How To Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Looking for a dairy-free alternative to Parmesan cheese? You’ve come to the right place!

Adapted from other vegan bloggers, this easy vegan Parmesan cheese recipe uses raw cashews as the main ingredient. With nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, and lemon zest, you’ll create a flavorful and versatile cheese substitute.

Feel free to try this recipe in your kitchen. Sprinkle it on pasta, melt it over pizza, or add it to soup.

Get ready to enjoy Parmesan without any animal products!

Key Takeaways

  • The recipe for vegan Parmesan cheese uses raw cashews as the main ingredient, along with nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, and lemon zest.
  • The nutrition information for the vegan Parmesan cheese is as follows: 1 tablespoon serving size, 44 calories, 3g carbohydrates, 1.8g protein, 3g fat, 0.6g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 92mg sodium, and 0.7g fiber.
  • The recipe can be used in various dishes, such as vegan pesto Parmesan breadsticks, vegan pizza, vegan zucchini gratin, vegan mac and cheese, and vegan eggplant Parmesan.

Choosing the Right Ingredients

Creating a delectable vegan Parmesan cheese requires a careful selection of ingredients.

  • Key to its taste and texture are raw cashews. These provide a creamy and nutty foundation for the cheese.
  • Nutritional yeast also plays a vital role by adding a cheesy flavor.
  • Garlic powder contributes a savory note, while salt is vital for seasoning.
  • Lemon zest helps to enhance all the flavors.

For best results, opt for the following measurements:

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon sea salt

Raw cashews are important because they blend into a smooth and creamy base. It’s crucial to pick raw ones over roasted or salted versions. The latter can distort the taste and texture of the cheese.

Nutritional yeast can come in flakes or powder form. Both are easy to blend into the mixture. Choose a brand that provides a strong cheesy flavor to elevate the taste of your vegan Parmesan.

Garlic powder is another critical ingredient. It imparts a savory flavor to the vegan cheese. Therefore, it’s worth choosing a high-quality brand.

Salt is a necessary ingredient to balance the flavors. But be careful with the amount you use.

Lastly, when it comes to lemon zest, select organic lemons if possible. This way, you avoid any waxy residue.

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How To Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese

1. Adding the Ingredients to the Food Processor

Begin by adding raw cashews to the food processor. Ensure the cashews are unsalted and unroasted for optimal results. They form the base of this tasty recipe.

Next, add the other ingredients to the food processor. The list includes nutritional yeast, garlic powder, sea salt, and a hint of lemon zest. These 4 ingredients will enhance the flavor of the dish.

Nutritional yeast gives the mix a cheesy aroma. Garlic powder adds a savory punch. The sea salt brings out all the flavors, while the lemon zest gives a gentle tang.

2. Blending the Ingredients

Now, it’s time to blend.

Turn on the food processor and let it work its magic. Pause occasionally to scrape down the sides of the food processor. This step is crucial, as it ensures everything gets mixed well, creating a smooth, consistent texture.

If your food processor is large, you can double the recipe.

Depending on your food processor’s power, blending the vegan substitutes could take a few minutes. You’ll notice the cashews turning into a fine powder. It will look much like grated Parmesan cheese.

3. Shaping and Chilling the Cheese

Once you’re happy with the consistency, it’s time to store your vegan Parmesan cheese. Transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator.

To get the best grating results, shape your vegan cashew Parmesan into a wheel and chill it overnight.

This process isn’t just for looks. The wheel shape contributes to a firm texture that’s easier to grate.

Chilling overnight also ensures the cheese holds its shape when used in dishes.

As you wait, you might start thinking about the tasty meals you can enhance with this homemade cheese.

Grating and Serving Suggestions

You can get the best grating results with a fine grater. With its small holes, this tool is perfect for vegan Parmesan cheese.

Grating the cheese will give your dishes a delightful texture. It also enhances the flavor of your meal.

The fine grater creates thin, delicate shreds of cheese. These shreds melt beautifully over warm pasta.

You’ll notice the cheese soften as you grate it. It adds a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth experience to your meals.

Vegan Parmesan cheese can upgrade various dishes. Spaghetti squash and pasta pair perfectly with it, adding a savory umami flavor.

Alternatively, try it over roasted red pepper pasta for a cheesy burst.

If you love soups, sprinkle the grated cheese on your Tuscan Ribollita soup. It adds an extra layer of flavor.

Shaving the vegan Parmesan cheese offers a different texture, which is great for salads, wraps, and sandwiches.

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Tips for Storage and Variations

Storing your vegan Parmesan cheese is essential to preserving its freshness, flavor, and texture.

Here are some straightforward and easy-to-follow tips:

  • Keep your vegan Parmesan cheese chilled until it’s time to grate it. It’s the best way to maintain its texture and prevent it from becoming overly soft.
  • If you prefer your cheese with a harder texture, consider storing it in the fridge in a crumbled form. This method allows the cheese to harden.
  • Storing your vegan Parmesan cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator is the best option to keep it fresh. Aim to use it within seven days to enjoy it at its best.
  • If you need to store your cheese for longer, you can keep it in the freezer. However, remember to wrap it tightly to prevent freezer burn.

Now, let’s look at a few versions of vegan Parmesan cheese to jazz up your cooking game. These variations add depth and variety to the flavor, enhancing your dishes in different ways.

  • Adding a pinch of smoked salt to your vegan Parmesan cheese can elevate its flavor profile. It contributes a savory, smoky element that pairs well with numerous dishes.
  • If you’re a fan of citrusy flavors, try adding some extra lemon juice for a refreshing, tangy punch.
  • If you prefer a milder flavor, you can leave out the nutritional yeast. Doing so will make the cheese less cheesy in taste but still provide a nice texture.
  • If you’re out of lemon juice, distilled white vinegar is a good substitute. It offers the necessary acidity to balance the flavors of the cheese.
  • For a unique twist, consider adding miso to your vegan Parmesan cheese. This addition gives your cheese a rich, savory taste that’s delightful with a variety of dishes.


Congratulations! You have successfully created your own delicious vegan Parmesan cheese. With just a few simple steps, you can now enjoy the flavor and texture of Parmesan without any animal products.

Use this simple vegan Parmesan cheese recipe whenever you need a tasty addition to your meals. All you need are a few basic ingredients and 5 minutes of your time!

Don’t forget to experiment with different variations and storage tips to make it truly your own.

Whether you’re sprinkling it on pasta, melting it over pizza, or adding it to a savory soup, this dairy-free alternative won’t disappoint. So go ahead, indulge in the goodness of vegan Parmesan, and savor every bite!

More Guides to Vegan Brands

If you’d like some food ideas to help you on your vegan journey, here are links to some of my Vegan Food Brand Guides:

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is vegan Parmesan cheese?

Vegan Parmesan cheese is a dairy-free alternative to traditional Parmesan cheese. It is made using plant-based ingredients and offers a similar flavor and texture to regular Parmesan cheese.

Can I use other nuts instead of cashews?

Yes, you can. Almonds or walnuts are a good choice. However, keep in mind that this may slightly alter the flavor and texture of the final product.

Is it easy to make vegan Parmesan cheese?

Yes, making vegan Parmesan cheese is very easy. With just a few simple ingredients and a food processor, you can have homemade vegan Parmesan cheese in a matter of minutes.

Can I add other herbs or spices to this vegan Parmesan recipe?

You can customize the flavor of your vegan Parmesan cheese by adding herbs and spices like dried basil, oregano, or red pepper flakes. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite flavor profile.

How long does vegan Parmesan cheese last?

Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, vegan Parmesan cheese can last for up to 2 weeks. Make sure to check for any signs of spoilage before using it.

Can I buy vegan Parmesan cheese instead of making it?

Yes, there are commercially available vegan Parmesan cheese options. Look for them in health food stores or the vegan section of your grocery store. Still, making it at home allows you to customize the flavor and save money.

Is vegan Parmesan cheese a good source of nutrients?

Vegan Parmesan cheese made with nutritional yeast and nuts like cashews can provide some nutritional benefits. It is a good source of protein, vitamin B12, and healthy fats. The nutritional content may vary based on the specific recipe used.

Can I use vegan Parmesan cheese as a substitute for real Parmesan cheese in recipes?

Yes, you can! It will provide a similar flavor and can be used in the same way.

How long does it take for the cheese to firm up in the refrigerator?

Typically, it takes overnight for the vegan Parmesan cheese to firm up in the refrigerator. It allows the cheese to achieve the best grating consistency. Enjoy the deliciousness after a little patience!

Can I freeze the vegan Parmesan cheese for longer storage?

Yes, you can do that. It’s best to store it in an airtight container in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it, thaw, and it’s ready to go!

What are some other dishes that I can use vegan Parmesan cheese in?

You can use vegan Parmesan cheese in dishes like vegan pesto Parmesan breadsticks, pizza, zucchini gratin, mac ‘n’ cheese, and eggplant Parmesan. It adds a savory and salty flavor that enhances your meals.