Vegan Parmesan Cheese

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Vegan Parmesan Cheese is made with 3 simple ingredients, and is the perfect non-dairy substitute in your favorite recipes. You can make it in just minutes!

vegan parmesan cheese in white bowl

Ingredients You’ll Need

What is Vegan Parmesan made of? All you need is 3 ingredients!

  • Cashews
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Salt

cashews nutritional yeast and salt in glass bowls

The nutritional yeast is responsible for the “cheesy” flavor here, just like it is in my famous Vegan Mac n’ Cheese recipe.

How to Make It

To make this cashew Parmesan cheese, you’ll need to process the ingredients into fine powder. You can use a blender or food processor to do this!

cashew parmesan ingredients in food processor

Since real Parmesan cheese is quite salty, I’m pretty heavy-handed with the salt in this vegan recipe, so you can use it just like the original.

You won’t need much to add a nice punch of flavor. But, if you’d like a less-salty cheese, you can always use less salt.

How to Use It

You can use this vegan Parmesan cheese just like you would regular Parmesan, but keep in mind that it won’t melt. Here are some suggestions for making the most of it!

finished parmesan cheese with a spoon

How to Store Vegan Parmesan

Vegan Parmesan can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 month, as long as you keep it free from added moisture. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months, and use it straight from the freezer.

Since it doesn’t have any added liquid, it should stay crumbly, even when frozen.

vegan parmesan cheese in a glass jar

Substitution Ideas

Need to make a swap? Here are my best guesses when it comes to substitutions.

  • Cashews. You can swap cashews with hemp hearts, for a nut-free alternative. I use hemp hearts as a substitute in my vegan ranch dressing all the time! You could also use macadamia nuts, for a similar texture.
  • Nutritional Yeast. This deactivated yeast gives this recipe its cheesy flavor, but you can leave it out if you need to. The salt will still add flavor, and you can boost that even more by adding in other spices, like garlic or onion powder, for a variation.

I hope you’ll enjoy this Vegan Parmesan soon, and I can’t wait to hear what you think!

plate of pasta topped with cashew parmesan
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5 from 12 votes

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Vegan Parmesan Cheese is made with 3 ingredients, for an easy non-dairy substitute. You can make it in 5 minutes!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Cashew Parmesan, vegan parmesan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 126kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews (140 grams)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (20 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (8 grams; plus more to taste)

Instructions

  • Add the cashews, nutritional yeast, and salt to a food processor or blender, and process until powdery. Make sure your machine is totally dry, so you won't introduce any moisture into the mixture.
    cashew parmesan ingredients in food processor
  • Taste, and add up to 1/2 teaspoon more salt, as desired. Use right away, or store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 1 month. You can also freeze this for up to 6 months.
    vegan parmesan cheese in a glass jar

Notes

Nutrition information is for 1 of 6 servings; roughly 1/4 cup each. This information is automatically calculated, and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.

Nutrition

Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 390mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 2mg

If you try this Vegan Parmesan recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it. And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite recipe to add Parmesan to?

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Comments

Alia Vo

Genius! Thanks for coming up with the great recipes.

Hope you return to your ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ segment soon, I loved that portion of your blog. I find it so interesting, inspiring, curious, and helpful to see what people eat. – especially their salads. Although I eat organic, clean and healthy everyday; my meals tend to be unwavering. Thank goodness it never bores me, though!

Have a great weekend, Megan.

    Alia Vo

    Stupid question, and I apologize I have to ask it in the forum, but how do I insert my picture next to my name?

    Please assist. Thanks in advance!

    xx

claire

thankyou for this idea! i would like to know why you add yeast to the recipe though??

    anonymous vegan

    its nutritional yeast, it taste like cheese. It is not bread yeast or fermenting yeast, it is inactive nutritional yeast. It comes in the form of flakes and can be added too many recipes when you want cheesy flavors. It is also fortified with vitamins like b12.

Katie Q

Oh what a great recipe! I was just wondering why you’re avoiding milk while breastfeeding? I drank lots of milk while BFing my son (on the pediatrician’s recommendation) and he wound up with bad eczema and allergies. I also read somewhere that consuming milk while pregnant could trigger allergies. So just curios as to what your reasons were. Thanks for your amazing blog. Hope you’re enjoying motherhood!

Karen

Just wondering if you soak your cashews before making this? I’ve been soaking all of my raw nuts lately.
Thanks & blessings on your little one.

    Kimberly

    Don’t soak, it will cause the cashews to turn to a paste when put in the food processor. 🙂

dan

I’m curious are those regular gluten laced noodles the detoxinista has there?:O Or is it a grain free edition I don’t know about? I’m interested.

Nancy A.

I am so happy to see this recipe! I am going to make this today. Have been wanting an alternative to parm because I like it on pizza, too, and my spaghetti. Thank you for another great recipe!!!

Elizabeth

Brazil nuts work great! I did it. Plus you don’t need to soak them prior.
Peace and Raw Health,
Elizabeth

Kelley

Thank you for posting this at the perfect time. Just found out I need to eliminate all dairy from my son’s diet due to an intolerance to casein (3rd generation suffer) which has thrown his immune system into hyper-overdrive. Looking forward to more dairy-free options.

Cassidy @ Cassidy's Craveable Creations

YUMMY! I have a parmesan cheese recipe I always use that’s very similar but I use almond flour. I never though of using cashews though, your recipe looks great!!!

Thanks,
Cassidy

Liz

Your simple and delicious approach to recipes never ceases to amaze me!! YUM!!

Marcia

Made this last night to sprinkle on cauliflower crust pizza. Yum!

Katie @ Produce on Parade

What a clever idea! I’ve just been buying Parmela!

Dobbie

Claire, nutritional yeast is not the same thing as ‘yeast’ – it is not a live yeast. It is a good B12 supplement for vegans and gives a savoury flavour to dishes that traditionally have cheese in them.

Fawn

Oh man, I wish you hadn’t suggested such a recipe. I’m a sucker for parmesan, cashews, and nutritional yeast. Just adding to the things I probably will eat out of the container with the fridge door open around midnight!

Janna

Yum! I made this tonight and used Pine nuts instead. The taste was a bit sweet though so I’ll use cashews or Brazil nuts next time.

Celine

Love being on your email list..thanks

cheryl

This looks yummy! Just wondering what other nuts do suggest as a substitute for this recipe and others where cashew is used? I have an intolerance to both dairy and cashews!! Thanks!!

Kayll

I just made this recipe tonight to add to some cheese-free veggie pizza I had as leftovers. It turned what was kind of a yucky pizza into something delicious. Thanks so much!

Bill

I make this all of the time using walnuts. I love the flavor. Cashews seem a little mild for this.

Stacey Parzik

LOVE this! I used it in a spinach pesto and it was delicious!

Linda

What can be used instead of nutritional yeast? I have a client that is allergic. Thanks!

Lourdes

is it ok to use this yeast if dealing with candida?
thx

    Betty

    NO – candida is a Fungus and all yeast is a form of Fungus.

    I’m currently on the Phase 1 diet (Know The Cause with Doug Kaufmann) and it works great. Go online & click on the tab for videos/shows (forgot) & search for Phase 1 – You won’t need to go all out buying stuff.
    Start with the basics – like Quinoa, veggies, No Sugar (very important because Fungus feeds on sugar – which also means No Starches because they turn to sugar)
    Was tough giving up my regular Dr Pepper but I need to starve the fungus.
    You can use the sweeteners – Xylitol and Stevia (but with nothing else unless sometime like the brand Sweet Leaf flavors).

    Kimberly

    Yes Lordis, this is fine, as nutritional yeast has been “in-activated”, so it does not react in the body like regular yeast.

    http://www.herbalpharmacist.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=57:nutritional-yeast-not-the-bad-guy&catid=38:articles&Itemid=57

Josie

This looks delish. I was wondering if you have any insight on the link between nutritional yeast and MSG? I read that NY is derived from MSG.:/

    Kimberly

    Not “derived from”, but the fermentation process can create trace amounts of naturally occurring MSG. Those brands processed at a lower temperature have a lower occurrence of MSG, such as Frontier as opposed to Red Star. I’m extremely sensitive to MSG and have no issues with the Frontier brand, but Red Star left me with horrible headaches. Hope that helps.

Jen L.

Do you need to soak the cashews first? Thanks!

    Megan

    Nope, I didn’t! If you do decide to soak them, they must be thoroughly dried before pulsing them in the food processor.

    Kimberly

    Soaking will cause the cashews to turn to a paste when put in the food processor. 🙂

Michaell

This was so good, even my friend’s 2 year-old liked it!

Betty

I love your website and your recipes I find that I can use. I’m on the Phase 1 anti-fungal diet (Know The Cause with Doug Kaufmann) because I definitely have Fungus. Most of us do & don’t realize our problems are caused by Fungus.

I had breast cancer, mastectomy (1996) then a couple yrs later had reconstructive surgery to get rid of implant but ended up having to have a small implant anyway. I found found from the plastic surgeon that I would be More Susceptible to Fungus because of the ‘separation’ of my skin. At time, I had no idea what she was really talking about – until about 10 years later. Scar-like area between the stitch area – got rid of it but it returned later along with Dry Scalp & on left side on upper forehead, left eyebrow & both ears (I thought it was just ‘older age’) Then I happen to see Doug Kaufmann on TV.

Will probably take awhile longer for me to need to stay on the Phase 1 diet but I need to get rid of this fungus. But I’m writing all this to warn females who have had Breast Implants including saline – that they are very prone toward fungus & if they break – Plus there are women who are sick & then find out the problem has been the implant & fungus. (on the above website – search for Breast Implant)

Linda

I made this with macadamia nuts. I accidentally purchased quite a few when the bulk dispenser went a bit haywire. This is so good as a salad or vegetable topping, too. I did reduce the salt as the nutritional yeast seems extra salty to me.

Thank you! I love all of your recipes.

KS

Thank you so much for this recipe! I had tried Go Veggie’s parmesan and couldn’t stand it. It tastes like metal to me. I just whipped this recipe up in minutes using a hand chopper and it is delicious! This is going to bring back several recipes that I have missed since becoming lactose intolerant. Thank you, thank you!!!

JDH

Will this cheese melt? If put in a stromboli type thing in the oven?

Sara

Great

Marta Maroni

hello, can you use another type of nut?
like macadamia?

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