Vegan Parmesan Cheese | Easy & Quick Recipe - Elavegan (2024)

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5 from 22 votes

With just a few ingredients and less than five minutes, you can mix up a batch of delicious vegan parmesan cheese worthy of sprinkling over everything! Plus, this recipe is naturally gluten-free and can be made nut-free. There is no cooking involved, and it even adds extra nutrition to your meals!

Vegan Parmesan Cheese | Easy & Quick Recipe - Elavegan (1)

What Is Parmesan Cheese?

Parmesan is traditionally a hard, dry cheese made from cows milk with a hard rind and a salty, sharp flavor. It’s neither vegetarian nor vegan friendly. Traditional Italian parmesan ‘Parmigiano-Reggiano’ is a type of parmesan produced within specific locations in Italy. It is highly regulated, including being aged for at least two years.

Used primarily for grating, this cheese has become a firm favorite globally. However, it is also very expensive. So much so, that there is now ready-grated generic ‘parmesan’ that doesn’t melt and sprinkle over pizza and pasta dishes. It can be bought reasonably cheap in stores.

Here I have a delicious alternative for you that uses pantry ingredients. It takes just a few minutes of your time to make before being ready to sprinkle over all your savory meals!

In terms of texture, this parm sprinkle mimics generic parmesan, as it doesn’t melt. However, it has a deliciously cheesy, tangy, salty flavor that works well with so many dishes.

It is also budget-friendly in comparison to store-bought alternatives. It has no nasty additives or preservatives, is low-effort, and quick to prepare.

This vegan parmesan cheese is so utterly delicious that you may just spoon it straight from its container. And I definitely wouldn’t judge you for it!

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The Parm Ingredients

I’ve been making homemade vegan parmesan cheese for years now, with it appearing in recipes, as far back as 2017 on my Instagram page and one year later on my blog, like these Vegan Parmesan Potato Wedges.

Through the years of experimenting and tweaking, though, I finally have a dairy free parmesan cheese. It has become an absolute household staple and pretty much my go-to ‘vegan seasoning’. It’s made up of just 5 base ingredients (not including salt):

Raw, Blanched Almond Flour: This almond parm recipe is super customizable. You can use a whole variety of nuts and seeds. However, after lots of experimentation, my absolute favorite option is almonds.

You can buy blanched almond flour in-store or alternatively make it at home. Simply blanch some raw almonds in boiling water for one minute, leave to cool slightly then remove the skins. Once dry, the nuts can be ground into a powdery consistency.

Nutritional Yeast: This is the key to delicious cheesy flavor. Nutritional yeast (also called nooch), has a nutty, cheesy flavor. It is often used instead of dairy for a variety of vegan products like nut cheese. Plus, it is often fortified with B vitamins!

Onion & Garlic Powder: These ingredients help to add some complexity to the overall flavor of the vegan parmesan.

Smoked Paprika: A personal favorite of mine. I think this adds a lovely extra layer of flavor to the cheese sprinkle.

Salt: An absolute must for mimicking the salty flavor of dairy cheese.

Lemon juice or lime juice: I’ve marked this as optional. However, adding lemon juice to your vegan parmesan cheese helps to mimic the sharp tang of traditional parmesan. You could also use a tsp of white vinegar, as well.

Refer to the Tips & Variations section for more recipe notes and top tips!

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A Nut-Free Version Using Your Favorite Seeds

As much as I love this almond parmesan, for anyone unable to eat nuts, then there are a few substitutes that you can try.

My personal favorite nut-free option is probably hemp seeds (the hemp hearts). These seeds are incredibly nutritious and have an earthy, nutty flavor, and crunchy texture.

Other options include ground sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, or pumpkin seeds. Just note that each seed will change the flavor significantly.

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How To Make The Vegan Parmesan Cheese?

This almond parmesan is so easy to prepare as the steps basically consist of mixing the ingredient together- that’s it! No cooking, no hard-to-follow steps, just mix and sprinkle onto your favorite dishes!

If you have no almond flour available, then you’ll need to follow one additional step at the beginning. But this entire recipe is made up of a maximum of two steps!

(Optional) Step One: To blitz the nuts/seeds into a powdery consistency, pulse them in a food processor/blender or coffee grinder until you reach the desired consistency. Be careful not to leave the machine running, or else you will end up with a paste/butter.

Step Two: Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Adjust seasonings as necessary and feel free to add more nutritional yeast for an even ‘cheesier’ flavor.Once ready, transfer the mixture to a jar or other airtight container.

For the full ingredients list, ingredient measurements, and nutritional information, then please find the printable recipe card below.

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How To Store?

Once ready, your dairy free parmesan cheese can be easily stored. Store it in an airtight container for up to four weeks in the fridge. It is freezer-friendly, too, and can be stored for between 3-4 months in the freezer.

If you omit the lemon juice or any ‘wet’ ingredients, then you could also store it at room temperature.

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How To Serve?

Use this almond parmesan just as a dairy-free parmesan substitute. Or liberally sprinkle it over anything and everything as your go-to vegan seasoning. There are in fact tons of ways to enjoy this flavorful sprinkle.

Take pasta dishes to the next level – Like any of these 16 Vegan Pasta Dishes. My particular favorites include Vegan Lentil Bolognese, Vegan Lasagna Roll Ups, , Roasted Red Pepper Pasta, or even this Healthy Mac And Cheese.

Sprinkle over pizza- like this Avocado and Chickpea Pizza, Vegan Deep Dish Pizza, or any pizzas made with this Simple Gluten-Free Pizza Crust.

Sprinkle over soups and stews – like this Broccoli and Cheese Soup, Creamy Vegan Lasagna Soup, or Vegan Tortilla Soup. You can find a lot more soup and stew recipes here on my blog too!

I’ll often sprinkle it over a variety of other dishes too, like- Vegan Meatballs and Gravy, or Chili Sin Carne.

You can also sprinkle the parm over salads, dips, baked vegetables, and even popcorn and other tasty snacks and sides!

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Useful Tips & Variations

  • You can swap out almonds for other nuts, including cashews (to make cashew parmesan), pine nuts, or brazil nuts. You could also make this recipe nut-free as mentioned above.
  • I prefer to use raw blanched almonds. However, you can use roasted nuts – just adjust the salt as needed and note that flavor will vary.
  • This nut cheese mix is incredibly versatile and can be made into batches of different ‘flavors’. For example, with the use of Italian herbs, chili flakes, dry basil, etc.
  • You can add up to a tsp of white vinegar to further enhance the ‘tang’ element found in regular parmesan.
  • Miso can also be added to enhance the flavor profile of the sprinkle.
  • If you are making the nut/seed powder from scratch, then you can freeze your nuts pre-blending. This will reduce the risk of you ending up with a paste.
  • However, if you do happen to over blend the almond parmesan lightly, you may still be able to use it. E.g. as a vegan ‘breading’ OR mix into a smooth paste. Then press into a small pie tin/mold to make a cheese ‘block’ that you can grate like actual parmesan. Simply leave to set in the fridge for a few hours or freezer until it firms up. Then grate over meals, as needed, awesome right? Keep stored in the refrigerator or freezer between uses.

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This Vegan Parmesan Cheese Is

  • Quick and easy
  • Budget-friendly (in comparison to store-bought options!)
  • Additive & preservative-free
  • Plant-based
  • Naturally gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Can be made nut-free
  • Super customizable!
  • An all-round delicious vegan seasoning

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If you give this recipe a try, I’d really appreciate a comment and rating below. Also, don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elaveganand #elavegan.

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Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Author: Michaela Vais

With just a few ingredients and less than five minutes, you can mix up a batch of delicious vegan parmesan cheese worthy of sprinkling over everything! Plus, this recipe is naturally gluten-free and can be made nut-free. There is no cooking involved, and it even adds extra nutrition to your meals!

5 from 22 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes mins

Cook Time 0 minutes mins

Total Time 5 minutes mins

Course Side

Cuisine Italian

Servings 8

Calories 51 kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.

    Add all ingredients except the lemon juice to a bowl and stir with a spoon.

  • If you like a tangy touch also add some lemon juice or lime juice (white vinegar is fine too). Stir again.

  • Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt, onion powder, garlic powder, etc. to taste. For a cheesier flavor add more nutritional yeast.

  • Sprinkle over pasta dishes of choice, for example, this Lentil Bolognese. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Almond flour is 100% ground blanched almonds. You can use any other ground nuts (nut flour) or ground seeds of choice, for example, cashews, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, or a combination. To make your own nut flour (ground nuts) simply grind the nuts (or seeds) for some seconds in a coffee grinder or food processor. Do not over process, otherwise, the mixture sticks together.
  • More tips & helpful information, including substitutes, are mentioned in the blog post above.
  • Make sure to check out my other cheesy recipes like this sliceable Vegan Cheese or this Vegan Cheese Sauce.

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Serving Size

10 g

Amount per Serving

Calories

51

% Daily Value*

Fat

4

g

6

%

Saturated Fat

1

g

5

%

Carbohydrates

3

g

1

%

Fiber

1

g

4

%

Sugar

1

g

1

%

Protein

3

g

6

%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically

Vegan Parmesan Cheese | Easy & Quick Recipe - Elavegan (12) Simple and Delicious Vegan Cookbook by ElaVeganCLICK HERE to order!

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Vegan Parmesan Cheese | Easy & Quick Recipe - Elavegan (2024)

FAQs

What is vegan Parmesan cheese made of? ›

Vegan Parmesan Cheese Ingredients:

Vegan parmesan is made from a mixture of nuts and seeds, nutritional yeast, a couple pantry spices, salt, and pepper. I like to use a particular mixture of nuts and seeds, my favourite combination being: raw walnuts, sliced almonds, and hemp seeds.

What vegan Parmesan tastes like Parmesan? ›

Violife Just Like Parmesan packs all the rich, nutty Parmesan flavor you love in a convenient block that is ready for you to grate with abandon. Pile high our Just Like Parmesan and never say “no” to grated parm again. Who knew 100% dairy-free and vegan could taste so good?

Can you buy vegan Parmesan cheese? ›

- A vegan parmesan cheese alternative, packed with irresistible Italian flavours. Although they can't label it as traditional parmesan, they don't have to! It adds a cheesy flair to any dish and its tiny umami-packed grains will leave you craving more. For the finishing touch on your freshly baked pizza.

What is the difference between Parmesan and vegetarian Parmesan? ›

Is Any Parmesan Cheese Vegetarian? The good news is yes. Because although the enzyme that comprises rennet is always animal-based, there are now vegetable-based enzymes—obtained by soaking plants like artichokes or thistles—and microbial-based substitutes, which are made from mold enzymes extracted in a lab.

What is the main ingredient in vegan cheese? ›

Vegan cheese is usually made from soy, nuts, vegetable oils, and various other natural ingredients like peas or arrowroot. Vegan cheese is seen as a healthier alternative to cheese by some, and may reduce your risk of heart disease due to its lower content of fat.

What the heck is vegan cheese? ›

Vegan cheeses are 100% animal-free and made using vegetable proteins. Usually, they're made from soy; nuts, such as cashews and macadamias; and vegetable oils, such as coconut oil. You can also find cheeses that derive from agar, tapioca, peas and arrowroot.

What cheese tastes closest to Parmesan? ›

Asiago cheese is closest to Parmesan, but this cheese is actually a bit sweeter. It's a semi-hard yet smooth cheese with a slightly nutty flavor. Asiago offers a mild sharpness that doesn't overwhelm, but rather accents a mellow vegetable or meat dish.

What is the closest vegetarian cheese to Parmesan? ›

This is a hard cheese in the style of Parmesan and it's made with vegetarian rennet. Wonderfully, it's quite great for everything: homemade pesto, a simple cacio e pepe, and even as an after dinner snack.

What is a cheaper alternative to Parmesan cheese? ›

Grana padano and pecorino romano are two other very savory, hard grating cheeses that work well on pasta. They taste a bit different than Parmigiano-Reggiano, but are quite good in their own right and often less expensive.

How long does vegan Parmesan cheese last in the fridge? ›

Vegan Parmesan cheese can usually last 1-3 months after the 'best-before' date if unopened and stored properly. Once opened, it tends to retain its quality for about 1-2 weeks if stored in the refrigerator. Homemade varieties should be consumed within 1 week for optimal freshness.

Can vegans eat yeast? ›

Although yeast is technically alive—it's a single-celled organism that metabolizes food into energy—it's no more an animal than other fungi such as mushrooms. Therefore, yeast is generally accepted as part of a vegan diet.

How long does vegan Parmesan cheese last? ›

Nut-free vegan Parmesan can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks and in the freezer for several months. This cheese has a long shelf life, but it's so delicious I bet you'll use it up before it expires!

Why is pesto not vegetarian? ›

The reason is because classic basil pesto contains pecorino and Parmigiano-Reggiano, which are both made from milk curdled in animal rennet. That means that most of the pesto sauces you see on supermarket shelves are not vegetarian.

What does vegan Parmesan cheese taste like? ›

Slightly salty, slightly nutty, slightly fruity sweet, just like a good block of the real deal. I'd actually describe it as a quality Parmesan with just a touch of Gouda.

What is a better cheese than Parmesan? ›

If you're like me, and you want to add a bit more salt, taste, and sharpness to your food, ditch the Parm and start using Pecorino Romano. Find a good Italian deli that carries it or check your local Whole Foods. Embrace flavor, boldness, and new experiences. Italian cheese is much, much more than Parmesan.

What is dairy-free parmesan cheese made of? ›

This super simple dairy-free parmesan contains only 3 base ingredients, being cashews, nutritional yeast and salt. I've then added garlic or onion powder (both are great) and white pepper to the mix, which really rounds out the flavour giving a much more authentic cheesiness.

What are the ingredients in go veggie parmesan? ›

INGREDIENTS. Rice Flour, Coconut Oil, Rice Maltodextrin, Isolated Soy Protein, Rice Meal, Natural Vegan Flavors, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sea Salt, Glycerin, Yeast Extract, Lactic Acid (non-dairy), Soy Lecithin.

What is a good non dairy substitute for parmesan cheese? ›

It's really a matter of taste. My two favorites are pine nuts or a 50/50 blend of walnuts and cashews. In the latter, the walnuts add a deep, savory quality that offsets the natural sweetness of the cashews. In general, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pine nuts, and macadamia nuts are great options for this recipe.

What ingredient in parmesan isn't vegetarian? ›

So why isn't Parmesan cheese vegetarian? Great question. In this case, it has to do with the use of something called rennet, which is pretty crucial to the Parmesano-Reggiano production process. Rennet is usually taken from the fourth stomach of a relatively young grazing animal like calves, goats, or lambs.

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