Anyone who has moved toward a vegan lifestyle will have come across this question – does vegan cheese melt? At first, most vegan cheeses were fine for slicing, but a nightmare if you wanted to melt them, and as a result, it was impossible to get good vegan pizzas or toasties. Nowadays, however, vegan cheeses have come a long way!
Does vegan cheese melt? Some vegan cheeses melt well, yes. It should be noted that not all vegan cheeses do, so if you’re looking for that perfect stringy, gooey texture, it’s crucial to choose your vegan cheese with care. There are many options out there, and some will melt much better than others!
Which Vegan Cheeses Melt Best?
Which cheeses will melt best depends on where in the world you are, but a good rule of thumb is to look for equivalents to traditional melting cheeses. For example, a vegan mozzarella is likely to have been crafted specifically to maximize its melting properties, so you should be safe to choose something like this.
Some of the brand options that are available include Applewood smokey vegan cheese, VioLife’s Epic Mature Cheddar and their Prosociano Wedge, Follow Your Heart’s Gouda, and MozzaRisella. Other options include Daiya Swiss Style Cheese Slices and Sheese Cheddar Style with Jalapeno and Chilli.
You may also want to investigate other options that are available near you. Try different cheeses in different scenarios, and see which ones work best on pizza, which are good for tacos, and which are perfect for sprinkling on pasta dishes or topping burgers with.
How Should You Melt Vegan Cheese?
You may need to test how different cheeses behave, as the best melting method will probably vary somewhat depending on the kind of cheese you’re trying to melt. However, most vegan cheeses should melt in similar circumstances to regular cheese, which means that you can use a microwave, a hob and saucepan, or the oven.
If you are going to top toast with vegan cheese, it can simply be grilled like normal cheese. Slice or grate the cheese and sprinkle it evenly across the toast, and then enjoy!
How to Melt Vegan Cheese in the Microwave
This is often the quickest way to melt vegan cheese, and you may want to use it to melt your cheese if you are going to add it to a dish afterward. First, grate some vegan cheese (or shred it if it is already sliced) into a microwave-safe container.
Next, add some plant milk, such as soy milk or almond milk. This will help to keep the cheese a smooth consistency as it melts, and will prevent it from going into clumps. You don’t need to add a lot to keep the cheese a good texture.
You should also add a small drop of vinegar for the same reason. The acid will keep it smooth.
Stir both the milk and the vinegar into the shredded cheese, and then put the container in the microwave. Set the microwave for ten seconds and then take it out and give it a stir. Do the same for another ten seconds, and again, stir the cheese.
You can keep doing this until the cheese has totally melted. Stir thoroughly to make sure there aren’t any unmelted pockets, and then the cheese is ready to serve!
How to Melt Vegan Cheese on the Stove
Again, grate or shred your vegan cheese into a saucepan, and add a small amount of plant milk. Stir the plant milk through the grated cheese and then begin to gently heat it on the hob, stirring it occasionally to prevent it from sticking.
The cheese should start to melt down. You can add more milk if it needs thinning slightly, or a little more cheese if it is too thin. Don’t let it burn; you should keep the heat low and gently warm the cheese, rather than trying to melt it in a rush.
When the cheese has fully melted, give it an extra mix, and then turn off the heat and serve the cheese. Vegan cheese is often keen to stick, so gently tease it off the bottom of the pan. If you find it sticks too much, next time use a little oil on the base of the pan.
How to Melt Vegan Cheese in the Oven
Often, you will want to melt vegan cheese in the oven, rather than on the hob or in the microwave, especially if you are incorporating it into a dish such as lasagna or moussaka.
You will need to watch it quite closely, as many vegan cheeses burn easily, so you shouldn’t just depend on your recipe – learn for yourself how the cheese you buy behaves and keep an eye on it accordingly so that you don’t accidentally waste the food.
As before, it’s best to grate or shred the vegan cheese and spread it out as evenly as you can so that it melts thoroughly across the whole dish. Once the cheese is bubbling and gooey, the food should be ready to serve!
Can You Add Vegan Cheese to a Cheese Sauce?
You might be wondering whether vegan cheese can be used for cheese sauces, and the answer is yes, you can use it just as you might use normal cheese. Simply make your white sauce using oil or vegan margarine, and then grate some vegan cheese.
Sprinkle the vegan cheese into the pan and stir gently. Allow it plenty of time to melt, stirring and keeping the heat low, until you have a smooth and runny cheese sauce, perfect for topping pasta bakes or pouring over a favorite meal. Some people like to add turmeric to ensure the sauce is a rich yellow.
Not all vegan cheeses melt well, so you may have to experiment a bit, but there are plenty that will melt beautifully and create delicious, guilt-free meals for you to enjoy. Remember that vegan cheeses tend to stick easily, so stirring them regularly and keeping the heat low is key to a great experience.