This how-to guide will take you from a handful of ingredients to the most delicious vegan Parmesan cheese! It’s salty, it’s cheesy, and perfect for sprinkling on everything! Only 4 ingredients and a couple of minutes required.
This recipe was originally published in March 2019. It has been updated for content and photos.
What is Vegan Parmesan Cheese?
Vegan Parm is a finely ground seasoning typically containing a nut or seed, nutritional yeast, salt and other seasoning, if desired.
I didn’t invent the concept, but I’ve adapted this recipe from other vegan bloggers to suit my own taste and needs. In my humble opinion, this is the best vegan parmesan cheese I’ve ever tasted!
How to make it
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Gather your ingredients. All you need is cashews, “nooch” and salt, with optional garlic powder, if you’d like. Pictured below is a triple batch (we go through a lot) of my recipe which you’ll find towards the bottom of this post. Feel free to make a single batch, double or triple, to suit your needs.
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until a fine meal is reached. This should take about 10-15 seconds, depending on your appliance. (photos 1-2)
Transfer to a clean and dry jar or container to use on EVERYTHING!
There you have it. Perfectly delicious, salty, “cheesy”, slightly garlicky, vegan Parmesan cheese. So simple, there’s just no reason not to try this.
What to use it on
This vegan substitute for Parmesan cheese can be used on almost anything!
Here’s some of my favourites:
Sprinkle it on your POPCORN!
Layer it on your favourite pasta dishes or veggie noodles, such as:
- Veggie Bolognese Zucchini Noodles
- Vegan Penne Alla Vodka [Healthier Than Grandma’s!]
- Penne Aglio e Olio (Pasta w/ Garlic & Oil)
OR – sprinkle some on stuffed mushrooms, my amazing vegan lasagna or Italian stuffed peppers! Yum.
For a lighter dish, try these delicious Parmesan carrot fries or Parmesan roasted cauliflower.
And lastly, (one of my favourite options)…grab a spoon!
How long does it keep?
I typically make a triple batch and keep mine refrigerated for up to 4 weeks with no issue or spoilage.
I’m sure it would last even longer than that, if you manage not to consume it that quickly. 😉
What substitutions can I make?
If you don’t have cashews, I’ve successfully made this with blanched almonds and pine nuts with similar results.
For nut free, you may use raw sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds/pepitas to replace the cashews with similar results.
For no nutritional yeast, you may use other seasoning such as mushroom powder, onion powder, basil powder and more garlic powder, if you’d like. Keep in mind this will reduce the cheesiness, but it will still provide that umami deliciousness you’re after.
For low sodium, simply halve the salt, or salt to your taste.
- Make sure your jar or container is completely clean and DRY to prevent any spoilage from moisture when storing you vegan parm.
- Store in your refrigerator to preserve freshness.
- Do not use fresh herbs or spices. This will prevent your “cheese” from keeping fresh, and will spoil sooner.
If you tried this recipe, please let me know about it in the comments below. I always love hearing from you! Don’t forget to Subscribe to This Healthy Kitchen to be among the first to get my new recipes! You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter to see more delicious food and get all the latest updates.
- ½ cup raw cashews or pine nuts, or blanched almond
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder optional
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until a fine meal is achieved.
- Store in an airtight container or jar in your refrigerator and serve sprinkled over your favourite dishes.
Made this to put on our lasagna for Christmas tomorrow and of course had to sample it. WOW!!! Amazing how a few ingredients can taste this good!! I’m currently eating it with a spoon.
Fantastic! So glad you like it. 🙂
Mommy And son
How great that you share your delicious recipes with us grateful neophytes. We don’t use salt, so we were wondering if we can omit without damaging your intended flavor profile? We do use lemon, but it would not work with the dry. Does lemon powder exist, and if so, where, if perchance you might know. ?
Hi there, lemon powder does exist, you can try Amazon or if you have a bulk spice store near you, they should have it. Hope you enjoy.
Just made the vegan parm. It is incredible. thank you so much for sharing your recipes.
My pleasure Deborah. Thrilled you enjoyed! 🙂
Absolutely amazing! I think this is a fabulous substitution and I the flavor was just what I was missing!
Thanks so much Kristina!
you can not imagine my happiness looking at this recipe. made it rightaway and will make again and again!
Thanks so much for sharing Bhawana!
I’d love to do this – one question – I thought raw cashews always had to be soaked in warm water (or over nite) due to the poisons/toxins of raw cashews? Please help me understand the difference – I’d love to make this vegan Parmesan.
Hi Brenda, great question. Raw cashews that are sold commercially are not truly “raw”. They’ve been steamed in order to remove any the out shell and thereby removing any toxin. Raw cashews sold in stores typically means they have not been roasted. Hope that helps and enjoy the Parm. 🙂
Wow, I didn’t think this would be great, but decided to try anyhow and I LOVED it!! Thank you!!
Thrilled you enjoyed Anita!!
Shashi at SavorySpin
I tried this recipe when I had vegan friends over for dinner – they were SOOO impressed and thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks for sharing!
Yay!! Thanks for sharing Shashi!
YUM! What a genius idea! I love the use of cashews here and have been sprinkling this on everything! ♥
Thanks so much Natalie.
Yummy Parmesan cheeze without the pus, blood, faeces, and carcinogenic casein protein!
Save the planet and the animals, and improve human health by going dairy-free!
Going dairy-free also improves world poverty and decreases starvation rates since much of the grains grown in poor nations is sold to the west to feed (dairy) cows that will be slaughtered for their flesh when they are just 5 years young! (Natural lifespan is 20-25 years). That grain could be used to feed the local starving and impoverished!
Going dairy-free is not as difficult as you might think – there are so many dairy-free options and many delicious and easy recipes right here on this blog!
Hi Lucie. Thanks for the feedback. Hope you enjoy sprinkling this “cheese” on everything! 🙂