8 Delicious Vegan French Cheese Recipes You Can Make At Home

By Annie André

Hey French cheese lovers, whether you’re trying to go vegan, you’re lactose intolerant, or you just want to try a vegan version of your favourite French cheese, here are eight recipes you can make at home. Put them on a cheese plate or add them to your favourite recipes like French onion soup or Croque Monsieur.

Vegan cheese and dairy in France

It’s not easy for cheese lovers to give up cheese and creamy dairy products, but for the French, it’s incredibly hard because cheese is such an integral part of French culture and the French mealtime.

Giving up cheese, butter, crème fraîche and other dairy products that make French food deliciously French is one of the main reasons why so many French vegetarians never make the leap to full-blown vegan.

But veganism is slowly growing in France. There are more and more artisanal and specialty vegan crémerie’s which use the care, craftsmanship and traditional cheese-making methods of the finest cheesemakers to create plant-based cheeses to mimic not only the taste of real cheese but also the look, smell and feel.

 Jay and joy is a well known Parisian vegan creamery amongst most French vegans. It produces some delicious artisanal vegan cheeses which you can order online.  

So if some French cheese lovers don’t thumb their noses at vegan cheeses, then it can’t be all that bad.

French Vegan cheese vocabulary

Here are a few ways vegan and plant-based cheeses are referred to in the French language.

  • Le fromage végétal= Vegan cheese or plant-based cheese
  • Vromage = A play on the French word for cheese, “Fromage” by replacing the “F” for a “V,” which stands for both végetal and végan.
  • Fauxmage= A play on the French word for cheese “Fromage” by replacing “fro” with “faux,” which means false or fake.
  • végétalien = vegan (many French people use the English term vegan also. 

An intro to vegan cheeses

Vegan and plant-based cheeses used to confuse me. I just couldn’t wrap my head around how a plant-based cheese could ever look, taste or behave even remotely similar to real cheese. If you’re new to vegan cheese, here is a short explanation. If your not, just skip to the recipes below. 

What is vegan cheese, and what is it made of?

“Real cheese,” the way it’s been made for thousands of years, is made with dairy derived from an animal such as a cow or a goat.

Vegan cheese is not a dairy based cheese just as almond milk is not from animal-derived dairy milk. 

Vegan cheeses are usually nut-based

Vegan cheeses are entirely plant-based and are usually made with nuts. These are “nut cheeses,” but there are plenty of vegan cheeses made with tofu and soy yogurt.

A popular choice for vegan nut cheeses are cashews because it emulates the creamy texture of real cheese, but other some vegan cheese recipes call for almonds and pine nuts.

These nut-based cheese usually require nut milk such as almond milk or cashew nut which you can buy or can make at home with a nuts, a blender, some water and a strainer. 

Watch this video which shows you how easy it is to make your own almond milk.

If you have a tree nut allergy, there are nut-free cheeses that use other ingredients such as oats or sesame as their main ingredient.

How long does it take to make vegan cheese at home?

Depending on the vegan cheese recipe, it can take a couple of hours, however, if you follow a recipe which uses cultures or other traditional cheese-making methods, it can take a few days. If you want a vegan cheese that is fermented and age, it can take up to a month. 

Does vegan cheese taste like real dairy cheese?

There’s good news and bad news.

The bad news first. Unfortunately, If you’re looking for a vegan cheese that tastes exactly like the real deal, you’re out of luck. Most cheese fanatics say NO, vegan plant-based cheeses don’t taste exactly like real cheese, and I agree, although some nut-based vegan cheeses come pretty close. I think soy-based vegan cheeses tend to lack the depth of flavour of dairy cheese, but they still taste pretty good.

The good news is that non-dairy cheeses have been around for years, and although there haven’t been very good alternatives in the past, scientists and adventurous home cooks are figuring out more and more ways to make vegan cheeses taste and act like real cheese.

Some common ingredients found in vegan cheeses

Home chefs usually keep these ingredients on hand for all of their vegan cheese recipes:

  • Dijon mustard (without the grains)- gives a sharp flavour
  • Lemon juice or apple cider- brings that slightly sour flavour that you get from dairy-based cheeses.
  • Granulated or powdered Garlic & onion- It adds a savoury taste.
  • Nutritional yeast Is a deactivated yeast and a favourite vegan food product with a cheesy, nutty and savoury flavour. It’s sold either as a powder or as flakes.  Make sure to get the non-fortified nutritional yeast because it tastes better than fortified, which tends to have a chemical aftertaste due to the synthetic vitamins added.
  • Tahiniis simply sesame seeds pureed into a paste. Has a slightly nutty flavour to it.
  • Turmeric- mostly for colour

Adding cultures can take your vegan cheeses to the next level:

Adding live cultures to your plant-based cheese will not only make your vegan cheese taste tangier like real cheese, but it also makes it nutritionally rich with beneficial bacteria.

Here’s a little information about some of the live cultures that vegan cheesemongers and hobbyists often use in their plant-based cheese recipes.

Rejuvelac- A fermented liquid full of enzymes and good bacteria, made by soaking sprouted grain such as quinoa in water for about two days at room temperature and then reserving the liquid. It’s usually added to a fat base such as cashew paste, where it sits for at least a day to allow the cultures to grow and flavours to impregnate the vegan cheese. You can learn how to sprout rejuvelac by watching this video.

Miso pasteThis fermented soybean paste can help add a salty, savoury flavour to vegan cheeses.

Probiotic – a vegan starter culture with Acidophilus, which allows the cheese to ferment and gives your nut cheese the sharp and sour taste.

Spirulina – blue-green algae that nutritionists call the superfood of the future.

Penicillium Roqueforti– Mould cultures used for making blue cheese

Penicillium Candidium– mould cultures used for making brie or camembert

Eight French vegan cheese recipes you can make at home.

Vegan French cheese recipes you can make at home

Let’s Get On With The Recipes.

You can easily make a vegan cheese with surprisingly few ingredients, many of which you can usually find at your local grocery store or online.

You’ll either love vegan cheese or hate it, but if you’re trying to go vegan and you love cheese, it’s you’re only alternative to the real thing other than going cold turkey.

1. Gruyère Style Vegan Cheese (Cultured Almond Cheese)

Gruyere is probably one of the most essential French cheeses in the French kitchen. It can be found in so many French dishes like Croque Monsieur, French onion soup, Gratin Dauphinoise and Fondue.

Traditional French Gruyere is a hard cheese with a slightly salty, nutty flavour that is sweeter than Swiss Gruyere. Comté and Beaufort are also considered French Gruyere style cheeses.

This vegan cheese recipe tries to mimic the taste of French Gruyere using five ingredients, including almonds and cultures. It’s also gluten-free.

How long does it take to make?

Once you combine all the ingredients, you’ll have to air dry it in a cheesecloth for about 1 to three days.

Ingredients:

  • almonds
  • rejuvelac
  • nutritional yeast
  • yellow organic miso paste
  • salt

Watch the video to see how it’s done.

2. Vegan Boursin (Boursin is a household name in France)

Boursin is a soft crumbly, and creamy cheese similar to cream cheese, which comes in many flavours such as garlic & fine herbs.

Initially developed in Normandy, France back in 1963 by François Boursin, today, Boursin is a household name and is regularly served at celebrations, parties and dinner tables throughout France.

How long to make?

Once you have all the ingredients for this vegan version of Boursin, it will take you less than an hour to make, but you’ll have to let it sit and chill for 24 hours.

French boursin vegan cheese recipe

The main ingredients are…

  • rejuvelac:
  • cashew nuts- to make cashew milk
  • nutritional yeast
  • granulated garlic
  • granulated onion
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Sriracha (optional).

You can get the recipe for this vegan Boursin over at My culinary confessions.

Check out this commercial for Boursin below. It makes me hungry.

3. Vegan style blue cheese

Here’s a blue cheese recipe you can make in an afternoon. Chill it overnight and voila!

The mould in this cheese isn’t really mould. It’s achieved by mixing some of the cashew cheese with dry herbs and spirulina.

French Vegan-Blue-Cheese recipe

Ingredients in this recipe are…

  • cashews
  • cup water
  • lemon juice
  • ume plum vinegar (she tells you how to make this)
  • nutritional yeast
  • oregano
  • marjoram
  • spirulina
  • A pinch of salt

Get the recipe for this vegan style blue cheese over at one green planet.

4. Aged Vegan Roquefort cheese (using traditional cheesemaking methods)

It’s hard to believe you can make a vegan blue cheese using traditional cheese-making methods at home, but you can if you have the patience—about a month worth of patience.

Roquefort is a type of French blue cheese traditionally made with sheep’s milk and adding cultures of a mould called Penicillium Roqueforti, named after the French town of Roquefort France, which has caves full of naturally occurring mould spores. The result is a white cheese with blue spots and veins throughout the cheese.

This vegan recipe replicates the taste, feel and look of Roquefort blue cheese better than other vegan blue cheese recipes. Instead of using nutritional yeast or other cheese flavourings to replicate a cheese flavour along with something acidic like vinegar or lemon juice, this recipe requires cultures and actual moulds like Penicillium Candidum or Penicillium Roqueforti.

Just take a look at the photo below. That’s the end result. Looks just like blue cheese, doesn’t it?

French Vegan-Blue-Cheese recipe

How long does it take to make this cheese?:

You’ll need to allow this cheese to age for three to five weeks to allow the mould to grow, which is what gives this vegan blue cheese recipe it’s complex flavours you just can’t replicate with flavourings.

Ingredients:

  1. Raw cashews
  2. refined coconut oil
  3. sea salt
  4. vegan probiotics (vegan starter culture). Renew life is a popular brand which contains acidophilus
  5. Penicillium roqueforti
  6. Water

Try serving this vegan blue cheese at your next dinner party— It’s soft, creamy and spreadable but firm enough to cut into slices. You’ll impress the heck out of your friends too.

Get the vegan blue cheese recipe from Thomas over at “Full Of Plants here 

5. Vegan aged camembert cheese

Like the blue cheese recipe above, this one uses some traditional cheese-making methods.

Traditional camembert uses a live mould called penicillium candidum, and so does this recipe. The result is this vegan Camembert, which looks and feels almost like the real thing. Taste-wise it comes pretty close. Just check out the photo below.

French Vegan Camembert cheese recipe

How long does it take to make this vegan aged camembert cheese?

It’s not too complicated to make, but you’ll need to be diligent and patient because you have to let it age for three weeks, flipping it once a day.

Ingredients:

  1. raw cashews
  2. Penicillium candidum
  3. filtered water
  4. vegan probiotics (vegan starter culture) Renew life is a popular brand Acidophilus
  5. sea salt

Get the vegan camembert recipe from Thomas over at “Full of Plants” here.

6. Chevre/ Mock Goat cheese (Basil Pesto Raw Vegan)

Most goat cheeses are called Chevre, which is the French word for Goats, and this mock goat cheese recipe is perfect if you’re in a rush and don’t have the time or patience to make cheese using traditional cheese-making methods. It’s a raw vegan cheese recipe with basil pesto, pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes, perfect for a party.

Vegan French goat cheese recipe- Chevre cheese

Ingredients:

You’ll need six ingredients then chill for an hour.

  1. Raw cashews
  2. Juice from a lemon
  3. Water
  4. Coconut oil
  5. Apple cider vinegar
  6. Salt.

You can get the recipe by Cara over at Fork & Beans here.

7. Vegan cheese spread (fromage frais à tartiner)

In France, “fromage frais à tartiner ” is a  soft, smooth and creamy fresh cheese spread, similar in taste to cream cheese but much softer and lower in fat.  It’s popular as a party aperitif or on toast in the morning.

I’ve made this recipe many times. What I like about this recipe is you can use it as a base and add whatever flavours you want to it—garlic and onion, oregano, fine herbs etc. You also don’t have to use nuts in this recipe.

By the way, this recipe is in French. I couldn’t find a decent recipe in English, but you can easily translate the page into English by using google page translate.

vegan French Fromage frais à tartiner - cheese-spread

Ingredients:

  1. soy yogurt- (you can buy this at the store)
  2. cheesecloth
  3. salt
  4. lemon
  5. cashew purée or coconut oil (your choice)

If you want to add a subtle herb taste:

  • powdered garlic
  • chopped green onions
  • pepper

You can get this vegan fromage frais à tartiner over at Déliacious

8- Vegan Brie cheese

This next cheese recipe is a vegan version of French Brie cheese whose ingredients include almond milk to mimic this iconic French cheese.

Here is a video showing you the entire process from start to finish.

Ingredients:

    1. Almond milk
    2. rejuvelac
    3. tapioca starch
    4. nutritional yeast
    5. salt
    6. lime juice
    7. kappa carrageenan
    8. dehydrated onions
    9. white miso
    10. refined and cold press coconut oil

Some of the items listed in this article which you can buy online

Sometimes vegan cheese making ingredients are hard to find. Luckily you can buy many of the harder to find ingredients online. I’ve included links to where you can purchase them below.

The Big Vegan Cheese Making Kit - (Make 6 Dairy Free Cheeses in Around an Hour) The Big Vegan Cheese Making Kit - (Make 6 Dairy Free Cheeses in Around an Hour)
$34.00

Contains everything you need to make 6 dairy-free vegan cheeses: Mozzarella, Ricotta, Mascarpone, Cypriot Style Cheese, Greek Style Cheese and Parmesan

12/03/2020 02:33 pm GMT
Miso Paste (Yellow Organic) Miso Paste (Yellow Organic)
$10.35 ($0.78 / Ounce)
12/03/2020 12:32 pm GMT
Penicillium Candidum Penicillium Candidum
$17.85 ($1.78 / Count)

 ABL to Make Camembert & Brie Cheese, 10 doses

12/03/2020 01:32 pm GMT
12/03/2020 01:32 pm GMT
Cheesecloth / Nut Milk Strainer Cheesecloth / Nut Milk Strainer
$8.95

 20x20 Inch, Grade 90, 100% Unbleached Pure Cole Hemmed and reuseable.

12/03/2020 01:32 pm GMT
Vegan Cheddar Cheese Slices (Non-GMO) Vegan Cheddar Cheese Slices (Non-GMO)
$4.86 ($0.69 / Ounce)

Enjoy 10 slices of this melty non-dairy cheese, that tastes amazing just like cheddar cheese.

12/03/2020 07:32 am GMT
The Big Vegan Cheese Making Kit - (Make 6 Dairy Free Cheeses in Around an Hour) The Big Vegan Cheese Making Kit - (Make 6 Dairy Free Cheeses in Around an Hour)
$34.00

Contains everything you need to make 6 dairy-free vegan cheeses: Mozzarella, Ricotta, Mascarpone, Cypriot Style Cheese, Greek Style Cheese and Parmesan

12/03/2020 02:33 pm GMT

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Boring Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you use them to buy something, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you which helps me buy more croissants. Merci for your support.

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