Skip to content

12 Ways To Make Plant-Based Dairy Products at Home

Our friends at Meatless Monday provided us with genius tips from expert bloggers.

People cut back on their consumption of dairy products for a variety of reasons, such as health benefits, ethics, and environmental sustainability, but the demand for plant-based dairy can be partially attributable to the increased availability of alternatives. Not to mention, food bloggers are routinely churning out creative ways to make dairy-based foods plant-based.

A combination of desire, technology, and creativity has allowed food manufacturers and home cooks to create nearly every version of dairy product imaginable without the use of any animal products—and consumers are showing interest. According to the Plant Based Foods Association, sales of plant-based foods were up by 27% in 2020 with milk alternatives being the top seller.

Below, Meatless Monday created a complete guide to making plant-based dairy products at home is here to help you recreate your faves the vegan way. Say "see ya" to plain bagels and non-cheesy nachos! Then, don't miss 15 Amazing Vegan Comfort Food Recipes.

1

All-purpose cauliflower cheese sauce

creamy garlic cauliflower sauce
Courtesy of Foodie with Family

Add richness, depth, and creaminess to any dish with this recipe for magic all-purpose cauliflower sauce from Foodie with Family. This simple-to-make sauce goes beautifully with Alfredo-style pasta sauce, biscuits and gravy, and macaroni and cheese. You can also mix in some spinach and diced artichoke hearts for a quick and creamy, plant-based dip.

2

Butter

vegan butter
Courtesy of Nora Cooks

Making plant-based butter is quick and easy thanks to this recipe from Nora Cooks. Using ingredients like coconut oil, soy milk, apple cider vinegar, and coconut cream creates a product that's smooth, creamy, and spreadable (at room temp).

3

Buttermilk

vegan buttermilk
Courtesy of Shane and Simple

Buttermilk is a wonderful ingredient that can find a home in everything from biscuits and brownies to mashed potatoes and coffee cake, but there are very few non-dairy versions available for purchase. Thankfully, you can make your own vegan buttermilk with this recipe from Shane and Simple.

4

Condensed milk

vegan condensed milk
Courtesy of Loving It Vegan

Many cuisines take advantage of condensed milk, using it in cakes, fudges, caramels, cookies, and coffee. Vegan options are not plentiful, but you can make your own version of the sweet stuff with this clever recipe for vegan condensed milk from Loving It Vegan.

Don't miss Famous Kyoto-Based Coffee Shop Debuts in This American City.

5

Cream cheese

vegan cream cheese
Courtesy of It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken

Plant-based eaters need something to shmear on their bagels, and while non-dairy cream cheese has been around for a couple of decades, this recipe for cashew cream cheese from It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken is particularly scrumptious. Throw in some fresh herbs or some berries for more variety.

6

Heavy cream

vegan heavy cream
Courtesy of The Simple Veganista

Another indispensable ingredient, heavy cream provides a silky richness to sweet and savory dishes. The Simple Veganista has an awesome recipe for plant-based heavy cream that you can use in soups, coffee, ice "cream" or anything else that you think needs a bit of decadence. And the best part is it only calls for two ingredients.

7

Ice cream

vegan ice cream
Courtesy of Kind Earth

Creating a guiltless dairy-free ice cream in under five minutes is easy when you're not using dairy products. This recipe for blueberry blender nice cream from Kind Earth calls for only three ingredients: frozen bananas, frozen blueberries, and a hint of vanilla extract. Throw them all in the blender and whir until creamy and smooth.

8

Plant-based milk

plant milk
Courtesy of Meatless Monday

Thank you, Food Matters, for creating this easy-to-use guide to making your own plant-based milk. With five different options, you'll be sure to find one that suits your taste preferences. Once you've selected a favorite, splash it into oatmeal, coffee, or this banana date smoothie.

Now, be sure to check out 40+ Best-Ever Breakfast Smoothies For Weight Loss.

9

Ricotta

vegan ricotta
Courtesy of Minimalist Baker

The creamy texture and mild flavor of ricotta cheese makes it a perfect addition to dips, pizza, and ravioli; and you'll be happy to know that you can make a plant-based version of ricotta cheese with only five ingredients—thanks to the creativity of the Minimalist Baker.

10

Sour cream

vegan sour cream
Courtesy of Veggies Don't Bite

This vegan version of sour cream from Veggies Don't Bite utilizes both cashews and blanched slivered almonds, lime juice, and vinegar to create a condiment that's both smooth and tangy. Add a dollop to your favorite nacho recipe or use it as a garnish on a protein-packed lentil soup.

11

Whipped cream

vegan whipped cream
Courtesy of Meatless Monday

This is one of Meatless Monday's favorite cooking hacks! By chilling (refrigerate, don't freeze) a can of coconut cream, you can easily recreate the fluffy deliciousness of whipped cream—completely dairy-free.

12

Parmesan cheese

vegan parmesan cheese
Courtesy of Minimalist Baker

Parmesan elevates anything from pasta and risotto to soup and roasted vegetables. Recreate the sharp umami flavor of Parmesan with Minimalist Baker's combination of nutritional yeast, walnuts (or cashews!), salt, and garlic powder. Give the mixture a couple of pulses in the food processor and you're good to go. Nutritional yeast is also a good source of protein, antioxidants, and vitamin B12.

For more, be sure to check out 11 Misconceptions About Plant-Based Eating You Shouldn't Believe.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of <Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more