The Best Vegan Dairy Alternatives (Milk, Cheese & More)

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by Alena Schowalter
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Curious about a dairy-free lifestyle? Our vegan dairy alternatives are perfect for you! Vegan cheese, creamer, butter, sour cream, and more are at your disposal.

Eating dairy-free is much easier than you think. Stores and coffee shops are stocking up on more plant-based goods every day! 

From creamy oat milk for your lattes to aged cheeses for your charcuterie boards—there’s plenty to choose from. 

We’ll explore all the vegan dairy alternatives that you’ll need! There’s something for everyone to try.

If you need extra tips for going dairy-free, check out our going dairy-free for beginners guide next!

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Why go dairy-free?

Going dairy-free has benefits for both you, animals, and the environment (a win-win for everyone)! 

  • Going dairy-free can improve digestion 
  • Reduces harm & suffering of animals in the dairy industry
  • Lower environmental impact, such as greenhouse gas emissions
  • You can explore new flavors and products
  • Diverse nutritional options
white table with a towel and two bottles of vegan almond creamerpin it

Vegan milk

There are tons to choose from, made from nuts, seeds, and more!

Types of vegan milk

  • Soy
  • Oat
  • Almond
  • Cashew
  • Macadamia
  • Coconut
  • Rice
  • Hemp
  • Pea
  • Pistachio

The most popular ones are soy, oat, and almond milk. You can usually find those in-store and available in coffee shops for your drinks!

Coconut milk is another easy-to-find option. It comes in cans or cartons, and it’s great for desserts and curry.

If you’re curious about other milks listed, buy it to try it! You may find your new favorite.

Popular brands with vegan milks & creamers

  • Silk – soy, nut, almond, and coconut
  • Califia Farms – oat and almond
  • Oatly – oat
  • Three Trees – almond, oat
  • Trader Joe’s – oat, almond, and coconut
glass jar of creamy almond milk yogurt and a spoon on a white tablepin it

Vegan yogurt

Like milk, there are several dairy-free yogurts on the market. These varieties can be sweetened, unsweetened, and flavored!

Here are some options

  • Soy yogurt – high in protein.
  • Coconut yogurt – slight coconut taste. Varies in thickness.
  • Cashew yogurt – usually less thick. Smooth and creamy.
  • Almond milk yogurt – usually less thick. Slightly nutty flavor.

Vegan yogurt brands to try

  • Cocojune
  • So Delicious
  • Silk Dairy Free
  • Cocoyo
  • Siggi’s Plant Based line
  • YoPlait Oui Dairy Free
  • Harmless Harvest
  • Culina
small white plate with homemade vegan almond cheese ball decorated with herbs next to some crackerspin it

Vegan cheese

Dairy-free cheeses can be made with nuts such as cashews, almonds, and macadamia. They can also be made from coconut and tofu!

There are many types of vegan cheese available (sliced, blocks, shredded, crumbled, melted). 

And brands offer vegan cheeses that mimic flavors like:

  • Cheddar
  • Cream cheese
  • Provolone
  • Mozzarella
  • Feta
  • Blue
  • Brie
  • Goat
  • And more!

*Tip: You can also use nutritional yeast as a cheesy, umami seasoning! 

Vegan cheese brands

Cheese recipes to try

Best Vegan Cheese Recipes

Vegan butter 

To substitute butter, you can use coconut oil, vegetable oil, or vegetable shortening. To get that classic buttery taste, there are vegan butters available in-store!

Brands with vegan butter

  • Miyoko’s
  • Violife
  • Earth Balance
  • Country Crock
  • Trader Joe’s

Vegan butter can come in tubs or blocks! This comes in handy for baked goods like pie crust or chocolate chip cookies. 

white table with purple towel, lemon wedges and a glass car in which cashew sour cream is being poured by a spoonpin it

Vegan sour cream

Besides the vegan sour creams in stores, you can also use unsweetened coconut yogurt in a pinch! The tanginess mimics sour cream, and we’ve used it in taco recipes with no problems.

We also have a cashew sour cream recipe that’s absolutely delicious!

Brands with vegan sour cream

  • Tofutti
  • Forager
  • Kitehill
  • Violife
  • Follow Your Heart

Vegan ice cream

Last but not least… vegan ice cream!! Besides sorbet, there’s thankfully many vegan options for you to try. They’re usually made from vegan milks like oat, almond, or coconut milk! Some are even made from frozen bananas (called “nice cream”). 

Brands with vegan ice cream

  • Oatly
  • So Delicious
  • Cado
  • Brave Robot
  • Wicked
  • Wildgood
  • Nadamoo
  • Van Leeuwen 
  • Ben & Jerry’s

Also, be sure to look up “vegan ice cream” near you! There may be ice cream shops that have vegan flavors available.

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About Alena Handwritten FontAlena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.

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