Ever wondered how to make vegan Parmesan cheese? It’s like the shaker can version of Parmesan cheese and comes together in just 5 minutes!

How to Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese | A Couple Cooks

Vegan Parmesan cheese? Yes, you heard right. It’s not like a block of Parmesan cheese, but more like the shaker can version that you grew up with. And it’s a very, very tasty condiment—not only for pasta, but for salads, soups, you name it! Bonus: it lasts for a month in the fridge and takes less than 5 minutes to make. It uses raw cashews, but there’s no soaking or additional prep work that you have to worry about beforehand. If you keep the main ingredients in your pantry, you can whip up a batch of vegan Parmesan whenever you need it! Here’s the backstory of how this vegan Parmesan cheese came to be:

How to Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese | A Couple Cooks

Creating this vegan Parmesan cheese

In February, I took a trip to New York City right after our Pretty Simple Cooking cookbook launch and stayed my friend Gena Hamshaw of the blog The Full Helping. Trust me, if you’re on the fence about vegan food, hang around Gena for a few minutes and you’ll see how delicious it can be! Gena took me out to a fantastic vegan restaurant called Candle Cafe West. While there were lots of delicious sounding items on the menu, I stopped reading when I got to vegan meatballs with vegan Parmesan cheese. It sounded so comforting and delicious, so I ordered it and fell in love.

Returning home, I told Alex about these delicious vegan meatballs with vegan Parmesan cheese from New York City. Could you help me recreate a recipe? The next day, I had an event and was out late. When I got home, Alex had some really, really delicious vegan meatballs waiting for me. I can’t quite explain the comfort of sitting in our dark kitchen at 10 pm, twirling pasta doused with delicious vegan marinara and topped with vegan meatballs and vegan Parmesan cheese.

Now, some of our recipe testers claim our vegan meatballs would win over a meat lover. At the very least, they’re perfect for vegetarians and vegans who want that cozy vibe of meatballs without the meat. To us, they’re a special occasion meal when we’re in the comfort food mood. High-quality marinara sauce is key here; it brings in the flavorful, savory component even more. And on top, of course, our crumbly, savory vegan Parmesan cheese.

Related: All of Our Dairy-Free Recipes!

How to make vegan Parmesan cheese

This recipe is super simple and comes together in just 5 minutes. OK, maybe even 2 minutes! It’s just cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon zest, garlic powder, and flaked sea salt. You can also substitute kosher salt, but Alex wanted to use sea salt. Literally all you have to do is blitz everything together in a food processor or high-powered blender. You can eat it right away, and there’s no prep work you have to do ahead of time. So easy, right? Just make sure you’re using raw cashews (i.e. not roasted or pre-salted) and garlic powder (NOT garlic salt!).

How to store vegan Parmesan cheese

This vegan Parmesan should be kept in the fridge in a sealed container (a mason jar works well!). It will last for up to a month, but I’m sure it’ll disappear before then! Homemade vegan Parmesan is perfect on spaghetti and meatballs, salads, pizzas, or even soups.

How to Make Vegan Parmesan Cheese | A Couple Cooks

Looking for vegan pasta recipes? 

A few of our favorite vegan pasta recipes to top with this vegan Parmesan are:

Looking for vegan recipes? 

Are you looking for vegan dinner recipes? Here are a few of our favorite simple vegan recipes:

This recipe is…

This vegan Parmesan cheese is vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

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How to Make Vegan Parmesan | A Couple Cooks

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: ½ cup 1x


Ever wondered how to make vegan Parmesan cheese? It’s like the shaker can version of Parmesan cheese and comes together in just 5 minutes!


  • Zest of 1/4 lemon
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon flaked sea salt (or substitute kosher salt)


  1. Zest the lemon.
  2. Place the cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor and process until ground into a fine powder. Remove from the processor to a bowl and stir in the Maldon sea salt flakes. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
  • Category: Pantry
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Vegan Parmesan, How to Make Vegan Parmesan, vegan parmesan cheese, homemade vegan parmesan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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    1. Oh I’m glad to hear this comes at the right time! It’s not QUITE the same as Parmesan, but it’s a fun alternative!

  1. I think Gluten-free vegan foods always great. And I just love this super simple recipe. Thanks for sharing!