Best Vegan Shredded Cheese: 5 Vegan Cheese Shreds Even Dairy Eaters Will Like

The best vegan shredded cheese is exactly like the best non-vegan shredded cheese—just without the animal products. It melts onto nachos or chili or tacos or pizza or pasta. It’s savory. It’s cheesy! But so very, very often vegan cheese shreds are none of those things. To help you steer clear of those not-so-great faux cheeses, I tried 14 different top-selling, nationally available brands to find the best, most cheese-like vegan shredded cheese.

Let me begin by saying I am not a vegan. I eat cheese made with dairy milk most days. But wait—don’t close the tab. I promise this actually makes me very qualified to judge these vegan cheese shreds. As a dairy consumer I can assess these faux milk cheeses as if they were dairy cheeses, which is exactly what they should taste like. 

And as a dairy consumer diving into the world of dairy-free shredded cheese, I’m sorry to say that a lot of it doesn’t taste like cheese at all. I feel bad for my lactose-free friends who have had to endure some of the lesser brands, telling themselves that it’s just as good as the cheese they remember from the past. Luckily, there are a few brands that are doing it right. Here is the best vegan shredded cheese that actually tastes like real cheese.

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TJ’s Dairy Free Shredded Parm Cheese Alternative

Best of the Best

TJ’s Dairy Free Shredded Parm Cheese Alternative

I ate a handful of this shredded “parmesan” thinking I was going to be disappointed, but it was downright delicious. It’s not quite as pungent as dairy parmesan, but it’s very, very close. Sporked writer Danny Palumbo agreed. “It’s nutty like a parmesan,” he said, adding, “Wow, I like that.” Those words mean something coming from Danny. He has strong opinions when it comes to cheese for pasta. The shreds are packed with umami and have a nice creamy finish. It would be great on pasta with some dairy-free butter—a simple dish that will remind you of childhood. That’s a lot to get from one bag of dairy-free cheese. And if that doesn’t make it the best vegan shredded cheese, I don’t know what would.

Credit: Merc / Trader Joe’s

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Violife Mexican Shreds

Best for Mexican Food

Violife Mexican Shreds

Our producer/editor Madi Price swears by Violife Shreds, and she didn’t steer us wrong. These Mexican cheese blend-inspired shreds are creamy with just a touch of zesty flavor. Use it for all your dairy-free Mexican food needs—tacos, nachos, enchiladas, these shreds can do it all. We’re no stranger to Violife; the brand also made it into our best shredded mozzarella list. Congratulations, Violife, you’ve now made it into the best vegan shredded cheese hall of fame.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Violife Cheddar Shreds

Best “Cheddar”

Violife Cheddar Shreds

Oh look, it’s Violife again! These faux cheese shreds really do taste like shredded cheddar cheese. They have a touch of tang on the end, like a mild cheddar. This is also one of the best vegan shredded cheese textures I’ve experienced. Many vegan shredded cheeses are coarse and crumbly, but these melt in your mouth with their silky texture. The aftertaste also does not taste fake at all. Violife! You’re really doing it right!

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Vevan Ched-Shred

Best for a Grilled Cheese

Vevan Ched-Shred

You are now fully in the cheddar portion of our best vegan shredded cheese list. This one is a touch more mild than Violife, but it’s extremely creamy and good for melting. Use it to make a grilled cheese sandwich or to sprinkle on top of tomato soup. Vevan claims “artisan cheesemakers” create their cheeses, and I think that experience comes through. This vegan cheese was made by people who have a history creating dairy cheese. Their goal is to make it taste like something they’ve made before, and I think they’re pretty successful.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Simple Truth Non-Dairy Cheddar Style Shreds

Best for Nachos

Simple Truth Non-Dairy Cheddar Style Shreds

While the previous two cheddars on this best vegan shredded cheese list approximate the flavor of a quality aged cheddar, this faux cheddar is just that. It tasted like fake cheddar in the best way—like movie theater nacho cheese fake cheddar or Velveeta. Melt it onto tortilla chips for a game day-ready snack or dump handfuls of it onto veggie chili. This is vegan junk food and it’s great.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Other vegan shredded cheese we tried: Open Nature Cheddar Style Shreds, Vevan Mozza-Shred, Daiya Mexican 4 Cheeze Style Blend, Follow Your Heart Parmesan, Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds, So Delicious Mexican Style Shreds, So Delicious Cheddar Style Shreds, Trader Joe’s Mozzarella Style Shreds Cashew Cheese

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About the Author

Justine Sterling

Justine Sterling is the editor-in-chief of Sporked. She has been writing about food and beverages for well over a decade and is an avid at-home cook and snacker. Don’t worry, she’s not a food snob. Sure, she loves a fresh-shucked oyster. But she also will leap at whatever new product Reese’s releases and loves a Tostitos Hint of Lime, even if there is no actual lime in the ingredients.

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  • Violife is an awesome cheese brand. I have consistently loved their stuff. I wish you had tried So Delicious! brand shredded cheese tho it’s so ridiculously good in refried beans.

    Reply
  • This article has helped me help my ~very~ lactose intolerant momma. This is just another amazing thing that Mythical has created. Love y’all 🖤✨

    Reply