This homemade vegan Swiss cheese gives you the rich and slightly tangy flavor of the Swiss cheese that you loved, but with no dairy, gluten, or nuts! You can easily whip up a batch in about 10 minutes, let it cool and you will be slicing up beautiful vegan Swiss in just a few hours!

A triangle shaped block of vegan Swiss cheese with slices of cheese and strawberries around it on a wooden cutting board..

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❤️ Why you will love vegan Swiss cheese

  • It’s easy to make!
  • There are only a few simple ingredients!
  • It’s made with coconut milk for the fat content, so it’s oil-free.
  • Most people with nut allergies can still eat this coconut cheese!
  • It’s a beautiful addition to your next vegan cheese board or on a vegan sandwich!
A block of vegan Swiss cheese with slices cut off of it on a wooden cutting board.

🧾 Ingredients and substitutions

  • Coconut Milk – this is the base of the cheese.  It gives it a rich and creamy texture and allows you to make it with no additional oil. Use a 13.5 oz can of full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream.
  • Water – I use warm water and pour it into the empty can of coconut milk to get all of the milk that has stuck inside the can.
  • Agar Agar – This is a vegan gelatin that is derived from seaweed.  This will set your cheese and make it firm.  Make sure to use powdered agar agar and not flakes and measure carefully.  (Slightly more or less agar agar will change the texture of your cheese).  I found the best price for this on Amazon or at my local Asian Market.  It’s typically expensive at your local natural foods store.
  • Tapioca – (optional) This will help your cheese melt and stretch if you want it to like in a vegan Swiss grilled cheese. (Omit for a firmer cheese).
  • Nutritional Yeast – this will give it a cheesy flavor.
  • Tahini – to give it more of a Swiss-style flavor.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – for flavor and a little tang to your cheese.
  • Lemon Juice – for a tart flavor.
  • Salt – for flavor
  • Onion Powder – (Optional) for more flavor.

🔪 Helpful tools

  • Saucepan – to cook your cheese.
  • Whisk – to stir the cheese sauce.
  • Glass Container – or anything you want to use as a cheese mold.  Your cheese will take the shape of anything that you use.  I like the 2 cup size Snapwere containers because the cheese fits perfectly and it has a lid with a good seal!
  • Straws – chopsticks, lollipop sticks, or any stick-like objects that you have around your kitchen that will create a variety of hole sizes in your cheese.
A collage of 2 pictures showing the process of making vegan Swiss cheese by adding all the ingredients to a saucepan and heating until smooth and boiling.

🥄 How to make vegan Swiss cheese

Step 1 – Choose a mold to pour your cheese into, spray it with a little spray oil, and add any stick-like objects that you have to make different-sized holes throughout your cheese.

Step 2 – Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan and add all of the ingredients while the milk is still cold.

Step 3 – Stir with a whisk then turn the heat on to medium. Continue to stir frequently until it begins to boil.

Step 4 – Turn the heat down to low, stir, and allow to boil slowly for 6 full minutes then pour the hot cheese sauce into the mold.

Step 5 – Let it cool uncovered for about 15 minutes on the countertop.

A collage of 3 pictures showing how to prepare the cheese mold with sticks to make the holes in the vegan Swiss cheese.

Step 6 – Place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours uncovered to allow it to set completely and to dry out slightly.

Step 7 – Pull out the sticks. (Give them a little twist to release them and then pull out straight).

Step 8 – Slice and serve or cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

👩🏻‍🍳 Pro Tips

  • Use full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream for the base for the creamiest best-tasting cheese.
  • Make sure to measure carefully.
  • Make sure to use 2 full tablespoons (not teaspoons) of agar agar or your cheese will not set.
  • Allow it to boil slowly for a full 6 minutes.  This will activate the agar agar and allow it to set up correctly.
  • Use a variety of different-sized “sticks” to make the holes in your vegan Swiss.  Use one or two big things like a handle to a wooden spoon to make bigger holes.
  • Add tapioca starch if you want to melt it.  Leave it out if you want to slice and eat it cold
A block of vegan Swiss cheese that has been sliced.

❓Frequently asked questions

Will this vegan cheese taste exactly like real cheese?

No, there is no vegan cheese anywhere that tastes like real cheese.  Big companies have spent millions of dollars trying to find a cheese alternative that tastes just like real cheese and they have yet to succeed.  However, this cheese is delicious and it will satisfy your cheese craving.  It saves you a ton of money by not having to buy expensive and hard-to-find vegan cheeses too!

What can I use instead of tapioca starch?

If you want your cheese to melt well and be stretchy when it does, you need to use tapioca starch.  Nothing else works like it does to help it melt and stretch.  You can use potato starch in its place and it will help it melt, but it will not be stretchy.

How do I get the cheese texture I want?

The agar agar is a gelatine-like powder derived from seaweed.  This is what I use to make my cheese firm since it has no flavor and makes the cheese firm.  If you want very firm cheese, you can use an additional tsp. of agar agar and do not use any tapioca or potato starch.  (I know that you may think that adding more starch will make it firmer, but it does not)!  The additional starch doesn’t allow the agar agar to set as firm as without any starch.  So, you will not be able to make a very firm cheese that also melts and stretches.

Will this vegan cheese taste like coconut?

Yes, it will have a slight coconut flavor, but surprisingly not overwhelming.  Some people who don’t like sweet coconut really enjoy this cheese made with coconut milk.

What can I use instead of coconut milk to make vegan cheese?

You can use 1 1/2 cups of plain soy milk and 1/2 cup of oil (refined coconut oil works well) in place of the coconut milk and water. This will give it the richness of the coconut oil.

A block of vegan Swiss cheese cut into a triangle with slices around it on a wooden cutting board.

🌟 More vegan cheese recipes

If you are interested in learning how to make more easy homemade vegan cheeses, check out all of my vegan cheese recipes on the blog or my cookbook, “The Ultimate Guide to Easy Vegan Cheese Making.”

📌 Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for new vegan recipes!

A block of vegan Swiss cheese cut into slices on a wooden cutting board.
5 from 9 rating

Vegan Swiss Cheese

A homemade Swiss-style cheese made from coconut milk.

Ingredients

  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk, (full fat)
  • 1/2 cup water, (I use warm water and put it in the empty can of coconut milk to get all of the extra coconut milk stuck to the edges).
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp agar agar
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder, (optional)

For vegan Swiss that melts

Instructions
 

  • Choose a mold to pour your cheese into. Spray it with a little spray oil and add any stick-like objects that you have to make different sized holes throughout your cheese.
  • Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan and add all of the ingredients while the milk is still cold.  (Include tapioca starch if you want to melt it.  Leave it out if you want to slice it and eat it cold).
  • Stir with a whisk then turn the heat on to medium. Continue to stir frequently until it begins to boil.
  • Turn the heat down to low. Stir and allow to boil slowly for 6 full minutes.
  • Pour the hot cheese sauce into the mold.
  • Let it cool uncovered for about 15 minutes on the countertop.
  • Place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours uncovered to allow it to set completely and to dry out slightly.
  • Pull out the sticks. (Give them a little twist to release them and then pull out straight).
  • Slice and serve or cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • Use full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream for the base for the creamiest best-tasting cheese.
  • Measure carefully. Make sure to use 2 full tablespoons and not to 2 teaspoons of agar agar or your cheese will not set.
  • Allow it to boil slowly for a full 6 minutes.  This will activate the agar agar and allow it to set correctly.
  • Use a variety of different sized “sticks” to make the holes in your vegan Swiss. 
  • Use one or two big objects, like a handle of a wooden spoon, to make larger holes.
Serving: 0.25cups, Calories: 105kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Sodium: 371mg, Potassium: 156mg, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 2mg
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