From gouda to camembert, these plant-based cheeses taste and look just like the real deal.

By Laura Rege
December 16, 2019

Charcuterie boards have become a dinner party staple. Loaded with spicy cured meats and creamy cheeses, this free-for-all appetizer has something for everyone—unless you're vegan.

The next time you host a GNI, toss your plant-based eaters a bone by serving some dairy-free pickings. Don't worry, vegan cheese is as rich and tangy as the dairy version, and they’re typically made from cashews, which give them a creamy base, says Michelle Street, R.D.N., the founder of Reine Vegan Cuisine.

To build your board of finger foods, select vegan cheeses with a range of textures and flavors, and add your favorite accompaniments like palate-cleansing fruits, pistachios, olives, and crackers. If you're completely stuck, start topping your platter with these vegan-approved cheeses. (Then satisfy your hankering for a cheesy meal with these vegan alternatives.)

Mauxarella

Made from almonds, coconut oil, and tapioca flour, this dairy-free mozzarella from The Frauxmagerie has a mild flavor and firm texture. Thanks to traditional cheesemaking process used, the vegan cheese has a texture that's indistinguishable from the real deal.

Buy It: The Frauxmagerie Mauxarella Artisan Mozzarella by $15, veganessentials.com

Gouda

Reine’s Smoked Gouda, which is made from cashews and chickpea miso, has a distinctive hickory-smoked flavor that pairs perfectly with ripened cherry tomatoes. Like its dairy counterpart, this vegan cheese packs a protein punch, with 5 grams per serving. (Use your leftovers for this gooey grilled cheese.)

Buy It: Reine Artisan Smoked Gouda Vegan Tree Nut Round, $13, reinevegancuisine.com

Black Ash

Despite its moldy appearance, this Black Ash cheese from Miyoko's is completely safe to eat (and delicious!). The round is coated in vegetable ash, which alkalizes the surface and adds an earthy note to the tangy cheese. Complement this buttery and sweet aged vegan cheese, which is made from cashews, with a glass of smokey red wine.

Buy It: Miyoko's Creamery Black Ash Cheese Wheel, $12, miyokos.com

Fauxgonzola

This plant-based gorgonzola cheese has a similar green marbling, made from spirulina, as the real deal, which will convince your lactose-loving guests to give it a shot. Serve slices of this tart and rich Reine cheese with fresh, crunchy pears.

Buy It: Reine Artisan Fauxgonzola Vegan Tree Nut Round, $13, reinevegancuisine.com

Camembert

For an ultra-creamy component for your plant-based cheese board, add chunks of The Frauxmagerie’s Botanic Camembert. The vegan cheese, made from cashews, nutritional yeast, and probiotics, features a stark-white aged rind.

Buy It: The Frauxmagerie Botanic Camembert, $15, veganessentials.com

Shape Magazine, December 2019 issue
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