Pizza Cheese Substitute You Can Try



Hi, I'm Maggie. I love cooking for my family and sharing my experiences from the kitchen.

There are dozens of pizza types, each bringing a different touch and flavor to the table, but it’s pretty hard to imagine one without at least a bit of cheese on it. Whether it be the cheese crust filling, a ball of mozzarella on top, or if the entire pizza is covered in it, cheese is one of the most important components of whatever comes to mind when you think about pizza. 

Every person has a different set of taste buds, or between two and four thousand to be exact, meaning that not everyone loves their pizza covered, sprinkled, or filled with cheese. 

If you’re wondering what to replace cheese with on pizza, I have a few things in mind that could make your pizza equally if not superiorly tasty, crunchy, healthy, and/or vegan, depending on what you want out of your pizzas. 

Reasons to Substitute Cheese In Pizza?

Nearly 2,000 types of cheese exist, each with a different flavor, aroma, and texture. Only a few cheese types are considered healthy, while even a smaller amount is made of vegan ingredients. 

Even if you are not lactose intolerant or on a diet, a solid reason why you should try something other than cheese as your main pizza topping is experimentation. You can never know how much you’d like a certain combination of tastes and flavors unless you try different things. 

One of the main reasons why I fall in and out of love with cheese in pizza is related to health issues. Some of my favorite kinds of cheese are extremely high in fat content, and it is becoming harder to resist melted mozzarella, gorgonzola, and shredded cheddar dipping from the crust. 

7 Pizza Cheese Alternatives

From vegan cheese and nutritional yeast to the kinds of cheese you’ll rarely see on pizza, like Tofu or Goat Cheese, there are many alternatives. Some are healthier and accessible to vegans and lactose-intolerant individuals than, for instance, shredded cheddar or grated parmesan. Take a look at the table below for more information about healthy cheese substitutes for pizza:

No Cheese Substitutes Taste Texture Fat Level Lactose Level
1 Vegan Cheese Available in all traditional cheese flavors From soft to hard Rich in saturated fats, otherwise low 0%
2 Nutritional Yeast Savory, nutty, slightly salty Flaky, powdery, or granulated  0% 0%
3 Pesto Herby, salty, earthy, and rich Smooth 41% 0% unless milk-based cheese is added
4 Ricotta Cheese Mild and nutty, somewhat sweet Soft 10% 0.2-5.1%
5 Feta Cheese Sharp and somewhat tangy, depending on the region Soft 16% 4.1%
6 Goat Cheese Moderately strong, tangy, earthy, and buttery Soft 26% 4.2%
7 Tofu Mild, buttery From silky soft to firm 6.78% 0%
Pizza Cheese Alternatives

Vegan Cheese

Some folks that never tried vegan cheese assume it can never compare to its milk-based counterpart. Objectively speaking, vegan cheese is closer to “real” cheese than anything else. 

Nearly all types of cheese have a vegan version, and if your local deli doesn’t offer them, you can easily find them on Amazon.

The main thing to look for when buying Vegan cheese for pizza is which plant it is made from. 

For instance, coconut-made cheese is probably a bit too sweet for pizza, unless you’re making a fruit-flavored one. Soy-based vegan cheese is heartier but typically doesn’t melt as easily as almond-made vegan cheese. 

Nutritional Yeast

Deactivated or nutritional yeast is essentially a food supplement that I warmly recommend introducing to your diet, even if you decide against using it on your pizzas. 

Rich in protein and potassium while boasting an extremely low-calorie count and no fat to speak of whatsoever, it is among the healthiest, dairy-free alternatives to cheese that can fit into any meal. 

Its taste is unique but uncannily similar to salty types of cheese, such as Edam or Ricotta. Aside from a range of health benefits, I also recommend it as a cheese alternative in pizzas because of its savory flavor. 


The Pesto sauce is a gorgeous blend of fresh veggies and nuts mixed with a dash of olive oil. Although many people commonly mix it with mild, good-melting cheese types such as Parmesan, you can leave all dairy-based products out and sprinkle some of your favorite herbs to match your taste. 

Raw Organic Green Pesto in a Bowl
Raw Organic Green Pesto in a Bowl

Without cheese add-ons, Pesto sauce is a herbal delicacy comprised of basil, pine nuts, a bit of garlic, and some olive oil. Ideally, you should either buy or make a creamy, paste-like Pesto sauce for your pizza, but its texture largely depends on the ratio of ingredients you intend to use. 

Ricotta Cheese

Even though Ricotta is a type of cheese, it is strikingly dissimilar to the kinds you’d see on pizzas in restaurants and fast food venues because of its super-low fat content. Boasting merely 10% of fats, most of which are unsaturated, Ricotta is among the healthiest types of cheese you can shred or grate over your pizza slices. 

Mild in taste and soft in texture, Ricotta’s flavor is the main reason I’m recommending it, but the second one revolves around its unique melting properties. Since it is ultra-soft and creamy, it practically becomes a paste once surrounded by high heat, making it an ideal pizza topping. 

This might also be interesting for you: Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese?

Feta Cheese

If you want to make your pizza recipes healthier while retaining or even improving their flavor, I warmly recommend replacing your usual cheese go-to’s with Feta. This tangy, crumbly cheese melts decently well and has a taste sharp enough to make a difference, especially when combined with grilled veggies. 

Cubes of feta cheese on a plate
Cubes of feta cheese on a plate

Goat Cheese

Goat cheese is “not” the best kind of food for picky eaters. People who’ve only eaten cow milk or plant-based cheese are likely to be surprised by its tangy taste, even though it is considerably milder than, say American Cheese or Gouda. 

It may not be the most popular pizza topping in the book, but it is an excellent alternative to more conventional types of cheese if you’re willing to experiment with tastes a bit. 

Assorted goat cheese lying on a wooden table boards
Assorted goat cheese lying on a wooden table boards

With a bit of olive oil, a bit of sprinkled garlic powder, and half a cup of cherry tomatoes with goat cheese grated over the mix, you’ll get a rich, colorful blend of tastes that complement each other perfectly. If you have mild lactose intolerance, Goat Cheese might be possible to enjoy because it is a bit lower in lactose compared to cow mild. 


Tofu is, contrary to popular belief, not a type of cheese. It is a plant-based bean curd, typically made of soy milk that soaks other ingredients like a sponge. This is precisely why it’s an excellent substitute for cheese in pizzas – whichever ingredient you place next to it, tofu will make it creamier and fuller. 

If you’re serving a slice of pizza with tofu as a topping to a guest without telling them the recipe, I can almost guarantee they won’t be able to tell it’s inside. Tofu has a very mild, almost bland flavor on its own, but it can make any meal significantly heartier since it’s rich in protein and iron. 

Traditional tofu is 100% vegan, although many cheese makers tend to spice it with additional ingredients and supplements to enhance its neutral taste. 

Tips to Substitute Pizza Cheese

The best way to substitute pizza cheese, in my humble opinion, is to use tofu or nutritional yeast. Both are fully vegan alternatives to classic pizza cheese and can be used together because of their mild flavors. Here is a simple recipe you can use to make your next vegan pizza even tastier and healthier:

Vegan Pizza Cheese Substitute

Recipe by MaggieCourse: MainCuisine: Italian, Other world cuisineDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Here is a simple recipe you can use to make your next vegan pizza even tastier and healthier:


  • Pre-made pizza dough

  • A teaspoon of nutritional yeast

  • 100ml of tomato passata

  • A tablespoon of chopped basil

  • One clove of crushed garlic

  • 200g of grated semi-firm tofu

  • Two sliced tomatoes

  • Oregano leaves


  • Heat the oven to 200C
  • Place a cooking sheet inside and wait for the pizza dough to rise
  • Once warm, remove the cooking sheet and place tomato passata, basil, and garlic clove in a mid-sized bowl
  • Sprinkle salt & pepper into the mix
  • Glaze the pizza dough with the tomato sauce
  • Grate 200g of tofu and distribute it evenly across the pizza
  • Cook for 15 minutes


Does Domino’s have pizza without cheese?

Domino’s allows its customers to make custom cheese-less pizzas, but its standard menu does not feature pizzas without cheese. 

What is pizza cheese made out of?

Most pizza makers “marble” (combine) at least two different types of cheese to make their pizza toppings. These are usually high-moisture kinds of cheese that melt well, such as Colby, Fontina, Monterey Jack, or Swiss Cheese. 


Switching over to cheese-less pizza is one of the best lifestyle choices you can make. Not only will you become healthier but you will also get to experience the combination of tastes you never could’ve imagined to be as great. There are no wrong pizza toppings when it comes to finding the best cheese substitute, although I have to admit that the deliciously creamy nutritional yeast surprised me the most.

If this guide about Pizza Cheese Substitute for Various Flavors and Dishes has been useful, please share it with your friends! If you have any questions feel free to drop them in the comment section below.


About Maggie

Hi, I'm Maggie. I love cooking for my family and sharing my experiences from the kitchen.
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