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11 Dairy-Free Recipes You’d Swear Were the Real Thing

If you're among the 33 percent of all people worldwide who are lactose intolerant (40 million of whom are American), these dairy-free recipes of the most crave-worthy dishes are made without milk, cream, butter, and cheese.

Courtesy Angela Liddon

Saucy Pasta

Smoky Butternut Squash Sauce with Pasta and Greens from blog Oh She Glows subs out the dairy typically found in cream- and butter-heavy Alfredo sauce and replaces it with healthy (and vegan) puréed butternut squash and cashews.

Courtesy Tina Haupert


Banana and almond milk made this dairy-free Pick-Me-Up Smoothie from California Almonds as creamy as its yogurt-based cousin. If you don’t like bananas, try swapping in avocado, which creates a similarly velvety shake.

Courtesy Amie Valpone

Chocolate Fudge

The classic candy often relies on butter or sweetened condensed milk (or both), but it’s given a dairy-free makeover on the blog The Healthy Apple with a base of coconut butter, almond butter and banana.

Courtesy Angela Liddon


Try Vegan Lasagna with Basil Cashew Cheeze from the blog Oh She Glows; or spread the homemade dairy-free cashew cheese on just about anything. Nutritional yeast, a popular vegan topping on popcorn, lends the dish its cheesy flavor, boosted with garlic and lemon juice.

Courtesy Amie Valpone

Cheesy Bake

On the blog The Healthy Apple, a dairy-free and gluten-free Cheesy Couscous Bake gets its creaminess from vegan cheese and hummus. It’s also a great bowl for dipping (think chips, carrots, or celery sticks).

Robert Mondavi Private Selection

Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Justin Warner has a secret weapon for his No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies. Instead of relying on butter and eggs, the cherry-chocolate desserts include Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon. To tweak the recipe to be dairy-free and vegan you can replace the milk chocolate with dark-chocolate morsels.

Courtesy of Simply Dish

Ice Cream Cake

Blog Simply Dish pulls off an Oreo dairy-free ice-cream cake (Oreos are dairy-free desserts and vegan). You can also top with your favorite fruit.

Courtesy Alyssa Rimmer

Mac and Cheese

On the blog Queen of Quinoa, Beer Mac and Cheese comes together in this gluten-free, dairy-free recipe featuring pasta in a savory sauce flavored by brown ale, almond milk, olive oil, and Dijon mustard.

Courtesy Amie Valpone

Creamy Soup

This dairy-free Avocado Soup from the blog The Healthy Apple gets its luscious texture from avocados, non-dairy yogurt, and cashews.

Courtesy Alyssa Rimmer


Warm up with Creamy Coconut & Mushroom Quinoa Soup from the blog Queen of Quinoa.

Courtesy A Whisk and Two Wands

A Protein Shake

Many protein shakes rely on whey protein (derived from milk), yogurt, and cow’s milk, but this French vanilla power shake from A Whisk and Two Wands mixes almond milk, almond milk ice cream, and a scoop of nutrient-rich vegan protein powder.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Perri O. Blumberg
A former food editor at Reader's Digest, Perri Blumberg is a writer and editor based in New York City. After attending Columbia University, where she received a BA in psychology, she went on to study food at a health-supportive culinary school. Her work has appeared in O Magazine, Men's Journal, Country Living, and on Mind, Body, Green, among others.

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