Now that you've ditched the dairy, you're probably wondering if you've also waved goodbye to the cheesy goodness of nachos, grilled cheese sandwiches, pasta with parm, and pizza. The good news is that you don't have to give up your favorite cheese dishes in order to be dairy-free.

More and more brands are coming out with nut-based cheeses that taste just like the real thing. Throw away all your preexisting notions about vegan cheeses, because we have the 411 on which ones are a must-have on your grocery list and which ones are best left on the shelf.

We taste-tested all the vegan shredded mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan cheese we could get our hands-on. A note to consider about these cheeses is that they aren't particularly good for you, since they are often high in saturated fat, but they're healthier than regular cheese, and if you're seeking a diet that is free of animal product, these do the trick.

The cheddar flavors we taste-tested were our favorite overall, but the mozzarellas and parmesans weren't far behind. We love cheese, and nine dairy-free kinds later, we found out which ones are best as a garnish and which ones to drown your nachos in.

Follow Your Heart Fiesta Blend

This cheese stands up to being eating by the handful or spread on nachos, veggie chili or baked potato. You don't even need to heat it up to enjoy it. In fact, when heated we smelled a pungent odor -- so we actually preferred it room temperature. At 18 percent of your daily value of saturated fat per ounce, use this sparingly. 

Nutrition Facts:

Total Fat: 6g

  • Saturated Fat: 3.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 270mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 6g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
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    Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds

    We liked this one for how well it melted and the fact that it isn't as big a saturated fat bomb as some of the other cheeses on the list. Try this on chips or as a grilled cheese sandwich option, since it has an old fashioned shredded cheese taste and sticky texture, in a good way.

    Nutrition Facts:

  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 250mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 7g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
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    Violife Just Cheddar Shreds

    Violife Cheddar was one of our favorite shredded cheeses. We found ourselves binge-eating this cheese right out of the bag. Once we were able to contain ourselves, we melted the shreds on top of chips. You wouldn't believe the cheese pull we witnessed. Try to resist eating the whole bag because every serving comes with six grams of saturated fat.

    Nutrition Facts:

    • Total Fat: 7g
    • Saturated Fat: 6g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
    • Cholesterol: 0mg
    • Sodium: 250mg
    • Total Carbohydrate: 6g
    • Dietary Fiber: 0g
    • Sugars: 0g
    • Protein: 0g

    So Delicious Cheddar Jack

    This cheese is the easiest to melt because of how finely shredded it is. Add a sprinkle on top of an enchilada for an extra layer of flavor. Don't melt too much of this cheese or it will start to have an unpleasant smell.

    Nutrition Facts:

    • Total Fat: 7g
    • Saturated Fat: 3.5g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
    • Cholesterol: 0mg
    • Sodium: 190mg
    • Total Carbohydrate: 6g
    • Dietary Fiber: <1g
    • Sugars: 0g
    • Protein: 0g

    Parmela Creamery Sharp Cheddar Style

    Of all the cheeses we tested, Parmela melted like old fashioned cheddar block from the farm and we loved the way it gripped the top of the nacho chips so that they stuck together. In other words, we loved it. The fact that it's a cashew-based cheese also means it's lower in saturated fat and a healthier you!

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Daiya Mozzarella

    Daiya is a mixed bag when it comes to the melting and tasting of their mozzarella since the more it melts the more it stinks. So if you like either an aromatic cheese or you don't need to melt your filling too much, this is a good choice. Add it to a quesadilla to get that gooey cheesy middle without much heat required. Anything over 10 percent of your saturated fat for the day gets points off, and this one is 12 percent for one ounce.

    Nutrition Facts:

    • Total Fat: 6g
    • Saturated Fat: 2g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
    • Cholesterol: 0mg
    • Sodium: 280mg
    • Total Carbohydrate: 7g
    • Dietary Fiber: 1g
    • Sugars: 0g
    • Protein: 1g

    So Delicious Mozzarella Style Shreds

    The soft texture and taste of this mozzarella mimic the real thing. We loaded this mozzarella on tortilla chips and after popping it in the microwave the cheese became so melty and gooey. It needs a little more time to melt than the rest but the wait is worth it.

    Nutrition Facts:

    • Total Fat: 7g
    • Saturated Fat: 3.5g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
    • Cholesterol: 0mg
    • Sodium: 190mg
    • Total Carbohydrate: 6g
    • Dietary Fiber: <1g
    • Sugars: 0g
    • Protein: 0g

    Good Planet Parmesan

    The hard texture of Good Planet's parmesan resembled real parm. If you don't like a sharp parm flavor, then you'll like this cheese. The aftertaste of this cheese is a little overwhelming so don't eat this parm alone. Mix it into a vegan caesar salad for the best taste.

    Nutrition Facts:

    • Total Fat: 7g
    • Saturated Fat: 5.9g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
    • Cholesterol: 0mg
    • Sodium: 480mg
    • Total Carbohydrate: 9g
    • Dietary Fiber: 0g
    • Sugars: 0g
    • Protein: 0g

     


    Violife Just Like Parmesan Wedge

    Make a vegan version of cacio e pepe with this parm and you'll fool all your guests into thinking its the real thing. This parmesan wedge grates easily and melts into your pasta dish. If you like the sharp and bold flavor of real parm, you may not like the subtle flavor in Violife's vegan version.

    Nutrition Facts:

  • Total Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.5g

  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 390mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 8g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: <1g

  • Follow Your Heart Parmesan

    This is about as similar to the real thing as you can find in a non-dairy parm. We love it on simple pasta dishes as a topper, but again, don't go crazy here since it's made of palm oil and has 18 percent of your daily value of saturated fat per ounce, plus it's super high in sodium. So sprinkle, don't dump it, onto your pasta.

    Nutrition Facts:

    • Total Fat: 7g
    • Saturated Fat: 3.5g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
    • Cholesterol: 0mg
    • Sodium: 460mg
    • Total Carbohydrate: 8g
    • Dietary Fiber: 0g
    • Sugars: 0g
    • Protein: 0g