Cheese is one of those ingredients that makes everything taste better - who doesn't love it sprinkled over fresh pasta or melted onto pizza? If you're vegan or lactose-intolerant though, you may have had to cut cheese out of your everyday diet. Luckily, there are plenty of dairy-free alternatives to satisfy your cheesy cravings!
If you're having trouble deciding between creamy spreads, sandwich slices, and bargain-sized cheddar blocks, take a look at our list of recommendations to buy in the UK from Tesco, Asda, and Waitrose. With top brands like Violife, Applewood, and Nush in our list, you'll be sure to find the perfect vegan cheese in no time!
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Table of Contents
First things first, let's explore the different types and flavours of dairy-free cheeses that are available to buy online. Then, we'll look at useful nutritional information such as fat content, calories, and added calcium.
The form of cheese you buy will depend on how you plan to use it in the kitchen. Pre-grated cheese is ideal for pizza toppings or as a finishing layer for pasta, whereas slices are designed for easy sandwich preparation or casual snacking.
Soft cheese and cream-style spreads go perfectly with bagels or can be incorporated into dishes like risotto. You might even want to use them as a dip for crunchy vegetables like celery and carrots.
Lastly, blocks of cheese are versatile so they can be sliced or grated as and when you need them. They're also a more cost-effective option as they're usually larger in size and should last you a while.
Next, what's your favourite variety of cheese? There are plenty to choose from! The most common kind in the UK is cheddar, an English cheese which has a mild but slightly tangy taste.
Gouda, which originates from Holland, is also delightfully tangy and rich in flavour. In contrast, Italian favourite mozzarella and Greek-style cheese like feta are fresh and creamy tasting.
If you prefer something with an even stronger taste, herby and smoky varieties of cheese are also available. Some brands even add ingredients like jalapeño or chilli for a touch of fiery flavour!
Cheese is naturally high in fat and calories, and dairy-free varieties are no different due to the prevalence of coconut oil in most brands. As the NHS recommends that adults consume no more than 70g of fat a day, it's advisable to monitor your intake from foods like cheese.
If you're trying to lose weight, look for a product with a lower fat and calorie content if possible. Or if you don't want to give up your favourite brand entirely, despite its high-fat content, just make sure you only indulge occasionally!
Dairy-based cheeses tend to have high levels of calcium, so those on a vegan or dairy-free diet may be concerned about making sure they get enough of this vital mineral.
According to the NHS, adults require approximately 700mg a day, which can be extracted from a variety of different foods including leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale.
Some vegan cheeses conveniently contain added calcium, which is a fantastic bonus if you need to increase your levels. So as well as being tasty, they're good for your teeth and bones - what more could you ask for?
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Vegan Smoky Cheese Alternative
Affordable, Delicious, and Melts Beautifully
Original Flavour Grated
Perfect for Pizza and Pasta
Mature Cheddar Alternative
Tangy and Versatile, With a Coconut Base
Follow Your Heart
Smoked Gouda Style Slices
Sweet, Smoky-Tasting Slices
Camembert Soft Cheeze
Ideal for Adding to Summer Salads
Free From Blue Cheese Alternative
A Calcium-Rich Cheddar Alternative
Vegan Original Soft Spreadable
Deliciously Light and Creamy
Free From Coconut Oil Alternative To Jalapeno & Chilli Cheddar｜Jalapeño & Chilli Cheddar
Fiery and Full of Flavour
Dairy Free Spread - Garlic & Herb｜Chive
A Protein-Packed Spread That's Great in Recipes
Mozzarella Style Block
Smooth, Mozzarella-Style Shreds
This smoky cheese alternative by Applewood has been receiving rave reviews from the UK vegan community, and it even won gold at the Free From Food Awards 2020! Not only is it delicious but it's high in calcium and vitamin B12.
Smooth and creamy, this product melts effortlessly - perfect for making hot toasties on a cold day! Best of all, it's incredibly cheap so we've no doubt that it'll become a staple of your weekly shop.
This mild, cheddar-style grated cheese by Violife is made with coconut oil and fortified with vitamin B12. At only £2.50, it's a cheap and cheerful cheesy option. Plus, the resealable bag gives it a slight edge over the previous product in our ranking and means that it should last you a while!
You should definitely try this product out if you're looking for a cheese alternative to suit a variety of dishes. It can be sprinkled over pretty much anything - for best results, we recommend veggie pizza or yummy tomato pasta!
This alternative to cheddar by Koko is made from coconut and is totally free from artificial colourings, flavours, and preservatives. It also has added calcium, as well as vitamins D2 and B12.
Tangy but not too overpowering, this versatile cheese tastes equally as yummy sliced in sandwiches with a dollop Branston pickle as it does grated on top of a jacket potato. Give it a try if you're craving cheddar!
This Gouda-style cheese by US brand Follow Your Heart has a tasty hickory-smoked flavour that's sharp yet sweet. It works well in a simple sandwich or even as a topping for pasta dishes like macaroni.
We love the fact that this product comes pre-sliced for added convenience, and we're impressed at how affordable it is considering it's an imported brand. It's just a shame that it's not more widely available!
Calling all feta fans! This block by Violife is the only Greek-style cheese alternative around, so we just had to include it on our list. With a distinctive salty flavour, it's the ideal ingredient for adding to summer salads or Mediterranean dishes and enjoying alongside a glass of wine!
Although this cheese won't be to everyone's taste, the low price is sure to appeal to those who want to try something a bit different without breaking the bank.
These cheddar-style slices by Vitalite can be served hot or cold, so you can eat them with crackers or melt one over your favourite vegan burger. They're fortified with added calcium and vitamin B12 too, so you can feel good about your snacking!
We must admit that the flavour of this product is a bit bland in comparison to some of the other picks on our list. If you're just using it for a simple sandwich though, this won't matter too much.
If you've been missing the light yet indulgent taste of Philadelphia, then this yummy tub by Waitrose is for you! We recommend spreading this cream cheese on toast or a poppy seed bagel for a filling brunch or a quick snack. As it has no added flavours, you could even use it to make desserts like cheesecake or key lime pie.
Although this product is a little higher in fat than some of our other choices, we think the delicious taste makes it all worthwhile. It's pretty budget-friendly too!
If you prefer your cheese to have a bit of a kick then you'll love this jalapeño and chilli infused cheddar alternative by Tesco. Not only is it full of flavour but it has a great texture and melts easily.
Whilst this product may be too spicy for some, we think it's got just the right amount of heat. Try it with chutney on oatcakes for a decadent lunch or cut it into chunks and snack away!
This thick and creamy chive-flavoured spread by Nush is made using artisan almond milk that's prepared freshly each day in their UK based factory. As each pot contains over 60 almonds, this product is a fantastic source of protein!
Unfortunately, this is a bit of a small tub for the price and it's not suitable for those with nut allergies. Still, it's a delicious product that works great in pasta recipes or comforting dishes like mashed potato.
This grated cheese by old-school vegan brand Sheeze has a smooth, mozzarella-style texture. This means it's suitable for a range of uses, including pizza toppings, cheesy bakes, and sprinkling on top of pasta dishes.
Sadly, this product is fairly high in saturated fat and calories, due to the coconut base. Some reviewers find it a bit greasy too when heated up, but overall it's a decent all-rounder that's inexpensive!
That's your cheese alternative sorted - which other vegan treats are you looking to try? We've got plenty of recommendations to help you find the dairy-free milk, yogurt, or ice cream of your dreams!
Whether you're looking for a creamy spread or a slice of tangy cheddar, we hope our tantalising list of vegan cheeses has tickled your taste buds! Why not try out a different one each time you do your grocery shopping and see which one you like best?
Author: Nicola McClements
No. 1: Applewood｜Vegan Smoky Cheese Alternative
No. 2: Violife｜Original Flavour Grated
No. 3: Koko ｜Mature Cheddar Alternative
No. 4: Follow Your Heart｜Smoked Gouda Style Slices
No. 5: Violife｜Camembert Soft Cheeze
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