The Benefits of Nutritional Yeast + 16 Vegan Recipes

by | Updated: November 19th, 2018

Known for its cheesy flavor and bright-yellow color, nutritional yeast (a.k.a. nooch) is a gluten-free inactive yeast that’s rich in essential nutrients, including protein, B-vitamins and zinc. The consistency of nutritional yeast varies—sometimes it’s flaky, other times it’s powdery. But one thing is certain. It’s always downright delicious!

Spinach Salad with Peas, Cucumber, Garlic and Nutritional Yeast |

Who can benefit from nutritional yeast?

Long favored by vegans (did we mention that nooch contains no animal products?!), nutritional yeast is finally making its way to the main stage. After all, who can resist a food with a flavor that closely resembles savory Parmesan but contains a fraction of the fat and sodium and none of the dairy?

Needless to say, nutritional yeast is not only a vegan staple, but a fabulous find for folks who crave the taste of cheese but seek a healthier alternative as well as those who have dairy allergies and cannot tolerate lactose.

Tempting your taste buds with nutritional yeast

There are seemingly countless ways to add the rich, umami flavor of nutritional yeast to your diet. Sprinkle this cheesy golden dust over salads and popcorn or mix into rice, mashed potatoes, doughs and batters. To get you started, here are 16 of our favorite vegan recipes that call for nutritional yeast:

1. Vegan Spinach Dip

Vegan Spinach Dip in Red Bowl |

2. Butternut Squash Cheese Sauce

Vegan Butternut Squash Cheese Sauce |

3. 10-Minute Chili Hash Browns with Vegan Sour Cream

Chili Hash Browns with Vegan Sour Cream |

4. Roasted Cauliflower Popcorn

Roasted Cauliflower Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast |

5. 10-Minute Black Bean Pasta & Salsa

Vegan Black Bean Pasta with Salsa |

6. Roasted Buddha Bowl with Kale Pesto

Roasted Vegetable Buddha Bowl Recipe |

7. Goldenberry Salad with Hemp Dressing

Goldenberry Salad with Hemp Dressing |

8. Sweet Potato Mac & “Cheese”

Vegan Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese with Nutritional Yeast |

9. Wild Rice-Stuffed Mushrooms with Fresh Rosemary

Vegan Wild Rice-Stuffed Mushrooms with Rosemary |

10. Coconut Cream Pasta Sauce

Penne Pasta with Vegan Coconut Cream Sauce |

11. Baked Kale Chips

Homemade Baked Kale Chips with Nutritional Yeast |

12. Taco Salad with Walnut Meat

Taco Salad with Walnut Meat and Veggies in Taco Shell Bowl |

13. Vegan Falafel Corn Dog

Vegan Falafel Corn Dogs on Stick |

14. Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers with Vegan Ranch & Bacon

Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers with Vegan Ranch & Bacon |

15. Hemp-Tofu Burgers

Vegan Hempseed Tofu Burger with Veggies |

16. Oven-Baked Carrot Falafel & Creamy Green Tahini Dressing

Oven-Baked Falafel with Creamy Green Tahini Dressing |