Best Dairy Free Substitutes

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If you need to be gluten free AND dairy free, don’t despair! There are some truly amazing vegan and lactose free cheeses, yogurts, creams, desserts … to choose from! (and yes, there’s a difference between vegan, dairy-free and lactose free products!)

For more information on what it means to be dairy free and the reasons why you may want to try going dairy free for your health, hop to my article on lactose intolerance, milk protein allergy and casein.

From vegan ricotta to vegan cream cheese to vegan yogurt to vegan artisanal cheeses, mac & cheese and ice cream … you can find just about anything you need now, dairy-free! I’ve linked to a ton of our family favorites, but more are being added every day — lucky us!

gluten free dairy free substitutes | gfJules
Dairy-free cases aren’t what they used to be! There are a plethora of delicious choices now. Be sure to check labels though, as not all are dairy-free (some are merely lactose-free) and not all are gluten-free.

 

I update this post regularly, as I attend trade shows and find new products to share. Some photos below are from trade show floors and depict products that are coming to market soon, so be on the lookout! Follow along on my Instagram Stories and Highlight reel with my favorite brands and products as I share!

What are your favorite dairy-free products? Leave a comment and let me know!

grilled gluten free pizza CU | gfJules
Grilled gluten free pizza made with gfJules Gluten Free Pizza Mix and Miyoko’s Creamery Cashew Milk Mozzarella (traditional mozzarella di bufalo-style).

CAUTION for Gluten Free Consumers about Dairy-Free Alternatives: Some Dairy-Free Cheese Contains Gluten

When it comes to dairy substitutes, cheese is where it’s at, so that’s where this list will begin. What would a good cheesesteak be with out the cheese? A slice-a pizza be without hot, melty cheese? A cheeseboard be without the … well, you get the idea.

I’ve found some great dairy-free substitutes for you for all these things and more, starting with my favorite: PIZZA! Even buffalo mozzarella is now deliciously dairy free (Miyoko’s Creamery) and melty shreds are getting better and better. But not every product from these vegan brands is necessarily ALSO gluten free (even Miyoko’s, which makes some products using standard oats).

gfJules gluten free pizza at 500F on stone (1)
gfJules Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix topped with vegan shredded cheese (click for crust mix information)

Let me repeat: NOT all of the new dairy-free products on the market are both vegan and gluten free. Always read labels!

An example of a vegan product NOT suitable for gluten free consumers is this plant-based mozzarella from Whole Foods which contains wheat:

vegan is not necessarily gluten free

ALWAYS, always, always read every label!

Some of my favorite dairy-free &/or lactose-free & gluten-free products & ingredients*:

(check ingredients to ensure they suit your particular dietary needs — not every item pictured below is recommended)

gluten free dairy free cheese substitutes | gfJules
An awesome dairy-free/lactose-free cheese display! Not every item here is necessarily gluten-free though, and it might not meet your particular dietary needs. READ EVERY LABEL!

Dairy-Free Cheeses: Shreds, Slices, Cream Cheese, Soft Cheeses, Sticks & More 

Vevan® – made by artisan cheese makers in Wisconsin. Vegan, coconut and potato-based cheeses with probiotics. Cheddar, Mozzarella and P’ Jack Shreds; Uncream Cheese, Mozza Bites and Snax.

So Delicious® Cheese Alternatives — Shreds, Slices, Spreads. Coconut-based. Shreds come in Mozzarella, Cheddar and Mexican flavors. Certified Gluten Free from GFCO.

Forager Project® — cashew-based vegan cheeses (Vegan Parmesan, Vegan Mozzarella, Vegan Jack and Vegan Queso Fresco)

Daiya™ Cheddar and Mozzarella-Style shredded & sliced dairy-free cheese (*note: my family only likes the “Cutting Board Collection”), vegan cheeze sticks, Cream Cheese Style Spread (soy-free) —  I find when using this cream cheese alternative in recipes like cream cheese frosting, it requires additional sugar, whereas other brands do not

vegan cheeses | gfJules

Violife 100% Vegan Cheeses — all coconut oil based and nut-free (contains coconut, potato, corn) shreds, slices, cream cheese, feta, parmesan block, plant butter, dips, cream cheese, cocospread and more.

Parmela Creamery™ Slices and Shreds — cashew-milk based

Good PlanEt Foods™ cheese slices and shreds — coconut oil based and nut-free (contains potato and tapioca). Also new Smoked Gouda and Smoked Cheddar Wheels, Snackable Wedges and Snack Packs.

Good PlanEt cheese | gfJules

Field Roast® Vegan Chao Slices – made with soy; no gluten free claim is made and Field Roast does make other grain products containing gluten.

Follow Your Heart® Slices (Gouda; Pepperjack; Provolone) & Follow Your Heart® shredded vegan Parmesan & Follow Your Heart® Cream Cheese Alternative (soy)

Miyoko’s Creamery™ Artisan Cheese Wheel and other spreads — cashew based

gfJules Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix - grilled pizza with vegan mozzarella
Grilled Gluten Free Pizza made with gfJules Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix, topped with Miyoko’s Creamery cashew-based “mozzarella di bufalo”.

Miyoko’s Creamery Cashew Milk Mozzarella (traditional mozzarella di bufalo-style pictured on pizza, above)

Miyoko’s Creamery Farmhouse Cheddar and Pepperjack — NOTE: made with oat milk and no gluten free claim is made; I do not recommend this product for anyone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity due to the cross-contamination risk from oats.

GO Veggie!® Lactose Free or Vegan shredded cheese, cream cheese, blocks, bars, parmesan, slices & GO Veggie® Vegan Parmesan; Parma! Vegan Parmesan

Treeline™ — cashew-based soft cheeses, cream cheese and aged artisanal cheeses as well as vegan goat cheese. For more on my most recent review of Treeline products from Natural Products Expo East, check out my full article here.

Treeline plant based

Kite Hill™: almond milk cream cheese, yogurt, ricotta, soft-ripened artisanal cheeses

Tofutti® Better Than Cream Cheese; Sour Cream; Ricotta; American Style Slices (soy) 

Armored Fresh: a fermented almond product line that really does taste like cheese! Their cheese cubes are super portable for lunch boxes and other snacking — kid-approved! Also slices, shreds and spreads. (some products contain carrageenan) 

Armoured Fresh Vegan Cheese in cooler

Spero Sunflower Cream Cheese Spreads – multiple flavors from smoked salmon to strawberry to cheddar and of course, plain, all vegan; also sunflower goat cheese.

Lisanatti Foods® Almond Mozarella or Cheddar-Style Shredded Cheese; Rice Cheeze Sticks (only lactose-free, not dairy-free/vegan)

Nuts for Cheese | gfJules

Nuts for Cheese fermented cashew cheese in amazing artisanal flavors from vegan Blue Cheese to Smoked Gouda to Brie! Also Nuts for Butter fermented cashew butters. No starches or gums or fillers.

Dairy-Free Butter Substitutes

gluten free dairy free butter substitutes | gfJules

 

Country Crock plant butter

Earth Balance® Vegan Buttery Sticks & Soy-Free Buttery Sticks (my preferred baking products)

Earth Balance® Coconut Spread (vegan & soy-free)

Melt Organic Butter sticks and spread (Jules note: DO NOT USE FOR FROSTING!)

Miyoko’s Kitchen™ vegan butter (Jules note: this product does not contain preservatives and will grow mold quickly, so use soon after purchase!)

Country Crock Plant Butter

Milkadamia Buttery Spread

Wayfare Whipped Butter

Dairy-Free Milk

Milkadamia has a full line of vegan nut-based milks, as well as seasonal nut-based vegan milks and nogs that are quite delicious. Their creamers are spot-on, as well. 

 

Milkadamia seasonals

So Delicious® Coconut Milk Beverage

Good Karma Flaxmilk

Blue Diamond Almond Breeze

Pacific Foods (almond, hemp, soy, hazelnut, coconut, cashew, oat)

Coconut Milk Powder

Yofiit Chickpea Milk | gfJules

Yofiit Chickpea Milk

OWYN Protein Drinks, Vanilla Milk and Chocolate Milk 

Silk Almond, Cashew, Coconut or Soy Milks (or oat)

Forager Cashew Milk (or oat)

Orgain® Protein Shake

Ripple Vegan Milk

Good Mylk (almond, hemp and oat milks — oat milk is purity protocol)

Siggi’s Plant-Based Drinkables (probiotic coconut drinks with gut-friendly probiotics)

Is Oat Milk Gluten Free?

Good question. Oats are naturally gluten free, but they are an inherently risky ingredient for anyone living gluten free for medical reasons (celiac, gluten sensitivity, etc.). Read all about how cross-contamination with gluten grains is rampant in oat crops, and how to find the safest gluten free oats — aka “Purity Protocol Oats.” Those manufacturers making a gluten free claim but not using purity protocol oats are less safe than those using purity protocol oats, so it’s important to know the difference, but the choice is yours about whether these products meet your particular dietary needs. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer directly.

Oat milk is the next BIG THING. Plant-based folks and anyone wanting more nutritious milk on their cereal is hopping on the oat milk bandwagon, so there are lots of oat milks out there. Did you know oat milk has double the fiber of other plant-based milks like almond and soy! And that cow’s milk as no fiber?!

But if you’re celiac or need to eat gluten free for medical reasons, stick with only oat milks from manufacturers which use purity protocol oats or at least those which are using certified gluten free oats. See some below.

Better Body Foods Oat MilkOatsome Oat Milk – manufacturer discloses oats are grown in England and processed in Italy. Manufacturer claim:”We test the raw ingredients and the final product to ensure they’re Gluten-Free.” Confirmed via email with the company that they do use purity protocol oats for the “Oatsome” line which includes oat milk, chocolate oat milk, milk barista, coffee creamer and creamer lite. Tested and confirmed gluten free by Gluten Free Watchdog.

Elmhurst1925  – manufacturer makes gluten free claim and “certified gluten free” claim, but it is unclear who the certifying agency is. When contacted directly, the manufacturer confirmed they are using purity protocol oats.

Elmhurst 1925 has also introduced some lovely new and seasonal oat milk, creamer, nog and latte options, as pictured below. Everything I sampled was creamy and delicious. Their products are vegan, carrageenan-free, gluten-free. And yes, they have pumpkin spice creamer.

Elmhurst Collage

Oatly from the manufacturer: “we source only certified gluten-free oats for our US products.” Oatly milks are certified GF from the GFCO.

Moola Oat Milk with Coconut — manufacturer claims its products are made with “gluten free oats.” CeliacAndTheBeast reports that a purity protocol claim was made.

Moola Gluten Free Oat Milk

 

Good Mylk from the manufacturer when I contacted them directly: “We use Certified Gluten-Free Oats*, Tigernuts* (not a nut, a vegetable!), Dates*, Alkaline Water, Ancient Mineral Salt. Our oats are purity protocol.” They also sell in concentrated packets, which is pretty cool.

Good Mylk

 

Califia Farms Nitro Latte with Oat Milk — labeled gluten free. Tested for gluten by GlutenFreeWatchdog.com.

Califia Farms Oat milk

Chobani Oat Milk – claims its oat milk is free from gluten and made from organic gluten free oats from Saskatchewan, Canada. No further information is provided. (Also offers creamers, yogurts and horchata in oat-based formulas.)

Planet Oat – manufacturer claims in its FAQs that its oat milk is gluten free; no information on sourcing is provided.

AVOID: Pacific Foods from the manufacturer: “Is the Organic Oat Vanilla gluten free? No. Regular crop rotation can allow inherently gluten-free oats to become cross-contaminated with wheat. To play it safe, given that oats are at high risk for commingling with other grains, we do not make a gluten-free claim on our Oat beverages. Your health and safety is always our first priority.”

Native Forest Coconut Milk

coconut cream

Vegan Canned Milks

Vegan Evaporated Milk — coconut milk from Nature’s Charm

Sweetened Condensed Milk — coconut milk from Nature’s Charm

Sweetened Condensed Organic Coconut Milk — Let’s Do … Organic

Heavy Coconut Whipping Cream — Let’s Do … Organic

Unsweetened Organic Coconut Cream — Native Forest (also comes in Curry flavor)

 

Vegan and Dairy-Free Yogurt

So Delicious® Coconut or Oat Yogurt (their oat yogurt is certified GF but not everyone can tolerate gluten free oats)

Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt and Kids’ Yogurt Tubes

Forager Cashew Yogurt | gfJules

Forager Cashew Milk Yogurt

Silk Almond, Soy or Oat Milk Yogurt (note: this oat yogurt not certified gluten free)

Green Valley Organics® Lactose Free Yogurt

Culina Coconut Yogurt | gfJules

Culina Coconut Yogurt  — maple syrup sweetened

Siggi’s Plant-Based Yogurt  (plant-based coconut, macadamia, and pea protein blend with 3x more protein and 35% less sugar than leading yogurt alternatives)

Ayo Organic Almond Yogurt —  made by 4th generation California almond farmers, this farm-to-spoon organic yogurt tastes amazing! Loaded with probiotics and non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan ingredients. Carrageenan-free; soy-free.

ayo organic almond yogurt

Picnik_Vegan_Creamer_09-19_Edit_1024x1024

Vegan and Dairy-Free Creamer and Nog

So Delicious® Coconut Milk Creamer (or oat milk)

So Delicious® Vegan Holiday Nog 

Silk® Vegan Nog 

Bhakti® Holiday Spiced Nog -vegan

Silk Almond or Soy Creamer (they even have Pumpkin Spice!)

Laird Superfood has powdered creamers and now liquid Superfood Creamers as well. Vegan (coconut milk-based) and gluten free, and of course come in pumpkin spice flavor, but they include three functional mushroom ingredients (Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps and Chaga) as well as aquamin and other plant-based minerals. 

Laird Pumpkin Spice Creamer

Ripple Half & Half (pea protein)

PicNik Vegan Creamer

Nutpods Almond + Coconut Creamer

Good Mylk Almond Creamer (or oat)

Vegan and Dairy-Free Sour Cream & Ricotta

Vegan Gourmet-SourCream

Follow Your Heart® Sour Cream Alternative (soy)

Tofutti® Better Than Sour Cream (soy; non-hydrogenated)

Vegan Gourmet®/Follow Your Heart Sour Cream (soy)

Green Valley Organics® Lactose Free Sour Cream

Kite Hill Almond Milk Ricotta Cheese

Ripple Vegan Sour Cream

Good Karma Sour Cream (made from coconut, tapioca and pea protein)

rippl plant-based sour cream

 

Vegan and Dairy-Free & Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

Annie’s® Homegrown Vegan, Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

Healthy Vegan & Gluten Free Mac and Cheese recipe

Banza Chickpea Pasta Plant Based Mac

Daiya Cheddar Style Deluxe Cheezy Mac

Pamela’s Mac n Cheese

Jovial Gluten Free Vegan Mac

jovial gluten free vegan mac and cheese

Vegan and Dairy Free Dessert Options:

So Delicious Coconut Milk, Cashew Milk, Almond Milk or Soy Milk Ice Cream

Cosmic Bliss ice creams 

Nada Moo | gfJules

Nada Moo

So Delicious® MinisCocoWhip

So Delicious® CocoWhip Coconut Whipped Cream

 

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The Best Vegan and Dairy Free Substitutes Reviewed | gfJules

 

Best Dairy-Free Products & Ingredients curated by gfJules
From vegan butter to dairy-free milk, yogurt, creamer, cheese, desserts and more — links to the best gluten-free and dairy-free products, as curated by gfJules

 

*some items may include affiliate links. If you choose to purchase an item through one of these links, your cost remains the same but I may receive a small portion of the price to use to fund this website. See my full disclosure policy here. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

 

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  1. Hi Jules,
    In some of the recipes from you that I receive in my inbox dairy free powdered milk is called for. Then, when I look them up on your website, none of them have powdered milk in the recipe. I bought dairy free powdered milk and now I can’t find the recipes that call for it. Help!

    Another question: Some of your recipes call for psyllium husk powder AND your flour, which already has xanthan gum in it. Do we really want both in there?

    And yet another question: I recently purchased a bunch of your mixes and flour and received a free cookbook with the mixed and flour. If I make the Nearly Normal GF Flour, could I replace the xanthan gum with psyllium husk powder?

    Reply
    • Hi Jeanie, I’ll try to answer your questions as best I can.
      As for the powdered milk, you can use that in recipes that call for it or the sub of vanilla pudding mix (GF) as noted. If you can’t find the recipes that called for it, that’s a good thing — less to worry about!
      Very few of my recipes call for psyllium husk fiber. Where noted, it’s used to help provide additional structure to yeast breads.
      As for making the Nearly Normal Gluten Free Flour, you will find that flour is very different from my gfJules Flour. It’s more for people who can’t tolerate an ingredient in my gfJules Flour or live overseas and can’t afford to have my flour shipped to them. I would not recommend replacing the XG with psyllium in that mix, as psyllium tends to work better in yeast breads but not in all purpose applications. Here’s more information on what makes my gfJules Flour unique as opposed to the homemade mix.
      ~jules

      Reply
  2. Hi,😊 thank you for the lists of cheese, can you assist me to see which brands have a certified gluten free label? Because I see statements of gluten free and symbols but no certification stamps and I can only eat certified gluten free. I have been looking for vegan non dairy without casein and gluten free certified and I cannot seem to find any, if you know of any that would be so helpful. Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Hi Rana, the best way to find out is to look at the packaging itself. I know that currently the So Delicious shreds are certified by GFCO. You can identify the certifications by learning them from my article on safe shopping: https://gfjules.com/shopping-for-safe-gluten-free-products/
      You can also click through to the product pages from each link I’ve provided here for the products and see whether the manufacturer has added the certifications to the product pages for the most up-to-date information. I hope that helps!!!!
      ~jules

      Reply
  3. Dear Jules,

    Thank you so much for the list, is a big help!

    Jules, I have a question. All your bread recipes can be done in a Bread Machine and what circle should I use?

    Please advice,

    Reply