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You'll want to sprinkle this Vegan Parmesan Cheese on everything! It has the perfect balance of salty, cheesy, and tangy flavors that'll make your taste buds happy. Plus, it requires just 6 ingredients and it can be yours in 10 minutes or less!
Everyone has that must-have staple in their home and mine is definitely Vegan Parmesan Cheese. It adds a pop of flavor to so many dishes, and I use it all the time for pizza, pasta, soups, salads, popcorn, and more.
I just made my Roasted Red Pepper Pasta last night and I didn't hold back. I coated it with a powdery blanket of cheesiness!
Even in my non-vegan days, I had a big green bottle of Kraft in the fridge at all times (so fancy!). It was quite addicting and I sprinkled it on everything. I loved the saltiness and slight tang that it added to my food.
Well, this vegan version is just as good and it provides the tanginess that regular cheese has, too. It's a real game-changer!
What makes Vegan Parmesan Cheese tangy?
The secret ingredient is vegan lactic acid and it provides a zing that most vegan cheese products are lacking. I highly recommend trying it out. You won't be disappointed!
Plus, you can use it for a variety of other recipes like my Vegan Mozzarella Cheese or Vegan Nacho Cheese, and more. However, if you don't have lactic acid, you can still make this recipe. It won't have the tang, but it's still delicious without it.
️🌟 This is a quick overview with step-by-step photos. For the complete ingredient amounts and instructions, scroll down to the recipe card below.
- Cashews - They have a neutral flavor and break down easily. You can also use blanched almonds.
- Nutritional Yeast - Adds a cheesy flavor and is really needed to bring this recipe together.
- Lactic Acid - Adds a tangy flavor that tastes close to dairy cheese.
- Granulated Garlic & Onion - Adds a little extra flavor, but it's optional.
- Salt - Don't skip this! It brings all the flavors together.
How to make Vegan Parmesan Cheese
This part is super easy! Just place all the ingredients In a high-powered blender or food processor and pulse for 2-3 long pulses, until you have a fine meal-like texture. Don't over pulse or it will start to clump and become cashew butter. Now, taste for seasoning and add more if needed. That's it!
- I prefer to use a high-powered blender over a food processor because it creates a fine texture.
- Remember not to over pulse or it will clump. If some of the cheese gets stuck in the bottom in between pulses, just use a butter knife to release it before pulsing again.
- The nutritional yeast that I use has a lighter color, so the end result has a whiter appearance like traditional parmesan. I also prefer the taste over most brands on the market. Some brands have a bitter aftertaste.
Can I use other types of nuts?
I prefer cashews because they are the most neutral as far as flavor, but you can use blanched almonds, macadamia nuts, and walnuts. Just make sure they are raw and unsalted. If you can't have nuts, you can try using seeds like this recipe for Hemp Parmesan. I haven't tried it but it looks delicious!
How long will it last?
This vegan parmesan cheese will last quite a while at room temperature for 3-4 weeks as long as it's stored in an airtight container. However, I prefer to store it in the fridge for optimal freshness and flavor. It'll last a few months, but I usually go through it by then.
Can I freeze it?
Yes! You can store vegan parmesan cheese in the freezer for 4-6 months and it'll retain all of its flavors. However, after it's frozen, you'll want to store it in the fridge and not at room temperature. The extra moisture can cause mold to grow.
More vegan cheese recipes to enjoy
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Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- ¾ cup raw cashews
- 3 ½ tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 ¼ teaspoons lactic acid (vegan sourced) *see note
- ¾ teaspoon Himalayan salt (or preferred salt)
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic , more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon granulated onion , more to taste
- High-Powered Blender or Food Processor
- Place all ingredients In a high-powered blender or food processor. Pulse for 2-3 long pulses, until you have a fine meal-like texture. Don't over pulse or it will start to clump. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed.
- Storing: Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 6-8weeks. You can also store it at room temperature for 3-4 weeks.
- Lactic Acid: It provides a tangy flavor that dairy cheese has and I highly recommend trying it out. Also, you can use it for a variety of vegan cheese recipes in place of lemon juice or vinegar. However, if you don't have it, you can still make this recipe. It won't have the tang, but it's still delicious without it. You can add ¼ teaspoon of Italian seasoning to bump up the flavor.
This is LEGIT!!! So easy and delicious!
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Hi Julie! We're so happy to hear that you loved the recipe. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Thank you for this lovely recipe.
I would like to know if you can use Citric acid instead of Lactic acid?
Thanks a bunch.
Love this "Parmesan", really gives a kick to a pasta dish. I haven't been able to get the lactic acid so I can't compare with and without. But all said I've made a few batches since I found the recipe!! Thanks
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Hi Rory! So glad you loved the parmesan recipe, and happy to hear that it turned out well without the lactic acid! Thank you for sharing! 🙂
Really nice recipe, gives a great kick to the pasta dish. I can't find the lactic acid you used here in Ireland so can't comment on the difference but loving it anyway!
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Hi Rory! So happy to hear you loved the recipe and that it turned out well without the lactic acid! Thank you for sharing 🙂
I love this recipe but just so you know I’ve been using that same brand of lactic acid for sometime it actually will not ferment vegan cheeses it will simply add amazing flavor the best way to actually ferment a homemade vegan cheese is to use a vegan probiotic you can also make rejuvelac which is simply made from wheat berries that will actually cause fermentation in vegan cheese recipes along with some tremendous flavor
Yes, I use the lactic acid strictly for that tangy flavor. It's amazing! I'll have to experiment with fermenting one day. 🙂
I am kind of new to your website & I just love your recipes, thank you for all your hard work.
Question: I saw that you said we can omit the lactic acid, but can you substitute or add in apple cider vinegar in this recipe? If you know that would be great. Thanks and take care...
Hi Laura, I don't think any type of liquid would work since it's a dry powder. I thought about citric acid, but I haven’t tried it yet. It may be too tangy. I did see crystallized lemon online that looks like it could work, but I'm not sure (it’s called True Lemon). The parmesan will still be cheesy tasting without the lactic acid, but it just won't have the tang. It's still delicious though. I wish I could be more help. I'll have to experiment with other tangy ingredients soon. Thank you for stopping by 🙂
I have tried every vegan parmesan recipe out there (it seems)…. they all have been good, some really good, but not fantastic, until now! I ordered the Druids Grove, received it today and immediately made this recipe (had to use half slivered almonds and half cashews because they were all I had). I had another batch of vegan parm from another recipe that I had already made that seemed to be the best I had found. So I compared. My taste testers.... my husband, my son and me. Yours was unequivocally, hands down, absolutely THE one! You are right, the lactic acid did it! Thank you!!! So.....how about in vegan cheeses? Have you tired it in your mozzarella? How about vegan butter?????
Did I say thank you!!!
Hi Marna, this is wonderful to hear! You've made my day...thank you!!! I love using lactic acid in so many recipes - frosting, cream cheese, mozzarella, cheese sauce etc. It's especially great in recipes that need tang but can't have a liquid form. It's a kitchen staple of mine and I use it all the time. I'm so happy you like it too. Have a great weekend! 🙂
Hi Melissa, so I was wondering , if I were to use the lactic acid in, say, your mozzarella or cream cheese recipes, how, when and how much would I use? I didn't see it mentioned in your recipes. Can't wait to try them ! Thank you again!
Hi Marna, I'm sorry for the late reply. I usually use 1 teaspoon in most recipes. You can taste and add more if needed. It can go in the blender/processor at the same time as the other ingredients. Hope this helps. Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂
Hi what can I use in place of the lactic acid.I’m stuck at home and it will take quite a while to get a delivery from Amazon. Thank you so much.
Hi Barbara, you can just omit it. It just yields a nice tang that dairy cheese has, but not 100% necessary. It'll still be delicious and taste cheesy (just not tangy). I would say citric acid may work, but I haven't tried it. Also, I have seen crystallized lemon online that looks interesting, but I haven't tried it either (it's called True Lemon). I hope this helps. Thank you for stopping by 🙂
Hi Julie, this is so nice to hear! I'm so happy you liked it! I'd love to try this with different nuts too. Do you have a preference?
Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend 🙂
This recipe is the one! I knew something was missing from all the others. I've tried different nuts, I have my preferences. But it's the lactic acid! It's brilliant. I went ahead and ordered the Druids Grove. Worth every penny! It gives it the missing tang. Thank you SO much! ; )
Ingredients on the way so I will try this one for sure.
Do you have any other cheese ideas?
Having to eat GF and now now dairy really makes me search for other solutions.
Hi Peter, yes, I have a vegan mozzarella cheese and I also have a vegan mac n cheese. Would those interest you? I'm working on a sliceable cheese too. I hope to have that up soon. I have lots of gluten-free recipes too. Just type it into the search bar on the homepage. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
I must admit, never tried vegan parmesan, but I've seen many recipes circling around, and now, after seeing yours, I'm really tempted! Thanks for sharing Melissa!
Oh, it's the best and so darn easy to make! So much cheaper than store-bought too. Have a great weekend, Anna! 🙂
Where do you get lactic acid for the vegan parm?
You can find it at health food stores. I buy mine on Amazon though. I use Druids Grove brand. 🙂
I'm allergic to yeast. Do you know of any substitute I could use because this sounds delicious!
Hi Anje, oh, that is a tricky one. Do you know if you're allergic to deactivated yeast? Nutritional yeast is not active.
I have tried this without the nutritional yeast (by accident) and it wasn't bad at all. It does miss the hint of cheesiness but has a nice tang from the lactic acid. Also, the texture is still like parmesan. You can try bumping up the seasoning a little bit.
I just discovered miso powder, but I haven't ordered it yet. It seems like it would be hard to find in stores too. I'm so curious if it will work in this recipe. Miso paste would be too wet.
I hope this helps. 🙂
Thank you so much for the kind answer. I'd be very interested to know how miso power works.
Frankly, I'm so allergic to yeast I would be afraid to try. Do you know why inactive yeast might be less allergenic? I think I've heard that before but not from an allergist.