Vegan Cashew “Parmesan”

Cheese is one of the three foods that I’d struggle to live without. Good chocolate and proper crusty bread are the other two, in case you’re wondering… Apart from the bread I’d make a pretty bad vegan. But like a lot of people Michael and I are trying to reduce the amount of meat and dairy we eat these days.

I accept that you can find a lot of vegan cheese in the shops these days. Though I’m yet to find one I truly enjoy. Don’t get me wrong they serve a purpose, but so many of them taste artificial or have a peculiar texture. As such, I tend to avoid them. Sorry, vegan cheese – you’re not for me (well, not yet anyway).

I know that’s a bit of a strange introduction to a recipe for Vegan Cashew “Parmesan” – but bear with me. Parmesan is unlike a lot of other cheese in that it’s used to add flavour to food. It’s almost like a seasoning. Not many people would have a Parmesan and pickle sandwich, let’s face it!

Parmesan is sprinkled over pasta (and other dishes) as it brings with it a deep savoury flavour. Indeed, it’s been said to be have the most umami flavour in Western cuisine. In theory, that’s something that could be replicated without the need for Parmesan at all. Which is exactly what this recipe attempts to do.

The savouriness comes from a mixture of nutritional yeast, salt and garlic granules, with the cashew nuts bringing a lovely creamy texture. It’s surprisingly effective too. I would happily sprinkle this over my favourite pasta or risotto without feeling cheated on flavour or texture.

For me, when the vegan alternative is as good as the original it’s a no-brainer on making the switch. If only every meat or dairy subsitute turned out so well!

Vegan Cashew “Parmesan”

Four simple ingredients go into this rich golden powder, which is perfect to sprinkle over your favourite pasta dishes.
Prep Time10 mins
Course: Sauces, Side Dishes
Cuisine: Sauces, Side Dishes
Servings: 8
Calories: 80kcal


  • 100 g Cashew Nuts
  • 3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • ¼ tsp Garlic Granules
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt


  • Put all of the ingredients into a small bowl food processor. Blitz until the cashews become a coarse powder with the texture of grated Parmesan cheese. You can continue to a finer texture if you prefer, but take care as it may start to clump together.
  • Use as directed in your recipe. Any excess can be stored for a week or so, in an airtight container.


Estimated Values per Serving
of which Saturates1g
of which Sugars1g
Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.

Scott Silverthorn

Hi, I’m Scott. I love cooking food and I love eating it - both useful credentials for writing a food blog! I get a lot of joy from sharing my passion with my friends and family, so here's hoping you enjoy it too.

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