How To Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Even plant based eaters long for a hefty sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on their pasta bowls and now they can have it!! This recipe will teach you how to make vegan Parmesan cheese by combining 5 nuts and seasonings together for an irresistible savory sprinkle everyone in your family will love, especially your vegan eaters! 

****Blog post images, video, nutritional information, and text updated 6/25/2020 – the recipe is still the original recipe published 10/5/2014.****

I have tried quite a few different variations of  vegan Parmesan over the years, but this one is my favorite and it’s always a total crowd pleaser too! This plant based Parmesan is great sprinkled on pasta, salads, sandwiches, and even sprinkled over the top of toasted gluten free bread with a little dab of vegan butter. This tutorial is so easy it requires only 1 step and 5 simple ingredients to yield a full cup of vegan Parmesan that will keep in your fridge for 2 months.

Let me show you just how easy it is to make Vegan Parmesan Cheese!! 

A small wooden tart with bowls of ingredients. Cashews, nutritional yeast, almonds, salt, and garlic powder

First, gather the ingredients that you will need.

Most of the ingredients are pretty basic like raw cashews, slivered almonds, garlic powder, and salt. But, the last ingredient, nutritional yeast, might not be a staple in everyone’s pantry.

Nutritional yeast is a food additive made from a single-celled organism, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, which is grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat to kill or “deactivate” it. Because it’s inactive, it doesn’t froth or grow like baking yeast does so it doesn’t have leavening ability. Nutritional yeast flakes do have a flavor that is very reminiscent of real cheese though which makes it the super star of this recipe! 

The ingredients for vegan Parmesan cheese in teh bowl of a food processor.

Seriously, it is that easy!! Combine the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a fine meal forms. Just be sure to not over process or you will have clumpy parm or even worse…parm nut butter!  Store your vegan Parmesan cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months and sprinkle a little on whenever you crave a little cheese factor! 

Now that you know how to make Vegan Parmesan Cheese here are a few ways you can use it up in your kitchen..

A dinner table scene with a bottle of wine and a bowl of pasta tossed in red sauce. There is a small bowl of red sauce on the table as well as a glass of red wine and silverware

Easy 5-Ingredient Marinara || It doesn’t get much simpler than this Easy 5-Ingredient Marinara!  5 simple ingredients + 30 minutes with minimal hands on time = weeknight dinner perfection! To make the sauce vegan simply substitute the butter in the recipe with a vegan butter substitute. 

5 glass jars layered with pasta sauce, mozzarella balls, and penne pasta are on a table top. There is also a bowl of pasta on the table as well as a box of Pamelas gluten free pasta

Easy Gluten Free Pasta Snack Jars || Become the master of after school snack time with these easy to prep, totally gluten free, pasta snack jars! These deliciously layered jars are completely customizable, so you can be sure to always have a delicious, healthy snack for your family on hand!

If you’ve made this Vegan Parmesan Cheese I would be so grateful if you would rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below!

I just love hearing from you and your reviews and comments really help others that visit This Mess is Ours. Want to be a part of our online community outside of the blog? It’s easy!! All you have to do is follow @THISMESSISOURS on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, YOUTUBE, or PINTEREST to see cooking demos, and peeks into our day to day life.

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How To Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Sprinkle this plant based Parmesan anywhere you would use regular Parmesan cheese.

  • Author: This Mess is Ours
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Vegan
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Vegan
  • Diet: Gluten Free
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Pulse until a fine meal forms. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Keywords: vegan, vegan Parmesan cheese, cashew, nutritional yeast

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63 Comments

    1. Marie October 19, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Yes, that actually does sound great – thanks for the suggestion

      Reply
    2. klau July 13, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      What are blanched silver almonds? I only have raw almonds.

      Reply
      1. Meg July 14, 2015 at 7:08 am

        Blanched almonds have the skins removed and slivered are simply sliced into small slivers. You can use raw almonds with the skins on your ricotta will just have brown flecks in it.

        Reply
  1. Gaby October 6, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Looks like delicious vegan cheese!!! Even for a cheese lover like me!

    Reply
  2. Vicky October 7, 2014 at 9:14 am

    I’ve always been fascinated by the home made natural vegan versions of cheese! Def need to try making this for my mom who is dairy free. I’ve never bought nutritional yeast before so will have to branch out and find some! IS it available at all stores or more specialty stores like Whole Foods? Am so curious to see how this tastes : ))

    Love your tutorial series!

    Reply
    1. Meg October 7, 2014 at 11:19 am

      Thanks so much Vicky! Nooch freaked me out for the longest time, but when I finally tried it I was pissed at myself for waiting so long. HA! I think you could find it at Whole Foods the easiest, I usually order mine through Nuts.com though.

      Reply
  3. autumn October 7, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Vegan or not, I bet this is a super-delicious all purpose savory sprinkle!

    Reply
  4. Maegan October 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Should the nuts be soaked?

    Reply
    1. Meg October 18, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Nope. Just make sure that they are raw.:) Hope you enjoy it!

      Reply
      1. Maegan October 22, 2014 at 3:30 pm

        All I have on hand are roasted and salted. 🙁 so there is canola oil. You think that is okay??

        Reply
        1. Meg October 23, 2014 at 7:40 am

          I haven’t tried this before using roasted nuts, because they don’t really have the same texture as raw. I am not sure if it would work, but if you tried it I would omit the salt since they are already salted. Please let me know how it turns out!

          Reply
          1. Jangles September 30, 2015 at 12:49 pm

            i tried this with roasted cashews and did it in a coffee grinder 🙂 the only thing is you have to pluse it slowly or youll get butter.

  5. Jennifer October 19, 2014 at 9:49 am

    What would be a good alternative to almonds? Thanks so much.

    Reply
    1. Meg October 20, 2014 at 8:27 am

      You can substitute pine nuts or walnuts. If neither of those work for you either you can just increase the amount of cashews also. Just find a blend that tastes the best for you.:)

      Reply
  6. Maegan October 22, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    What about sea salt? Would that be okay to use?

    Reply
    1. Meg October 23, 2014 at 7:41 am

      Sea salt would be fine:) I used kosher salt which is a large grain salt, so if your sea salt is very fine I would probably add less salt.

      Reply
  7. Johanna October 26, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Hmmm, I’m wondering if parm ‘butter’ would be such a bad thing 🙂

    Reply
    1. Meg October 26, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      I tend to agree that it might not be a bad thing…it just probably wouldn’t be the best on a big bowl of popcorn or pasta:)

      Reply
  8. Penny November 5, 2014 at 8:35 am

    This sounds fantastic! My son is allergic to cashews though … do you have any idea what I might be able to substitute them with? I have found that attempting to substitute almonds in raw cheese recipes that call for cashews results in a disaster.

    Reply
    1. Meg November 5, 2014 at 8:56 am

      Thanks Penny! You could try raw pine nuts or raw macadamia nuts..even raw walnuts might work because they are soft like a cashew. Let me know how it turns out!

      Reply
  9. Aaike December 7, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Can you tell me how many grams of all the ingredients I need, because I’m from Belgium and I have no idea what you guys mean with “cups”… 😉 Thanks a lot!

    Reply
    1. renate hoornstra January 3, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      if you google (for example) 1 cup of almonds how many grams you will find sites full of conversions. either that or buy a plastic cup with american measures. good luck.

      Reply
  10. Crys January 9, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Can this be made without the yeast? I am doing the Daniel Fast and there is no yeast allowed.

    Reply
    1. Meg January 12, 2015 at 7:08 am

      Crys, I have never tried the recipe without the nutritional yeast. I am pretty sure it wouldn’t have the same “cheesy” taste without it. Nutritional yeast is an inactive form of yeast which may be allowed on the Daniel Fast. I hope this helps!

      Reply
    2. Carolyn Blakeney January 20, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      Crys, nutritional yeast is completely unrelated to leavening yeast; it is rather a seasoning and grown as a nutritional supplement. It is in the same botanical kingdom as leavening yeasts (a rather large kingdom), and mushrooms, which we consider to be vegetables, are in the same kingdom. But neither nutritional yeast or mushrooms are leavening agents.

      Reply
      1. Meg January 20, 2015 at 7:53 pm

        Thank you so very much for this Carolyn!

        Reply
  11. Aliia January 27, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    I am not Vegan but I decided to try this recipe. It was delicious.

    Reply
  12. Abby February 1, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Can I use almond meal (from blanched almonds) in place of the slivered almonds? Is the idea of having the slivered almonds to give it a little more texture?

    Reply
    1. Meg February 1, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Abby, I used slivered almonds for texture, but you can use almond meal. I would just stir the almond meal in at the end of the processing time instead of pulsing it in the food processor.

      Reply
  13. Tricia February 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Would nutritional yeast powder work or is it granules/flakes??

    Reply
    1. Meg February 21, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      I use flakes when I am making my vegan parm. If you are using powder I would decrease the amount called for in the recipe by half and then taste test it to see if you need more.

      Reply
  14. Tricia February 22, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you! I will try that!!!

    Reply
  15. Laura March 7, 2015 at 5:24 am

    Love this! I always struggle to get the balance right with nutritional yeast, I think it can have a slightly ‘off’ flavour if that makes sense…. this is really well balanced though and works great 🙂 I’ve been putting it on everything (makes a great salad sprinkle!)

    Reply
    1. Meg March 7, 2015 at 7:26 am

      Hooray Laura! I am so glad that you enjoy it. I agree that nutritional yeast can get a little weird. I love this over salad too, it really is versatile.

      Reply
  16. Phyllis April 10, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Hi, do you think this will freeze well? I’ve been using this recipe since you published it and love it. Great on roasted veggies!

    Reply
    1. Meg April 10, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      I am so glad you enjoy it!! It is a family favorite around here too. Yes, you can totally freeze it without any problem.

      Reply
  17. Jennifer January 1, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    I don’t have a food processor do you think it would work with a blender?

    Reply
    1. Meg January 2, 2016 at 10:39 am

      Jennifer, it should work however you will probably need to double or triple the recipe to make sure there are enough dry ingredients in the blender carafe to reach the top of the blades.

      Reply
  18. Alastair April 18, 2016 at 5:17 am

    Thank you for this recipe, it’s amazing. After years of using just yeast flakes on pasta dishes instead of Parmesan (which didn’t have quite the same taste or effect) and horrible store-bought vegan Parmesan sprinkles (that had an overwhelming taste of the blue part of blue cheese), now here is something that pretty much exceeds the taste of the real deal!
    However, I double the amount of yeast flakes and garlic powder and use a double amount of herb salt (like Herbamare) to give it an extra-sharp Parmesan taste. Otherwise it’s quite mild and the flavour can be lost over a spicy pasta sauce.

    Reply
  19. Daneel December 28, 2017 at 2:49 am

    Thank you I was hoping that I could have Vegan parm cheese with my Vegan pasta .

    Reply
  20. Janet January 10, 2018 at 1:22 am

    Thank you! I made your recipe tonight with raw hazlelnuts and it is delicious. I have never tried vegan parmesan before but I’m doing the whole 30 diet and can’t have dairy for 30 days. I will still use this after it though! I had it over zucchini pasta (no grains either) and roasted eggplant with tomato sauce. Yum!

    Reply
    1. thismess January 11, 2018 at 10:12 pm

      Wow Janet!!!I love the addition of hazelnuts, I’m going to have to try that. I’m so glad you love this recipe, it’s amazing how it tricks the tastebuds into thinking you’re eating cheese right? Good luck on your Whole 30!!

      Reply
  21. Julie March 7, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Just made this with only cashew nuts, didn’t have almonds. It is incredibly delicious. Need someone to come in and stop me eating it all .

    Reply
    1. thismess March 8, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      Yay Julie – I love that you tried it with cashews!!!

      Reply
  22. Hard_Ang_The_Herbivore May 31, 2018 at 12:59 am

    So good. I will be making this again!! Can’t wait to show it off!! 😁😁😁

    Reply
    1. thismess June 6, 2018 at 3:57 am

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply
  23. Katy January 13, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Just made it……..Fantastic!

    Reply
    1. thismess January 14, 2019 at 5:20 pm

      That’s so wonderful Katy! I am glad you love it too!

      Reply

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