How to Satisfy a Cheese Craving - Without Dairy | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

How to Satisfy a Cheese Craving - Without Dairy

How to Satisfy a Cheese Craving - Without Dairy


  Thinking about going vegan, but not ready to give up cheese? You're certainly not alone. Many vegans have gone through a period where giving up cheese felt impossible. Pizza is one of my favorite foods, and I never thought I would be able to give it up. Yet, I haven't touched cheese pizza in three years and don't miss it one bit. How do you say good-bye to cheese when you still enjoy the taste? Different things work for different people, but I have some suggestions to help you reach your goals while satisfying your cravings. Personally, I started feeling guilty every time I ate cheese pizza. I couldn't help thinking about cows being confined and pumped for their milk. After a few months of feeling like that every time I ate dairy, I finally gave it up. Fortunately, there are delicious animal-free cheeses on the market now, plus some fantastic recipes to help you make your own. Though my days of eating dairy are over, my "cheese" days are not!  

Mac and Cheese
Vegan Mac and Cheese

  Nutritional Yeast  This non-active yeast can be a vegan's best friend. Nutritional yeast is sold as flakes or a powder and has a cheesy-nutty flavor. Use it to add a cheesy or umami flavor to everything from popcorn and pizza to veggies and salads. Nutritional yeast is also a good source of B vitamins (including B12), protein, folic acid, and zinc. I love sprinkling nutritional yeast on popcorn and in sauce for pizza or pasta.  

Zucchini-Quinoa Lasagna
Zucchini-Quinoa Lasagna with Daiya Cheese

  Store-bought Vegan Cheese  At many health food stores you can find dairy-free cheeses that melt, some that can be sprinkled (like Parmesan), and even aged cheeses. Some meltable cheeses are Daiya, Teese, and Follow Your Heart. Each of these brands sells "mozzarella" and "cheddar"—perfect for pizza, quesadillas, or grilled cheese. Use them like you would any cheese. Parma! and GO Veggie! both sell Parmesan-style cheeses to sprinkle on pizza, pasta, salads, and more. Hard and aged vegan cheeses are becoming more popular as companies look to make cheese alternatives beyond the usual soft, meltable cheeses. Look for Treeline, Kitehill, Dr.Cow, and Punk Rawk Labs gourmet cheeses, each made with nuts and perfect for cheese plates.  

Say Cheese!
Make your own amazing vegan cheese

  Make your own  If you like to DIY in the kitchen, definitely try making your own amazing vegan cheese. I highly recommend Artisan Vegan Cheese, by Miyoko Schinner. And be sure to browse the VT recipes archives; you can learn how to make delicious dairy-free cheeses for a variety of different dishes and occasions—even your own Parmesan-style crumbles or cheesecake!   ------ Jenné Claiborne is passionate about helping women adopt and maintain a plant-based diet so they can improve their energy, lose weight, and feel their very best. Founder of The Nourishing Vegan, a New York–based personal chef service, she is also the creator of Sweet Potato Soul, a vegan food blog that features recipes, tips, and cooking videos. In 2013, Jenné launched the 21-Day Vegan Blueprint, an interactive online program that takes the guesswork out of becoming vegan. Follow Jenné on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.    


Comments on this Blog

Does anyone know of similar 'cheese fixes' that don't taste foul available in the UK?

Do you have any suggestions for a vegan feta ?

I think it's better to call things for their own Cheese is cheese. "Vegan" cheese doesn't taste like cheese because it is not.

Another great cook book to try is The Non Dairy Formulary by Skye Michael Conroy. His cheeses are amazing, as are all of his recipes. This book is what helped me finally ditch all dairy from my life so that I can truly be vegan.

Chef Skye Michael Conroy's new cookbook The Non-Dairy Evolution offers easy cheese making that is so delicious you will love making your own cheese in less then thirty minutes. His recipes for cheese come near perfect to the flavor of real cheese. This cookbook replaces his first one which was The Non Dairy Formulary.

There is an alternative to factory-farmed meat and dairy- local, grass-fed animals. There is such a huge disconnect between the natural, earth-friendly philosophy and the extremely processed, nasty-tasting, unhealthy vegan meat and dairy substitutes. Politics has trumped nutrition. Fake meat and dairy tastes like industrial waste- because it is! Support local farmers instead!

Ohhhh I am finding it so hard. Daiya SUCKS!! so does Violife. There are no decent non vegan cheeses, vegan cheese is an oxymoron let face it. its made of crap. I miss butter on my toast, on my baked spuds, on my corn. I miss milk in my tea so bad I could die. No probs with meat, never liked that shit. But I go shopping, and there is NOTHING in there I can eat. I feel like the world is against me (boohoo poor me, pity potty!!) I just try to remind my self why the fuck im doing this, because the dairy industry is a bloody monster. But it isnt easy, and I am SUFFERING :(

OK, SUFFERING is too strong. I take it back I'm not SUFFERING, I'm being a drama queen. When I think of beings who really are suffering, for our dairy addiction, that makes me feel very ashamed. I'm just....hungry.