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Parmesan cheese for vegans recipe

Parmesan cheese for vegans recipe


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  • Vegan
  • Vegan cheese

When I became a vegan, one of the most difficult things was finding a substitute for cheese and especially Parmesan cheese. After many experiments I came up with this Parmesan alternative.

Be the first to make this!

IngredientsServes: 32

  • 125g nutritional yeast
  • 145g sesame seeds

MethodPrep:5min ›Ready in:5min

  1. Combine nutritional yeast and sesame seeds in a spice grinder and grind very finely. Store it in the refrigerator.

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Staple: Vegan ‘Parmesan Cheese’

How did vegans survive before this stuff? I’m not entirely sure, but I bet if more people knew about it, there’d be more vegans in the world. No joke. How someone figured out this simple combination, I’ll never know. You definitely don’t need to be vegan to enjoy this one!

Vegan Parmesan is garlicky, salty and chewy when sprinkled, and miraculously turns creamy and ‘parmesany’ when baked. It adds savoriness to any dish (like my Italian Roasted Veggie Bake), and is also great in pesto, on popcorn, pizza or pasta (try it on top of my Italian Bean Balls with Zucchini Pasta). Additionally, you can use it as a binder in veggie burgers, meatballs, etc. if you’re making your own!

I love the versatility of this recipe – you can use sunflower seeds, cashews or almonds. Sunflower seeds and cashews create a balanced finish, whereas the more pronounced flavor of almonds comes through if you use almonds. You could even consider experimenting with just about any nut or seed – macadamias, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, etc., just keep in mind that each ingredient will lend its specific flavor to the cheese.

The key ingredient here is nutritional yeast, which despite its strange sounding name is absolutely delicious AND nutritious! It’s an inactive yeast that adds flavor to any dish, and is a great source of B-vitamins (particularly B-12 which vegans need), folic acid, selenium, zinc and protein. Not all brands all fortified with B-12 but most are, such as Now Foods.

Per two tablespoons, Vegan Parmesan has about:

  • 3 grams of protein (this varies depending which nut/seed you use – I calculated this using almonds)
  • a couple grams of fiber (vs. zero fiber in regular Parmesan cheese)
  • no cholesterol
  • about half the sodium of regular Parmesan cheese

Enjoy adding this staple into your plant-based pantry!

Sarah, Vegan Chickpea

Salty. Savory. Garlicky. Versatile. An unbelievable combination replicating the taste profile of Parmesan cheese!


4-Ingredient Dairy-Free Parmesan Vegan Cheese Recipe

Making vegan cheese has never been so simple, thanks to this 4-ingredient recipe for vegan parmesan cheese made with almonds, garlic, salt, and nutritional yeast--a vegan kitchen mainstay.

This delicious dairy-free parmesan cheese is just as tasty as the animal-derived version, but far more healthy. Its texture is crumbly while its flavor is truly cheesy, thanks to the delicious flavor of nutritional yeast.

Traditional parmesan cheese is not only off limits for vegans but often also not suitable for vegetarians. All imported parmesan cheeses are required by EU law to contain rennet in order to be labeled as parmesan or “parmigiano reggiano” as it’s known in Italy. Rennet is an animal byproduct, extracted from the stomachs of calves, which makes it neither vegan nor vegetarian-friendly.

Nutritional yeast contains vitamin B12 which is a vital vitamin for vegans and vegetarians to consume, as an animal-free diet can be void of it without supplementation. The protein and healthy fats found in almonds also help to make this a nutritious choice.

Sprinkle this addictive vegan cheese over all of your Italian faves like pasta, pizzas, and even salads and popcorn!


How to make vegan Parmesan cheese

It&rsquos super easy, let&rsquos do this together:

First combine all the ingredients (cashews, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, season with salt) in a blender or food processor.

Process until you have a flour-like texture.

Store the Vegan Parmesan Cheese in an air tight container with lid, will keep fresh for a week.

Note: A high speed blender does this in seconds.

If you own an older non high speed blender model, it may take a few seconds longer.

This makes such an amazing vegan Parmesan cheese which really pumps up any dish with flavor.

It&rsquos not only for pasta like this Spinach Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo or pizza like my White Bean and Pesto Pizza.

I know it also works perfectly on your salads and casseroles. Plus you can make vegan Parmesan crisps, yum, and so much more.

If you give Vegan Parmesan Cheese a try &ndash seriously the best &ndash tag me on Instagram or Facebook.

Love seeing all your pizzas, pastas and so much more topped with it. Show me a picture and simply enjoy the best vegan Parmesan cheese.


Special Diet Notes & Options: Vegan Parmesan Flakes

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, peanut-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

For nut-free and vegan parmesan flakes, you can use pumpkin seeds in place of the almonds, though the flavor will be a bit different as seeds tend to be more bitter and less creamy than most nuts.

For soy-free and vegan parmesan flakes, you can use coconut aminos as a 1:1 substitute for the soy sauce.


Parmesan Is Not Even Vegetarian

Did you know that Parmesan, strictly speaking, is not even vegetarian? If you are following a very strict vegetarian diet, it should not be on your shopping list. The reason for that is that calf stomach (called rennet) is used for its production, which is anything but vegetarian.

I don’t mean this judging in any way, just wanted to give you a little background information about this Italian cheese. The same goes for Parmigiano and a lot of other cheese.

There are cheese varieties available which are made with microbial rennet and therefore vegetarian-friendly. Unfortunately, this information is usually not to find anywhere on the label. Some supermarkets have a list with all cheese products made with microbial rennet, check out their website, or ask them to provide you with this information.


What Is Vegan Parmesan Cheese Made Out Of?

Vegan Parmesan is made out of 5 simple Ingredients:

    – Blanched almond flour gives a great texture to your Parmesan cheese. Almonds have three times more fiber than cashews. Almonds are higher in unsaturated fats and lower in saturated fats than cashews. They are also richer in calcium (6 times), and almonds are one of the best sources of Vitamin E.
  1. Nutritional Yeast Flakes – Nutritional yeast gives vegan Parmesan its cheesy taste, and it is a great source of Vitamin B12 for vegans. If you like finer-grade yeast flakes, purchase nutritional yeast flakes in powdered form instead of the flakes.
  2. Onion Powder
  3. Garlic Powder
  4. Salt

How to Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese — Easiest Ever!

Published: Feb 11, 2017 · Updated: Mar 4, 2021 by Nicole @ VegKitchen · This post may contain affiliate links.

Most recipes for homemade vegan Parmesan-style “Cheese” are downright simple — basically a combination of nutritional yeast plus cashews or almonds, ground down in a food processor. This formula for how to make vegan Parmesan cheese is the easiest ever — made in minutes, and no food processor needed. Just two key ingredients combine in one delicious and nutritious topping for pasta, grains, salads, stews, and more.

Huge bonus for vegans — a tablespoon or two of this vegan Parmesan provide you with a good dose of Vitamin B12. Nutritional yeast is one of very few plant-based sources of this valuable vitamin.

For those of you who are new to “nooch” (as vegans have nicknamed nutritional yeast), don’t confuse it for any other kind of yeast like brewer’s or baker’s. Often described as having a somewhat fermented, cheese-y flavor, nooch is a fortified yeast. Not only is it a great source of B12, it’s rich in many of the other B vitamins and potassium. Just 1 ½ tablespoons has 8 grams of protein, and plenty of fiber, too.

The second ingredient in the mix is almond flour, also a vitamin- and protein-rich food. Bonus: Almond flour is a great source of Vitamin E and calcium.

So, let’s compare. Here are the ingredients in the leading brand of vegan Parmesan, Go Veggie: Soy base (soy protein concentrate*, filtered water), instantized rice flour, coconut oil, rice maltodextrin, natural vegan flavors, rice flour, rice meal, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, vegetable glycerin, lactic acid (non-dairy), citric acid, vitamin A acetate, soy lecithin.

* It must be said that we’re not the biggest fans of soy protein concentrate. This kind of vegan Parmesan and others like it also don’t offer much in the way of nutrition, though there is a significant amount of vitamin A and calcium.

Now, here are the ingredients in the two foods that add up to our super easy (and did we mention incredibly tasty?) Parmesan-style topping.

Nutritional yeast ingredients: Dry yeast, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), thiamine hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), riboflavin, folic acid, and B12

Almond flour ingredients: Blanched almonds

We use Red Star Yeast Flakes and Bob's Red Mill almond flour (almond flour is useful for gluten-free baking, by the way), but you can use whatever brands are available to you.

You probably already have on hand:

1 Mix nutritional yeast and almond flour more or less half and half. &frac13 to /12 cup of each is a good amount for a small batch. For this amount, add ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix together thoroughly.

2 Sprinkle on pasta dishes, grain and bean dishes, soups, stews, etc. A tablespoon or two at a time gives you plenty of flavor and lots of added nutrition! Shown above with simple marinara pasta and our Laughably Easy Vegan Meatballs.

3 Transfer any unused portions to a tightly lidded small container, where it will keep for many weeks in the refrigerator.


Vegan Parmesan Cheese Recipe

When I learned I had a food sensitivity to dairy, and if I kept eating it I’d continue to feel crappy PLUS do damage to my body in the long run, not eating cheese anymore was the hardest thing!

That was 7 years ago, and through some trial and error, I’ve learned some delicious dairy-free cheese recipes to replace one of my favorite foods I was no longer eating (like this one too)

Parmesan cheese (or as I’ve called it since I was a little kid: “shaky cheese!”) was a staple in my diet I just had to find an alternative for. Luckily I did – and it’s equally as delicious and only requires 3 ingredients!

Whether you’re vegetarian or not, this might be a fantastic healthy swap for you, too! Check out these ingredient all-stars:

Nutritional Yeast: A superfood especially for vegetarians and vegans! Contains 6g protein per 2 tablespoons, lots of B vitamins, all 18 amino acids, and is a great source of fiber and folic acid too.

Raw Cashews: They contain heart-protective monounsaturated fats, support healthy brain functioning, and improve digestion and nutrient absorption. Plus, they might even help you lose weight.

Sea Salt: Helps in maintaining balanced blood sugar and blood pressure, contains 84 essential minerals required by the body to stay healthy, promotes healthy pH balance of cells, and helps regulate the body’s sleep cycle.


Other Vegan Cheese Recipes

Dairy-Free Yogurt Cheese

Yes, you can make vegan yogurt cheese! It spreads like cream cheese, but tastes even better.

Vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Scrumptious green goddess vegan grilled cheese sandwich with avocado, spinach and sprouts layered between cashew mayo and a healthy homemade cheese sauce!

Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup

Satisfy your craving for comfort food with this super creamy and ultra cheesy vegan broccoli cheese soup! Ready in less than one hour, this easy to make, decadent soup is made with all plant-based ingredients and it’s naturally free of dairy, gluten, and oil.

Creamy Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing

Blending the best-ever combo of ingredients to make this deliciously creamy, amazingly cheesy blue cheese dressing is a BIG kitchen win—get ready to drizzle it across everything for an excellent splash of flavor!