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!



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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 3 servings
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: 62kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.5g | Protein: 2.9g | Fat: 4.2g | Sodium: 120mg | Fiber: 1.1g | Sugar: 0.5g
by Jessica

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Recipe Rating


  1. Dana says:

    My daughters both have a yeast allergy. Can you think of a substitute for the yeast?

  2. Betsy Bowen says:

    Holy cow! I had my doubts, but this could not be easier to make or more delicious. I’d even say it tastes way better than Parmesan. I’m using it to top on a baked rice and butternut squash casserole, which is now, thanks to you, 100% Vegan. Yay! Thank you!

    • Jessica says:

      Hey Betsy!! Aww wow this makes me sooo happy!! You’re so welcome and thanks so much for your comment!!

  3. Daniel Olsen says:

    Great and easy recipe! Thanks for the share.


    I just made this parmesan cheese to sprinkle over my vegan pizza. It looks great. Can’t wait to taste it. Thank you so much for this easy recipe.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Sandra,

      So happy to hear you enjoyed so much!! You’re so very welcome and thanks for your feedback!

      • mindy says:

        Hi. I found this article via Goigke search and was enticed by the “so how and why does this taste like parmesan cheese?” caption. I din’t actually see any answer to that question — just an explanation of why the texture is the Sam’s and how the ingredients compliment each other. But I am wondering if it tastes exactly like parm, where does the super sharp, robust aged taste come from that differentiates it from other nutritional yeast/cashew/salt/spices recipes? Cheers! I am sure this is tasty but I am trying to solve the ultimate challenge of vegan cheeses not ever tasting sharp and aged.

        • Courtney | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

          Hi Mindy,

          It’s really the combination of all the ingredients: cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt, garlic powder, and onion powder that give the flavor. Feel free to try it and let us know what you think!

  5. Pam says:

    Curious as to why the 1 Tbsp additional of cashews and not just 3/4 cups? I have another one that says 3/4 c so was curious what the other Tbsp does.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Pam,

      I just preferred the texture with the extra tablespoon! I hope that helps! 🙂

  6. Allison Cowdell says:

    5 stars
    Delicious, flavorful, quick and easy. My four teenagers and husband loved it. They were surprised it tasted so good and I’m excited to have a have a healthy plant based alternative. I’m going to double or triple my next batch.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Thank you so much Allison! We’re so happy that you and your family enjoyed it.

  7. Kasandra says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! I skipped the onion powder because onions are on the growing list of things I can’t eat and it was still wonderful

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      We’re so happy that you like it Kasandra! Thank you for leaving such a nice review.

  8. Pam Fish says:

    5 stars
    I never thought I would find a vegan parmesan that was this delicious and taste like the real thing! Thanks for sharing and creating Jessica!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Wow this is a big compliment thank you so much!

  9. Yvette McPhail says:

    5 stars
    So Delicious I am putting this on everything and nothing! (straight from the container…!)

  10. Elizabeth LaCasse says:

    5 stars
    love that this is quick and easy to make with natural ingredients!


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