Vegan Grilled Cheese

This vegan grilled cheese recipe is classic comfort food that’s quick to throw together. This recipe is easy, healthy, and completely dairy-free! Enjoy it for lunch or a snack.

Kirsten Nunez, MS

By Kirsten Nunez, MS

10 Ratings

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Vegan grilled cheese on toasted bread, served with a bowl of tomato soup, on cutting board.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

There are few things more satisfying than a simple grilled cheese. And luckily, thanks to the myriad non-dairy cheese products on the market, it’s easy to make vegan versions at home. However, you might be surprised to learn that it’s just as easy to make from scratch!

To make it, you’ll need basic kitchen ingredients such as oats, vegetable broth, and nutritional yeast. Once heated with spices and cornstarch, the mixture will turn into a creamy and spreadable cheese.

Spread the vegan cheese between two slices of bread and prepare your grilled cheese as usual. And just like that, you’ll have a tasty sandwich made with real, whole ingredients.

Enjoy this vegan grilled cheese recipe with French fries, fresh salads, or tomato soup for a classic and delicious pairing.

Key Ingredients

Ingredients for vegan grilled cheese: Vegetable broth, oats, cornstarch, pimiento peppers, nutritional yeast, tahini, and spices.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
  • Vegetable broth. The cheese filling uses vegetable broth as a base. For the best flavor, consider using a homemade vegetable broth recipe. You can also use water in a pinch, but it will have less flavor.
  • Nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast, also called nooch, is essential for any vegan cheese recipe. It adds a savory and nutty flavor that’s similar to cheese.
  • Oats. Rolled oats help create a thick and satisfying texture. They also offer some fiber.
  • Cornstarch. This ingredient is also important for thickening the cheese.

How to Make Vegan Grilled Cheese

One recipe makes enough cheese for two sandwiches, depending on the size of your bread and how much filling you use. For the full recipe and ingredients list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

1. In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine all the ingredients except the bread and butter. Blend until fully combined.

Blending vegan cheese ingredients in a food processor/
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

2. In a small pan or pot, bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until thick, whisking constantly. It should develop a thick and gooey texture.

Cooking vegan cheese in a skillet until thickened.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

3. Melt butter in a large skillet and lightly pre-toast two slices of bread, if you’d like. Spread the about 1/3 cup of cheese filling on one slice. Depending on the size of your bread, you might need more or less.

Spreading vegan cheese on toasted bread.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

4. Heat the sandwich in a large skillet over medium heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. We like to place the lid on the skillet to help melt the cheese a bit.

Cooking vegan grilled cheese in a skillet.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

5. Cut and serve.

Vegan grilled cheese on a white plate.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Recipe Tips, Variations, and Substitutions

  • Use water instead of broth. Although broth will offer the most flavor, you can use water instead.
  • Start with less seasonings. If it’s your first time making vegan cheese or using nutritional yeast, consider using less seasonings than you think you need. This includes salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Taste the cheese after it has simmered and add more, if needed.
  • Skip the pimiento peppers. If you don’t like pimiento peppers, you can use chopped sundried tomatoes or roasted red peppers. Another option is chipotle peppers for a spicy kick.
  • Layer with other ingredients. After spreading the cheese on the bread, add sautéed spinach, vegan deli meat, or pesto for even more flavor.
  • Spread the cheese on pre-cooked bread. Another method is to cook two slices of bread on a buttered skillet, then add the cheese and enjoy.

How Do You Store Leftover Vegan Grilled Cheese?

For best results, store leftover cheese filling separately from the bread. Otherwise, the toasted bread will become soggy. Place leftover cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Serving Suggestions

Vegan grilled cheese on a white plate

Vegan Grilled Cheese

This dairy-free, vegan grilled cheese recipe is classic comfort food that's really quick and easy to throw together. A great option for a weekend lunch or quick dinner. Makes about 4 sandwiches.
Click stars below to rate, or leave a full review in the comments
10 Ratings
Print Rate it Now Pin Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Diet: Vegan
Keyword: dairy-free grilled cheese, non-dairy grilled cheese, vegan grilled cheese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 235kcal
Author: Kirsten Nunez, MS

Ingredients

  • 1 ⅓ cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup pimiento peppers
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt plus more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon ground paprika
  • 8 slices bread

Instructions

  • In a food processor or high-powered blender, combine all the ingredients except the bread and butter. Blend until fully combined.
  • In a small pan or pot, bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until thick, whisking constantly. It should develop a thick and gooey texture.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet and lightly pre-toast two slices of bread, if you’d like. Spread the about 1/3 cup of cheese filling on one slice. Depending on the size of your bread, you might need more or less.
  • Heat the sandwich in a large skillet over medium heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. We like placing the lid on the skillet to help melt the cheese a bit.
  • Cut and serve.

Notes

  • Although broth will offer the most flavor, you can use water instead.
  • If it’s your first time making vegan cheese or using nutritional yeast, consider using less seasonings (salt, garlic powder, onion powder) than you think you need. This includes salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Taste the cheese after it has simmered and add more, if needed.
  • If you don’t like pimiento peppers, you can use chopped sundried tomatoes or roasted red peppers. Another option is chipotle peppers for a spicy kick.
  • After spreading the cheese on the bread, add sautéed spinach, vegan deli meat, or pesto for even more flavor.
  • Another method is to cook two slices of bread on a buttered skillet, then add the cheese and enjoy.
  • For best results, store leftover cheese filling separately from the bread. Otherwise, the toasted bread will become soggy. Place leftover cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recommended Tools & Products

Food processor
Large skillet
Medium Skillet

Nutrition

Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 1172mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 551IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CleanGreenSimple or tag #CleanGreenSimple!
Kirsten Nunez

About the Author

Kirsten Nunez is a journalist who focuses on healthy food and cooking. Her vegan and plant-based recipes have appeared on VegNews, eHow, Shape, and more. When she’s not creating vegan recipes for Clean Green Simple, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen and sharing plant-based meals with friends and family. More articles by Kirsten.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

21 thoughts on “Vegan Grilled Cheese”

  1. The Jelly comment made me laugh. I grew up with Grilled Cheese and Raspberry Preserves sandwiches. It’s how my grandpa would make Grilled Cheese for my mom, and how she made it for me. I loved them. Don’t knock it until you try it!

    Reply
  2. I have this cookbook, and in the recipe it also has 1/3c of cashews. Did you just leave that out when you made it, or did you just forget to add it in the ingredients? Just curious

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Have been wanting to make this for a while and finally did! Everyone in our household loved it. Reminded me of nacho dip. Kids will use the leftover cheese for dipping vegetables. Thanks!!!

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    Loved this! I have been vegetarian for 8 months and switched to vegan a little over 2 weeks ago. I’ve aid all along my chances at succeeding depend alot on finding alternatives to grilled cheese and pizza! Grilled cheese recipe is covered!! Next Saturday I will be trying ur pizza. Ur blog is awesome!!! I am making ur granola, egg salad and roasted chickpeas tomorrow!!!

    Reply
  5. The fact that you said jelly would be disgusting is hilarious, because thats how I always have my grilled cheese. Except you grill it, and then spread it on top of the bread, like you would toast.

    Its surprisingly delicious, I’ve had it that way most of my life, and everyone thinks I’m crazy TILL they try it! Honestly, try it for one sandwhich, then go with it. If you use diaya shreds to make grilled cheese, it really makes it taste more like grilled cheese (its masks the obviously non-cheese flavor and you just get the texture and cheesyness).

    Reply
  6. This cheeze looks AMAZING! I am always looking for non-processed, soy-free easy vegan cheese recipes to make at home. Does it store well in the fridge if I only want to make one sandwich?

    Reply
  7. 5 stars
    Duuuuuuuuude!! I made this last night after searching for a vegan grilled cheese recipe and it was KILLER! Don’t even hesitate to make this… it was creamy and yummy and flavorful, all the things I used to love in a grilled cheese. Absolutely awesome, and I paired it with this soup which you simply must dip the sandwich in. It complimented the flavors in the “cheese” perfectly: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=14391.0

    Thanks for posting such a great recipe! I’m ordering a copy of the cookbook ASAP.

    Reply
  8. 5 stars
    This is the best vegan grilled cheese recipe I’ve ever tasted. . . the rolled oats as texture is a great idea. I added basil and sun dried tomatoes, and skipped the dill + paprika because I didn’t have any. . . I also added olives, caramelized onion, and avocado to the grilled cheese. So so amazing, thanks for posting this!!

    Reply
  9. 5 stars
    I LOVE THIS RECIPE !! Now I want to go buy this book omg thank you for your recipes I have used and recommended several of them !!!

    Reply
  10. 5 stars
    WOW!!! This recipe is truly amazing. So much like the real thing too. Even a bit stringy like cheese. Very impressed! I’m always looking for the top vegan recipes. This one is more than 5 stars. I think this one will be much better for my vegan pizza as well. I just got finished eating my first sandwich and now I am going to have another. I preferred to leave out the dry mustard and I used cayenne pepper instead just for better health reasons. I will be making this one a LOT!!! and will probably purchase the ultimate uncheese cookbook. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply
  11. Hi! I’ve just spent the last two hours reading your blog!
    I’m loving it!
    Oh and tomato soup all the way with grilled cheese and of course a dill pickle!

    Reply
  12. 4 stars
    Thanks for the recipe. I have to say though, 3 tbsp is *way* too much lemon juice. I just made this and that’s all I can taste. Great consistency though.

    Reply
  13. 5 stars
    I have tried this recipe and just love it. Unfortunatly my three teen-age grand daughters did not. I feel they are just too used to the real cheese taste and not really willing to give this recipe another chance.. I have high cholesteral and know real cheese is bad for me so I am willing to try recipes until I find what I like. It is truly so easy to make and stores good.
    Thanks…..Jane

    Reply
    • Glad you liked it! That’s awesome that you are figuring out ways to improve your health with food – so important! Sorry your grandkids don’t like it, but that’s how it is with a lot of things, isn’t it? People have to be willing to try things with an open mind 🙂

      Reply
  14. Hello! I’m new to your blog – found you via Oh She Glows – and absolutely love it! I’ve been vegetarian for years but have been trying to eliminate dairy and eggs over the last few months, but I really miss CHEESE! I live in Bangladesh and we don’t get soy cheese substitutes (or even nutritional yeast) so I am very, very happy to see this recipe. I LIVED on grilled cheese sandwiches when I was studying in London and didn’t have time to cook… so seeing a vegan grilled cheese recipe makes me very happy! I’ve ordered some n. yeast online so if it ever arrives I’ll be trying this out… or maybe I’ll try it without!

    Reply
    • I’m not sure in this recipe, but usually the nutritional yeast is pretty important to making these things taste cheesy. Fortunately it lasts a pretty long time so if you can manage to order a big bag online you should be set for a while! I’ll see if I have any “cheese” recipes that don’t involve nooch…

      Reply