In this article, we’re looking at a vegan alternative to a food that is so traditionally non-vegan – cream cheese. That’s right, you don’t have to miss out on your favorite cheese spread just because of your vegan lifestyle. There are lots of options available, and they are surprisingly delicious!
We’ll take a look at our top vegan options, and then jump into a buyer’s guide to help you make the right choice.
Let’s get right into it. These are our favorite vegan cream cheese options on the market. We have mixed up our list to include different flavors, texture, price points, and more. Our goal is to provide an option for every palate!
1. Kite Hill Cream Cheese (BEST OVERALL)
Let’s start with a bang, our favorite vegan cream cheese option. If you’re familiar with our lists, it’s not a surprise that our top choice comes from Kite Hill, one of our top vegan brands. Kite Hill is a company that focuses solely on vegan options, referring to themselves as “Plant-Based Artisans”. They put special care into every formula they make, and their cream cheese is no exception!
This is a delicious cream cheese spread that is made with almond milk. The ingredient list is surprisingly simple, at only a few items long.
Of course, we can’t talk about a vegan product without mentioning taste. This one is simply delicious. It has that tangy, sweet, and cheesy flavor you would expect from cream cheese. We would describe it as “sweet but not too sweet”. They really focused on nailing the cheese flavor, and we think they did.
Its texture is smooth but not too smooth. It rivals a traditional, firmer brand of cream cheese. There is real substance here, and we like how spreadable it is. It will come down to personal preference, but we prefer this texture of a “foamy” type of cream cheese.
If you can’t tell by now, we love this product, which is why it gets our top pick. And there are so many flavors to choose from! Give it a try, it’s priced quite fairly.
- Tastes like real cream cheese!
- Sweet, tangy, cheesy flavor.
- Firm yet spreadable texture.
- Kite Hill is a trusted plant-based brand.
- More expensive than other options.
2. Miyokos Creamery (BEST PREMIUM)
Next up we have Miyoko’s Creamery Vegan Cream Cheese. This is another awesome option, and we really admire their attention to detail. It gets our best premium choice because it justifies its price tag with ease.
We need to make special note of how this cream cheese is made. Miyokos takes special care to use traditional fermentation and culturing techniques. Basically, it’s made like regular cream cheese, so it tastes like regular cream cheese. It primarily uses organic cashews as the “dairy” substitute.
This cream cheese tastes great and it has an excellent texture. It’s smooth, creamy, and spreadable. The flavor is sweet, and actually quite similar to the Kite Hill brand above. It’s a bit lighter and more spreadable, so your preferred brand might come down to your personal preference.
Overall, it’s an excellent option, and it also comes in various flavor options. Great for sandwiches, bagels, crackers, and even for baking. It’s a bit pricier than other options on our list, but it has the quality to make up for it.
- Rich, creamy, and delicious.
- Made with traditional cream cheese culturing and fermentation processes.
- Uses organic cashews.
- 100% plant-based.
- More expensive than other options.
3. Tofutti Imitation Cream Cheese (BEST BUDGET)
This is definitely a more classic choice. Tofutti imitation cream cheese has been around for a while, and is a classic mixture made with tofu. It gets our “best budget” choice for its price tag, but don’t think that makes it a low-quality option!
This is an extremely admirable cream cheese replacement product. Taste-wise, we really like it. It mimics cream cheese quite well. It has that classic tartness and cheesiness, but is also noticeably less sweet than other brands on our list. Some may actually consider this a good thing, but it’s definitely worth noting.
The texture is particularly on point. Compared to most brands on our list, it has a firmer, denser, more spreadable texture. Think of it like the classic Philadelphia brand cream cheese. It’s smooth, creamy, and filling. We think we’d be hard pressed to tell it apart from real cream cheese just based on texture alone.
Overall, another solid option, and it’s really impressive how closely non-dairy options can mimic the real thing!
- Spot-on texture. Similar to Philadelphia cream cheese.
- Great taste – tangy and cheesy.
- Highly spreadable.
- Excellent price.
- We wish it was a bit sweeter – quite a mild taste.
- Ingredient list is a bit long.
4. Violife Cream Cheese
Moving on, we have Violife “Just Like Cream Cheese”. Can it live up to the promise of its name?
After extensive research, we would conclude that yes, it can. Violife cream cheese is a rich & thick cream cheese alternative that closely rivals the real thing. This one is made with coconut oil.
Overall, there’s not much that can be said about this option besides that it tastes great and the texture is on point. At a certain point, these products really come down to personal preference. This is a worthy vegan alternative, that has its own distinct tart, sweet, cheesy flavor.
We really like it, and it continues to impress us just how much attention to detail is put into these vegan products.
- Great taste and accurate texture.
- Made with coconut oil.
- Low in calories – only 70 per serving.
- Relatively expensive
As you can see, there are many options for vegan cream cheese. This is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s always good when it’s easy to find vegan products, but it also makes it quite a bit more difficult to choose! Similar to real cream cheese, each option touts its own benefits and flavor profiles. In order to make your choice, consider these factors.
Of course, when it comes to picking any food product, you’re going to want to consider taste. But when it comes to cream cheese, not all taste alike. Typically, a quality cream cheese will be tart, sweet, and have that classic cheesy taste. We made special note to explain the flavor profile of each cream cheese above. Be sure to consider whether you are a looking for a milder cream cheese (less sweet, less tart), or a more flavorful cream cheese.
Aside from that, there are certain additives that can influence the flavor as well. For example, the Kite Hill brand comes in many flavor varieties, including chive, everything, and veggie.
Closely related to taste is texture. Much like real cream cheese, vegan cream cheese also differs in its texture. All cream cheeses are spreadable, but the texture tends to lean towards firmer or lighter. Firm cream cheese is quite thick and dense, while remaining spreadable. Light cream cheese is airy and light, and even more spreadable. And there is a big middle ground as well.
These texture differences will mostly come down to personal preferences. We prefer a firmer cream cheese (like the Miyoko’s option above), but there are many people on the other side of the fence!
Finally, you’ll want to consider the ingredient list. Primarily, you’ll want to consider the “milk substitute” that was used to make the cheese. We prefer vegan cream cheeses that were made with a traditional culturing and fermentation process (like the Miyoko’s brand). We think this makes best use of the ingredients, and results in a product that mimics cream cheese much better.
Pay close attention to the substitute used (almond, tofu, cashew, etc.) and decide based on your own preferences. Each have their own unique taste, and you might be familiar with their taste profiles through other dairy alternatives (such as almond milk, cashew milk, etc.).
Thanks for reading our guide to the best vegan alternatives to cream cheese. As you can see, not all vegan cream cheese is created equal! Each has their own distinct flavor, texture, and ingredient list. But we are happy to report that there truly is something for everyone. The products on our list were crafted with care, and special attention was put into replicating the taste and texture of your favorite cheese spread.
Our personal favorite is the Kite Hill brand, but you’ll find something for everyone on our list!