If you have decided to go vegan but are sad about having to give up on your favorite parmesan cheese, don’t be. There are many plant-based alternatives to parmesan you can buy.
What are the best vegan parmesan cheeses? The best vegan parmesan cheeses have a flavor close to the nutty flavor of real parmesan. Some of the best options on the market use highly nutritious base ingredients, such as nutritional yeast, nuts, and seeds. They are also gluten and GMO-free.
In this article, you will find a buyer’s guide to vegan parmesan cheese and a list of the 7 best vegan parmesan cheeses of 2021.
What Is Vegan Parmesan Made Of?
Parmesan cheese is a dry cheese variety with nutty notes. This cheese is most often grated over pasta dishes. It is also grated over risottos, soups, salads, etc.
For many people, one of the difficulties of sticking to a vegan diet is giving up cheese. Luckily, there are now many brands making vegan cheese substitutes, including plant-based and dairy-free parmesan cheese alternatives.
There are a few common ingredients you will come across in the ingredient lists of vegan parmesan cheeses.
- Nutritional yeast. This highly nutritious product is the main ingredient used in vegan parmesan cheese to provide the nutty flavor real parmesan has. Aside from the cheese-like flavor this ingredient provides, it also boosts the nutritional content of vegan cheese. Nutritional yeast is rich in B vitamins, potassium, and zinc.
- Nuts. Nuts are another common base ingredient for vegan parmesan. Cashew, walnuts, Brazil nuts give the vegan parmesan cheese richness and texture as well as well-pronounced nutty notes.
- Seeds. Seeds, including hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, enhance the nutty flavor of vegan parmesan mixture. They also add nutritional value to it.
Most parmesan substitutes come to mimic grated parmesan cheese although you can find vegan parmesan that comes in wedges too. The grated variety is easy to use as a topping for salads, pasta, soups, measure it to use in sauces, etc.
What To Consider When Buying Vegan Parmesan Cheese
As there are many vegan parmesan alternatives on the market, here are a couple of considerations to make to ease the process of picking one.
Nutritional yeast, nuts, soy, and various seeds can all be used as a base ingredient for vegan parmesan cheese. Buy vegan parmesan that is made with the main ingredient of your choice.
Additionally, check the ingredient list to find out if the vegan parmesan cheese contains anything you are allergic to.
Also, make sure to choose a vegan parmesan alternative that doesn’t contain artificial additives and GMOs.
Check out the nutritional value of the vegan parmesan cheese you are buying. If you like using it as a finishing touch for most dishes you eat, it would be helpful to learn about the calories per serving.
If you are on keto or trying to eat low-carb, opt for vegan parmesan that contains fewer carbohydrates.
Vegan parmesan can be very healthy, full of vitamins and minerals. If the parmesan-like flavor is not the only thing you want to get from the vegan cheese, then checking its nutritional value is certainly something you should do.
Read the reviews for each product to see if people who have bought the vegan cheese find it tasting similar to real parmesan.
In addition to this, you can also consider options with added special flavors, such as bacon, cayenne, extra garlicky flavor, and so much more!
The 7 Best Vegan Parmesan Cheeses
Here are the 7 best vegan parmesan cheeses ranked and reviewed.
|Vegan, gluten-free nutritional yeast parmesan substitute
|Cashew and nutritional yeast vegan and gluten-free cheese
|Soy-based vegan parmesan cheese substitute
|Walnuts and nutritional yeast vegan and gluten-free cheese
|Pimp My Salad
|Hemp seeds vegan parmesan alternative, low-carb
|Vegan bacon-flavored parmesan cheese alternative
|Brazil nuts keto-friendly vegan parmesan alternative
1. Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning – Vegan Gluten-Free Cheese Flakes
If you are looking for a vegan-friendly parmesan cheese substitute that is also a good source of protein, then this nutritional yeast by Bragg is one of the best options for you.
Nutritional yeast used to make this product has a savory flavor that mimics the flavor of parmesan cheese.
Just like grated parmesan, these flavorful flakes can be used to top salads, dips, pasta dishes, roasted vegetables, and any dish of your choice.
This gluten-free parmesan alternative is a rich source of B vitamins. A serving of this product, which is two tablespoons, contains 40 calories and 5 grams of protein.
2. NOOCH IT! Cashew Grated Cheeze
Do you like cashews? If yes, then this cashew grated vegan cheese by NOOCH IT! might become your favorite parmesan-like topping even if you are not eating plant-based.
Made with fair-trade cashews, this dairy-free and gluten-free parmesan alternative also contains nutritional yeast for enhanced savory and nutty flavor.
Other ingredients in this non-GMO vegan cheese include garlic powder, hemp seeds, and brown rice powder. All these ingredients are organic.
This cashew grated cheese can replace parmesan on pizza, roasted vegetables, soups, and popcorn. You can also mix it with breadcrumbs when frying food for enhanced flavor.
A serving (1 tablespoon) of the NOOCH It! cashew cheese contains 40 calories, as well as vitamin B6 and B12, niacin, folate, and a few other nutrients.
3. Go Veggie Vegan Parmesan Cheese
If you are not allergic to soy, then this dairy-free vegan parmesan by Go Veggie might be an option to consider.
It has a soy base (soy protein concentrate) and contains multiple other ingredients including rice flour, coconut oil, vegan flavors, etc.
A serving of this vegan parmesan alternative, which is two tablespoons, contains only 20 calories.
It also contains one gram of fat and protein and 2 grams of carbohydrates.
With this vegan grated topping, you are also getting some calcium and vitamin A.
This vegan parmesan cheese contains less fat than most of its counterparts. So, if that is what you need, then this Go Veggie vegan parmesan cheese is a good pick. It is also GMO-free and mimics the classic parmesan cheese flavor.
4. Parma! Vegan Parmesan
This vegan parmesan by the brand Parma! is another great plant-based parmesan alternative.
It contains lots of nutritious ingredients, including walnuts, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds.
There is no soy in this product. So, if you are allergic to soy or lactose, this is the vegan parmesan to buy.
A serving of this vegan parmesan cheese, which is two tablespoons, contains only 20 calories. But it does boost the nutritional value of your food.
There is omega 3, vitamin B-12, and iron in this plant-based vegan parmesan.
5. Pimp My Salad Hemp Parmesan
This hemp parmesan by Pimp My Salad is definitely an amazing vegan parmesan substitute!
The brand uses shelled hemp seeds and coarse hemp powder to make this vegan parmesan cheese.
It also contains sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast for a closer parmesan-like flavor and a boosted nutritional value.
There is also garlic, thyme, and rosemary in this plant-based cheese.
Containing only 4 grams of carbs per serving (3 tablespoons), this vegan parmesan hemp cheese is a good kept-friendly option. But it does contain more calories than other vegan parmesans in this list—100 calories per serving.
6. Parma! Vegan Parmesan – Better Than Bacon
For those who have tried too many vegan parmesan cheeses, this Better Than Bacon variety by Parma! is a great pick.
This dairy and gluten-free parmesan contains smoked paprika, hickory smoke salt, and hickory smoke flavor that make this cheesy topping savory and rich with umami flavors.
The base ingredients in this vegan parmesan alternative are nutritional yeast, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.
2 tablespoons of this vegan cheese contain only 20 calories. You can use it on pizza, pasta, potatoes, salads, and any other dish that needs a parmesan-like topping and a bit of smoky aroma.
7. Rawmesan Vegan Nutritional Yeast Seasoning
If you are on the hunt for a good-tasting vegan parmesan cheese that is also low-carb and keto-friendly, give this Rawmesan cheese replacement a try.
This all-natural plant-based parmesan alternative has Brazil nuts as the main ingredient. These nuts are a source of healthy fats.
They also contain protein and important nutrients. A tablespoon of this Brazil nuts vegan parmesan contains 30 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein.
Aside from the Brazil nuts, there is also nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, and a range of spices and herbs in this product which give it a unique flavor.
Rawmesan is also soy, gluten, and GMO-free.
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