This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for details.
Delicious Vegan Parmesan Cheese topping without nuts, oil, gluten, soy, or sugar! You'll want to put this cheese on everything--luckily it's super easy and inexpensive to make!
Does anyone remember that Parmesan topping in the plastic canister that was great on pizza, pasta, and more? I used to be obsessed with that. I’d often shake that on my pasta eat it just like that.
Well, we probably don’t even need to talk about how bad that stuff is for you. What I do need to tell you is how awesome (and healthy) my Vegan Parmesan Cheese is!
What You'll Need
For this recipe, you'll need some hemp seeds or sometimes referred to as hemp hearts. These are the hulled inner part of the hemp seed and are soft and chewy.
They're super high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and a surprising amount of protein for such a small seed. They are actually considered a complete protein as they contain all 9 essential amino acids!
They are technically from the cannabis sativa plant, but they only contain tiny trace amounts of THC and will not get you high or harm you in any way.
If you can't find or don't want to use hemp seeds, you can use any other nut or seed and just blitz it in the blender before mixing it with other ingredients.
The blend of spices and dried herbs I use in this vegan Parmesan cheese is something I played with and tested a lot, so I happen to think it's a great blend. But that's all a matter of personal taste.
Feel free to mess with the spices. I happened to use garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, dried basil, and dried oregano with a pinch of salt.
Finally, I added nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor. It actually tastes pretty good even without the nutritional yeast, so if you don't want to use that, just double your hemp seeds!
How to Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese
I feel pretty silly writing this how to section.
All you do is measure out your ingredients, stick them in a jar, stir or shake it up, and there you are! Done!
Taste and adjust quantities as needed.
I'd say I probably make this vegan Parmesan cheese every single week! I love to put it in salad dressings, straight on salads, pizza, potatoes, on pasta with or without tomato sauce...
It's even one of the main ingredients in my Vegan Rasta Pasta!
This topping can be stored in an airtight container like the jar you mixed it in for up to a few days room temperature, but I recommend refrigerating it.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two weeks… if you can make it last. We always polish it off pretty quickly!
What is Nutritional Yeast?
Wait, yeast? That seems like a bad idea, right?
Actually, it's totally fine!
Nutritional yeast—sometimes referred to as “nooch”—is an inactive form of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the strain of yeast bakers use to make bread, except it’s been through the pasteurization process, drying it out to extract its nutritional benefits.
Nutritional yeast has a nutty, cheesy flavor that is so good on so many things, but I love to blend it with spices and seeds to create an unbelievably tasty topping for meals.
How to Customize It
The best thing about my Vegan Parmesan Cheese is that it’s super customizable. I mentioned earlier that you can probably use whatever base you like.
I almost always use hemp seeds because they're much cheaper than cashews, and you don't even have to blend them!
You can also use cashews, sunflower seeds, or any other neutral tasting nut or seed, just give them a quick whiz in a blender, food processor, or spice grinder!
You should also feel free to play with the spices a bit! Sometimes I up the garlic powder because, you know, #garlicobsessed (luckily Mr. Zardyplants is also garlic-obsessed).
Other Cheese Recipes You Might Enjoy
If you like vegan cheese, but you don’t want to make it with nuts or oil, you’ve certainly come to the right place! I’m pretty obsessed with cheese, and I like to make it with ingredients that most people can tolerate.
I’ve actually had a lot of people thank me for making nut-free and oil-free recipes, especially for cheese, so I’m happy to continue doing so!
Here are a few of my other cheese recipes. I’m coming out with new recipes all the time, so if you’d like to sign up for my newsletter, you’ll never miss a recipe! I promise not to email too often. :)
I even made a whole list of my favorite nut-free vegan cheese recipes!
Melty Mozzarella (my most popular!) (Vegan)
Feta that Melts, Shreds, and Slices! (Vegan)
Melty Cheddar (Vegan)
Cheddar Block Cheese (Vegan)
Soy-Free & Nut-Free Cheese Sauce (Vegan)
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too.
This vegan Parmesan cheese is:
- Cheesy (it better be!)
- Actually healthy
- And great in any dish--I could seriously eat it with a spoon!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)