This Vegan Parmesan Cheese is savory, nutty, and salty. You can make it with just a few pantry staple ingredients and less than 5 minutes of your time. It’s nut-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Sprinkle it on everything!
Obviously, this recipes is not an authentic parmesan cheese recipe. It is, however, a delicious dairy-free alternative and can be used just like you would traditional parmesan cheese.
Ingredients you need
Ingredients notes and substitutes
Pumpkin seeds ~ I really like raw pumpkin seeds in “cheesy” recipes like this. They work brilliantly in vegan pesto as a substitute for parmesan cheese, so I knew they would work perfectly in a stand-alone vegan parmesan cheese recipe, too.
Nutritional yeast ~ Nutritional yeast has a savory, nutty, and somewhat “cheesy” flavor. It has umami!
It also boasts an impressive nutritional profile. It contains good amounts of protein, B vitamins, potassium, calcium, and iron. [source]
Spices ~ Onion powder, garlic powder, and salt are all you need to round out the flavors of this vegan cheese powder.
Lemon zest ~ Fresh lemon zest is an optional ingredient. I love the fresh zing of flavor it brings to balance the salt and nuttiness. You can leave it out, if you prefer.
How to make the recipe
Place all the ingredients in a small coffee grinder or food processor (1) and pulse a few times until the mixture becomes a coarse powder (2).
Use this vegan cheese any way you would use traditional parmesan cheese.
Storage and freezing
Transfer the cheese powder to an air-tight container and store in the fridge for a week or two.
You can also freeze this vegan parmesan cheese. Transfer it to a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. It should keep well for up to 6 months.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Use raw, shelled, and unsalted pumpkin seeds. They have a somewhat “cheesy” flavor that I find works best in this recipe. You can try cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, or hemp seeds, as well, if you want to switch it up.
~ I find a small coffee grinder works the best for getting the perfect powdery crumb texture. I have one I use just for nuts and seeds, etc. If you use it for coffee and it has lingering coffee smells, I would suggest a food processor instead.
~ Do not over-process! The mixture will turn into a paste if you take it too far.
~ This recipe can easily be doubled (or tripled, etc.). Use a food processor instead of a coffee grinder if you are making more than one batch. Otherwise, you will have to grind it in batches.
~ Traditional parmesan cheese is quite salty, so taste and add more, if necessary, to your liking.
~ The lemon zest is optional, but I love the fresh zing it provides. Leave it out, if you prefer.
There are quite a few different substitutes for parmesan cheese these days, but the majority of them start with either nuts or seeds and nutritional yeast. A few spices, like garlic powder, onion powder, and salt help to create that distinctive nutty, salty flavor.
Almost all vegan parmesan recipes are gluten-free, but always check the ingredients to be sure if you need.
This particular recipe will not melt. It is meant to be sprinkled on the top of dishes as a finishing touch.
Yes! Just like traditional versions, you can freeze this dairy-free parmesan cheese. Transfer it to a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. It will keep well for up to 6 months.
More vegan cheese recipes
- Vegan Cheddar Cheese Spread
- Veggie Cream Cheese
- Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Homemade Vegan Queso
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Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- Place all ingredients into a small coffee grinder or food processor and pulse several times until the mixture resembles a coarse powder.
- Use immediately or store in an air-tight container for later.
Storage/Freezing Transfer the cheese powder to an air-tight container and store in the fridge for a week or two. You can also freeze this vegan parmesan cheese. Transfer it to a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. It should keep well for up to 6 months.
Makes about ¾ cup. Serving size estimated to be 1 tablespoon.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.