I think most people would agree that one of the hardest things about going vegan is not eating cheese. We all seem to struggle with it and when I see my husband and kids indulging in cheese toasties or eating a chunk of really good cheese, I do feel a pang of jealousy and wish I could eat some. I am transitioning them slowly to eating more plant-based food like me, but I have to take it really slowly so they don't reject it completely! The one thing I do seem to have successfully managed, is to transition them away from grated parmesan on their pasta, all thanks to this recipe! Now they don't even notice that I sprinkle this on top of their pasta rather than parmesan! Score!
There are loads of recipes on the internet for vegan nut-based parmesan alternatives and I have tried many of them. The key for me was to come up with something that tastes good but is also quick and easy to make. I can’t deal with a huge long list of ingredients that you only buy to make one recipe, and I needed a recipe that I could make very quickly while the pasta was cooking. This one I think ticks all the boxes. The dried onion and garlic powder give it a lovely rich flavour and the nutritional yeast gives it a slight cheesiness. Don’t be fooled – this will not taste like parmesan – but it does a good job of adding an extra flavour boost and texture to your plate of food. It is in fact so delicious that my daughter and I have been known to sit at the table eating it with a spoon straight from the jar!
- While blending the nuts, you want to do it in short sharp bursts and then stop and scrape down the sides in between each burst. You're looking to make a powder consistency not a paste! If the nuts are overworked, the oils will leech out and it will form a paste instead of a powder.
- If you do happen to overwork the nuts, don’t panic! You can either use it anyway but accept that it is a little lumpy OR the mixture can be turned into a delicious creamy sauce instead. If you see it has gone from powder to a paste, just carry on blending until it is a smooth paste, then pour in 100ml vegetable stock while the blender is running. It will turn into a tasty creamy sauce that can be used to drizzle over vegetables. You could also throw in some cooked broccoli or frozen spinach and a little grated nutmeg to make it into a nutritious pasta sauce.
This seems to keep for ages in the fridge! I keep it in a sealed container in the fridge until it gets used up (usually a month or so).
The other thing I really like about this nutty cheese topping (and this shows my true laziness), is that you literally just sprinkle it straight from the jar – no faffing with a grater and a board and then the extra washing up that parmesan entails! Oh did I really admit that out loud…?
Recipe Card 📖
Nutty Cheese Topping (Vegan Parmesan Alternative)
- Put all the ingredients in the blender or food processor and blend with short, sharp bursts of blending and scraping down the sides in between each burst, until it forms a powdery consistency.
- Pour into a jar and keep in the fridge to use when needed.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a month.
- See the full blog post for ideas of what to do if you overwork the nuts (by blending too long between scraping down the sides).
If you like this recipe, you may like these other delicious vegan and gluten-free recipes too:
I’d love to know how you get on with this recipe. Let me know what you think in the comments section below and please give it a star rating too! Thank you!