The BEST Vegan Grilled Cheese + Melting Tips

Make a vegan grilled cheese sandwich that mirrors the gooey, melty cheese of the classic version. This classic cheese sandwich recipe can be made in less than ten minutes! (Psst—the process is the same as a classic!)

Three grilled cheese stacked on top of each other.

Ah, grilled cheese is the classic comfort food that we Americans love.  However, making vegan cheese sandwiches has traditionally been a challenge. Until ten years ago, store-bought cheeses did not melt and tasted funky.  However, a lot has changed since then, and vegan grilled cheese sandwiches are better than ever.

Thanks to demand and creativity, vegan cheese has come a long way. I prefer sliced cheese made from a cashew base; they tend to melt better and have that oozy, gooey quality. Below, I break down the differences between shreds, slices, and brands to help you choose the best cheese.

When it comes to serving grilled cheese, there are so many options. You can go traditional, add red pesto sauce, roasted red pepper and eggplant dip, or apples. My favorite is dipping it into peach compote sauce or vegan green chili! Trust me, it’s so good!

Three grilled cheese stacked on top of each other.

Best Vegan Cheeses

The vegan cheeses below are available at most large and natural grocery stores.   Many options are available now, and you might want to experiment to find your favorite brand.  Normally, I love Chao for melting, but I recommend Follow Your Heart American brand for a classic grilled cheese sandwich.

Vegan Cheese Slices

  • Chao Creamery Slices – Made by Field Roast, Chao slices have a creamy texture and soft flavor. They melt very well, making them perfect for grilled cheese or pizza!
  • Daiya Deluxe Cheese Slices – Daiya is well-known for its dairy-free products. Their slices come in cheddar and Swiss. Their recipe has been reformulated and has come a long way from old-school Daiya slices, 
  • Follow Your Heart Cheese Slices – These soy-free slices melt beautifully and are sold in American, provolone, and smoked gouda flavors. This was by far my favorite cheese for a grilled cheese sandwich!
  • Violife Vegan Cheese Slices – Violife slices are free from soy and gluten and offer a range of flavors, including Colby Jack and mature Cheddar. I love the mature cheddar with apple slices!

Vegan Cheese Shreds

  • So Delicious Dairy-Free Shreds – They melt well in cheddar and mozzarella styles.
  • Miyoko’s Creamery Organic Vegan Cheese Shreds – Miyoko’s is known for its artisanal approach to vegan cheese. Their cashew-based shreds have a rich and authentic cheese flavor.
  • Daiya Cutting Board Shreds – Available in cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack flavors. The recipe has been reformulated and now melts better than old-school Daiya.
  • Violife Just Like Mozzarella Shreds – Ideal for a stretchy, melted cheese experience, these shreds are great for those who prefer a milder, mozzarella-like flavor.

Ingredients

  • Bread: gluten-free, whole wheat, white or sourdough bread.
  • Room Temperature Plant-Based Butter: I typically use Earth Balance or Miyoko’s.  
  • Vegan Cheese: Look for a thinly sliced cheese that melts well. See melting tips.
  • Optional additions: tomato, avocado, vegan pesto, spinach.

Alternative Cooking Method: Air Fryer

Tips for Achieving the Perfect Melt

  • Thinness Matters: Thinner slices melt faster.
  • Pan Matters:  Use a good nonstick pan.
  • Medium Heat: Cook your sandwich on medium-low heat. A slower cook is key for melting cheese without burning the bread.
  • Cover the Pan: Trapping the heat helps in melting the cheese evenly.

Having trouble spreading vegan butter? Try melting one tablespoon of vegan butter in a pan if that is your butter. Once melted, lay your slice of bread in the pan, allowing it to absorb the melted butter.

Four types of grilled cheeses stacked on top of each other.
Hand holding slice of vegan grilled cheese up to the camera.

The BEST Vegan Grilled Cheese + Melting Tips

Make a vegan grilled cheese sandwich that mirrors the gooey, melty cheese of the classic version. You can make this classic cheese sandwich recipe in less than ten minutes!
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 sandwich
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 Skillet with cover
  • 1 Spatula

Ingredients

  • 2 slices bread of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) butter, room temperature
  • 2-4 slices vegan cheese

Instructions

  • Butter the Bread: Generously butter one side of each bread slice. Don't hold back; a thick coating is necessary for the perfect grilled crunch.
  • Assemble the Sandwich: Place your cheese (and any other ingredients) between the non-buttered sides of your bread.
  • Heat Your Pan: Preheat your nonstick pan to medium-low heat. Patience is key here.
  • Grill to Perfection: Place your sandwich in the pan, buttered side down. Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side or until the bottom is golden brown, and then flip. Cover the pan if necessary to trap the steam and help the cheese melt.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Once both sides are crispy and the cheese is melted, remove from the pan, slice, and serve immediately.

Notes

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
The BEST Vegan Grilled Cheese + Melting Tips
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
494
Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
35
g
54
%
Cholesterol
 
64
mg
21
%
Sodium
 
855
mg
37
%
Carbohydrates
 
37
g
12
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
3
g
3
%
Protein
 
8
g
16
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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