Vegan Parmesan Cheese with an authentic taste and texture! Five minutes and 5 ingredients is all you need — and no yeast flakes! Traditional Parmigiano Reggiano is regarded as having a hard, gritty texture and a fruity, nutty taste by most cheese connoisseurs. My Vegan Parmesan is exactly that!
Parmesan Cheese was never on my short list of recipes for a plant-based re-creation. Not that I don’t love it and miss it dearly, but all of the vegan versions I have tried so far have fallen so short of tasting like the real thing that I was not encouraged.
VEGAN PARMESAN CHEESE WITHOUT YEAST FLAKES!
Most of these recipes include nutritional yeast flakes — not that there’s anything wrong with them! Yeast flakes get high marks on the nutrition scale and add a great dimension when added to certain recipes. Maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t like tasting nutritional yeast in vegan cheese. I knew that re-creating this cheese to be a delicious vegan version of the traditional one would not be easy.
But it had to be done! Far too many times I have found myself longing to sprinkle some of that cheesy goodness on a warm dish of pasta and marinara, a slice of pizza, or Caesar salad. The members of my household that still eat traditional parmesan were amazed with my Vegan Parmesan Cheese. I had to do a little coaxing to get them to try it, but once they did they became true believers! Life is now just a little more complete!
Grating Cheese: If you prefer uniform shreds, it will compress nicely into a hand-held crank cheese grater and grate just like its non-plant-based counterpart.
Substitution: I recommend using the 1 teaspoon of hemp seed as it brings a balance to the flavor, though it could probably be substituted with 1 teaspoon of olive oil if desired. (Disclosure: I have not tried this substitution.)
Rice Flour: If you prefer a drier, more granulated parmesan cheese, I recommend adding in rice flour 1/4 teaspoon at a time until desired texture is achieved.
In the image below, my Vegan Parmesan Cheese is on the left and traditional Parmesan Cheese (courtesy of the members of my household that do not adhere to a strictly plant-based diet) is on the right.
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 teaspoon hemp seeds (raw and shelled)
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt (Finely ground. More may be used if you prefer a saltier cheese.)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- **1 teaspoon rice flour** (only used when a drier cheese is desired)
- Place raw cashews and raw shelled hemp seeds in a food processor and grind into very small pieces (see picture in post). It is important not to over grind or you will end up with butter.
- Add salt and garlic powder, sprinkling evenly over cashew mixture. Pulse a few times to mix together. Sprinkle in lemon juice and blend for only a few seconds, just until mixed well. (see picture in post) Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
For a drier texture-
Add rice flour 1/4 teaspoon at a time until desired texture is achieved.
If you prefer uniform shreds of Vegan Parmesan, it will compress nicely into a hand-held crank cheese grater and grate just like its non-plant-based counterpart.
I recommend using the 1 teaspoon of hemp seed as it brings a balance to the flavor, but it could probably be substituted with 1 teaspoon of olive oil if desired. (I have not tried this substitution.)
If you prefer a drier, more granulated parmesan cheese, I recommend adding in rice flour 1/4 teaspoon at a time until desired texture is achieved.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 200