This vegan parmesan cheese is the absolute best recipe! It uses 5 simple whole foods, can be made in crumble form or grated from a block!
Making dairy free cheese using simple ingredients and an easy process is tough. But this dairy free version of traditional Parmesan is simple amazing!
This post was originally published on October 8, 2017.
This recipe is very similar in process to my vegan Cotija cheese. With a few simple changes to nail that salty tangy flavor of Parmesan, I could still shape this into a wheel then allow it to harden for freshly grated vegan Parmesan cheese!
I aim to create easy recipes without a lot of fuss. Many vegan cheese recipes out there need fermentation, or hard to find ingredients. While they taste amazing, it simply isn't practical.
A handful of simple, easy to find, whole food, plant based ingredients is all you need to make this easy cashew parmesan cheese:
- Raw cashews
- Lemon juice
- Distilled white vinegar
- Sea salt
- Ground mustard
How To Make Vegan Parmesan
I use a very unique process to make this vegan Parmesan recipe. Following these steps is critical in getting the end result!
- Place dry cashews in a food processor and blend until they are a fine crumble.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse. (Stop here to use as is in crumbled form.)
- If grating, shape into a wheel and refrigerate overnight.
- Cut into wedges, grate and use on everything!
This vegan parmesan cheese recipe is fabulous on basically everything! Here are some of our favorite recipes to pair it with:
- Broccoli Pesto
- Vegan Carbonara
- Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Tuscan Ribollita Soup
- Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan
- Vegan Moussaka
- Cavatelli and Broccoli
- Caesar Salad
- Or on a homemade pizza with easy pizza sauce!
In order to make the best vegan parmesan cheese, make sure to check out these helpful hints:
- The easiest way to shape into a wheel is by wrapping in plastic wrap and press into your desired shape.
- The white vinegar is what gives this recipe the sharpness and tanginess of Parmesan. If you substitute it for another vinegar you will not get the same flavor.
- For added sharpness and flavor you can add some miso and/or nutritional yeast.
- For best grating results wait until it chills overnight in the fridge. If you can't wait keep checking for hardness every few hours!
- Keep the cheese chilled until you're ready to grate. It will soften and not grate very well if left out of the refrigerator.
- You can also just use this crumbled straight from the food processor. Store the crumbles in the fridge, it will harden up once refrigerated.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 days.
- You can also store in the freezer for longer periods of time.
There are many versions of vegan parmesan cheese out there. Many include cashews or seeds, seasonings, and nutritional yeast. This recipe uses simply cashews, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and ground mustard.
There are store-bought vegan parmesan cheeses, but it's so easy to make your own at home! That way you can customize the flavor, and know you're only eating real whole foods.
In my humble opinion, this one! It's simple to make with easy to find whole food plant based ingredients and tastes absolutely fabulous! Plus, it has that classic hard texture that's perfect for grating!
While many cheeses are vegetarian, parmesan cheese is not one of them. Some cheeses, including parmesan cheese, use rennet which is not vegetarian.
More Vegan Cheese Recipes
Vegan and cheese don't usually go together, until now! If you like this recipe for vegan parmesan cheese, you need to check out these plant based cheesy recipes made with easy to find whole food ingredients:
- Vegan Feta Cheese
- Creamy Vegan Cream Cheese
- The Best Vegan Cheese Sauce
- 4 Ingredient Vegan Cotija Cheese
- Easy Vegan Ricotta Cheese
- Green Mac and Cheese
- Vegan Mexican Chili Cheese Dip
- The Perfect Vegan Cheese and Dip Platter
- Vegan Queso Blanco (Mexican White Cheese Dip)
The Best Vegan Parmesan Cheese Recipe
- 1 cup raw cashews , do not soak
- 2 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 ¼ teaspoons distilled white vinegar (see note)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt , can use up to ¾ teaspoon
- pinch ground mustard
- Place dry cashews in a food processor and blend until they are a fine crumble.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until incorporated. Stop here if you prefer not to grate this but simply use it in crumbled form.
- If you are shaping it into a wheel to grate, then you can keep blending until smooth. It should come together into a ball, almost soft and dough like.
- Shape into a wheel and refrigerate overnight. You can use plastic wrap to store it in or shape with your hands and store in an airtight container.
- It will be ready to grate in the morning, but if you can't wait keep checking for hardness every few hours!
- This also stores very well in the freezer if you know you won't use it all within 7 days.
- Keep cheese cold in the fridge until ready to grate. It will soften and not grate well if left out. It also stores very well in the freezer for extended periods of time.
- The white vinegar is what gives this recipe the sharpness and tanginess of Parmesan. If you sub it then you will not get the same flavor.
- You can also just use this crumbled straight from the food processor or store crumbled in the fridge if you don’t want to grate it. If you simply store it crumbled, it will harden as crumbles in the fridge.
- This makes 1 wheel about 5 inches by one inch, or a little over 1 ¼ cup grated. Serving size is 1 tablespoon.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.
Nutrition and metric information should be considered an estimate.
So happy I found your blog! Delicious recipes that meet my family's dietary needs and are easy to prepare. Thank you!
I am so happy you are liking it Michele! Happy you are here!
Hi. This vegan parm has been a staple for me since I found it. I searched a house while for a recipe that does not contain nutritional yeast so please leave it posted as is for others like me who avoid that ingredient.
I add a quality smoked salt for depth and may tip some extra lemon juice in for punch sometimes.
This recipe is quite by excellent.
It adds umami to store bought vegan cheeses, it’s great with spaghetti squash or pasta. Wraps——can’t do without it.
Thanks a million.
I am so happy you like it! I will not be adding nutritional yeast to this recipe as we are not big fans! Thanks so much!
Omg this is the best vegan cheese I have made and so simple too! And no onion and garlic powder in sight
I am so happy you liked it Shel!! Thanks so much!
can this cheese be shaved instead of grated?
Hi Pana! Yes! Just keep it hard in the fridge, or even freezer, then shave.
What would you suggest for replacing the lemon juice? I am allergic to all citrus. I have pomegranate powder that I use in place of lemon in some recipes. Thank you.
Hi Denise! I would suggest a little more vinegar. The different flavors help contribute to the end result but you can play around and see how it works with the vinegar only. I'd start small and taste as you add. I have never tried pomegranate powder so not sure how that would work!
Love this easy, healthy cheese. Wanted to grate but didn't wait until it was smooth enough. Still loved it. Next time will go all of the way! My go to vegan parmesan. Thank you! One question....if I want to try adding miso and or nutritional yeast, how much would you recommend?
I am thrilled you liked it Deb!!
Same question as Deb, if I were to add miso or NY, how much would you recommend?
Hi Sarah! Since I don't eat nutritional yeast, I can't help you there. If you added miso I'd start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more until you get the flavor you prefer. Enjoy!
I added 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast and it was very good, but a bit strong. I think 2 tablespoons would just about right.
This vegan parmesan is perfection! It add the perfect salty taste to my pasta and soups. Currently adding to the regular recipe rotation!
So happy you like it!
will be making this soon for me i never had cashew parmesan before will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya
Thanks Ramya! Hope you enjoy!
Hi. With distilled white vinegar do you mean white wine vinegar ?! 🤔
In Denmark I never heard of distilled white vinegar.
Hi Alexandra! It's not white wine vinegar, it's just white vinegar. It has a lot of tang, and helps give the cheese a sharp flavor. But you can use white wine or apple cider, the end result may just not be as sharp. But still good!
I made this, and it is very good! I've made other vegan parm recipes, but this one is better, I think because of the vinegar and lemon. Next time I might also add some miso, as in your note. Great recipe, thanks!
I am so happy to hear Melissa!! Thank you so much for the great review!
Hi I was just wondering if you think almonds would work as well??
Hi David, cashews give a more cheesy type flavor. Almonds will work texture wise, but your flavor won't be exactly the same. Let me know if you try it!
I'm sorry I meant, can I use dijon mustard instead of ground mustard?
Hi! The dijon mustard has moisture so the texture may turn out a bit different but you can give it a try!
Can ground mustard be used instead of dijon mustard?