It’s no secret that following a plant-based diet can be somewhat challenging, to begin with, but there’s one dairy product that makes the switch to veganism all the more difficult.
If you haven’t guessed yet, we’re talking about cheese – of course. Cheese has a place in some of our favourite foods, and with a unique flavour, texture and aroma, cheese can be difficult to emulate with non-dairy products.
While the journey to good vegan cheese has been a long, and experimental one at that, plant-based cheese has come a long way since it was first introduced.
We’ve outlined the best vegan cheeses available in the UK that are just as good – or nearly as good – as the real thing.
What is vegan cheese made of?
Vegan cheese is made of plant-based foods such as nuts, sesame, soybeans and root vegetables. Other common ingredients include coconut oil, nutritional yeast and vegetable oils.
Is vegan cheese healthy?
Vegan cheese is considered healthier than dairy cheese due to the lack of carcinogens from animal meat and saturated animal fat.
Having said that, as with everything, vegan cheese should be eaten in moderation. Non-dairy cheese is still highly processed and plant-based products can be just as unhealthy as animal-based products.
Does vegan cheese taste of normal cheese?
Naturally, vegan cheese is made of non-dairy products meaning that the flavour will waver slightly from the real thing.
However, depending on the brand you opt for, vegan cheese can come quite close in taste to the real thing. Vegan substitutes can be equally as delicious, melty and creamy.
Does vegan cheese melt?
Nowadays, finding vegan cheese that melts nicely is no longer the challenge it used to be.
There are a handful of high-quality vegan cheeses that melt well without leaving a strange texture or sticking to the roof of your mouth. Who wants that?
Our list of the best vegan cheese UK in 2022
Best vegan cheese for melting in a burger or in a cheese toastie.
This cheese alternative has a powerful smoky taste and creamy texture that is fully reminiscent of the real thing. The best of both worlds, this cheese is great cold on sandwiches or crackers. It melts beautifully on jacket potatoes and cheese toasties. Also, it's available in most supermarkets, so you won't have trouble finding this gem.
Review: "By far my favourite vegan cheese. It tastes so good melted on anything! Great texture too. The smoky flavour is really nice and not too overpowering. Highly recommend this product!"
Best Mexican-style cheese for a bit of spice
Spice up your life with Mexicana's alternative to spicy cheese. This spicy vegan block has been blended with a Mexican spice mix and real Bell and Jalapeño pepper pieces. Awesome! With added calcium and vitamin B12, it's perfect for a cheese board and a toastie.
Review: "This one of my favourites. Not only is the texture pretty good, the taste is perfect. If you like something on the hotter side, this cheese is for you."
Violife Le Rond Camembert Flavour
Great for parties
Best vegan cheese for dipping in bread, spreading on crackers
There’s nothing like some warm camembert fresh out the oven. This non-dairy version is made with that ever-so-popular coconut oil, resulting in a smooth and velvety texture, full of flavour. Enjoy alongside some warm bread, crackers or grapes.
Review: "The best vegan camembert, full-flavoured, great on its own, or with grapes on a drop of seeded sourdough. It’s great to find a nutritious vegan cheese with healthy ingredients, delicious!"
Violife Original Soft Cheese
Best vegan cheese for sauces, bagels and desserts
This vegan take on cream cheese is so convincing; you’ll hardly believe it’s not the real thing. It works wonderfully in sauces, spreading on crackers or a bagel. It is also a great non-dairy substitute for cheesecake or any other dessert.
Review: "This stuff is fantastic! I love dairy and especially cheese, but can't eat it, and this is a great alternative cream cheese, it's creamy and delicious - personally, I can’t tell the difference."
Best vegan cheese for eating cold on sandwiches and melting on burgers
Perfect for sandwiches, these Gouda style slices will rid you of all your vegan cheese cravings. It melts like a dream, making it ideal for on top of veggie burgers or for toasties. The smoky taste is so subtle and delicious - you won’t be going back anytime soon.
Review: "One of the best vegan cheeses out there! Great melted in a toastie or on burgers."
Best vegan cheese for grating on pasta and using in sauces
If you’ve missed grating some Parmesan over a warm bowl of pasta, this Parmesan Cheese Style option will just do the trick. With an authentic strong nutty flavour and aroma, this vegan cheese can add depth to any dish and works well in sauces.
Review: "I love this cheese so much - I've even taken to eating it on its own, oops. Best on pasta, though!"
Best vegan cheese for melting on pizza
What is life without pizza? This stuff melts perfectly, is super cheesy in flavour and completely free of any coconut taste, which some vegans may have come to grow tired of. This alternative is delicious in mac and cheese - or anything else that requires a sprinkle of cheese. If you're looking to get a decent quantity for the price you pay, this is the stuff.
Review: "I love this cheese. Melts great. Tastes lovely. Better than most vegan cheeses I’ve tried."
Best vegan cheese for pasta bakes
Grated cheese sits at the centre of all great comfort food, so finding non-dairy substitutes is a must. Whether you’re making a vegan pasta bake, a pizza or some good ol’ fashioned cauliflower cheese, this non-dairy grated cheese is highly versatile, melts perfectly, leaving a subtle taste and smooth texture. Catch this great alternative at most supermarkets.
Review: "This grated cheese melts really well! Goes lovely and gooey, especially brilliant for pasta bake and pizzas."
Vemondo Greek Style Vegan Cheese
Best vegan cheese for salads
Greek salad is the ideal healthy lunch for spring and summer – but what’s a Greek salad without a little Feta cheese? This Lidl cheese alternative perfectly emulates the unique crumbliness and saltiness that makes Feta delicious, and the creaminess is also on par with the real thing – truly uncanny. Honestly, we can't tell the difference.
However, this alternative is only available in-store at your local Lidl.
Review: "This cheese has a lovely, creamy texture and is very tasty! As far as I'm concerned, there is no difference between the taste and texture of this cheese to 'real' feta cheese. It goes perfectly in salads, or with olives as a side dish. Definitely recommend this."
Best vegan cheese for sandwiches
Looking to make the perfect vegan cheese board - or simply miss cheddar cheese? This cheese alternative has a nice texture and brings the strong 'cheese flavour' we all long for. This dairy-free version is tasty in sandwiches, cracking on crackers and melts like a dream in sauces. This alternative is available in most supermarkets. Enjoy!
Review: "Love this vegan cheese. It has a tang like dairy cheese and it melts well. Delicious in sandwiches: in pasta and with crackers. This is by far my favourite vegan cheese."