Years ago, we shared a comparison of vegan pizza cheese alternatives that was submitted to Go Dairy Free. At that time, soy dominated the dairy-free scene. To update with the latest free-from culinary creations, we did a taste test of current dairy-free soy-free cheese alternatives available for pizza. Locally, were able to find three brands that are not only vegan, but also gluten-free and made without top allergens! (All of these dairy-free soy-free cheese alternatives are reportedly sold throughout the U.S. and Canada.)
Honestly, I was expecting them to be quite similar, and was shocked to discover the extreme differences among each of these mozzarella dairy-free soy-free cheese alternatives.
So they could be eaten by all of our tasters, we made a quick homemade pizza sauce and used a store-bought gluten-free dough. the only difference between the three mini pizzas was the dairy-free mozzarella.
Daiya Deliciously Dairy Free Mozzarella Style Shreds
Uncooked, we thought these shreds looked the most like “real” cheese and were tops in visual appeal. Cooked, they did seem to melt a bit but had a rather unique “fused” appearance. Fortunately, the shreds melted just enough for a nice cheesy consistency that was a touch sticky, but not too much. Caroline and Tony said this tasted the most like “real” pizza, and we all thought it had a pleasant flavor with a perfectly mild cheesy vibe. The Daiya pizza was the first to be devoured and two of our tasters went back for seconds!
*Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds Ingredients: 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, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor), titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral).
Certifications: Daiya mozzarella style shreds are Certified Kosher Pareve. They are labeled as vegan, gluten-free, and using non-GMO ingredients, but we didn’t note certifications for these.
For more info: www.daiyafoods.com
Follow Your Heart / Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella Shreds
I was sure Vegan Gourmet was simply too stubborn to melt. Unlike the other two, the shreds looked pretty much the same, whether raw or baked. But to all of our surprise, the mozzarella had softened significantly, practically dissolving in our mouths like a rich and creamy sauce. Of the three dairy-free soy-free cheese alternatives, this one tasted the least like cheese – in both flavor and consistency – and it didn’t quite “fit” with the pizza. However, it begged for other callings, like potatoes or pasta – something where creamy, rather than pungent and stretchy, shines.
*Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella Shreds Ingredients: filtered water, organic palm fruit oil, modified food starch, natural flavours (plant sources), less than 2% of: pea fibre, pea starch, bamboo fibre, calcium phosphate, rice flour, palm glycerin, sunflower lecithin, sea salt, sunflower oil, carrageenan (seaweed), calcium sulfate, citric acid, microbial enzymes, xanthan gum, disodium phosphate, sodium citrate.
Certifications: Vegan Gourmet mozzarella shreds are Certified Kosher Parve, Rainforest Alliance Certified, and Non-GMO Verified. They are labeled as vegan and gluten-free, but we didn’t note certifications for these.
For more info: www.followyourheart.com
Go Veggie! Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds
As it emerged from the oven, Caroline “oohed and aahed” at the bubbly, perfect appearance of the Go Veggie! topped pizza. Unfortunately, looks can be very deceiving. That enticing topping was in fact a molten pool that literally spilled over when we tried to cut a slice (see the picture below). And though it looks fully liquefied, it’s also insanely sticky (fingers, plates, roof of mouths, etc)! The puddles also caused the pizza crust to end up tremendously under-cooked – nearly raw, in fact. So though the cheese flavor wasn’t bad at all, the texture was unappealing enough that no one finished a full slice. We trialed the shreds a second time in the oven for just a few minutes, but they do seem to go from solid form straight to puddles quite quickly.
*Go Veggie! Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds Ingredients (purple package – NOT the green package): Water, Canola Oil, Cornstarch, Vegetable Glycerine, Arrowroot Starch, Tricalcium Phosphate, Pea Protein, Salt, Natural Vegan Flavors, Rice Maltodextrin, Lactic Acid (non-dairy), Sunflower Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Annatto (color), Powdered Cellulose added to prevent caking.
Certifications: Go Veggie! vegan mozzarella style shreds are Certified Kosher Pareve. They are labeled as vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO (they explicitly note that they do not use any genetically modified ingredients, but we didn’t note certifications for these.
For more info: www.goveggiefoods.com
Dairy-Free Soy-Free Cheese Alternatives: The Winner
Our final vote yielded a unanimous result: “Daiya all the way!“, Caroline proclaimed. The rest of us concurred. Daiya performed very well in the oven, resulting in the best mouth feel and flavor on our free-from pizzas.
But keep in mind, while they can be a great stand-in in recipes, these dairy-free soy-free cheese alternatives don’t taste just like cheese. However, as one tester stated, “they have their own deliciousness”.
*Note that I do not typically put ingredients on product reviews as ingredients are subject to change at any time. I’ve only done so on this post for comparison purposes of these dairy-free soy-free cheese alternatives. Always check the packaging ingredients before consumption and contact the company directly if cross-contamination is a concern for you.