Vegan cheese is no different from regular cheese in that it too can go moldy and show signs of spoiling. This begs the question – how long does vegan cheese last?
This answer is that most vegan cheese products advise that they should be consumed within 7 days. But in truth, the answer depends on several factors. We’re going to take a look at these in more detail to see how long vegan cheese lasts.
How long does vegan cheese last in the fridge?
Plant-based cheese typically lasts around a week in the fridge before it starts to go moldy, but this can vary depending on the brand and type of cheese. Some cheese lasts for a month, others show signs of mold after a few days.
The higher the fat content and lower the water in the vegan cheese and the longer it will last in the fridge. Keep vegan cheese in an airtight container within its original packaging and it will last longer in the fridge. This can add a few extra days to the window so that it remains fresh and fine to consume.
Some plant-based cheese can last up to 3 months when unopened, but will most likely need to be eaten within a week or so.
How long does vegan cheese last once opened?
It is important to check the label as all brands have slightly different guidelines on this, but most shred cheese, soft cheese, vegan cream cheese, and plant-based cheese tend to last a maximum of 7 days.
This is assuming that they are kept refrigerated. In some circumstances, an opened pack of plant-based cheddar or parmesan can last up to four weeks. The same goes for cashew-based cheese – expect it to last around a week when opened.
How long does soft and hard cheese last?
Unopened plant-based cream cheese can last up to around three weeks beyond the expiration date. Their containers are often heat processed, helping the contents to stay fresh for months in the fridge.
Vegan cream cheese uses coconut cream and because of this, will need to be kept in the fridge. When left out at room temperature for 2 hours and more it can spoil.
Other soft cheese like vegan camembert tends to last less and will keep for around 5 days in the fridge when opened. Hard cheese like plant-based cheddar can last longer. Even though the recommended use-by date is around 7 days once opened, most vegan cheddar will last a little longer if kept in a sealed airtight sandwich bag or similar. This can extend it by up to an extra 3-7 days depending on the brand.
Can you freeze vegan cheese?
Aged cheese that you are not intending to use can be frozen for up to 5 months depending on the cheese. This is for unopened cheese that is store-bought. Homemade vegan cheese will last for around 3 months when frozen.
Before freezing plant-based cheese, it is best to shred or grate it rather than freezing the entire block. This makes it easier to use once you have defrosted it.
Portion the cheese into airtight containers or wrap it in a sealed bag but make sure it is airtight. Then label the containers if you are freezing different types of plant-based cheese, write the date, and place them in the freezer.
Cheese that freezes well is usually hard cheeses including cheddar and vegan halloumi. Freezing soft cheese or cream cheese is not such a good idea as this will impact the texture.
Defrosting vegan cheese is simple. It can be done in the fridge on the counter, or in the microwave depending on how much time you wish to leave it. The microwave is the fastest. Use a low setting and place the cheese on a microwavable plate for 40 seconds.
How long does vegan cream cheese last?
Vegan cream cheese contains coconut cream which will spoil if left on the counter for too long. Keep it in the fridge and it should last between 7 – 10 days depending on the brand. Leave it at room temperature for 2 hours or more and risk spoiling it.
Homemade cream cheese does not last as long and will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge. It is similar to soft plant-based cheese in that it will not last as long as hard cheese. A good way to tell if the vegan cream cheese is still ok to consume is to use your senses. A few small spots of mold that look green or white can be cut off from the rest of the block but for soft cheese, this is not so easy.
Smell the cheese to check it over and if you spot black mold, throw the entire block or pack in the trash as this is a dangerous variant, albeit rare.
How long does vegan parmesan last?
Vegan parmesan should last up to 7 days when kept in the fridge. Wrap the packet in plastic wrap to help it last longer and keep the cheese chilled in the fridge until it is ready to be used. If buying in a block, only take it out when you are ready to grate as it won’t grate so well when it has softened at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days or follow the brand’s guidelines on this. Vegan parmesan can be stored in the freezer for longer, but may not defrost so well.