How to Make Dairy-Free Parmesan Cheese in Under 5 Minutes

4.50 from 8 votes

Before long, you'll be sprinkling this "cheese" on everything!

If you’re wondering how to make dairy-free parmesan cheese, we have the hookup for you. Better yet – this paleo-friendly cheese is dairy-free, gluten-free, completely vegan, and ready in under five minutes. Wait, did I read that right – vegan cheese? Yes, that’s right! Anyone not allergic to nuts can enjoy this amazingly easy cheese.

All you need to get started is a blender and a few simple ingredients. Four simple ingredients, to be precise! I love any recipe that has less than five ingredients, so this definitely vaulted itself to the top of my favorites list.

Once you make it, you’ll be amazed at how delicious it is. Before you know it, you’ll be sprinkling this cheese on everything! I’m sure you have questions about how to make dairy-free parmesan cheese, so let’s dig right in and get to answering them.

What Kind of Nuts Should I Use?

Our basic recipe uses one cup of cashews, but feel free to play around with the nuts. Cashews have a strong and sweet flavor, and I’ve been known to describe them as a high-class nut with a high-class flavor. This rich flavor makes them perfect for a parmesan replacement, which has a strong, nutty and savory flavor itself.

Cashews can get really expensive, though, so I often play around with the flavors in this cheese. I like to combine walnuts and cashews (or almonds and cashews) to introduce roasted or earthy flavors to the “cheese.” You can also mix it up by using half sunflower or pumpkin seeds to add an extra depth of flavor.

Really, the sky is the limit when it comes to this recipe, so don’t be afraid to play! No matter how you mix and match your nuts, the recipe remains super quick and easy to make. Let us know in the comment’s section your favorite nut combinations.

How to Use Dairy-Free Parmesan Cheese?

It’s really easy – use this dairy-free parmesan cheese on any dish where you would normally use parmesan cheese. Add it to the top of pizzas, pasta, or salads. It won’t melt the same way that normal parmesan cheese does, but it will add that same mouth-watering cheesy flavor to your food.

My favorite way to use this dairy-free parmesan cheese is in eggplant parmesan. I have really strong memories associated with chicken parmesan as a child, but I wanted to turn it into a plant based dish. Eggplant has the perfect texture to sub in for the chicken, and this dairy-free parmesan adds that rich, satisfying finish to the dish. And, if you love Julia Child as much as I do, you’ll want to make her recipe for Eggplant Zucchini Gratin. It’s a perfect way to try our easy parmesan cheese recipe. Once you try dairy-fee parm, you may never go back to the traditional stuff!

Is It Complicated to Make Dairy-Free Parmesan Cheese?

Our method is super simple – all you need to do is toss the ingredients into a blender or a food processor and pulse pulse pulse away. It’s ready as soon as the nuts have a crumbly texture that resembles grated parmesan cheese.

The nuts give the “cheese” the bulk of their flavor and create the right kind of texture that fools your brain into thinking it’s eating real cheese. Then, that nutritional yeast adds the cheesy flavor and the garlic powder makes things super savory.

It’s as easy as that! Well, we hope that we answered any questions you might have and now you know how to make dairy-free parmesan cheese. But, if there are any lingering doubts in your mind, ask away in the comments! We would also love to hear how it turned out and how you used it.

4.50 from 8 votes

How to Make Dairy-Free Parmesan Cheese in Under 5 Minutes

This quick and easy "cheese" is a delicious alternative to the dairy variety and is budget-friendly.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Yield 16 people
Serving Size 1 tablespoon
Course Condiment
Cuisine American


  • 1 cup cashews raw (any raw nut or seed will work, or a combination of two)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  • Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse just until combined and a parmesan cheese-like consistency. Be careful not to over-process as it will start to clump.
  • Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 3
Keywords Budget-Friendly, dairy-free, Diabetic-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, Plant-Based, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

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Gale Compton

Gale co-founded SkinnyMs. with a goal to provide women with delicious recipes, fitness routines, and ways to reach their ideal weight. Gale has been featured on the Today Show in which she won a cook off for the best Lasagna. Be sure to search for her winning recipe, Skinny Lasagna Rolls.

Guided by her firm belief in healthy eating and the power of exercise, Gale has written two cookbooks and several fitness ebooks. She earned her Fitness Training Certification from, National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association. Gale loves to run with her dog Maggie and has completed numerous half-marathons.

More by Gale


    1. You can buy “cheese flavouring” that is vegan. I think a couple of drops could substitute the nutritional yeast ๐Ÿ˜‰5 stars

  1. Sounds yummy! I bought some dried shitake mushrooms & put them in the blender till they were powder. I think I’ll add some of that powdered shitake mushroom to this recipe!

  2. Tastes good and will use it on my grain free pasta, with cashew butter! So excited when I find a recipe I can actually eat and allows me to have those flavors I have been unable to replace with any success. Thank you for sharing!

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