Is Cream Cheese Vegetarian? (Solved!)

Cream cheese goes well with so many things. You can spread it on bagels or use it to make frosting for your carrot cake.

It adds delicious goodness to a wide variety of dishes. Another great thing about the ingredient is that it’s vegetarian.

Unlike many other kinds of cheese, this product doesn’t contain animal enzymes. Given how common cream cheese is, this is good news for those on a meat-restricted diet.

So, is cream cheese vegetarian? In this article, I’ll explore the subject, dispelling any doubts that some may have on the matter.

is cream cheese vegetarian

Can Vegetarians Eat Cream Cheese?

The question of whether vegetarians can eat cream cheese has caused much debate. The short answer is yes, and we’ll explain why.

Vegetarians can typically consume animal-derived food items that aren’t the by-product of slaughter. That means ingredients like eggs, honey, and even milk.

As cheese is made from milk, it would make sense for it to be part of the vegetarian diet.

However, a product in some kinds of cheese makes it unsuitable for this restricted meal plan.

The cheesemaking process consists of congealing milk to create curds. Several ingredients can be used in curding, including natural whey, lactic acid, and rennet.

However, rennet is the product most commonly used to make cheese and is an enzyme obtained from a calf’s stomach lining.

It’s what the calf uses to break down and absorb its mother’s milk.

Although calves aren’t specifically butchered for their rennet, the process by which it’s sourced means the animal has to be slaughtered to get the enzyme.

While milk can be obtained without harming the cow, cheese is a different story.

Many people may be unaware that cheese is a by-product of slaughter. If it contains animal rennet, it can’t be included in a vegetarian diet.

However, since cream cheese is a soft cheese (like goat cheese or Brie), it doesn’t require rennet to curd. Cheesemakers instead use whey or an acidic product for this process.

Therefore, cream cheese is vegetarian-friendly because it’s not made using a method that harms animals.

Can Cream Cheese Be Made Without Rennet?

The traditional method of making cream cheese doesn’t require rennet.

Cream cheese is made from pasteurized milk with at least 33% fat. Lactic acid is added to the milk, causing it to form curds.

The curds are then heated and stabilized to create the cream cheese you know and love.

Because the cheese is pretty soft, it doesn’t require rennet for the curding process. That’s what makes it suitable for vegetarians.

What Brand of Cream Cheese Is Vegetarian?

Dutch Farms Cream Cheese

Some people aren’t fond of cream cheese’s tanginess. That’s where Dutch Farm’s vegetarian cream cheese comes in.

This product is firm, creamy, and has a mild flavor. It’s perfect for recipes like dips where you don’t want the cheese to overwhelm other flavors.

Prairie Farms Cream Cheese

Fans of no-bake desserts, such as cheesecakes, will love the Prairie Farms cream cheese.

This product’s firm, smooth texture makes it an ideal choice for recipes that don’t require baking.

It helps maintain the shape of pies and cheesecakes while providing that much-loved tangy flavor.

Great Value Cream Cheese

If you’re planning on making creamy desserts such as cheesecakes, you’ll probably require a lot of cream cheese.

Fortunately, there’s Great Value cream cheese. It tastes just as good as other brands but costs considerably less.

This cream cheese is incredibly smooth and spreads easily.

However, it doesn’t have the most robust flavor, so if you’re looking for something with a tangy taste, this might not be the product for you.

Happy Farms Cream Cheese

Happy Farms cream cheese is flavorful without being overly sharp. It’s also thick and creamy, although some might consider it too thick.

As a result, it might not be an excellent choice for spreading on bagels, but it would work great in vegetarian dips and sauces.

Organic Valley Cream Cheese

Organic Valley’s cream cheese might dent your wallet, but it’s a fantastic product.

It’s packed full of flavor and spreads easily, even when it’s just out of the fridge.

Because of its superb consistency, you can use it in various vegetarian recipes.

365 Whole Foods Cream Cheese

This Whole Foods cream cheese is divine. The block has a firm texture that doesn’t stick to the foil when unpacked.

The flavor has just the right amount of tang, and it spreads easily on bread without tearing it.

This product can be used in hot or cold vegetarian dishes.

GreenWise Cream Cheese

The GreenWise cream cheese is an organic product sold in Publix grocery stores.

It’s thick and creamy and can be spread easily, even when cold.

Interestingly, it lacks the tanginess you expect from your typical cream cheese. Therefore, you can use it in vegetarian recipes that have a lot of other components like onions or herbs.

The GreenWise cream cheese will provide the texture you need while the other ingredients take care of the flavor.

Is Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese Vegetarian?

Yes, Kraft’s Philadelphia cream cheese is vegetarian. This creamy, smooth, and tangy cream cheese is an excellent addition to savory recipes and will satisfy your cravings.

Like other brands of cream cheese, it’s made from milk, cream, salt, and lactic acid and doesn’t contain animal rennet.

Some spreads also include flavor enhancers like herbs, but these are typically vegetarian.

Therefore, Kraft’s Philadelphia cream cheese can be used in vegetarian recipes.

In Summary

Cream cheese is a fantastic product used in both sweet and savory dishes. Its tangy flavor is sure to keep fans coming back for more.

However, as with many types of cheese, vegetarians can be hesitant about using cream cheese in recipes because they aren’t sure if the cheese is suitable for their chosen diet.

The good news is that cream cheese doesn’t contain any animal enzymes and is considered a vegetarian product.

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