25 Cheese Recipes That Are Warming, Comforting, And Completely Vegan

Craving cheese but don't eat dairy? No problem...


17 Minutes Read

A vegan blue cheese quiche that's dairy-free and plant-based Going vegan doesn't mean missing out on cheesy recipes - Media Credit: Viva!'s Vegan Recipe Club

Autumn is officially here, meaning many of us will be searching for comfort food recipes to warm us up in the cold evenings. Cheese recipes are a perfect tonic to the chilly weather, and there are an ever-growing number of vegan cheese recipes to cater for dairy-free and plant-based consumers.

One of the most common excuses vegans hear from others not willing to give the lifestyle a go is “I could never give up cheese.” Dairy is often cited as the one food people are unwilling to ditch, and – given how embedded the food is in many cultures – that’s no surprise.

Cheese is found in pastas, burgers, quiches, desserts, and so many other popular dishes. Many of us will have grown up eating cheese-heavy diets, and the idea of giving it up can at first seem daunting.

After learning about the brutal reality of the dairy industry, giving up cheese becomes easy for many people. But some may still deal with cravings for familiar cheese dishes after going plant-based. About a decade ago, these cravings would have been tricky to satisfy. While vegan cheese was available, it was often hard to find, and rarely tasted like the real thing.

The rise of vegan cheese

But times have changed. The last few years have seen skyrocketing interest in dairy-free alternatives to cheese. The vegan cheese market was valued at USD $2.24 Billion, and it’s been forecast to grow to $5.63 Billion by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2 percent. The types of dairy-free cheeses that are particularly driving this growth are mozzarella and cheddar. These can often be found near their dairy counterparts at supermarkets around the world. Other vegan cheeses like blue cheese, feta, and halloumi, are also widely available in some countries.

The rise of vegan cheese has come amid skyrocketing interest in veganism and plant-based diets. There is growing understanding of how cows are treated in the dairy industry, as well as greater awareness of the environmental and health costs of raising animals for milk.

In order to become pregnant, cows must first give birth to a baby. They will be made pregnant around once a year via artificial insemination, and will each time suffer the trauma of having their calf taken. Their babies are separated from them just a few hours after they’re born. This is so humans can take their milk.

It’s also thought that around 68 percent of the world’s human population has a condition called lactose malabsorption, a reduced ability to digest lactose. The dairy industry contributes to around four percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it also fares worse than plant alternatives in all major environmental respects (land use, fresh water use, and pollution, as well as emissions)

Dairy-free cheese recipes to try:

The below dairy-free cheese recipes use a wide range of vegan cheeses. While some teach you how to make vegan cheese at home from scratch, many require shop-bought dairy-free cheese. If you’re unsure where to find plant-based cheese in your local area, you can check out our guide to the best vegan cheese brands here.

1. Cheese and mushroom omelette

A vegan and dairy-free cheese and mushroom omelette
BOSH! Who said cheese omelettes need eggs and dairy?

A few years ago, the very idea of a vegan omelette would have seemed impossible. They’re traditionally packed with animal products, with an egg base, and often dairy and meat-heavy fillings. Nowadays, however, it’s easier than ever to make a plant-based omelette. It isn’t just the vegan cheese market that’s skyrocketing – there’s rapidly growing demand for plant-based eggs as well.

For this recipe, though, you won’t even need an egg replacement, as the base is made from silken tofu. It comes from plant-based chef duo BOSH!, and uses a vegan cheddar cheese of your choice.

Find the recipe here.

2. Leek, mushroom, and blue cheese quiche

Quiche is another example of a dish that would have been near impossible to veganize a decade ago, but this quiche is sure to be up there with one of the best you’ve ever had.

Its filling features firm tofu, plant-based milk, and a wide range of different cheesy ingredients. These include dairy-free cream cheese, cheddar cheese, nutritional yeast, and – crucially – blue cheese. While vegan blue cheese may be harder to find than the cheddars and mozzarellas you’ll find in the supermarket, it’s still readily available in many health food shops and some grocery stores around the world. This recipe comes from Viva!’s Vegan Recipe Club.

Find the recipe here.

3. Avocado mac & cheese

Dairy-free avocado mac and cheese
Fit Foodie Finds This recipe offers a new twist on traditional mac and cheese

It’s pretty near impossible not to love mac & cheese, and throwing avocado into the mix makes this classic dish even more exciting.

You’ll need a food processor for this one, as it involves making your own avocado cheese sauce from scratch with cashews. If you’re not a huge fan of supermarket-bought vegan cheeses you’re in luck – as this one relies on nutritional yeast to give it its cheese flavor. It comes from Fit Foody Finds, and takes just 30 minutes to make.

Find the recipe here.

4. Cheesy aubergine parmigiana

This dish is perfect if you’re planning a dinner party, date night, or just a night in alone watching telly. It’s the ultimate comfort food, and is a dairy-free alternative to the traditional vegetarian Italian dish.

It doesn’t require many ingredients (and lots will likely already be in your kitchen cupboard), and you can use a vegan cheese of your choice (though mozzarella is recommended). It comes from Antonio Alderuccio, the founder and chef patron of a vegan Italian restaurant called Plant Club in London.

Find the recipe here.

5. Chili dogs

Vegan chili dogs
World of Vegan This recipe will take you right back to your childhood

Ideal to serve at as part of a buffet if you’re throwing a party, these chili dogs will satisfy any craving for the real thing. Conventional chili dogs tend to contain pig meat and dairy cheese, but this recipe uses vegan sausages and plant-based cheddar cheese.

It comes from World of Vegan, and the recipe recommends using an orange cheddar alternative, as well as sausages of your choice.

Find the recipe here.

6. Mac & cheese burger

Two vegan mac and cheese burgers
Violife Foods Mac & cheese and burgers are a match made in heaven

This recipe marries arguably two of the best dinners there are – mac and cheese and burgers. Burgers are often the only vegan option at restaurants, and many vegans may have grown tired of being served lukewarm patties in buns with limp lettuce – but this dish is sure to rekindle your love of the food.

The recipe comes from Violife, and it shows you how to make macaroni cheese with coconut milk and cheddar alternative, as well as a burger patty from scratch.

Find the recipe here.

7. Butternut squash mac & cheese

A vegan butternut squash mac and cheese
Smith Street Books Butternut squash adds a whole new element to mac & cheese

If you still aren’t tired of mac & cheese and fancy another one, this butternut squash version is the definition of comfort food.

According to recipe developer Zacchary Bird, butternut squash is ideal to use because of the texture. It gives it a soft, smooth, and sweet taste, which offers a depth to the vegan cheese sauce.

Find the recipe here.

8. Easy vegan moussaka

A vegan moussaka with vegan mince and cheese
Viva!'s Vegan Recipe Club This is a vegan take on a traditional moussaka

Moussaka is traditionally made using ingredients like lamb, egg, and dairy, meaning it’s far from a vegan dish. It couldn’t be easier to veganize, however, and the below recipe uses two kinds of vegan cheeses.

It comes from Viva!’s Vegan Recipe Club, and is sure to satisfy any craving for the original. You can use a vegan mince of your choice, as well as a dairy-free parmesan, melting vegan cheese, soya milk, and margarine.

Find the recipe here.

9. Creamy pesto cannelloni

A vegan cannelloni with dairy-free sauce and cheese
Viva!'s Vegan Recipe Club This cannelloni is a comforting midweek dinner idea

Cannelloni traditionally features a dairy-heavy béchamel sauce, but this recipe veganizes it with plant milk, vegan spread, and nutritional yeast.

Many people may be unaware that pesto often contains dairy, and is therefore unsuitable for vegans, so always check the label before buying it in the supermarket. It is possible to find vegan pesto in many shops (check the “free from” aisle), or you can make it at home yourself. This recipe comes from Viva!’s Vegan Recipe Club.

Find the recipe here.

10. Cheesy black bean enchiladas

Dairy-free and vegan enchiladas
Viva!'s Vegan Recipe Club If you’re planning a party, these enchiladas will be sure to impress

Mexican food is often easy to veganize, as traditional ingredients revolve around beans, vegetables, and guacamole, which you can often substitute for meats and cheeses.

For those missing that cheesy taste on their dishes, however, these enchiladas are a perfect recipe to try. They come from Viva!’s Vegan Recipe Club, and feature a vegan cheese of your choice.

Find the recipe here.

11. Crispy parmesan potato wedges

Vegan Parmesan wedges with a selection of dips
Ela Vegan This wedges feature homemade parmesan

If you thought your parmesan days were over, you’ll be relieved to know there are a wide variety of plant-based versions available in many grocery stores around the world.

This recipe, which comes from Ela Vegan, shows you how to make your own dairy-free cheese from scratch. To do this, you’ll need ingredients like almond flour, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt.

Find the recipe here.

12. Really cheesy arancini

Vegan arancini balls with dairy-free cheese
Applewood These arancini balls are completely vegan

Arancini are a staple of Sicilian cuisine, and are a hugely popular snack all over the world. They are little rice balls that are traditionally filled with meat and cheese, but this recipe will show you how to make a plant-based version.

This dairy-free cheese recipe comes form vegan cheese brand Applewood, and it’s a perfect dish to make if you have some leftover risotto to use up.

Find the recipe here.

13. Cheesy polenta breakfast bowl

A cheesy vegan polenta breakfast bowl with dairy-free polenta, sprouds, and tomatoes and cucumber
Plantifully Based If you have a big appetite in the morning, try this cheesy polenta bowl

The first breakfast item on the list (unless you enjoy a 7am mac and cheese burger, no judgment here), this cheesy polenta bowl is easy to make and gluten-free.

It comes from Plantifully Based, and features both nutritional yeast and vegan cheese. If you’ve never cooked polenta before, this dairy-free recipe is a good place to start.

Find the recipe here.

14. Creamy pumpkin pasta bake

a pumpkin pasta bake
Ela Vegan This comforting pasta bake features pumpkin as an ingredient

Comfort food doesn’t get much better than a hearty pasta bake, and this one is a perfect dish to make on a Sunday evening.

It’s creaminess is created by plant-based milk, pumpkin puree, pasta water, and vegan cheese. It comes from Ela Vegan, and m many of its ingredients will likely be found in your cupboard.

Find the recipe here.

15. Grilled cheese sandwiches

A vegan grilled cheese recipe
Ela Vegan A childhood classic, grilled cheese is easy to veganize

Grilled cheese sandwiches were a stape of many of our childhoods, and there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy them as a vegan.

This simple dairy-free recipe uses store bought vegan cheese, and it also features ingredients like balsamic vinegar, vegetable broth, and soy sauce. Another brainchild of Ela Vegan.

Find the recipe here.

16. Chili cheese fries

Vegan chili cheese fries
Plantifully Based This plant-based dish is perfect for spice fans

If you’re planning a movie night, this is the perfect dairy-free recipe to make. It’s not exactly the healthiest on the list, but it’s sure to be a crowdpleaser if you’re entertaining guests.

It comes from Plantifully Based, and features a plant-based cheese sauce made from ingredients like nutritional yeast, cashews, and potatoes.

Find the recipe here.

17. Creamy carbonara with bacon

A vegan carbonara with vegan cheese and bacon
The Foodie Takes Flight Carbonaras aren’t usually vegan, but it’s now easier than ever to make them plant-based

This dish proves there’s nothing that vegan cheese recipes can’t do. A traditional carbonara is arguably one of the least vegan dishes there is – heavy on dairy, egg, and pig meat. This plant-based version, however, comes complete with vegan bacon (there are a wide range of brands available in many countries in the world).

It’s a The Foodie Takes Flight recipe, and it comes complete with instructions on making your own vegan parmesan.

Find the recipe here.

18. Twice baked potato halves

Vegan cheesey potato halves
The Foodie Takes Flight These cheesy potatoes will take you right back to childhood

Cheesy potato is a classic dish loved all over the world, and this recipe offers a new vegan twist on the food.

It’s the brainchild of The Foodie Takes Flight, and features vegan cheese shreds of your choice, as well as a homemade tahini dill sauce.

Find the recipe here.

19. Garlic lemon sweet potato noodles with pine nut parmesan

If you’ve never tried sweet potato noodles before, this is your sign to try. This veggie-packed dish features tofu, tomatoes, broccoli, and is a perfect midweek meal.

Recipe developer Nourishing Amy also shows how to make your own parmesan using pine nuts.

Find the recipe here.

20. Vegan Quesarito

A vegan Quesarito with dairy-free cheese and sour cream
Plantifully Based A vegan take on the Taco Bell classic

A Quesarito is a hot quesadilla made famous by Taco Bell. This vegan take features vegan nacho cheese, as well as seasoned rice and vegan ground beef.

For the cheese sauce, you’ll need plant milk, vegan cheese, nutritional yeast, as well as some potatoes and carrots. This recipe comes from Plantifully Based.

Find the recipe here.

21. Soft pretzels with cheese sauce

A nacho cheese sauce that's vegan and dairy-free
Herbivore's Kitchen This recipe will teach you to make your own nacho cheese sauce

This is a great appetizer idea if you’re entertaining guests, and the dairy-free cheese sauce has a spicy kick that’s sure to be a crowdpleaser.

The Herbivore’s Kitchen dairy-free recipe shows you how to make pretzels from scratch, as well as a sauce featuring cashews, miso paste, and nutritional yeast.

Find the recipe here.

22. Zucchini ricotta roll-ups

Vegan ricotta courgette balls
Fueled Naturally This vegan ricotta recipe is sure to impress

Ricotta refers to a type of cheese made from dairy milk, but did you know you can easily make a vegan version at home?

This dairy-free ricotta recipe, which comes from Fueled Naturally, uses tofu, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, and nutritional yeast.

Find the recipe here.

23. Vegan quesadilla

A vegan quesadilla complete with plant-based meat and cheese
Jason Tjon Affo This vegan quesadilla features plant-based meat

This recipe is a vegan take on a Mexica quesadilla, which traditionally come with meat and cheese. It’s sure to satisfy any cravings for the old classic, and features plant-based cheese and meat.

It comes from Jason Tjon Affo, and features many cupboard staples in its ingredients list.

Find the recipe here.

24. Cheesy garlic pav Bhaji Sliders

Vegan Cheesy Garlic Pav Bhaji Sliders
Cooking with Parita This cheesy garlic pav bhaji slider is an ideal party food

If you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner idea, these Bhaji Sliders are ready in around 30 minutes. They are packed full of vegetables, and come with an optional chilli topping for those who prefer a bit of spice.

The recipe comes from Cooking with Parita, and it features ingredients like pav bhaji masala, potatoes, and cumin seeds.

Find the recipe here.

25. Spinach and ricotta cannelloni

A spinach and ricotta cannelloni that's completely vegan and dairy-free
Viva!'s Vegan Recipe Club Spinach and ricotta cannelloni is a hugely popular dish

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni is a hugely popular dish that many of us will have eaten in our pre-vegan days. As mentioned previously, it’s perfectly simple to make ricotta from scratch as a vegan, and this recipe shows you how to do just that.

This Viva!’s Vegan Recipe Club dish uses ingredients like firm tofu, lemon juice, and olive oil to make it’s dairy-free ricotta.

Find the recipe here.

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