best when steamed in a pan, while the cheddar shreds easily melted after a few minutes in the microwave over a homemade burrito bowl. Although we didn't get the opportunity to try the more unconventional products like the feta and the parmesan wedge, we are thoroughly impressed with the flavor and melt-ability of this cheese. Just don't try to eat it out of the bag — it's waxy.

2. Boursin

Boursin manufactures soft cheese dips made with soft (yet crumbly) cheese. Its lineup is a partnership with Follow Your Heart and is made with coconut oil, oils, stabilizers, and seasoning. Its dairy-free garlic & herbs cheese spread alternative is priced at $7.99 for a 6-ounce container.

The flavor of this product is immaculate; you can taste notes of garlic, chives, and parsley throughout the dip. Our biggest qualm with this cheese was the texture. In our opinion, Boursin's dairy-based cheese was a bit creamier. The dairy-free variety has the texture of butter and was super rich — which we could only imagine was the result of coconut oil being one of its main ingredients. Although the flavors were so enticing, we were slowly working on this product simply because it was so buttery. This cheese would be a great addition to a cheeseboard but should be thinned out a bit more for optimal spreadability.

1. Treeline Cheese

Treeline Cheese is an up-and-coming artisan cheese producer that offers several dairy-free kinds of cheese, including soft French-style, aged cheeses, "goat" cheeses, slices, shreds, and bloomy rind cashew cheese. The only product we were able to find from this brand at our local grocery store was plain cream cheese, which is made with cashews, oil, and cultures.

The texture of this cream cheese was smooth and tangy, and it had very little flavor connection to cashews (which, for anyone who has ever made their own vegan cashew cheese at home, is a great thing). Overall, the formula for the texture and flavor of this cream cheese was perfect and deserves the title of top cheese. Plus, several other customers of this product have noted that it can be frozen. When it's thawed, this product will have the same consistency as if you consumed the dairy-free cream cheese product fresh.


There are so many different vegan cheese brands out there that it's so tough to pick our top products. To develop this ranking, we examined the texture and flavor of some of the most popular brands you can find in grocery stores. The gold standard that we held each of the brands to was its dairy-based version. We looked at the taste of the product compared to its dairy-based equivalent, as well as its texture and creaminess. 

Since we were testing different kinds of cheeses, including snacking cheeses, shreds, and cream cheese, we tried to create a procedure that best suited each product. For example, we attempted to melt the shreds and slices to see how the cheese would perform on nachos or in a grilled cheese sandwich. Then, we sampled brands like Babybel and The Laughing Cow straight from the container to replicate the experience of eating these cheeses off of a charcuterie board.