I initially shared this recipe way back in 2008, in my first edition of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook. I wasn’t the first person to make a dairy-free feta cheese alternative from tofu, and I certainly won’t be the last. Versions of this recipe are now made in countless home kitchens, but this is the original version that I still use. It’s timeless, delicious, and so incredibly cheap and easy!
Versatile Dairy-Free Feta Cheese in 10 Minutes or Less
The recipe is so straight forward, but I know from my previous posting of this recipe that there will still be questions! To help, I have answers to some of the prior FAQs.
Is there a Good Substitute for the White Wine Vinegar?
You can use red wine vinegar, but it will affect the color a bit. Unseasoned rice vinegar can be used in a pinch. Apple cider vinegar will work okay, but provides a harsher, sweeter flavor.
Can I Use a Different Oil?
Olive oil gives it that Italian flair. You can use regular or extra-virgin olive oil. But if you’re out, your favorite neutral-tasting oil should work fine. Avocado oil or nut oils might also be good, but I haven’t tried them. They will each impart their own flavor. Do not use coconut oil in this recipe. It will set up too firmly in the refrigerator.
Can I Use Fresh Herbs and Spices in this Dairy-Free Feta?
Definitely! Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons fresh basil and 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped oregano instead of the dried versions. This also makes a delicious presentation. For the garlic, use 1 crushed garlic clove.
Why am I Pressing the Tofu but Adding Water?
You’re adding fresh water. Pressing the tofu gives you firmer dairy-free feta cheese bites to start with, and the water helps to keep it mildly soft, but doesn’t get fully absorbed.
Do You Have a Soy-Free Dairy-Free Feta Option?
Of course! You can actually buy hemp tofu, and we have another dairy-free feta recipe that uses it here. You can also make your own chickpea tofu. But if you are okay with nuts, I recommend Miyoko’s Almond Feta Recipe. If you’re simply concerned about soy and health, consider choosing tofu that is made with whole soy and doesn’t contain soy protein concentrate or isolate. Very high amounts of soy protein concentrate or isolate, not whole soy, are the types called out in most negative studies. Most popular brands, including House Foods and Nasoya, are made simply with non-GMO and/or organic whole soybeans.
How Much Calcium is in this Dairy-Free Feta?
There is quite a bit! Just a 1/4 cup of the crumbles or cubes contains over 150 milligrams of naturally dairy-free calcium. Be sure to pick a tofu that is set in calcium. Most firm brands are.
Can I Bake this Dairy-Free Feta?
Yes, it will be warm and flavorful, but it won’t be melty in the popular Baked Feta Pasta recipe. It’s still delicious in pasta, but won’t create a sauce. For a melty version, I would use my Baked Feta recipe in Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, or Miyoko’s Almond Feta Recipe.
How Else Can I Use this Dairy-Free Feta?
Well, it’s still delicious in warm pasta or other warm grain dishes. It is also a great vegetarian option since it offers some protein. But I also like it in pasta salad, green salads, pizza, spanakopita, sandwiches, and savory tarts. You can also serve it as an appetizer with dairy-free crackers.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Feta Cheese Alternative
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, added sugar-free, plant-based, vegan, and vegetarian. It could also be considered low carb and keto-friendly.
- 1 (16-ounce) package firm tofu (see post above for soy-free options)
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup water
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1½ to 2 teaspoons salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon black pepper, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Drain and press the tofu, using a tea towel or paper towels, to remove any excess water.
- Crumble the tofu or cut it into ½-inch cubes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, water, basil, salt, oregano, black pepper, and garlic powder. Add the tofu and stir to thoroughly coat it.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Drain any excess liquid prior to use.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.