Parmesan cheese is a classic Italian cheese that is used in many dishes. It's a flavorful and salty cheese perfect for sprinkling on pasta, pizza, or salad. But, if you're vegan, you might not be able to enjoy this cheesy dish. Until now! This Homemade Vegan Parmesan cheese recipe is easy to make and tastes great. You need just four ingredients.
This vegetarian alternative to Parmesan cheese tastes pretty much like real cheese. It’s hard to tell the difference. It is a fantastic recipe calling for parmesan cheese, like eggplant parmesan, asparagus pasta, or mushroom risotto.
Another plus of making this plant-based parmesan recipe yourself is that it is usually cheaper than buying it at the store. I make this version with walnuts, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder, making it preservative and additive-free.
You can make this cheese with any nuts. Try to use raw unsalted one, but if you can’t, ensure you fine-tune the amount of salt suggested in the recipe.
This recipe is one of those preparations that are always available in our kitchen since we use it almost every day, and as soon as we run out of it, we can make it in less than 5 minutes.
- Raw walnuts
- Nutritional Yeast (see substitutions)
- Garlic Powder (can be replaced with onion powder)
- Sea salt (skip to reduce sodium content)
See quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card.
To get an even texture, I pulse and shake the food processor low-speed button and repeat. Otherwise, it can turn into oily clumps. It will not affect the flavor, but you may not achieve the powdery texture we are looking for.
Place all the ingredients in a food processor.
Pulse until it reaches the desired consistency.
Although this non-dairy Parmesan cheese doesn’t melt, it goes very well with any dish that calls for regular parmesan cheese.
🥢 How to serve
It goes well over pasta dishes like our 3-ingredient pasta, homemade pizza (recipe), dinner recipes, and baked goods. I regularly use this mixture on salads to replace oil-based vinaigrettes, and to make whole foods seasoning.
- We also use it as a parmesan cheese replacement on our mushroom risotto, saffron risotto, and sun-dried tomato risotto.
- We also add it to our favorite snacks, like these fantastic pasta chips, a recipe that we find very original.
- We also use this recipe to add it to any cheese sauce or white sauce like a vegan bechamel sauce.
- Sprinkle it on top of your vegan lasagnas.
- Finally, we love using this recipe to replace vegan ricotta cheese, on our Argentine spinach empanadas, for a change.
This recipe is tasty and so good. You only need a few ingredients usually available in any plant-based kitchen and a blender to make it. The result will be a versatile and delicious plant-based cheese that will boost the flavor of any pasta dish in place of grated parmesan cheese or sprinkle on top of a baked potato, zucchini noodles, roasted vegetables, or salad.
This recipe is not made with fresh ingredients, so it lasts if properly stored in an airtight container in the fridge. I can’t tell you exactly how much as I always use it within a couple of weeks, but I am sure it will last at least a month.
- Nuts - instead of walnuts, you could use Brazil nuts, toasted raw cashews, roasted cashews, or almonds and still have that nutty flavor. We even make another variant of this vegan parm cheese with raw sunflower seeds and sesame seeds; check out the seeds parm recipe and seeds parm recipe avoiding nuts.
- Organic Nutritional yeast - a good substitute for nutritional yeast in this recipe is finely group dried shiitake mushroom or powder miso soup.
- Garlic powder - sub for onion powder.
🤔 About Nutritional yeast
In vegan cooking, where we look at dairy-free ingredients, nutritional yeast is a very important ingredient. It is a staple of vegan cooking, so ensure you get a good quality brand; it will add a distinctly cheesy taste and savory flavor to your meals.
According to WebMed, nutritional yeast is rich in nutrients, often lacking in vegetarian and vegan diets. It’s also free of gluten, soy, and sugar, making it an excellent dietary addition for people with food sensitivities.
However, research shows that its nutritional content can benefit any diet since it also has protein and B vitamins, which are very important to supplement in a vegan diet.
Adding Nutritional Yeast to your diet is a good idea.
💡 Nutritional yeast substitute
If you're looking for an alternative to nutritional yeast, there are plenty of options depending on your needs.
For example, if you're looking into a nutritional yeast replacement for:
- Adding umami and cheesy flavor to your dishes: use dairy-free cheese shreds such as vegan shredded mozzarella, finely chopped dried shiitake mushrooms for the nutritional yeast, and powdered miso soup. You could also use white miso, miso paste, or coconut aminos if you plan to add or replace nutritional yeast on stews or risottos.
- To boost the vitamins and minerals content of a meal or a similar texture, consider ground flaxseeds or almond meal (recipe) to your dish, salads, or these vegan parm cheese.
Looking for a nutritional yeast alternative can be tricky; just like substituting eggs, you need to consider what you are substituting. Is it flavor, texture, consistency, or nutritional aspects... the answer will be different depending on your aim.
📚 More recipes using nutritional yeast
Some Recipes where you can use this Nutritional Yeast Parmesan
If you want to try another vegan parm recipe using sunflower seeds, look at our recipe.
- Vegan Eggplant Involtini
- No fry Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
- Vegan Basil pesto
- Plant-based Arugula pesto
We also use this recipe for recipes like Ribollita Tuscan soup to give it a final touch, which works wonderfully!
🧀 More vegan cheese recipes
If you try this vegan parmesan, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag a photo #ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Homemade Vegan Parmesan Recipe + Substitute for Nutritional Yeast
- Taste and adjust flavor. Add more nutritional yeast for “cheesiness” and extra garlic powder for a more intense note.
🌡️ Food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking points to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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