How to Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese

By Elsie Goycoolea. Updated: January 23, 2017
How to Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano is a strong flavored, hard and slightly bitter cheese. It is one of the stars of Italian cuisine that is often grated on top of pasta dishes, stirred into sauces or just eaten along with a piece of bread. Cheese is made from animal ingredients and thus can’t be eaten by those who follow a vegan diet. However, people who avoid animal products can still enjoy some vegan Parmesan cheese grated on top of decadent vegan pasta dish.

In this OneHowTo article we share three ways on how to make vegan Parmesan cheese.

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With cashews or almonds

Perhaps the most common form of replicating the texture and look of Parmesan cheese is by using nuts as the main ingredient. With only just 4 ingredients you can make a very quick vegan Parmesan cheese that has nothing to envy the real thing.


In a food processor combine 100g (3/4 cup) of raw cashews with about 15g (3 Tbsp) of nutritional yeast and add some sea salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. You may also use roasted cashews for a stronger nutty flavor.

The final result will be a dry meal that can be sprinkled on top of your dishes. If the food on your plate is slightly warm the cheese will also melt and turn creamy.

How to Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese - With cashews or almonds

With sesame seeds

Nutritional yeast is the key ingredient that gives vegan cheese a cheesy flavor. It is often combined with a nut variety for a remarkable final result; however, if you prefer to avoid nuts you can use seeds.

A great alternative is to use sesame seeds. Sesame seeds don’t necessarily belong with Asian cuisines but they can be used to make vegan Parmesan cheese as well.


Just replace 100g of cashews or nuts with 100g of sesame seeds. Adjust the nutritional yeast, salt and other spices. You may store the meal in your pantry for several weeks.

How to Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese - With sesame seeds

With coconut

You may be surprised to know that vegan Parmesan cheese can be made from coconut. It seems that coconut is definitely a highly versatile ingredient and one that can be perfectly included in vegan diets.

The difference with this vegan cheese recipe variation is that it can be actually grated and not just sprinkled on top of foods. Also, it will need to be stored in a cool place, as high temperatures will soften up the cheese.


To make it combine in a blender 75g(1/2 cup) of coconut butter with 15g (1 ½ Tbsp) of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and 15g (3 Tbsp) of nutritional yeast. Then add some seasoning such as salt, pepper, tumeric and garlic powder. Just a pinch will do. Finally slowly add in melted coconut oil but be careful to not make the mixture too liquid. You shouldn’t need more than 100 g (1/2 cup) of coconut oil. Blend well and freeze until solid.

These are three ideas for vegan Parmesan cheese that are very easy to make. Let us know if you try making any of them!

How to Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese - With coconut

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