Vegan grilled cheese with cheddar

Say Goodbye to Disgusting Dairy: Vegan Swaps for Your Favorite Cheeses

Published by .

Are you in the mood for mac ‘n’ cheese but don’t want to steal calves away from their mothers? Or craving pizza but don’t want to feel sick from all the cholesterol in dairy? You’ve come to the right place. PETA’s got your back with a long list of vegan swaps for popular dairy items.

We’ve covered plant-based cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan, cream cheese, and the ever-loved string cheese. The best part? You won’t be embarrassed to cut the cheese anymore. And it’s not just your stomach that will thank you for ditching dairy—your skin will, too. Many studies have shown a clear connection between acne and the consumption of dairy.

Not sure what to make with these delicious cheeses? Our list of irresistible cheesy classics will satisfy all your needs.

Cheddar for a grilled cheese?

Tillamook means terror for cows.

The dairy industry causes distress to calves, who call out as they’re torn away from their mothers. Male calves end up in veal crates and are soon slaughtered for their meat. Female cows don’t have it any easier: They’re forcibly impregnated by farmers. The only way to avoid animal abuse is to choose vegan products.

Forget Tillamook—try the plant-based cheddars below. You will save the lives of calves and give your sandwich a satisfying cheese pull.

EPIC MATURE Cheddar Block from Violife

This block rocks—so much so that you may eat the whole thing in one sitting. This allergy-friendly cheese is made with coconut and sunflower seeds.

Creamy Original Chao Slices from Field Roast

Chao is a fan favorite, as it has mastered the melt. Its slices combine coconut and fermented tofu for a uniquely delicious taste.

Sheese Mature Cheddar from Bute Island Foods

This cheddar is fancy enough for a full cheeseboard (with vegan wine, of course). Free from soy and gluten, this coconut-based cheddar is a cheesy dream.

Mild Nacho Cashew Queso from Siete Foods

Making nachos? Your taste buds will thank you for a fiesta in your mouth. This queso fundido is full of cashews and veggies.

Mozzarella cheese to top a pizza?

Sargento is seriously a disaster for animals and the environment.

Cows crammed on dairy farms produce an enormous amount of methane, a greenhouse gas that’s 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Globally, animal agriculture is the largest source of methane emissions. Dairy is dangerous to the Earth, while being vegan is the single best way you can combat climate change.

Skip Sargento for these fresh vegan mozzarellas, which will melt perfectly on your pizza. And your pie will help to save the planet. It’s almost your civic duty to eat another slice!

Fresh Italian-Style Mozz from Miyoko’s Creamery

Miyoko’s touts its cheese as “the perfect answer for everything from pizzas, to caprese salad, to paninis.” We agree. Its cashew-based cheese melts, bubbles, and browns in the oven.

Fresh Mozzarella from Miyoko's on a plate with basil and tomato and olive oil.

Fresh Cultured Mozzarella Shreds from Parmela Creamery

These shreds will take your pizza (or pasta) to the next level. The signature creaminess comes from whole cashew milk.

Mozzarella Shreds from Daiya

As a topping for pizza bagels? Yes, please. This well-known cheese comes from a perfect blend of tapioca and coconut oil.

Parmesan cheese for pasta night?

Kraft Heinz is heinous.

Some dairy companies buy milk that came from cows who were mutilated. In a bloody and painful process, farmers remove the natural horns that cows grow. These animals—clever individuals who get excited when they solve problems—receive no pain relief. Please don’t contribute to their suffering.

Leave Kraft behind. These plant-based Parmesans will please your palette without costing cows their life. So go ahead and cover your plate in cheese—you deserve it.

Grated Parmesan from Follow Your Heart

This cheese isn’t just good—it’s grate. The greatness comes from natural oils and flavors, including bamboo.

Just Like Parmesan Wedge from Violife

The brand said it best—just like authentic Italian cheese. This wedge is in a class of its own, thanks to a potato and coconut base.

Grated Parmesan from Go Veggie

Go Veggie will have you going back for seconds with its popular Parmesan, made with a mix of soy and rice flour.

Cream cheese for a bagel?

Philadelphia brand is filled with filth.

The dairy industry is a breeding ground for disease, and cows are left to suffer from severe infections without medical care. Cows on some dairy farms stand knee-deep in their own waste. Eating cream cheese means consuming milk from someone who was sick and suffering.

Enough of Philadelphia. Eat clean and green with these vegan shmears. You can get all the familiar flavors in plant-based cream cheese as well as sweet, savory, and spicy options.

Everything Cream Cheese from Kite Hill

Almond milk lends this spread a smooth texture. We think it goes best with capers and cucumbers for a classic breakfast.

Herb Garlic Cheese from Treeline

A creamy, cashew-based, and garlic-packed cheese. Serve it with fried potatoes for a winning combo.

Fresh veggies and herbs are the perfect complement to our creamy and indulgent cheeses 🍃🌿Need some more inspiration…

Posted by Treeline Cheese on Monday, September 27, 2021

Pumpkin Cream Cheese from Spero Foods

This spread is for your sweet tooth. Simple ingredients and no additives make this sunflower-based cheese a decadent dream.

String cheese as a snack?

Organic Valley is a myth.

Cows on “organic” farms are still separated from their families, forcibly inseminated, and milked against their will. Animals on self-described “humane” farms often spend much of their lives in crowded barns or metal pens. No matter the circumstance, the dairy industry is certain death for all cows.

Organic Valley is an illusion. Don’t be misled by packages with pictures of happy cows. Save these sweet and sensitive animals with these stringy vegan cheeses.

Deluxe Cheeze Sticks from Daiya

You can choose cheddar or mozzarella style for a quick snack that hits the spot. Both varieties come from a trusted blend of coconut and potato.

Homemade Mozzarella Sticks

You can make mozz sticks that are melty on the inside and crunchy on the outside—right in your own kitchen. Sweet Simple Vegan’s recipe is a winner! It recommends Miyoko’s mozzarella, but feel free to use any brand that you have on hand.

Feeling fancy?

You can bring the atmosphere of an upscale restaurant home with these artisanal vegan cheeses. Tempt your cheese-loving friends with Caramelized Onion Camembert, Smoked Gouda, and Organic Aged Cashew. Even your fancy friends will love them!

Excited by the endless array of vegan cheese? Wait—there’s more! Look for more plant-based products hitting the shelves in 2023.

I Want Weekly Recipes and Lifestyle Tips!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.