This flavorful vegan parmesan cheese recipe is a great dairy-free alternative to parmesan cheese. Ready in only 5 minutes, this easy salty, savory, parmesan cheese replacement is delicious on all your favorite vegan Italian recipes!
This cheese is nuts! A dairy-free parmesan cheese alternative that is similar in texture to grated parmesan that comes in a shaker. Easy to make, great flavor and texture, and has a long shelf life. This vegan style shakeable parmesan makes everything more flavorful!
Ingredient Shopping List
- cashew nuts - raw, unsalted, cashews. Buy in bulk, the big bag at Costco or online (affiliate link)
- nutritional yeast - super popular, nutritious, vegan pantry ingredient aka 'nooch'. It's a deactivated yeast (not to be confused with Brewers yeast or baking yeast) that adds cheesy, nutty, savory notes and a golden yellow color to vegan parmesan.
Widely available in grocery stores (natural aisle) and online.
- hemp hearts - super nutritious, hemp hearts add that signature slightly oily mouthfeel of parmesan cheese.
- garlic powder - enhances the complexity of the cheese-like flavor profile. Add more or less to your taste.
- salt - dairy parmesan cheese is salty! I use fine ground sea salt but table salt will work too.
I think this combination makes THE best vegan parmesan. I've tried making it with raw walnuts, almonds, and pistachios instead of cashews; but this combination has been our family favorite for many years.
How to Make Dairy-free, Gluten-free Parmesan
I think you'll love this recipe because it's quick and easy, has a long shelf life (I store mine in the fridge for several months), is a great non-dairy substitute for parmesan cheese and it's super nutritious and delicious!
- Place the raw, unsalted cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt into the food processor.
- Pulse a few times until it's mealy (similar to the texture of Kraft grated parmesan that comes in a shaker). Don't over process or you end up with cashew butter!
- Stir in some hemp hearts (optional) for extra nutrition and an added mouthfeel of parmesan cheese.
- That's it! Taste it, adjust the seasonings to your preference.
- Store in a jar in the fridge for several months.
5 Ways to Use Vegan Parmesan
Shake cashew parmesan cheese over pasta, salads, grilled veggies, and tofu scramble - anywhere you would shake dry, grated parmesan (not fresh, grated parmesan). Here's a few of our favorite vegan meals that use vegan parmesan:
- Mushroom Sausage Rolls - epic vegan sausage rolls that EVERYONE raves about!
- Vegan Lentil Bolognese - family favorite, extraordinary Italian flavors!
- Quick Eggplant Cauliflower Pasta Bowl - quick and easy vegan weeknight meal.
- Italian Marinara Sauce - the BEST marinara sauce ever!
- Easy Vegan Walnut Pesto - super adaptable, tangy, and delicious.
Vegan parmesan cheese made with nutritional yeast, cashews (or other nuts and seeds), garlic powder, and salt makes a great non-dairy substitution for shakeable/grated parmesan cheese.
There are two types of parmesan cheese used in recipes, the shakeable dry parmesan cheese that doesn't melt and the fresh, shredded parmesan cheese that melts.
The dry parmesan cheese is easy to replicate in flavor and textures using cashews or hemp seeds and nutritional yeast which is a cheesy tasting deactivated yeast (aka nooch).
There are many brands that make tasty dairy-free, meltable parmesan cheese now - two popular brands are Violife and Follow Your Heart.
More Vegan Cheese Recipes
Feta cheese - the most delicious vegan feta cheese ever!
Creamy tofu ricotta - easy, creamy, great texture and flavor.
Vegan mozzarella - grateable, shredable, sliceable, meltable - coming soon
Incredible queso cheese sauce - big smoky cheese flavors - impossible to resist!
Did you make this quick and easy vegan parmesan cheese recipe? If so, please leave a review and comment below. I appreciate your support!
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Vegan Parmesan Cheese (quick + easy)
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- food processor
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 3-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ - 1 teaspoon garlic powder (to taste)
- ½ - ¾ teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
- Place all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until mealy like dry parmesan. Makes ~ 1 cup.
- Store in a glass jar in the fridge.
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