This vegan parmesan alternative is a healthy and tasty flavor booster that can be sprinkled over all your favorite savory dishes. It is easy to make and is the perfect vegan parmesan cheese to sprinkle over your favorite dishes.

I love figuring out vegan alternatives to classic recipes. This vegan parmesan alternative is a great way to complete your vegan “Mediterranean” dishes like my vegan eggplant parmesan or my summer zucchini sticks.

Vegan Parmesan sprinkled on pasta

Why you’ll love this vegan parmesan alternative recipe

  • It’s easy to make: This vegan parmesan cheese recipe requires just a few simple ingredients and can be made in a matter of minutes. You only need a food processor or blender to combine the cashews, nutritional yeast flakes, and seasonings. 
  • Perfect as a batch recipe: You can make a big batch and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month or the freezer for up to three months, so you always have it on hand.
  • Flavor booster: This vegan parmesan alternative can be used in many ways. Sprinkle it on top of pasta dishes, salads, soups, and roasted vegetables for a burst of flavor. You can also use it as a substitute for traditional parmesan cheese in recipes such as pesto, Caesar salad dressing, and risotto. 

Recipes to make with this vegan parmesan cheese

Looking for recipes to make with this vegan parmesan cheese? Here are some of my favorites:

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Sticks

These vegan parmesan eggplant sticks are a healthy baked snack that delivers a crunchy texture your guests will love.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Vegan Parmesan

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Vegan Parmesan

One of my favorite summer recipes is this cast-iron Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Vegan Parmesan. By cutting these fingerlings in half and baking them in a cast iron pan, we can get a really nice crust on the potatoes.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan served on a white plate

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

This Vegan Eggplant Parmesan recipe is unique and wonderful. The crispiness of the baked eggplant, paired with a fantastic homemade marinara sauce, covered with flavorful vegan parmesan cheese, and topped with some fresh basil, makes this dish a family favorite.

Zucchini Stick dipped in Vegan Ranch Dressing

Summer Zucchini Sticks

Zucchini sticks are now one of my favorite summer meals; soft, flavorful, and delicious on the inside and crispy and crunchy on the outside. A perfect culinary experience, if you ask me.

Ingredients and substitution notes

  • Cashews (or blanched almonds): Cashews are a popular choice for making vegan parmesan cheese because they have a creamy texture and mild flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients. Blanched almonds can also be used if you prefer.
  • Nutritional yeast flakes: a staple in vegan cooking because it provides a cheesy, umami flavor without any dairy. Look for it in the health food section of your grocery store or online.
  • Italian seasoning a blend of dried herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. It adds a delicious, savory flavor to the vegan parmesan alternative. You can use dried basil or oregano if you don’t have Italian seasoning.
  • Garlic powder: adds a subtle, savory flavor to the vegan parmesan cheese. Onion powder is another excellent swap-out. 
  • Lemon juice: adds a tangy, bright flavor to the vegan parmesan.
  • Bragg liquid Aminos: a soy-based seasoning that adds a salty, umami flavor to the vegan parmesan cheese.
  • Ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder): is optional, but it adds a nice flavor to this vegan parmesan alternative. You can skip it if you don’t have it.

Vegan Parmesan Alternative Recipe Variations and Add-ins

  • Smoked paprika: For a smoky, spicy twist on the classic vegan parmesan cheese, add a dash of smoked paprika to the mix. This adds a smoky flavor to the vegan cheese, which pairs well with Mexican and Southwestern-inspired dishes.
  • Dried herbs: Experiment with different dried herbs to create a custom blend of vegan parmesan. Try using rosemary, thyme, or parsley for a variety of flavors.
  • Chili flakes: For a spicy kick, add a teaspoon of chili flakes to the vegan parmesan. This adds a touch of heat and pairs well with pasta dishes and roasted vegetables.

Top Tips to Make the Best Vegan Parmesan Cheese

  • Use raw, unsalted cashews: Raw, unsalted cashews provide a neutral base for the vegan parmesan, allowing the flavors of the nutritional yeast and seasonings to shine through.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste: While this recipe includes a blend of seasonings such as Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt, feel free to adjust the amounts to suit your taste preferences. You can also experiment with different herbs and spices to create your own unique blend of vegan parmesan cheese.

Make ahead of instructions and storage

Transfer the vegan parmesan to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Alternatively, you can freeze your vegan parmesan cheese for up to 3 months. Simply transfer it to a freezer-safe container and label it with the date.

Vegan Parmesan Serving Suggestions 

It’s tough to create a list of serving suggestions because you can use this vegan parmesan alternative on EVERYTHING! 

I load it onto my one-pot cherry tomato and basil pasta and serve a bowl of it alongside my vegan meatballs

It’s also delicious on soups like this creamy tomato soup and I also love a dose of it on my cauliflower steaks.


Can I substitute the cashews with a different type of nut?

Yes, you can use blanched almonds or macadamia nuts instead of cashews to make your vegan parmesan alternative. Keep in mind that different types of nuts will have different flavors and textures, so the final product may not taste exactly the same as using cashews.

Is nutritional yeast the same as regular yeast?

No, nutritional yeast is different from regular yeast used for baking. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that is often used as a vegan cheese substitute due to its nutty, cheesy flavor. It’s also a good source of protein and B vitamins. Regular yeast, on the other hand, is an active ingredient used for leavening bread and other baked goods.

Wrapping it up 

I hope you enjoy making your very own batch of vegan parmesan alternative. 

If you do end up making it, please let me know what you thought of it!

Watch My Vegan Parmesan Alternative Recipe Video

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Vegan Parmesan sprinkled on pasta

Vegan Parmesan Alternative

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  • Author: Chef Ani
  • Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes


This crunchy vegan parmesan alternative is a healthy and tasty flavor booster that can be sprinkled over all your favorite savory dishes. 


  • 1 cup cashews (or blanched almonds)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 1/81/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder)


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 F.
  2. In a food processor, blend the cashews, yeast flakes, salt, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder, into a crumb consistency.
  3. Add the lemon juice, Bragg liquid aminos, ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder) and blend till combined, but not powdered, you want some texture.
  4. Pour unto a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely before storing it in a glass jar.

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