Many years ago, holistic nutritionist and cookbook author jae steele shared her favorite recipe for dairy-free grilled cheese sandwiches with us. It’s a naturally vegan, nut-free, and plant-based recipe that comes together in minutes, uses basic ingredients, and doesn’t require any store-bought cheese alternatives! The “cheese” is simple, but homemade.
Dairy-Free Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are Easy to Make from Scratch
Like many cheesy recipes, this one uses nutritional yeast. It’s an inactive yeast that’s often fortified with B vitamins, and has the umami vibe of cheddar. It is often sold in natural food stores, but you can easily buy it online. It’s shelf-stable, and stores well in the pantry for a very long time. It’s also very lightweight, so a pound of nutritional yeast is a lot.
If you want a fortified nutritional yeast, Anthony’s, Kal, and Bob’s Red Mill are good, affordable brands. Red Star is also a brand that we’ve enjoyed, but it isn’t as readily available as it used to be.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Grilled Cheese
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, peanut-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
If you need gluten-free, dairy-free grilled cheese sandwiches, use my Grilled Cheeze Sandwiches recipe in the 2nd edition of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook.
- ½ cup water, plus additional if needed
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 garlic clove, crushed or grated
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Dairy-free buttery spread (can sub oil or mayonnaise)
- 8 slices whole grain bread
- In a small pan or skillet, whisk together the water, nutritional yeast, flour, garlic, salt, mustard, and pepper.
- Place the pan over low heat, and whisk constantly, like you are making gravy.
- Once the mixture gets pasty, whisk in the oil. Turn off the heat and whisk in a little more water if the mixture is too dry.
- Spread the buttery spread on one side of each slice of bread (or use mayonnaise or brush with olive oil).
- Take four of the slices, and slather the non-buttered side with the dairy-free "cheese." Top with the other four slices of bread, buttered side out. You should have four dairy-free grilled cheese sandwiches that are buttered on the outsides.
- Pan fry the sandwiches in a skillet until golden brown on each side.
- Slice the sandwiches in half and serve.
I added some hot sauce, which was perfect.
Ooh, yes, a little spice does sound perfect. Thank you for sharing.
Just made this for my two kids trialling a dairy free diet and they are loving it! Its more like a thick cheese sauce than melted cheese but they don’t seem to mind and are demolishing them as I type.
That’s so great! Thank you for the feedback Hannah.
I like to put tomatoes on mine.. the tiny tomatoes are good too.
Thanks for sharing
Yum!!! I didn’t have mustard powder, so I used ‘regular’ mustard. I also added tomato, it was delicious!!
That’s fantastic! Thank you for sharing this Sara.