Are There Any Cheeses that Do Not Contain Rennet?

Kathryn Vera
Cottage Cheese

Rennet is an enzyme traditionally used in the cheese-making process. While some cheeses can be made without the addition of animal-based rennet, others use plant-based forms of the product. Vegetarians who are interested in finding a "true" vegetarian cheese should consider the options listed below.

Cheese without Rennet

Rice University identifies the following brands of cheese as being rennet-free:

Cottage

In Nutrition Therapy and Pathophysiology, (page 293) Marcia Nelms, Kathryn Sucher, and Sara Long note cottage cheese is traditionally made without the addition of rennet. All brands of cottage cheese, then -- including Kraft and Horizon Organic -- are safe choices for those looking for rennet-free cheese.

Cream Cheese

Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese is a rennet-free cheese. Fifty-seven percent of blind taste testers prefer Kraft cream cheese to generic counterparts, reports Huffington Post.

Mozzarella

  • Stella: Stella mozzarella features a soft texture that is designed for making homemade pizzas or tasty panini, notes DCI Cheese Company.
  • Frigo: According to Serious Eats, this cheese offers perfect combination of saltiness and tanginess.

Parmesan

  • Kraft Grated: Use this cheese as a topping for pasta, pizza, salad, and casseroles.
  • Stella: This grated parmesan is perfect for use when making lasagna or other pasta dishes, notes a reviewer on Influenster.

Provolone

Stella provolone has an intense flavor that makes it a great addition to casseroles or warm sandwiches, reports DCI Cheese Company.

Ricotta

Stella ricotta cheese offers a slightly sweet flavor that is rich, yet somehow light, according to the DCI Cheese Company.

Swiss

Kraft Natural Swiss cheese melts well, although the taste is rather lacking notes Review Stream.

Cheese with Non-Animal Rennet

According to Joyous Living, the following brands of cheese are made with vegetarian forms of rennet:

Cheddar

  • Cabot: According to a taste test conducted by the Huffington Post, this cheddar cheese came out on top.
  • Great Midwest: This cheddar lends itself greatly to cooking, notes the Evansville Courier Press.
  • Kerrygold: This grass-fed cheese features a full-bodied flavor with a smooth finish, notes Kerrygold.
  • Organic Valley: Their cheddar is aged for 300 days to build a stronger, tangy flavor, reports Organic Valley.
  • Vella Cheese: The Daisy cheddar has a mild flavor that will please children and keep adults interested, reports Janet Fletcher of the San Fransisco Chronicle on VellaCheese.com.

Colby

Feta

  • Capri: It features both sheep's and goat's milk for an extra-creamy texture, reports Capri Cheese.
  • Karoun Dairies: This feta is rich and good, without being pungent, notes 80 MPH Mom.
  • Vermont Creamery: According to the Vermont Creamery, this feta cheese is low in salt, making it a good choice for the health-conscious.

Mozzarella

  • Fancy Brand: This mozzarella offers a milky flavor and creamy texture, notes Fancy Brand Cheese.
  • Boar's Head: According to PizzaMaking, Boar's Head Mozzarella offers a creamy texture and holds up well to being cooked.

Swiss

  • Brewster Cheese: According to Brewster Dairy, their Swiss cheese has a sweet, nutty, mellow flavor.
  • Dutch Farms: It melts beautifully, notes Dutch Farms, making it a great addition to casseroles.
  • Graham Farms Cheese: This cheese offers a creamy texture with a mild, nutty tang.
  • Joseph Farms: With its slightly sweet flavor, it is a great addition to fruit or hors d'oeuvres, reports Joseph Farms.

Monterrey Jack

  • Bass Lake Cheese Factory: This cheese provides a rich flavor and complex texture, reports Bass Lake Cheese Factory.
  • Lifetime Cheese: It melts perfectly, and can be used in a variety of sauces or casseroles.

Parmesan

  • Frigo: This is a cheese perfect for dinners that call for freshly grated parmesan, reports Consumr.
  • Sargento: According to InnerChef, this cheese melts well and enhances the flavor of any dish.
  • Treasure Cave: It has a nutty, full flavor that will compliment any soup, salad, or pasta dish, notes Grande Cheese.

Provolone

Ricotta

  • Bel Gioioso: It's a ricotta that offers a pleasant, creamy flavor with just a hint of salt, reports Bel Gioioso.
  • Dragone: This ricotta has a neutral, semi-sweet flavor and a slightly granular texture, notes Dragone Cheese.

Say Cheese

While cheese is often considered to be an acceptable choice for lacto-vegetarians, this is not necessarily true. In fact, many brands of cheese contain animal by-products, such as rennet. To ensure you are truly following a vegetarian diet, consider cheeses that have been made without the addition of this product.

Are There Any Cheeses that Do Not Contain Rennet?