A Vegan Substitute for Parmesan Cheese?

Most readers know how to make vegan cashew Parmesan cheese using a food processor or spice/coffee grinder, but I am here to save you time in the kitchen!

There will be no need to be cleaning up your food processor with my easy-to-make almond flour Parmesan cheese recipe. You just mix and store your Parmesan in a closed container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Comparing all the money and time saved, while also tasting amazing, I think this is the best vegan parmesan cheese ever!

I also have more vegan cheese recipes, such as my Vegan Cheddar Cheese, Vegan Pepper Jack Cheese, and Vegan Nacho Cheese.


Originally published February 25th, 2019.

Ingredients for vegan parmesan cheese on a white plate as follows, almond flour, nutritional yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic powder and salt in a white bag

What Is Nutritional Yeast?

When one mentions yeast, you will usually think of the tan granules used to make bread and other wheat-based bread products. However, nutritional yeast flakes are something completely different.

Although all three common yeasts are made from the same species, unlike brewer’s and baker’s, nutritional yeast is not left alive. It doesn’t have the same function as those and is manufactured specifically to be for food.

Contrary to active yeast, the one that allows the bread to rise, nutritional yeast is inactive yeast, which has been heated. It is obtained from a micro-organism, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae fungus, grown on sugar cane or beet molasses.

Nutritional yeast adds umami, savory or cheesy flavor, making it one of my favorite seasonings to add an extra “something” to my dishes.

Many people say nutritional yeast tastes a bit cheesy; it doesn’t taste cheesy to me exactly. I guess it depends on your taste buds. What it does have is that salty taste that can satisfy cheese cravings.

Nutritional Yeast Nutrition

Just like many of my ingredients, nutritional yeast is secretly a powerhouse. Nutritional yeast flakes contain all nine essential amino acids that you must intake, making it what is known as a complete protein. This can be rare, especially for vegans, making it an easy way to make sure you have no deficiencies.

Moreover, it contains vitamin B12, and other B vitamins in fact. Vitamin B12 is most commonly found in eggs, dairy, or meat, meaning that many vegans have a B12 deficiency if they aren’t careful.

Being deficient in vitamin B12 makes you feel sluggish and mentally foggy, which can be quoted as the reasoning for why some people’s vegan journeys fail. 

It is also sometimes enriched with chromium and selenium, which allows it to be particularly well absorbed by the body. Nutritional yeast flakes are sold in the form of powder or pale yellow flakes.

Adding nutritional yeast to your diet is extremely easy, as it can be added to most savory dishes quite easily, possibly eliminating the need for expensive supplements.

Types of Nutritional Yeast

There are two types of nutritional yeast: Non-fortified and fortified.

  • Non-fortified: This type of yeast does not contain added vitamins or minerals. It contains only the ones that are naturally produced by the yeast cells as they grow.
  • Fortified: This type of yeast contains synthetic vitamins added during the manufacturing process to increase the nutrient content. If vitamins have been added to the yeast, they will be included in the product ingredients.

What Can I Use Parmesan Cheese For?

No need to buy store-bought parmesan like Violife or Go Veggie vegan parmesan anymore, now you can make your own amazing homemade version that tastes absolutely delicious. Below are 10 uses for this vegan parmesan cheese recipe:

  1. Use to flavor steamed vegetables.
  2. Use to flavor pasta dishes.
  3. Add parmesan cheese to your tomato sauce.
  4. Put it in your pesto sauce.
  5. Add to vegetable broth.
  6. Add to soups and stews.
  7. Put it on roast vegetables.
  8. Topping for your vegan pizza.
  9. Add to salads.
  10. Top vegan Mac and cheese.
  11. Mix with extra-virgin olive oil and salt to taste to make a bread dip.
  12. Add to your vegan popcorn. 

Vegan parmesan cheese mix in a bowl on a wooden background

What Is Vegan Parmesan Cheese Made Out Of?

Vegan Parmesan is made out of 5 simple Ingredients:

  1. Almond Flour – 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Onion Powder 
  4. Garlic Powder
  5. Salt

Can I Use A Different Nut For My Vegan Parmesan Cheese Recipe

Sure you can, you can use cashews, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts. Make sure to use unsalted nuts or adjust your salt accordingly.

You can make it nut-free by using sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or hempseeds.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese Recipe

It is so easy to prepare! Mix almond flour, nutritional yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt in a bowl. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 month.

Other Delicious Vegan Recipes To Try:

Overlay Vegan parmesan cheese mix in 2 glass jars on a wooden background

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Homemade vegan parmesan cheese in two glass containers on wooden background on top of burlap napkin

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

This easy vegan parmesan cheese doesn't need any food processor to make, and it is so easy and flavorful. It can be made in minutes using almond flour, nutritional yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. 
5 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegan parmesan cheese
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 23kcal



  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste


  • Mix almond flour, nutritional yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic powder and salt in a bowl.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 month.


Calories: 23kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin C: 0.02mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.2mg