Finding nutritional yeast in the grocery store isn’t always a simple task. Is it a spice? A condiment? Or something they keep tucked away next to the protein powder?
If you’re having trouble tracking down this increasingly popular and more widely available vegan staple, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to find out how to locate nutritional yeast in the grocery store as well as a list of which stores sell it and how to know if you are getting the best product.
Which Grocery Store Aisle Is Nutritional Yeast In?
If you’re standing in the grocery store right now looking this up on your phone, let’s cut to the chase. Here are the places nutritional yeast is most likely to be hiding:
- Bulk bins
- Spice aisle
- Baking and dry goods
- Supplements aisle
There’s quite a bit of variation because the location of nutritional yeast products in your local grocery depends largely on the type of grocery store it is.
Health food stores, for instance, are likely to sell this product in bulk. Check the bulk bins section or the prepackaged shelves under these bins. If you are after a non-generic brand, check the spice aisle in these types of stores.
For more traditional grocers that have only recently embraced the plant-based movement, you are likely to have a little more trouble finding nutritional yeast. One good place to start looking is in the baking and dry goods aisle. In many Kroger brand stores, for instance, nutritional yeast can be found between the spices and the specialty flour products.
If all else fails, check the health and wellness or supplement aisle. Often, stores that don’t carry culinary nutritional yeast will still carry supplement-style nutritional yeast. These products taste the same but are usually ground into a finer powder and are marketed as a way to boost the nutritional content of a meal more than as a flavor enhancer.
Just be sure you’re buying nutritional yeast and not brewer’s yeast, another nutritious health supplement.
What Grocery Stores Sell Nutritional Yeast?
Of course, it’s always possible that the store you are searching doesn’t actually carry nutritional yeast.
Because this product has only recently gained popularity outside of the plant-based and vegan world, it might be harder to find if you’re shopping at a local mom and pop or in a more traditional grocery store.
But, if you’re determined to find it at a brick and mortar store, here are all the major chains that generally carry nutritional yeast in-house:
- Whole Foods
- Trader Joes
- Vitamin Shoppe
- Most health food stores
As plant-based diets become increasingly popular, more and more major chains are jumping on the nutritional yeast bandwagon. Even if your local store isn’t listed here, it never hurts to call to find out if they have recently added this product to their shelves.
What Should You Look for When Buying Nutritional Yeast?
Some stores only carry one or two brands of nutritional yeast. Others offer a wide variety of choices, including generic and bulk options. If your grocer is more like the latter, it may be hard to choose which nutritional yeast is best for your needs.
One important difference between many brands is that some are fortified and some are not.
Fortified nutritional yeast contains added vitamins and minerals beyond those that naturally occur in the product. Riboflavin, folate, and iron are all plentiful in nutritional yeast regardless of how it is processed. Some manufacturers will add synthetic vitamins to the culture or to the mix after processing to increase the nutritional value, specifically the value of B12.
There are a lot of differences of opinion on whether fortified nutritional yeast is better or worse for you. In the end, it comes down to how you feel about synthetic nutrients and whether adding B12 to your diet is necessary. If you follow a strict vegan diet then the answer to that last part is likely to be yes.
Beyond fortified versus not, you’ll also want to check the ingredients of any products you’re considering to make sure they don’t contain any unnecessary additives. This is rare in the nutritional yeast world, but as more companies start producing their own version of this vegan staple, it’s likely we’ll see more lower-quality products.
To learn more about the different things to look for when buying nutritional yeast and see some of our favorite products, take a look at our article on the best nutritional yeast brands.
5 Ways to Use Nutritional Yeast
Once you’ve found nutritional yeast in the grocery store, it’s time to put this awesome product to use. Here are five ways you can use nutritional yeast in your cooking for more enjoyable and more nutritious meals.
- On Vegetables – Nutritional yeast is often used as a garnishing spice along with salt and pepper. This combination is especially good on steamed or roasted vegetables. Add a little garlic for an even more intense flavor sensation.
- In Pasta Sauce – If you’ve ever made vegan alfredo sauce, you probably already know how important nutritional yeast is to replicating that cheesy flavor. When mixed with blended cashews, this umami seasoning makes the perfect plant-based substitute for a number of heavy cream pasta dishes. One of my favorites is this creamy avocado mac and cheese.
- In Scrambles – Whipping up a tofu scramble for Sunday brunch? Don’t forget the nutritional yeast to help add an extra savory kick. Even if you already put vegan cheese in your omelets or frittatas, you’ll appreciate the extra flavor this topper brings.
- To Make Vegan Parmesan – Nutritional yeast is key to making your own delicious homemade vegan parmesan. Trust me, you’ll want to put this blend of crushed cashews and spices on everything you cook.
- On popcorn – This vegan spice is so good on popcorn that some chain movie theatres have started putting a bottle of it out by the butter station. It’s especially delicious when mixed with some cayenne and a little garlic.
Nutritional yeast can be used in just about any dish that you would normally put cheese on. But unlike cheese, this food has few calories, a low environmental footprint, and is bursting with nutrition. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to run to the store and pick some up for yourself!