How to Make the Best Vegan Parmesan Cheese

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This plant-based Parmesan cheese is vegan, gluten-free, and nutritious. Make it in just 3 minutes and sprinkle it on salads or pasta dishes.

A pasta dinner simply isn’t complete without grated Parmesan cheese. And thanks to this vegan Parmesan cheese recipe, you can make it happen without a drop of dairy. What’s more, it calls for nothing more than cashews, nutritional yeast, and spices—and it takes less than 3 minutes to make.

The secret, of course, is the nutritional yeast. Also known as “nooch” in the vegan and plant-based communities, nutritional yeast is key for getting that classic cheesy flavor. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s packed with B vitamins, especially if it’s fortified. (New to nutritional yeast? Check out our list of the best nutritional yeast brands to narrow down your choices.)

Read on to learn how to make vegan Parmesan cheese at home, along with ideas for how to serve it.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

You will need:

  • raw unsalted cashews
  • nutritional yeast
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • salt

No cashews on hand? Use walnuts, pecans, or almonds—or a combination of thereof. You can also use hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Add the nuts to a high-powered food processor. Pulse until crumbly; this should to take about 1 minute. You can also make the mixture as chunky or as fine as you’d like, but avoid processing the cashews for too long. Otherwise, you’ll end up with clumps of nut butter!

Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

In a bowl, combine the crushed nuts, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. Feel free to adjust the salt based on your dietary needs and preferences. Keep in mind that nutritional yeast already has a somewhat salty flavor, so avoid adding too much salt.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Mix well until combined. Taste and adjust as necessary. For an extra kick, try adding a dash of ground black pepper or paprika.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Store your “grated” vegan Parmesan cheese in a jar with an air-tight lid. You can even use a jar with a shaker lid, if you have one. Keep in the refrigerator for 2 months.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Sprinkle it on virtually any dish, from salad and pasta to risotto and roasted veggies. Try it on:

You can even add it to packaged products, like canned soup or frozen vegan pizza, for extra flavor and texture.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Best Vegan Parmesan Cheese

This plant-based Parmesan cheese is vegan, gluten-free, and nutritious. Make it in just 3 minutes and sprinkle it on salads or pasta dishes.
Click stars below to rate, or leave a full review in the comments
5 from 3 votes
Print Rate it Now Pin Recipe
Course: Condiments & Sauces
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: parmesan cheese
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 101kcal
Author: Kirsten Nunez, MS

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews whole or chopped
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Add the nuts to a food processor. Pulse until crumbly, about 1 minute. You can make the mixture as chunky or as fine as you’d like, but avoid processing the nuts for too long.
  • In a bowl, combine the crushed cashews, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. You can adjust the salt based on your dietary needs and preferences. Keep in mind that nutritional yeast already has a somewhat salty flavor, so avoid adding too much salt.
  • Mix well and serve.

Notes

  • You can use walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, and/or hemp seeds in place of cashews. 
  • Avoid processing the cashews for too long. Otherwise, you’ll end up with clumps of nut butter
  • Nutritional yeast already has a somewhat salty flavor, so avoid adding too much salt.
  • For an extra kick, try adding a dash of ground black pepper or paprika.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
  • Nutritional information for this vegan parmesan recipe is a rough estimate automatically calculated by the Spoonacular food database.

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Nutrition

Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 75mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CleanGreenSimple or tag #CleanGreenSimple!

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