12 best vegan cheeses we taste tested in 2023, from feta to camembert

Author: Rachel Smith

Read Time:   |  13th February 2023

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New to veganism and not sure where to start with vegan cheese alternatives? Read our round-up of the best vegan cheeses you can buy in the UK.

In 2023, we are absolutely spoilt for choice with lots of varieties of vegan cheeses. There are dozens of brands available in major supermarkets and independent retailers, in a wide variety of styles. But this wasn’t always the case!

Did you know that own-brand supermarket vegan cheese only really became a ‘thing’ in 2016 when Sainsbury’s launched its first Deliciously Free From range?

At the time, the fact that a supermarket would sell vegan cheese was absolutely mind-boggling. But fast-forward to now and we have every type of vegan cheese you could dream of from fondue to Babybel widely available in all supermarkets. Not to mention the many artisan producers creating delectable cheeses that are indistinguishable from their non-vegan counterparts.

But with so many varieties of vegan cheese on offer, it can be difficult to know which ones to buy.

That’s why we asked the VF&L team to choose their favourites so you know which are the best vegan cheeses to pick up the next time you’re at the supermarket.

How we tested

In order to find the best vegan cheeses available in the UK, we looked at the four most important factors: Aroma, taste, texture, and meltability.

When taking the cheeses out of their packaging, we looked at whether they smelt enticingly cheesy or if they smelt like old socks!

Taste is the most important factor when it comes to choosing the best vegan cheeses, so we look at how closely the flavours resembled dairy cheeses. To us, a good cheese should be tangy and salty, not artificial and coconutty.

Texture is also key to creating great vegan cheese. Many are rubbery and synthetic, so we have given top marks to those that most closely resemble the texture of their dairy counterparts.

Finally, we tested the meltability of the products to see which ones were perfect to use for toasties or on vegan pizzas. Of course, some varieties like cream cheese are not suitable or designed to melt, so in those instances, the other factors were more important in our overall decision.

Best vegan cheeses for 2023 are:

Want to know the best vegan cheeses at a glance? Here are the very best vegan cheeses you can buy in the UK in 2023.

Want more details? Read on to see our full reviews of the best vegan cheeses in the UK…

1. Honestly Tasty Shamembert

Best vegan cheese camembert

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

I cannot sing the praises of Honestly Tasty’s Shamembert highly enough. In fact, I think this is the best vegan cheese alternative I have ever tried, and I have tried countless vegan cheeses over the past 10 years.

To start, it looks absolutely identical to dairy camembert, complete with the rind! To me, this is so important because we eat with our eyes first, and I could hardly for it to bake so I could tuck in.

When I opened the oven door I was greeted with the heavenly aroma of the cheese, which has slightly fruity, earthy notes.

Honestly Tasty’s vegan camembert not only looks the part, but it tastes the part too – the flavour is superb! It’s creamy, cheesy and the addition of truffle oil gives it a lovely umami flavour that tastes just like camembert. I honestly think if you didn’t know it was vegan you’d never guess!

When cooked, the inside turns deliciously smooth and silky and is great for spreading on bread and dipping. The whole experience of eating it felt so indulgent and it was a real pleasure to eat a vegan cheese whose taste and texture are so spot on.

Anyone who says they don’t like vegan cheese needs to try Honestly Tasty’s Shamembert – it will blow your mind!

Taste: 10/10 | Aroma: 10/10 | Texture: 10/10 | Meltability: 9/10 | Overall score: 10/10

Honestly Tasty’s Shamembert is priced at £8 and is available to purchase at honestlytasty.co.uk.

2. Cathedral City Plant Based Cheese

Best vegan cheddar

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

When Cathedral City launched its first vegan cheese alternative in 2022, I was so excited to see how it measured up to other options on the market. After all, you’d expect a major cheese manufacturer to know a thing or two about making cheese.

The first thing I noticed when I open the packet was the fruity smell of cheese – it really does smell just like a block of mature cheddar!

Cutting into the block, I was surprised at the soft, crumbly consistency – it’s the most realistic vegan cheddar you can buy in the supermarket. It’s not rubbery at all and is so creamy on the tongue – it really does melt in the mouth thanks to the coconut oil in the ingredients.

However, I did find the coconut flavour to be quite prominent when eaten cold. It’s certainly not as strong as some other brands, but it is perceptible on the palate. Despite that, the flavour is rich, tangy with a nice saltiness. If the coconut flavour was paired back a notch then it would be perfect.

I put its melting abilities to the test by grating it on top of a pasta bake and found that it melts really well, but does need a little longer to get the full result.

If using the block variety, I’d recommend topping your dish with foil for 10 minutes to allow the cheese time to steam and melt more evenly. However, if you’re looking for more melt, try the shredded variety as this melts really well.

Taste: 9/10 | Aroma: 10/10 | Texture: 10/10 | Meltability: 8/10 | Overall score: 9/10

Cathedral City Plant Based Cheese has an RRP of £3.60 and is available to purchase from Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, Ocado, and Morrisons.

3. La Fauxmagerie Bree Au Champagne

Best vegan cheese for cheeseboards

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

If you love vegan cheese, then you’ll be well aware of La Fauxmagerie – the UK’s first vegan cheesemonger.

Not only do they stock a wide range of the finest dairy-free cheeses from the very best independent vegan cheesemakers, but they also make their own artisanal fauxmage too.

I have been looking for a good vegan brie for many years, and La Fauxmagerie’s certainly didn’t disappoint. In fact, I would go as far as to say it’s absolutely indistinguishable from a non-vegan brie.

Cutting through the soft white bloom rind, you’re greeted with the sweet but pungent scent that is characteristic of a good brie.

I adore the texture of this vegan brie because it’s superbly smooth and just melts away in your mouth so perfectly. It’s actually far creamier than traditional brie and is so easy to spread on crackers.

The taste itself is beautifully buttery with a slightly sweet note that’s elevated with truffle oil and champagne for a rich and complex flavour.

It’s truly un-brielievable (if you’ll pardon the cheesy pun!)!

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

I was actually lucky enough to try La Fauxmagerie’s bundle with five handcrafted cheeses, including blue cheese, soft-rind cheeses and cheddar.

The taste, texture, aroma and appearance of all of them are so authentic and I loved their soft, spreadable textures and punchy flavours. The Clapton Chive was particularly moreish and the camembert is just sensational.

I would highly recommend this if you’re looking for a gift or want something that will truly wow your guests at the end of a dinner party.

La Fauxmagerie’s  Bree Au Champagne is priced at £5 and is available to purchase from lafauxmagerie.com.

Taste: 10/10 | Aroma: 10/10 | Texture: 10/10 |  Overall score: 10/10

4. Palace Culture Herbs de Provence

Best nut-based vegan cheese

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

If you’re looking to take your vegan cheeseboard to the next level, you must check out London-based vegan cheesemakers Palace Culture.

Not only do their cultured vegan cheeses they look the part, but they taste so luxurious and feel like such a treat to eat.

From almond feta to kimcheeze, it’s hard to pick a favourite from their range, but this soft and creamy Herbs de Provence is a real crowd-pleaser.

Made from a base of fermented cashews and Halen Môn Anglesey sea salt, the first thing that hits you when you open the pack is the fragrant scent of the Herbs de Provence..

There’s a tanginess to the aroma that makes your mouth immediately start to water, and the flavour doesn’t disappoint!

As the cashews have been aged for 2 weeks, the flavour is so rich with an almost lemony zestiness that cuts through and gives it a delicious sharpness.

The texture itself is so soft and creamy that it melts in your mouth and easily spreads on crackers or bread. It’s simply superb spread on a slice of freshly toasted sourdough!

What I love about this cheese, besides the incredible flavour, is that because it’s fermented it has beneficial enzymes and strains of gut-friendly live cultures, b-vitamins and minerals. So, it’s good for your gut as well as being a treat for the tastebuds!

Taste: 10/10 | Aroma: 10/10 | Texture: 10/10 | Overall score: 10/10

Palace Culture’s Herbes de Provence is priced at £8.40 and available to buy at palaceculture.co.uk

5. Kinda Co. Greek Style

Best vegan feta

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

With its salty flavour and distinctive crumbly texture, it’s not easy to capture the essence of what makes feta so delicious with a vegan recipe.

Feta was my favourite cheese in my pre-vegan days, so I was so excited to try Kinda Co’s take on this Greek classic.

The aroma of the vegan block is mild, although you do get a hint of acidity that lets you know this is a cultured cheese.

Excitingly, the texture is absolutely spot on! It’s firm yet soft, crumbly yet smooth, and it works wonderfully chopped up in a Greek salad as it holds its shape well. Kinda Co. worked for months to perfect the texture to make it as authentic as possible and it shows.

Biting into it, the first flavour that hits the palate is creamy and slightly nutty before the tangy, salty wave washes across your tongue. It’s sharp but not too sour and has the right balance of creaminess and punchiness.

With its perfectly crumbly texture and sharp flavour, it’s a great option for anyone looking for a vegan version of this briny cheese.

Taste: 8/10 | Aroma: 8/10 | Texture: 10/10 |  Overall score: 8/10

Kinda Co’s Greek Style cheese is priced at £6.50 as is available to purchase at thekindaco.com.

6. Applewood Smoked Vegan Cheese

Best vegan smoked cheese

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

Consistently voted as one of the very best vegan cheeses, Applewood’s Smoky Cheese Alternative is truly delicious.

Firstly, it has a delicately smoky, cheesy flavour, and it doesn’t taste of coconut or have that slightly funky taste some vegan cheeses have. I actually enjoy eating this on its own as it tastes so good!

It does have a slightly rubbery texture when cold so is not as crumbly as dairy cheeses, but it melts so well in the oven or when grilled. However, unlike many other dairy-free cheeses it isn’t super sticky when melted so doesn’t coat your mouth.

One thing to note is that it can take longer to melt than dairy cheese, so make sure you leave it in the oven or under the grill for long enough that it starts to melt.

This is the perfect cheese for new vegans because it melts really well in toasties or grated on pizzas, but is also delicious served cold on its own.

My only drawback with this cheese is that I would really like to see them release this with resealable packing in the future to keep the block fresher for longer.

Taste: 9/10 | Aroma: 9/10 | Texture: 7/10 | Meltability: 9/10 | Overall score: 9/10

Applewood Smoked Vegan Cheese has an RRP of £2.50 as is available to purchase at all major UK supermarkets. 

7. Ilchester Melting Mature Slices

Best vegan cheese slices

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

Another innovative vegan cheese from the makers of Applewood Vegan is its Melting Mature Slices.

These slices are hands down one of the best vegan cheeses I’ve tried for sandwiches and toasties. The slices are generous in size, melt well and taste delicious.

In fact, the slices share the same meltability factor as dairy cheeses, without that claggy, sticky texture many have.

The taste is smooth and creamy with a tangy edge that’s not overpowering or coconutty. We love a proper cheesy vegan cheese, and this one really hits the spot!

Plus, the slices are also available in block form so you can grate it on pizzas, or even use it in vegan mac and cheese for a plant-based cheesy dream – the possibilities are endless!

One drawback for me is that you can’t reseal the package, so the slices do start to curl and harden very quickly unless stores in an air-tight box in the fridge.

Taste: 8/10 | Aroma: 8/10 | Texture: 10/10 | Meltability: 10/10 | Overall score: 8/10

Ilchester Melting Mature Slices have an RRP of £2.60 and are available to purchase at Sainsbury’s.

8. Nush Almond Chive Cream Cheese

Best vegan cream cheese

Looking for a vegan cream cheese spread that delivers on both taste and texture? Nush has got you covered!

Available in both Natural and Chive flavours, these almond milk-based cream cheese-style spreads are high in protein and good for your gut as they contain live cultures.

Pull back the lid and the fragrance of the cheese will become immediately apparent. On first sniff, it’s incredibly tangy and sharp before the fresh, with a light oniony scent from the chives.

The texture is absolutely spot as it’s super light and airy with an almost mousse-like quality and no hint of graininess. It works equally well spread on toast as it does in delicious cheesy sauces.

I actually used this to make a creamy pasta sauce and the cheese is so flavoursome I only needed to add a little garlic, salt and pepper to season it and enhance the flavours when cooked.

For me, many of the vegan cream cheeses on offer miss the mark when it comes to their flavour as they often have a slightly chemical taste. That’s not the case with Nush’s spreads as they have that cool note that I often find missing in other similar products.

They’re slightly sour and slightly salty, with a good amount of tang, and I particularly like the chive variety as the oniony flavour works really well with the creamy flavour.

Taste: 10/10 | Aroma: 10/10 | Texture: 10/10 | Overall score: 10/10

Nush Almond Chive Cream Cheese has an RRP of £2.75 and is available to purchase at Waitrose, Ocado, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

9. Vegan Babybel

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

On first impressions, Plant-Based Babybels look just like original except they’re packaged in bright green wax coating.

Peeling back the wax strip, you’re greeted with a strong, cheesy scent that immediately makes your mouth water.

In order to give them a creamy texture and give them their signature rubbery texture, Bel Group has used coconut oil in the ingredients.

I often find the coconut taste overpowering, but personally I couldn’t detect the coconut at all.

The cheese itself is quite salty and tangy with a slightly sharp note, but this is balanced with a creaminess that is the flavour that ultimately lingers on the palate.

Unlike many vegan cheese products which often have a smooth, rubbery texture, the texture is incredibly similar to the classic Babybel.

They’re perfectly soft and have the same mouthfeel and melt in your mouth without leaving your teeth feeling coated in oil.

They make the perfect lunchbox treat for kids, and are great for snacking too!

Taste: 8/10 | Aroma: 8/10 | Texture: 10/10 | Overall score: 8/10

Vegan Babybel have an RRP of £2 for a pack of five and are available to purchase at Sainsbury’s, Asda, Aldi and Morrisons.

10. MozzaRisella Classic

Best vegan mozzarella

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

If you’re looking for a great vegan mozzarella that melts perfectly on pizzas, look no further than MozzaRisella’s Classic cheese.

In fact, the UK’s largest Italian restaurant chains, including Pizza Express, Zizzi’s and Ask Italian, all use this mozzarella alternative on their menus.

One thing I love about MozzaRisella Classic is that is tastes just as good uncooked as it does cooked. I’ve been disappointed by other alternatives in the past that taste great on pizzas but aren’t as good eaten cold. But this vegan mozzarella alternative works just as well in a Caprese salad as it does on pizzas.

MozzaRisella’s cheese has a very mild, creamy flavour but is infused with oregano which imparts a herby taste and aroma that transports your tastebuds straight to Italy.

The texture is so similar to traditional mozzarella as it’s slightly rubbery when cold, with a soft and chewy bite. When cooked, it goes stringy and creamy and doesn’t stick to your teeth as other alternatives do.

Made from sprouted brown rice, its melting capabilities are second to none! It melts beautifully and evenly giving dishes a creamy component with its milky flavour. It does take a little longer than traditional mozzarella to melt fully so I would suggest slicing it thinly to melt faster. I cut my slices quite thick so cooked my pizza for 11 minutes at 180c to achieve the amount of melt you see in the photo above.

If you want it to brown and bubble then you can pop it under the grill for a couple of minutes to give it some colour.

Taste: 10/10 | Aroma: 10/10 | Texture: 10/10 | Meltability 10/10 | Overall score: 10/10

Mozzarisella has an RRP of £4.50 for a 200g pack. See stockists here

11. I AM NUT OK Fetamorphosis

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

I AM NUT OK’s know a thing or two about making epic vegan cheeses, so I was so excited to try their Greek-inspired block.

When I opened the pack, my nostrils were filled with the heavenly briny scent of this vegan feta. It has that signature cultured nut cheese scent that I adore, so I knew I was in for a treat.

In terms of the texture, it’s soft, ultra creamy and delectable, but lacking the crumbly texture of traditional feta cheese. It’s still great in a Greek salad, but I’d recommend adding it in as the final ingredient and tossing gently to help the cubes keep their shape.

But really, taste is the most important factor, and this briny block is just so scrumptious I couldn’t stop eating it from the pack. The salty flavour is so satisfying, and that tangy note from the cultured cashews makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

The texture might not be an exact feta replica, but it’s so delicious in its own right it’s well worth trying if you’re looking for a salty cheese that really delivers on flavour.

To me, this is the best-tasting vegan feta and it’s hard to believe it’s made with just a few simple ingredients!

Taste: 10/10 | Aroma: 10/10 | Texture: 6/10 | Overall score: 9/10

I Am Nut OK Fetamorphosis is priced at £5.99 and is available to purchase from iamnutok.com.

12. VBites Cheezly with Cranberry

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

Photo © Vegan Food & Living

If you’re looking for a festive cheese to add to your vegan chessboard, try VBites’ Cheezly with Cranberry.

This vegan cheese has a fantastic colour and is generously studded with cranberries throughout so it looks really enticing. In fact, it looks like a block of dairy cheese so you wouldn’t know it was vegan if placed on a cheeseboard.

On first bite, I wasn’t immediately sure about the flavour, but it develops well and leaves a subtle flavour on the palate. It’s not too strong and I did enjoy the bursts of sweetness from the cranberries. The mouthfeel of the cheese is very smooth and creamy too, I would just like both the cranberry and cheese flavours to be a little tangier.

This would be a really lovely addition to a festive cheeseboard as it looks and tastes great. The flavour is delicious and I think would be a great one for non-vegans to try as it’s cheesy but not artificial tasting.

Taste: 7/10 | Aroma: 7/10 | Texture: 7/10 | Overall score: 7/10

VBites Cheezly with Cranberry is priced at £2.49 and is available to purchase from vbites.com.

If you love vegan cheese, try making your own with these creative vegan cheese recipes.

Written by

Rachel Smith

Having launched the brand's digital presence in 2015, Rachel shares her love for animals and the planet through her work as Vegan Food & Living’s Digital Editor. As a passionate vegan for over eight years, Rachel loves creating delicious vegan dessert recipes for her award-winning blog, Rawberry Fields. Rachel's recipes and photography have been featured in numerous international print and digital publications including the Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Thrive, and Buzzfeed. You can follow Rachel at @rawberryfields

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