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New dairy-free soy-free cheese alternative

Posted on April 6th, 2010 by Alison Read 18 Comments - Add Your Own »

daiyaThere is a new dairy-free soy-free cheese called Daiya that is just hitting shelves! I like this one better than others I have tried. Does it taste just like real cheese? No — did you really expect otherwise? But it tastes pretty good and it melts!

The vegan cheese is available in Cheddar Style Shreds and Mozarella Style Shreds, and the front of the package says “Melts & Stretches.”

The ingredients of the Mozarella Style are:
Filtered water, tapioca and/or arrowroot flours, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and or non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, vegan natural flavors, inactive yeast, vegetable glycerin, sunflower lecithin, calcium citrate, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor), vegan bacterial cultures.
It is gluten-free and soy-free and made in a facility free of animal products, milk, egg, soy and nuts.

Just because it is available doesn’t mean that I think people should be eating non-dairy cheese on everything, BUT it is nice to put on a kid’s pizza (especially at a birthday party where they want to fit in!) or in a quesadilla or in mac & cheese.

amysmaccheeseIn fact, Amy’s Kitchen has a new gluten-free dairy-free soy-free Rice Macaroni with Non-Dairy Cheeze that is using Daiya cheese! Also, in the San Francisco Bay Area, Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria uses it as their vegan cheese option on all their pizzas (they also have a gluten-free crust!)

Where can you find the new cheese? Here is a list of locations on the Daiya website. I found both the Daiya cheese and the Amy’s frozen mac & cheese at Whole Foods.

Looking for other dairy-free soy-free alternatives? Try these:
Dairy-free soy-free butter
Dairy-free soy-free shortening
Dairy-free soy-free yogurt
Dairy-free soy-free rice cheese
Dairy-free soy-free ice cream
Dairy-free soy-free ice cream (another one)

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  1. I have been buying Daiya brand cheese for the last couple of months, and I really do like it. It does melt, although it doesn’t melt the same as real cheese does, but it does have a nice taste, and a great mouth feel. It doesn’t feel or taste weird like some alternative cheeses do. As a bonus, you can freeze it once without it affecting taste or texture, but if you buy a big block of it and decide to grate or slice it, do it before freezing, because afterward, it will crumble if you try to do anything with it. I learned that the hard way! It didn’t affect what I was doing, since I was just using it on pasta, so no harm done. All in all, I like the cheese, and with dairy allergies it is one that I can eat and enjoy. My husband is not allergic to dairy, but he also enjoyed it. The other nice thing about it is that it doesn’t stick to utensils and plates like plastic, as some of them do. I found that I could easily rinse it off, even after the plates had been sitting out for a few hours.

  2. Great tips Mari! So I suppose I could make a gluten-free crust and freeze it with the cheese on it!

  3. I had a gluten and dairy free pizza at Whole Foods where I live. They use the Daiya cheese – I was not impressed. Trader Joe’s has a goat’s milk mozz that I prefer for my “pizzas” instead since I can’t have cow dairy, but can have goat or sheep.

  4. I love goat cheese and try to have that over cow’s milk. But for someone allergic to all forms of dairy, at least there is something!

  5. This is exciting news for my family. I’ve called all of the local WF and finally found one that has it. I hope to pick it up in the next day or so and make a pizza with cheese!

  6. Diane,
    Let me know what you think!

  7. Finally a cheese that my son will eat!!! Gotta love them…. I actually made a casserole that he said was “too cheesy”… wow! He’s liked the cheese on nachos and we will be trying it in the scrambled eggs soon. WE LOVE DAIYA!!!

  8. I found Daiya cheese at a Whole Foods recently and have been very pleased for someone who is dairy, soy, gluten, and all latex-related foods free. I LOVE cheese, and it was the last thing I cut out even after cutting the rest of the foods and other dairy from my diet. I was using rice cheese, but I still wheezed with it (probably from the casein, or milk protein), and the almond cheese was not good to me. The Daiya is not just like cheese, but it is close and healthy. Butter, garlic, and tapioca flour seem to enhance the cheese flavor, while coconut oil and corn starch made it sweeter. I like the Daiya mozzy melted on pastas, and I look forward to trying the pizza. I made an easy white sauce and then added the cheddar cheese because it did not seem to melt well in a soup otherwise.
    Gluten, dairy, and soy-free white sauce
    1 T butter or oil (I use coconut for cooking)
    1 T flour or starch (I have tried tapioca and corn starch)
    1 Cup liquid (per recipe, but I just add until it is as thick or thin as I want it to be. I used plain So Delicious coconut milk in the green carton or plain So Delicious Coconut Probiotic Drink/Kefir in the blue container because it is thin but tastes like sour cream to me).
    Mix butter and flour or starch in a saucepan until mixture combines, then whisk in small amount of liquid. Once that is combined, continue whisking in small amounts of liquids over medium heat until it is liquidy or until all liquid is added. Continue to heat and whisk until sauce begins to thicken. Add cheese and stir, stir, stir while continuing to heat on medium to medium-low. Ok to add more liquid if sauce is too thick. If sauce is not thick enough, can mix a little more powder thickener and liquid together and add while wisking, but I usually have to blend it and then heat again to rethicken.
    This sauce melts the Daiya well, and it is versatile for cheesy dishes. Once I made the cheddar sauce base, I have used it for broccoli cheese soup (adding seasoning and broccoli), queso for chips (adding salsa and spices), spinach artichoke dip, and to make my pesto pasta creamy. Yum! I really like Daiya.

  9. Jan,
    This sounds great! I haven’t tried a cheesy sauce yet. You should write to them with your recipe – maybe they’ll put it on their website!

  10. So I’ve come across your blog a few times looking for foods my daughter CAN eat. I’m so happy to find it.

    My dilemma is that we just learned that she is allergic to cows (dairy and meat), goat milk, soy, AND coconut (among other things). Her reaction to coconut isn’t terrible, but if I’m going to feed her something she’s allergic to… well, you see where I’m going with this.

    So far, this sounds like a our best alternative. I’d be anxious to know if anyone knows of another alternative that does not include coconut milk. Thanks!

  11. Daiya does not contain coconut milk, it does contain coconut oil though. It may be the same thing as with soy where you can’t have soy milk, but you can have soy oil. At least that is the case with me, anyways.

  12. Thought about trying Daiya but read the ingredients and it is made with CANOLA oil! Sorry, not putting that in my body. I suggest all do a little research on canola befure using it. I have had a hard time locating dairy free, soy free and canola free dairy like products. Loving Almond milk. Silk and Blue Diamond(I believe that is the name) are really great and have worked in all my cooking.

  13. Does this cheese have any garlic or onions in it? How about turmeric or paprika? I’m allergic to all of these things as well. I’ve had to give up a lot of foods and now am told I need to give up dairy too. Thanks!

  14. Daiya cheese contains xantham gum and citric acid derived from corn! Still desperately searching for cheese alternative that is dairy free, casein free, corn free, soy free for my son!

  15. Does anyone know a dairy, soy free cheese that does not contain pea protein? We can’t have that either.


  16. Where oh where is the SOY-FREE cheese. .. this is FALSE advertising..its Fraud.. CANOLA is SOY.. duh…There is NOT ONE non dairy-Cheese on the market that DOES NOT contain SOY, Canola… Give us a choice.. you ever thought of making a cheese from almond milk, and adding almond OIL..??. It can be done very easily..

  17. John,
    I have never heard that canola is soy. Can you please explain?

  18. John, with all due respect, canola is derived from the rapeseed plant and has no relation to soy; however both are usually GMO , including corn and cottonseed oil…..expeller-pressed could be an indication that the canola is non-GMO, but only if organic. Hope this clears things up for you!

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