Can I Substitute Parmesan For Nutritional Yeast – 8 Best Substitutes

Last Updated on July 14, 2022 by

The vegan pantry must-have nutritional yeast. It adds a cheesy, nutty taste that would be lacking in the absence of cheese. But what if you don’t have any or cannot eat it because of yeast intolerance? Can I substitute parmesan for nutritional yeast?

Yes, you can. Parmesan cheese works well in place of cream cheese since it gives food a similar nutty taste. If you don’t have any problems eating dairy, you may use parmesan as a substitute. Reduce the quantity of salt in the recipe when adding parmesan. If the recipe isn’t changed, parmesan’s high sodium content compared to nutritional yeast will make it too salty. There are also other substitutes for nutritional yeast, and we will be treating them in this article.

8 Best Substitutes For Nutritional Yeast

Parmesan Cheese

Since nutritional yeast is often advised as an alternative to parmesan in recipes to make a meal dairy-free, it stands to reason that the substitution would also work the opposite way. Given how close parmesan tastes to nutritional yeast, it’s a great alternative if you don’t mind eating dairy. It provides a meal with similar cheesy, nutty, and savory aromas that nutritional yeast does.

Parmesan cheese has less nutritional value overall and is higher in salt and cholesterol than nutritional yeast, so keep that in mind if you’re trying to make your dish as healthy as possible. Although the texture and fine ground consistency might be especially well-suited to sprinkling over popcorn, salads, or vegetables, the similarities imply you can substitute it in just about any dish.

For the best results, replace the nutritional yeast with the same quantity of parmesan. For example, if your recipe asks for 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, 1/4 cup of parmesan will work.

Brewer’s Yeast

Brewer’s yeast is a byproduct of the beer-brewing process. It is a natural substitute for nutritional yeast since its main component, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is the same. Since the yeast in this instance has likewise been dried into flakes, it has a similar texture. The taste is the only important consideration. Brewer’s yeast, as expected, has a somewhat more beer-focused aftertaste.

In contrast, nutritional yeast has been developed in a manner that aids in fostering those cheesy, nutty scents and flavor notes. There may also be a faint bitterness, which isn’t always to one’s taste. If you’re using nutritional yeast to create a cheese sauce, it’s the ideal option since it interacts in a certain manner that may make your dish a little bit thicker.

For optimal results, replace two teaspoons of Brewer’s yeast in your recipe for each tablespoon of nutritional yeast. Since they appear so similar, the reduced quantity isn’t due to uniformity or anything like that; rather, it’s done to make sure that the taste isn’t too different since they do have somewhat distinct flavor profiles.

Soy Sauce

Although many people concentrate on the “cheesy” taste of nutritional yeast, it also has an umami vibe, which makes soy sauce a worthy replacement. You may wish to look for a soy sauce with reduced sodium due to the high salt level to prevent overdosing on your dish. Almost every grocery shop has soy sauce, so there’s a high possibility you already have a bottle hidden among your condiments in the refrigerator. 

One thing to keep in mind when cooking for someone who cannot consume gluten is that you should make sure the soy sauce you use is gluten-free. It would help if you roughly halved the quantities when substituting soy sauce for it for the best results. You should use just half a tablespoon of soy sauce, for instance, if your recipe asks for a tablespoon of nutritional yeast because soy sauce has a stronger taste. You should also be aware of consistency if the item is used in larger quantities since you’re changing a liquid into a solid. This alternative works especially well for dishes that call for liquid, including soups or sauces.

Dried Mushrooms

Dried mushrooms may be a fantastic, healthy alternative if you want to replace nutritional yeast with something that has earthy, umami taste characteristics. It is simple to include finely chopped or crushed dried mushrooms in meals. Dried mushrooms don’t have the same cheesy or salty flavor and lean more toward savory, earthy undertones. 

As a result, although they may be an excellent addition to certain recipes where you want that umami taste, they’re not the best substitute if you’re cooking something like a cheese sauce where the cheesy flavor is the essential one. Another thing to consider is the specific dried mushrooms you decide to use. Some, like porcini, might have a stronger taste, so think about the flavor you want to achieve. In any case, this works very well as a substitution in dishes like soups and stir-fries. They also include a little protein, potassium, vitamin B, antioxidants, and other minerals.

You may make a straight substitution if the dried mushrooms are pounded into a powder; for example, if your recipe asks for one tablespoon of nutritional yeast, you would use one tablespoon of dried mushrooms.

Vegetable Broth

Vegetable Broth makes sense that it would work well as a nutritional yeast replacement in many recipes, given that homemade vegetable bouillon powder often contains nutritional yeast. Almost every grocery shop has some vegetable broth, whether in the form of bouillon cubes, powder, or soup cartons. 

Although it lacks the cheesy qualities of nutritional yeast, it gives each dish you use a blast of plant-based flavor. Although nutritional yeast may serve as a moderate thickening in recipes, the vegetable broth will thin down everything you add to it, so be aware of that.

To avoid significantly altering the consistency of dishes when the nutritional yeast is present in tiny quantities, it is advisable to utilize this substitution while using liquid vegetable broth. If you want to substitute bouillon powder, you may do so equally; for example, you might use one tablespoon of bouillon powder for one tablespoon of nutritional yeast.


Cashews are a great substitute for nutritional yeast, as anybody who has cooked vegan food can attest. Another essential ingredient in vegan dishes, cashews, may be used to make creamy soups and cheesy sauces. They not only function well in sauces but may also be ground up and used as a topping or garnish, similar to nutritional yeast.

Even in pulverized form, cashews have a distinct texture and nutty taste. There will be a taste change when using cashews in place of yeast since there is no umami flavor. To get a smooth consistency when using cashews in a sauce, ensure they have been pre-soaked.


Miso is another item that has a strong umami taste. While you could theoretically substitute nutritional yeast with any miso paste, white miso works particularly well since it has a little more nutty taste. For those unfamiliar with it or may only be acquainted with it from miso soup, it is a paste made from fermented soybeans that has a thick, somewhat sticky consistency with a salty, umami taste. 

In addition, it’s a fantastic source of vitamins E and K, and since it’s fermented, it has plenty of healthy bacteria for your digestive system. Given that this is a paste, it functions best in dishes that can be dissolved, such as sauces and soups. It’s not the best option for dishes where the nutritional yeast is called for as a garnish or sprinkled on top of your food.

Because miso paste contains a lot of salt, you should be cautious when substituting. You should substantially cut the quantity in your recipe, using just approximately a third of what the original recipe asks for, for the perfect results. Therefore, if your recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast, you should only use 1/3 tbsp of miso paste.

Coconut Aminos

Vegan recipes often use coconut aminos for flavor. You’ll note that the consistency of aminos and nutritional yeast is different since aminos are available in liquid form. Coconut aminos work well as a substitute since they have a comparable flavor.

For reasons of flavor, color, and consistency, these amino acids are often contrasted with soy sauce. You’ll detect a nutty, sweet, salty, and somewhat fruity flavor when using coconut aminos. When preparing soupy or saucy foods, use this liquid substitute. Avoid adding this substitution to salads or other foods that don’t include any liquid.

The availability of coconut aminos in grocery shops is increasing as its popularity rises. If there isn’t a demand for it, you can still have some problems obtaining it at your neighborhood shop. Beyond that, your foods’ flavors will change due to the sweetness and faint fruity flavor.

Can You Skip Nutritional Yeast In A Recipe?

In a recipe, you may technically exclude nutritional yeast. This is only accurate for dishes requiring modest quantities of nutritional yeast. There will be less flavor than normal, so you may need to add more spices to make up for it. This is not a suitable answer for vegan mac and cheese recipes where the meal depends on a cheesy taste.

What Does Nutritional Yeast Do In A Recipe?

Vegan meals might benefit from the flavoring agent nutritional yeast. Many people use it in place of cheese because it imparts a nutty, umami, or cheesy flavor. As with recipes for vegan cheese like vegan cheese sauce, nutritional yeast is great.

Conclusion On Can I Substitute Parmesan For Nutritional Yeast

The answer to can I substitute parmesan for nutritional yeast? Is yes, you can use parmesan instead of nutritional yeast. But we have other great substitutes. The next time you contemplate replacing nutritional yeast, consider the options listed above. Each one is quite delicious, which will surprise you. Your greatest options for giving your favorite foods an umami taste are soy sauce and white miso paste. Try each option on the list to see which suits your palate the best. You’ll be amazed at how closely the tastes resemble nutritional yeast if you have an open mind.