How to Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese

By Jessica Hylton - - Updated

Learn how to make Vegan Parmesan Cheese with just 5 ingredients in just 5 minutes! Quick, easy and tastes AMAZING!

Top down shot of vegan parmesan cheese on a wood bowl.

Without a doubt, I was a member of parmesan cheese addicts anonymous, PCAA for short. It goes great with pretty much everything on earth, but I had finally reached a point where I NEEDED a vegan alternative. In walks in 5 super single ingredients: cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt, garlic powder, and the one that made all the difference, onion powder. 5 minutes, a lifetime of happiness, and vegan pizzas.

Two spoons with parmesan cheese.

So, how and why does this taste like parmesan cheese? If you’ve ever made cashew butter, then you know that it grinds down into a meal similar to almond meal before turning into its gooey butter goodness. That meal directly mimics parmesan cheese in both texture and consistency.

The cashew meal provides the perfect base to add nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is THE vegan go to for cheese-like flavour and has tons of B12 making it delicious and essential. Then the other three, garlic powder, onion powder, and sea salt balance out each other with flavour, slight saltiness, and an extra hint of cheesiness. All in all, they go PERFECTLY together to make vegan parmesan cheese. Plus, I love making this at home because it’s way cheaper than buying it in the store.

Overhead shot of vegan parmesan chees in a wooden bowl with a spoon.

Now, some tips & tricks:


  1. Using unsalted cashews is necessary. Salted cashews will alter the taste and consistency of the product.
  2. You can substitute the cashews for another skinless seed such as sunflower seeds to make it nut free or macadamia nuts, but I can’t guarantee the exact same consistency.
  3. Don’t pulse it don’t too much else it would begin to turn into a slight paste because of the cashews. Just pulse until everything has come together in your food processor.
  4. I recommend using a food processor and NOT a blender. I tried both and got much better results with a food processor. This is the food processor that I use:
  5. You can double or triple this batch if you’d like!



Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Grilled Lemon Garlic Zucchini

Creamy Cashew Pea Pesto

Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Burst Cherry Tomatoes



Vegan Pistachio Crusted Cheese Ball

Learn how to make Vegan Parmesan Cheese with just 5 ingredients in just 5 minutes! Quick, easy and tastes AMAZING!Learn how to make Vegan Parmesan Cheese with just 5 ingredients in just 5 minutes! Quick, easy and tastes AMAZING!
Text over a bowl of vegan parmesan cheese.

How to Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Learn how to make Vegan Parmesan Cheese with just 5 ingredients in just 5 minutes! Quick, easy and tastes AMAZING!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 18 tablespoons
Course Snacks
Cuisine American, Italian
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt


  • In a food processor, add the cashews and blend until they became ground down into a meal.
  • Add all the other ingredients and mix together until combined.
  • Enjoy!
  1. This recipe is vegan and gluten free.
    This vegan parmesan cheese should be stored in an airtight jar in your fridge. It will last up to 2 months.


Calories: 32kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

by Jessica

leave a comment

Recipe Rating


  1. Linda says:

    5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe! I went dairy free 4 months ago and this has been my go to item. I sprinkle this on everything! Super easy and tastes great.

  2. Dana Shelton says:

    5 stars
    THANK YOU, Jessica, for ALL your outstanding VEGAN recipes and tips!
    I deeply appreciate ALL your links but especially this one!
    I’ve been making vegan Parmesan for a decade, with pricey raw walnuts. I am OVERJOYED that you gave me this raw cashew sub…it’s sheer brilliance!
    *I also add some flax seeds during my grind for personal preference, it aids in the ‘Parmesan’ adhering to whatever foodstuffs it’s shaken on to.
    Keep well, vegan!!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Awesome Dana! We love your flax seed suggestion.

Send this to a friend