Getting a good dairy-free cheese alternative especially one that melts can be hard to find. (and by “good”, we mean one that actually tastes cheesy and does all the wonderful things cheese usually does in a meal, like provide that deliciously creamy cream cheese texture, or add that sharp cheesy tang when you put a slice on a cracker or in a burger). Sadly so many of the dairy free cheese alternatives that are great on a cracker, don’t necessarily melt well (they can kindof stay on top of the food like dried out little twigs or plump but not quite melty little worms) so it’s understandable if you’ve given up thinking the mission was impossible.
The good news is that over the last couple of years so many new products have come out that are dairy free, and actually do taste like cheese and actually do melt. Having said that, trying to get one that’s gluten free, soy free and or nut free makes things that little bit more tricky but it’s also not impossible, so suss out our list below and see if there is one there that suits you that you haven’t tried yet. And if you’ve got a great one that’s not listed here, then by all means, let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear about it, and someone else reading this post might find your suggestion helpful too!
NB: A little note before going ahead with this. When you’re trying to achieve the texture of a melty cheese but you need to avoid dairy and other foods, some of the commercial products are going to have some additives in them, so make sure you check the labels to see if they’re suitable for you. Personally we use the cheese alternatives as a condiment, a little sprinkle here a bit there to add a little extra to certain recipes, rather than using them as a staple part of every meal.
So without further ado… lets talk about Cheese baby!
The Best Dairy-Free Cheese Alternatives – that actually melt.
1.Redwood Cheezly Cheese alternatives. The first two melty cheeses that I came across when I started looking (that actually melted) was the Mozzarella Style Cheese by Redwood.
Anne actually uses this cheese alternative in her lasagne in the lasagne episode.
(Btw. you can get the recipe for Anne’s lasagne in our book)
The other one was the Soy-Free Style Cheese by the same brand. This cheese alternative also does a reasonable job of melting when it’s cooked. It has a saltier taste and is a bit more orange in colour than the Mozzarella Style option.
2. Daiya Cheese Alternatives. I’d heard some good things said about the Daiya cheese alternatives too, and the first time I tried it out I had it as melted cheese on toast. Then Hayley told me that a local pizza biz used this cheese and the next one on their vegan pizzas (so I tried it out) and it really does melt and stretches like “real cheese”.
And it tastes pretty good. Sadly, apparently someone else thought it did too because our pizza arrived with a piece missing. #truestory #itwasntus.
3. Biocheese Cheese Alternative. This one is my current favourite. It tastes like cheese without any other odd flavours, it melts really well and stretches too (and possibly an Aussie thing, but it seems even cheesier for me that it’s not orange).
4. Home made melty cheese alternatives? When it comes to whole food cooking, the reality is, you wont want to have a processed option every day. So some ideas you could try.
For the look of grated cheese effect on a pizza my sister Laura uses grated zucchini and grated carrot. I actually love this option because it adds more veggies to the pizza too.
For the creamy taste you could make the cashew cheeses that Hayley and Glenys make in the Lasagne Episode.
I haven’t tried cooking my whole food home made sliceable cheese yet, but I’ll give it a go and let you know how it goes before the end of this series. (So if you’re not on our newsletter list, you can hop on it at the bottom of this post).
So do you have a favourite from the list above? Or one of your own that you make? Write to us, let us know, or share your link and write a comment below. Over my last 4 years in clinic I’ve found that everyone has their own special food that they miss the most and finding an alternative that comes close to that helps make the rest of the journey without it that much easier. So we’d love to hear about the alternatives that you like to use for melty cheeses (or any other food you’d absolutely LOOOOOVE an alternative to!)
Next in our series we cover creamy cheese sauces and an interview with an amazing woman who has a shop that sells the best cheese alternatives (and they deliver Australia wide!:-)
So…. if you don’t want to miss out on part 4 of this series: Creamy cheesy sauces, then enter your name and email address and sign up for our newsletter for a weekly serving of alternative cooking inspiration🙂