Magazine Recipes

You Gouda Try These! 30+ Vegan Cheese Based Recipes

By Lora O’Brien

I’m sure a lot of vegans have been asked this question: ‘but…how can you live without cheese?’ And the truth is, for some of us, it’s not easy.

Most vegans have that one thing they used to love in their animal based diets, even though they know in their soul it’s just wrong and gross. I mean, crispy bacon = dead piggie. Not nice. And cheese = fermented cow mucous.

Not only that, but when we choose to consume dairy, we’re supporting the harrowing act of baby calves being torn away from their mothers so cows can be used as milk machines – and let’s not forget the financially ‘useless’ male calves are killed. And for those who claim we need milk to stay healthy, let’s remember that milk contains antibiotics, pesticides, saturated fat and cholesterol, not so healthy, huh?

We simply don’t need milk and dairy to be healthy. The purpose of a cow’s milk is to support the growth of a calf, the same way we drink our mother’s milk as a baby. We’re the only species to be weaned off our mother’s milk to then go on to drink milk from another species. And as for missing out on calcium, never fear – Asians don’t drink much milk but get less osteoporosis than we do, thanks to a diet richer in leafy greens and nuts (especially almonds).

By making an effort to ditch the dairy, you’ll not only feel better but you’ll be doing wonders for your body and significantly lowering health risks, as the casein found in cows milk has been linked to not only breast cancer, but prostate, ovary and testicular cancers. Secondly, for many of us, our bodies really aren’t equipped to digest milk and dairy products, which is why many of us get bad tummies and inflammation after eating it.

What really sucks is that most commercial vegan ‘cheeses’ that we turn to in lieu of the real thing are pretty much junk food, just as bad for your health as dairy. They’re made of all kinds of processed ingredients. In fact, here’s a list of the ingredients from one popular brand: Water, Coconut Oil, Starch, Modified Starch, Sea Salt, Vegan Flavour, Olive Extract, Colour: B-Carotene Vegan flavours, Maltodextrin, Modified Starch E1450, Silicon Dioxide E551, Acetic Acid E260, Sugar, Arabic Gum, E414, Xanthan Gum E415. Wow. Sounds almost as appealing as the cow varieties, right?

But no worries – still missing the gooeyness and warmth of melted cheese? Luckily, as with everything in the land of vegans, there’s a healthier substitute for anything you may be hankering for. Making dairy-free cheeses and cheesy recipes has never been tastier, trust me. But don’t just take my word for it. Give some of these vegan cheese based recipes a try.

1. Vegan Baked Spiced Cashew Cheese

You may have dabbled with cashew cheese recipes, but have you thought of baking it? It’s a serious game changer. The final product kind of reminds me of a Camembert type of cheese – it has a hard rind outside, but inside it’s a bit runny and super creamy. Perfect to bake and serve up to guests with a plate of crudites or crunchy crackers.

Get the recipe here

Vegan Cheese Based Recipes

2. Baked Vegan ‘Goat’ Cheese with Spiced Cranberry Spread

Vive la France! This recipe is for a creamy cheese that’s easy to spread over a fresh French baguette, like a soft goat’s cheese. But if you’re more of a fan of the harder version of chevre, then you can bake this for longer to create a cheese that you can slice.

Get the recipe here

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3. Homemade Vegan Tofu Feta Cheese

If you were ever a fan of feta then you probably loved the saltiness of that cheese – which is replicated perfectly in this recipe. But if you’re thinking this has a shedload of salt, think again: miso, my friends is the ingredients that brings a ‘salty’ taste, whereas nutritional yeast gives it that ‘cheesy’ tang.

Get the recipe here

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4. Easy Garlic & Herb Vegan Cheese

Personally, the cheese I miss most is Boursin, the garlic and herb cream cheese. I grew up consuming pots of the stuff. I’d have it with fresh bread, crackers – hell, I’d even eat it on its own. So I was stoked to find this recipe for a similar cheese that has absolutely no dairy in it. And the method behind making it is pretty easy: soak cashews, blend with seasonings, wrap in cheesecloth to absorb liquid and pop in the fridge to chill – cool, huh?

Get the recipe here

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5. Cashew Dill Mozzarella

This dill mozzarella is perfect to make and enjoy melted on pizza – especially if you sub in basil for dill -chopped up with tomatoes in a fresh salad or even on top of a lasagna. It’s creamy from the cashews with a little sweetness from the herbs and it even stretches a bit like real mozzarella, thanks to the addition of tapioca.

Get the recipe here

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6. Vegan Macadamia Nut Brie En Croute

This is a dish for the real cheese lovers among us. Macadamia nut brie encased in flaky golden pastry with a vibrant maple cranberry sauce is practically a side dish on its own. Fancy! Now just wait for the onslaught of praise when you inform your dinner companions that you made the brie yourself.

Get the recipe here

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7. Spicy Vegan Cream Cheese

Who doesn’t love a cream cheese bagel? There’s something about the combo of textures that just works. But I’ve tried lots of various vegan cream cheese recipes, but none compare to this. It’s just like cream cheese, but with a little spicy kick! This will taste great smeared across a toasted bagel, but will also be great on crackers.

Get the recipe here.

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8. Vegan Cheese Sauce

It always helps to have a go-to cheese recipe on hand. Some things just go so great with ooey, gooey runny cheese. Think cheesy fries. Think nachos. Think mac and cheese. This recipe is pretty easy to whip up, so when you have a need for a delicious yellow cheese this will cover all of your needs. Plus the ingredients in this are mostly ones you’d hope to find in your pantry. And the main ingredients? Potatoes and carrots. Surprise!

Get the recipe here.

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9. Raw Cheese Tarts

I always get a little feeling of delight spread through my body when I find a tasty raw recipe. It means one thing for sure: no baking! The recipe for the base of this tart is similar to that you’d use to make a cheesecake, however sundried tomatoes replace the dates to carry on with the savory element. Plus, tomatoes go so well in tarts! The cheesy filling is cashew cheese, which is both incredibly rich and creamy. Serve with a leafy salad for a light side dish.

Get the recipe here.

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10. Vegan Cheesy Tofu Scramble

Whether you miss the taste of scrambled eggs or are looking for a way to incorporate tofu in a new and inventive way, you just have to give this cheesy tofu scramble a try. It makes the perfect breakfast, lunch or even dinner. All you’ll need is four ingredients and about five minutes to whip this up. Once scrambled, tofu can replicate eggs and with a little added turmeric, it can even look like them, too. The end result is a tofu scramble that is creamy and fluffy and just that little bit cheesy!

Get the recipe here.

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11. Cheesy Vegan Corn Muffins

Savory muffins are officially a thing, and that makes me happy. Whilst I’m a huge fan of a sweet muffin, sometimes my savory tooth just wins out. And sometimes a cheesy muffin is just what the palette calls for. These muffins are filled with shredded vegan mozzarella, which gives them a delicious cheesy top, as well as vegan chive and garlic cream cheese, which gives these their rich and moist texture inside.

Get the recipe here.

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12. Cheesy Quiche

Quiche is perfect for picnics. Sure, it’s delicious fresh out of the oven when it’s crispy and warm, and still delicious when it’s cold. You can make this quiche at the beginning of the week and enjoy it for dinner or on the go at work. It goes so, so well with a crisp leafy salad with a balsamic dressing.

Get the recipe here

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13. Broccoli Cheese Bake

Broccoli and cheese are the perfect marriage, and in this recipe, they work together to make a delicious, shockingly cheesy dish. With broccoli, rice and mushrooms in a cheesy base of potatoes, carrots and dairy-free milk, you could even get away with making a meal of this stuff – often!

Get the recipe here.

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14. Cheesy Vegan Potato & Broccoli Casserole

This casserole dish reminds me of good old fashioned comfort food – you know, the kind your grandparents would make for you. It is the perfect dish for when you’re looking for a hot yet filling dinner. Thinly sliced potatoes are topped with a vegan béchamel sauce and sliced broccoli, then it’s all  finished off with a herb and garlic bread crumb topping, which toasts beautifully when baked.

Get the recipe here.

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15. Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese with  Breadcrumbs

Mac and cheese is a popular dish with many, but the traditional recipe comes with a helluva lot of calories, not to mention a tonne of dairy. So this recipe has all of the appeal of mac and cheese but with a healthy make-over. Butternut squash gives us this brilliant cheesy colour whilst delivering a rich and creamy base for the mac and cheese sauce. But mac and cheese with . . . no cheese? Nutritional yeast, my friends, is a quick and easy vegan way to add that cheese factor into your dishes!

Get the recipe here.

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16. Vegan Lentil Bolognese with Cashew Parmesan

This is a slightly healthier take on the traditional spag bowl recipe. The majority of ingredients in this recipe are staple household ingredients so you can throw this together at a moments notice. Lentils are used instead of meat for the topping and there’s a sprinkling of cashew parmesan if, like me, you like a cheesy flavour to top this dish.

Get the recipe here.

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17. Best Ever Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese

This list wouldn’t be complete without a recipe for that childhood classic: mac ‘n’ cheese. Here, all the words in this recipe from the Lazy Cheap Vegan work for me: Best. Vegan. Lazy. Cheap. Cheese. What more do you want? The recipe how to is all explained to you in a simple video format, too.

Get the recipe here.

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18. Vegan Cauliflower Cheese

Whilst mac and cheese is a go to comfort food for many of us, it’s also loaded with calories – even when vegan cheese is used! So reduce the calorie count but keep all the comfort by subbing in that hardest working vegetable, cauliflower, instead. Bonus: this has more vitamins and minerals than mac and cheese, too!

Get the recipe here.

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19. Vegan French Onion Soup with Homemade Mozzarella

Call me naive, but I never knew that French onion soup contained meat. I thought it was simply made from onions and cheese. Luckily, this recipe omits the beef broth and dairy and still manages to taste great. Perhaps even better than the original version. Just sayin’.

Get the recipe here.

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20. Broccoli & Cheeze Soup

Broccoli and Stilton soup has been around for years now, and whilst it may be popular, it’s not always healthy thanks to the heavy cheese and butter that goes into it. So I like to think of this recipe as a healthier version of that popular cheese and greens soup. This is a flavourful combination of broccoli and cheese that’s all finished off with toasted garlicky bread that serves perfectly as croutons.

Get the recipe here.

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21. Tortilla Soup & Cheesy Taquitos

Soups are delicious, but sometimes they’re just not very filling. They’re nutricious, yes, but a little watery and not exactly wholesome on their own. So I’m raving over this Mexican inspired tortilla soup -it’s absolutely bursting with healthy ingredients from black beans and tofu to corn and peppers. It’s then topped with a dollop of homemade sour cream and garnished with green onion, cilantro and avocado. If that alone isn’t enough to both warm and fill you up then there’s the side of crunchy, cheesy taquitos. Perfect for dipping!

Get the recipe here.

22. Vegan Pizza with Cashew Mozzarella

I’ve tried a few vegan pizzas by now, and let me tell you, some of them are damn right awful. They taste like cardboard, they lack imagination and flavour, and most of the time there’s no cheese! Now I’m not saying every recipe calls for cheese, but when it comes to pizza, I like my pizza with an extra dose. Plus this pizza looks exactly like the kind you’d get served in an upscale pizzeria so there are extra points for that. The cheese for this pizza is made from cashews, and the outcome is a rich and creamy cheese similar to that of mozzarella. You can play around with the toppings to suit your taste, but I highly recommend some caramelized onions.

Get the recipe here

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23. Vegan Chili Cheese Fries

This dish is comfort food at its finest: warm, hearty chili mixed with crispy fried and then covered with runny nacho cheese. This recipe has my mouth watering, seriously! I can’t wait to whip this bad boy of a recipe up. Preferably with the girls round, a bottle or two of wine opened, and a great boxset on the TV.

Get the recipe here.

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24. Vegan Mozzarella Sticks

Oh, mozzarella sticks, how I love thee! Mozzarella melted inside of breadcrumbs and dunked into some delicious tomato sauce – so good! Instead of being deep fried, these vegan friendly sticks have been cooked in some coconut oil, which allows the cheese inside to melt whilst giving the outside a slight crisp. Perfect for when you take the first bite: that combination of crispy outside and gooey, melting cheese inside is what culinary dreams are made of.

Get the recipe here

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25. Vegan Cream Cheese Taquitos

Not familiar with taquitos? They’re a popular Mexican dish. The tortilla wraps are filled with a selection of food, rolled and then baked or fried. The outcome? Slightly crisp taquitos that are cheesy and delightful! Making taquitos is pretty easy, too. This recipe has just five ingredients and takes three simple steps to make – and of course, bake these for the healthiest result.

Get the recipe here

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26. Vegan Cheesy Quesadillas

Yes, I admit I’m obsessed with Mexican food, and quesadillas are one of my favourite recipes – filled with black beans and veggies, they’re pretty healthy too – but here, they get a vegan makeover. Super tasty with extra cilantro, if you ask me, and a salsa or vegan sour cream dipping sauce, like the one pictured below.

Get the recipe here.

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27. Cheesy Leek Quiches

Ok, let’s move away from Mexico and go back to the original home of cheese – France! These little quiches replicate the flavours of the most classic cheese and egg combo – that of cheese and leeks, I mean – but of course there is no egg. Or cheese. A miracle, really!

Get the recipe here.

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28. Gooey Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

This was my favourite sarnie for after school. My dad made the best ones ever, and I loved dunking his buttery versions in some ketchup. This vegan version is pretty close to the sandwiches of my childhood, and thank goodness, there’s now organic ketchup to garnish them with, too!

Get the recipe here.

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29. Vegan Mini Calzones

Not too sure what a calzone consists of? They’re basically a pocket filled with something hot and yummy. And these mini versions of the popular recipe are a real winner for parties, but let’s get down to the important part – what’s inside? These are filled with spinach, mushrooms, tomato sauce and homemade vegan cheese. So now all you have to do is make these, cut them open and let the goodness ooze out!

Get the recipe here

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30. Cheesy Potato Skins with Coconut Bacon

Just about everything in this recipe is fake – the bacon, the cheese – but the deliciousness is real! Tangy, crunchy, salty and a bit creamy, thanks to the baked potatoes’ insides. A roadhouse restaurant favourite, gone vegan! Perfect for serving up as snacks to guests, too.

Get the recipe here.

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31. Vegan Lasagna with Puttanesca Sauce

How amazing does this lasagna look? Heavy, yes, but just what you crave on a cold winter’s day. Bursting with flavour from the tender aubergines and tangy, spicy tomato sauce, you can use one of the better commercial varieties of vegan cheeses to layer into this dish.

Get the recipe here.

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32. Vegan Cheesy Popcorn

Popcorn is such a great snack, and is super easy to make. But if you think healthy popcorn has to be bland and boring then think again! This cheesy popcorn will satisfy that savory tooth, but without all the nasty MSG and other chemicals commercial popcorns normally have.

Get the recipe here

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33. Vegan Cheesy Kale Chips

Sometimes, when hunger rears its ugly head and we find ourselves looking to gorge on something delicious, which we later regret. So break that cycle by keeping lots of delicious snacks on hand. These cheesy kale chips make a great alternative, and if you have trouble getting your little ones to eat more greens, just try feeding them these kale chips. Once baked and seasoned, they’ll never suspect it’s so healthy!

Get the recipe here.

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34. Zucchini ‘Pepperoni’ Pizza

This gluten free recipe is easy to make, and best of all, you can use any commercial vegan cheese you like. Of course, vegan mozzarella would be best, but why not try getting creative and making some chevre or mozzarella yourself, with the recipes above?

Get the recipe here.

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35. Vegan Cheezy Fondue

I love a good, luxurious fondue, and whether you have guests visiting or you’re just looking for a fancy snack, this cheesy fondue recipe is a real winner. Once the fondue is made, all you have to do is chop up things to dip into it and arrange them on a platter and voila! Plus this fondue is nut free – so great if you’re hosting and not too sure of allergies. My tip? Add white wine. Always, white wine!

Get the recipe here

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36. Raw Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

Cheese isn’t just for savoury dishes! How could we exclude a few good cheesecake recipes? This one is one of my favourites because I adore pumpkin, but also because when given the chance to eat raw, I take it – and this is a great raw recipe that can also be frozen for later use.

Get the recipe here.

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37. Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

There are basically two kinds of cheesecakes – those made from ricotta, which have a fluffy texture and are European, and the American style, based on cream cheese. This chocolate orange recipe emulates the latter – it’s densely delicious, and creamier than its European cousin. Plus, it’s bursting with all natural, choco-orange flavour!

Get the recipe here.

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Main image: vegan grilled cheese with sundried tomatoes. Get the recipe here.



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