This super easy vegan parmesan makes fantastic savoury and cheesy topping which is perfect with pasta or wherever you would normally use parmesan! Choose cashew nuts or sunflower and hemp seeds option - both delicious and make perfect parmesan cheese alternative!
This super simple and speedy vegan parmesan might not be the cheese as you know it but oh boy is it out of this world delicious!
Even though you cannot grate it and it doesn't melt, it has a very similar flavour profile to regular parmesan and makes a fantastic vegan substitute. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
Made in 5 minutes with handful of simple ingredients, it will add so much flavour and goodness to all your pasta dishes and wherever you need that little sprinkle of extra something!
With 2 different options - one nutty made with cashews and nut-free one made with sunflower and hemp seeds, there is something for everyone.
✔️ Why should you try this recipe?
- Great vegan cupboard staple
- Dairy-free, gluten-free
- Perfect vegan parmesan cheese substitute
- Only few ingredients
- Takes only 5 minutes to make
- Choose between nutty or nut-free versions
- Full of savoury and cheesy flavour
- Perfect with pasta and other dishes
- Stores really well and freezer friendly
- Budget friendly
- Really nutritious
🥘 Ingredients and substitutions
Vegan Cashew Parmesan
Raw Cashew Nuts - Make sure to use unsalted, unflavoured, super plain cashews here.
If you're feeling adventurous you could use other nuts or even mix them up although when it comes to vegan parmesan I must say cashews are my favourite.
***TIP***I usually buy my nuts and seeds in bulk and when it comes to cashews I tend to go for broken cashew pieces which are so much cheaper than whole nuts. They will be processed anyway so looks are not important!
Nutritional Yeast (Nooch) - For that cheesy umami flavour. Staple in plant based cooking.
Onion & Garlic granules or powder - Flavour boosters.
Salt - Make sure to use good quality salt and not table salt. Sea salt or Himalayan pink salt are my favourites.
Nut-Free Vegan Sunflower and Hemp Seeds Parmesan
Shelled Hemp Seeds
Both work really well in this nut-free vegan parmesan alternative.
They're super nutritious and complement each other's flavours well too.
Shelled hemp seeds are absolutely delicious and packed full of goodness (see this article in Healthline for more information). They're also widely available and quite inexpensive, especially if you buy them in bulk.
If for some reason you don't have hemp seeds to hand you could always use more sunflower seeds or substitute them with some pumpkin seeds instead.
Onion and Garlic granules or powder
Kitchen Scales - Simple yet essential piece of kit you definitely need in your kitchen.
I will always recommend weighing your ingredients over measuring them in cups although in this recipe you will get away with it.
Food Processor - Food processor works better than blender for this recipe as you are less likely to overdo it and reach paste/butter consistency.
You can, however, use blender but make sure to use pulse button for blending (especially if using high speed type blender).
💭 Pro Tips
- Feel free to play around with flavours in your vegan parmesan. You can try adding different spices or herbs if you wanted to.
- I've come across different vegan parmesan recipes online using raw almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts or even macadamia nuts. Feel free to experiment.
- I try and buy my nuts and seeds in bulk whenever I can which saves me a lot of money in the long run.
- When blending vegan parmesan, make sure you don't overdo it. You want all the components to be well combined but you don't want the mixture to turn into paste or nut/seed butter!
- Choose how fine or coarse you want your vegan parmesan. You might want to go for more powdery consistency or perhaps slightly coarser one for a bit of added crunch.
Vegan parmesan cheese stores really well at room temperature. There is no need to refrigerate it.
If you keep it in an airtight container or a jar (this is what I do), it should last good few weeks.
Vegan parmesan freezes really well which makes it great for preparing in bulk.
It will last in the freezer for several months and you don't need to think too much about defrosting it either.
Simply take out the amount you think you'll need and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes as you get on with preparing your dinner. It will be ready to use in no time.
🍴 Serving suggestions
Once you make it for the first time you'll realise how versatile it is.
Of course you can use it as you would regular parmesan (bearing in mind it doesn't melt) for heaps of salty, cheesy flavour.
Sprinkle it over any type of pasta dish, roasted vegetables, risottos, soups, pizzas and wherever else you might want to add some flavour.
It is sure to become your pantry staple!
You might want to try it with some of these recipes:
Homemade vegan parmesan cheese tends to be made of nuts or seeds, nutritional yeast and seasoning (garlic granules, onion granules and salt).
Commercially produced vegan parmesan is usually coconut oil based.
No it doesn't but it adds a lot of flavour that is very similar to that of regular parmesan and if you make it quite coarse it might also add some crunch.
If you wanted to use it on top of baked dishes e.g. lasagne, I would sprinkle it over once it's been baked and out of the oven, more as a flavour enhancer.
Yes it is.
Yes it is! Both nuts and seeds as well as nutritional yeast are very nutritious.
One might argue that for it to be healthy it shouldn't contain added salt but I beg to differ.
🔪 How to make vegan parmesan?
Ingredient quantities & detailed instructions to be found in recipe card at the bottom of the post.
To make vegan parmesan simply measure out all the ingredients, put them in the food processor and pulse until you reach crumbly consistency.
Feel free to finish pulsing when your parmesan is still quite coarse or continue until more powdery.
Take care not to overdo it as mixture will turn into paste/butter.
Enjoy with your favourite dishes!
Have you tried my Easy Vegan Parmesan?
Please consider giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in recipe card below and share your views or tips in the comments.
😋 More easy staple recipes you might enjoy
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Easy Vegan Parmesan (2 Ways)
Sunflower and Hemp Seed Vegan Parmesan
- 85 g sunflower seeds
- 50 g shelled hemp seeds see notes
- 10 g nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder or granules
- ½ teaspoon onion powder or granules if you don't have onion powder/granules use double the amount of garlic powder/granules.
- ¾ tsp good quality salt I recommend sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
Cashew Vegan Parmesan
- Measure out the ingredients either for cashew vegan parmesan or sunflower and hemp seed one and put them in a bowl of food processor or in a blender.
- Pulse until all the ingredients are well combined and you got crumb or sand like consistency.
- Keep it as coarse (for a bit of crunch) or make it as powdery as you like.
- Take care not to overdo it as mixture might turn into paste/butter.
- Enjoy sprinkled over your favourite dishes!
- Nutritional information is approximate and per one tablespoon of sunflower and hemp seed vegan parmesan only. Please do treat it a a rough guideline.
- If you don't have any hemp seeds, feel free to use more sunflower seeds or perhaps substitute them with pumpkin seeds instead.
- Feel free to experiment with other nuts other than cashews. Almonds, walnuts, Brazil & macadamia nuts should work. You could also try and mix things up. Whatever type of nuts you use make sure they're raw and unsalted.
- Vegan parmesan can be stored in the cupboard in the airtight container or a jar for several weeks. There is no need to refrigerate it.
- Freezer friendly and defrosts within minutes.