New to veganism and not sure where to start with vegan cheeses? Read our round-up of the best vegan cheese alternatives you can buy in UK supermarkets.
In 2022, we are absolutely spoilt for choice with 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.
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 cheese alternatives to pick up the next time you’re at the supermarket.
1. Applewood Smoked Vegan Cheese
Voted the best vegan cheese in the PETA Vegan Food Awards 2020, Applewood Smoked Vegan Cheese is a creamy, smoky and melty delight. In fact, it was so popular upon its launch that it sold out within a single day.
Applewood’s Senior Brand Manager Lisa Harrison explained: “40 percent of stores sold out on the first day of sale and consumers were lamenting on social media that they couldn’t buy it, our switchboard was inundated with calls from people asking when would more stock be available.
“In fact, we had to take to Twitter to apologise that we had misjudged the demand,” Harrison added.
Applewood Vegan is an extremely versatile cheese perfect for toasties, pasta dishes, pizza, burgers and more – the possibilities are endless!
If you’re a smoky cheese lover, you can find it at Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and Waitrose.
2. Violife Prosociano Vegan Parmesan
Desperate for a vegan parmesan-style cheese to elevate your Italian dishes? Look no further, Violife Prosociano has got you covered.
This vegan parmesan-style wedge is best served finely grated or peeled into shavings over pasta, salads and risottos for an authentically Italian meal. It can also be added to vegan sauces to add richness and flavour, or mixed into crumb coatings for an extra tang.
You can find Violife Prosociano at Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.
3. Sheese Grated Mild Cheddar-Style Vegan Cheese
The OG vegan cheese brand Sheese (Bute Island Foods) is definitely one of our favourites. In particular, we love the Grated Mild Cheddar Style.
It melts beautifully making it the perfect addition to cheesy sauces and toasties, and has a deliciously creamy flavour that works well in a variety of dishes.
While it is a cheddar-style cheese, the fact that it is mild means it isn’t too overpowering, making it a lovely subtle cheese suitable for both non-vegans and new vegans trying out different cheeses.
Look out for Sheese Grated Mild Cheddar Style in Sainsbury’s.
4. Nush Spreadable Almond Milk Cheese
Dreaming of cream cheese bagels? This vegan spreadable almond milk cheese from Nush is the one.
Nush churns creamy almond milk until it reaches a thick spreadable consistency, before adding live cultures and British sea salt to create a one-of-a-kind dairy alternative.
Each pot contains 60 almonds, giving you the benefits of these nutritional nuts while enjoying a delicious cream cheese.
And it’s not just bagels that you can spread it on. Nush is also great for creating sweet or savoury dishes, including sauces, dips, pancakes, soups, cheesecakes and cake frosting. Who knew you could do so much with almonds?
Find Nush on the shelves at Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.
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5. Mexicana Vegan Cheese
One for the spice-lovers, Mexicana Vegan Cheese contains a fiery spice mix as well as real bell and jalapeño peppers. It is perfect for spicing up toasties, pizzas and paninis, or adding as a melty topping to pasta bakes and enchiladas.
Mexicana Vegan was the second vegan launch from the same company behind Applewood Vegan, created based on the huge success of the smoky dairy alternative.
Senior Brand Manager Lisa Harrison explained: “We applied the same logic to the creation of Mexicana® Vegan and our taste panel of spicy cheese enthusiasts are already hooked on it, because it’s super-stringy when it melts and has all of the flavour of Mexicana®, including a nice spicy kick.”
Pick up Mexicana Vegan in Tesco and Asda today, if you think you can handle the heat!
6. Green Vie Vegan Mozzarella
Need a great mozzarella for your homemade pizzas? Look no further than Green Vie!
Available in a block or slices, this vegan mozzarella-style cheese is enriched with B12 and melts beautifully in the oven or under the grill.
It has a mild flavour and decadent creaminess that makes it the perfect choice for enhancing pizzas, paninis and pasta bakes.
Find Green Vie in Tesco, or at independent retailers.
7. Violife Le Rond Camembert
Violife has been creating great vegan alternatives for years, and this new innovative vegan camembert is no exception.
It makes an excellent centrepiece surrounded by warm crusty bread, or as an addition to an indulgent cheese and wine night. Violife even suggests deep frying it for a decadent feast!
Like the entire Violife product family, the Le Rond Camembert Flavour is completely free from dairy, soya, gluten, and nuts. This makes it allergen-friendly and perfect for all the family.
You can find Violife’s vegan camembert alternative at Waitrose.
8. Vegan Babybel
Babybel made headlines this Veganuary by launching a vegan version of the nostalgic mini cheese wheel.
The iconic signature red wax cheese has had a green makeover and delivers the same smooth and creamy taste, but 100% plant-based.
In addition, the cheese snacks are free from artificial colours and preservatives and provide a great source of calcium and Vitamin B12!
They make the perfect lunchbox treat for kids, and we aren’t ashamed to say we love them for snacking too! You’re never too old for a Babybel right?
You can find the Vegan Babybel exclusively at Sainsbury’s.
9. Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda Style Slices
Vegan smoked gouda from American brand Follow Your Heart is the perfect pairing with a meat-free burger and some garlic aioli.
Made from coconut oil and potato starch with natural smoke flavourings, it is allergen-friendly and extremely versatile.
Try adding it to your next cheesy dish and see what the whole family thinks!
You can pick up Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda in your local Tesco.
10. Ilchester Vegan Melting Mature
Last but not least we have Ilchester Vegan Melting Mature, another innovative vegan cheese from the makers of Applewood Vegan.
It shares the same meltability factor as dairy cheeses, something that vegans have often find lacking in other plant-based cheeses.
You can grate Melting Mature on top of a fresh pizza base, slice it up in a vegan burger or even use it in vegan mac ‘n’ cheese for a plant-based cheesy dream – the possibilities are endless!
We love a proper cheesy vegan cheese, and this one really hits the spot!
Look out for Ilchester Vegan Melting Mature in Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
Did you enjoy our top 10 vegan cheese alternatives you can buy in UK supermarkets?
Why not read our expert guide to Vegan Cheese and Wine pairing!