When embarking on a Whole30 journey, many might sigh at the thought of giving up cheese. But fear not! The culinary landscape is rich with Whole30-compatible dairy-free cheese options that can add a little oomph where you need it. In this roundup, we explore 15 “cheesy” Whole30 recipes that prove giving up dairy can be easier than you think.

Understanding Whole30 “Cheese”

Although traditional, dairy-derived cheese is a no-go during a Whole30, there’s a world of dairy-free cheesy elements that’s compatible. These include:

  • Almond-based “ricotta” or “cream cheeses,” like select varieties from Kite Hill. (See more on that here.)
  • Cashew-based “queso” dips
  • Nut-based Alfredo sauces
  • Nutritional Yeast for that cheesy, umami flavor

These alternatives offer creaminess, flavor, and richness to dishes like burgers, salads, and veggie noodles. They’re also excellent for dipping veggies or meat sticks. 

However, reflecting on whether Whole30 “cheese” aligns with your personal goals is important. If they trigger cravings or don’t support your health objectives, it’s okay to skip them. Whole30 is all about personalizing YOUR journey for your health, habits, and relationship with food.

About Dairy Reintroduction:

If you’re embarking on a Whole30 elimination (days 30-45), consider drawing out the introduction of dairy over four days instead of one. Different cheeses have different lactose content, which is generally what causes a reaction.

Many of the recipes below can be adapted with traditional cheeses, but here are some helpful tips and considerations if you plan to dig a bit deeper with dairy during your Whole30 reintroduction:

  • First: Hard, aged cheeses. Sprinkle parmesan or pecorino onto your zoodles, eggs, or potatoes, or add a snack of extra-aged gouda to a plate. The lactose will have been aged out (consumed by the microbes as a food source).
  • Then try semi-hard cheeses (anything you can shred or crumble) like cheddar, feta, or young gouda in recipes that call for dairy-free cheese shreds or as an addition to salads or bunless burgers.
  • Next, reintroduce softer cheese like a ripe brie or younger fresh cheese like ricotta, mozzarella, or cream cheese in place of dairy-free versions in casseroles and dips.
  • Last, try heavy cream if you like it in your coffee, or try incorporating it into a cream-based soup.

15 Whole30 Dairy-Free Cheese Recipes

Whole30 Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad
  1. Whole30 Buffalo Chicken Dip – Your favorite hot wing as a satisfying dip. Perfect for game days or gatherings!
  2. Whole30 Spaghetti Casserole – A comforting classic reimagined without the dairy.
  3. Whole30 Million Dollar Chicken Casserole – Rich in flavor and utterly divine.
  4. Whole30 Chicken Alfredo – A creamy, dreamy veggie noodle dish that’s completely dairy-free.
  5. Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad with Dairy-Free Parmesan – A fresh twist on a salad classic.
  6. Whole30 7-Layer Dip – Perfect for parties, this dip won’t disappoint.
  7. Dairy-Free Cheeseburger Casserole – A hearty, family-friendly meal.
  8. Whole30 Dairy-Free “Butter” Board – A creative spread for your favorite Whole30 dippers.
  9. Whole30 Enchilada Dip Bake – A flavor-packed crowd-pleaser with just the right amount of zing.
  10. Whole30 Loaded Baked Potato Casserole – Comfort food at its finest.
  11. Whole30 Ham and Hash Brown Casserole – A breakfast or brunch must-have with a mouthwatering crunchy topping.
  12. Whole30 Hot Artichoke-Parsley Dip with Roasted Fingerling Dippers – Elegant and flavorful, perfect for festivities!
  13. Whole30 Tuna Noodle Casserole – A nostalgic dish made Whole30 friendly.
  14. Whole30 Pesto Scalloped Potatoes – A side dish that steals the show.
  15. Whole30 “Cheese” Ball – Two Ways – One savory, one sweet to please everyone at your table!

Embrace these Whole30 recipes and discover a world of flavorful, dairy-free meals that don’t compromise on taste!

Published by Liz Parrent

Liz Parrent is Whole30's Senior Content Marketing Manager. She comes to Whole30 with over a decade of CPG and content marketing experience in the health and wellness space. Having been a part of Primal Kitchen's founding and pre-acquisition team, Liz holds a deep passion for the Whole30 community and the transformative power of a whole foods-focused lifestyle.

Whole30 Recipes Senior Manager, Liz Parrent sitting down in a white shirt smiling at the camera.

Liz Parrent

Senior Manager, Whole30 Recipes

Liz Parrent is Whole30's Senior Content Marketing Manager. She comes to Whole30 with over a decade of CPG and content marketing experience in the health and wellness space. Having been a part of Primal Kitchen's founding and pre-acquisition team, Liz holds a deep passion for the Whole30 community and the transformative power of a whole foods-focused lifestyle.