Nutritional yeast is something of a miracle ingredient: Not only is it jam-packed with savoury flavour, often described as nutty, cheesy and umami – it’s also rich in nutrients. Nutritional yeast is loaded with B-complex vitamins, which help our bodies make energy from the food we eat. The vegan-friendly cheese alternative is also a complete protein and is low in sodium. It can be added to soups and stews, sprinkled on vegetables and stirred into sauces. There’s really no limit to how you use this pantry staple, but here are five delicious places to start.
“Cheesy” White Bean and Cashew Dip
Chips and dip is the essential party snack. But instead of reaching for calorie-laden dips like mayonnaise and cheese-based spreads, opt for this nutritious alternative. Made with white beans, cashews and nutritional yeast, this recipe has a beautiful smooth texture and rich flavour.
In a food processor, blend 1/3 cup roasted, salted cashews. Add in 1 cup canned white beans (drained and rinsed), 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 1/2 tsp salt. Process until smooth. Serve with fresh vegetables or pita bread.
Vegan Cacio e Pepe
One of Italy’s most delicious and simple pastas is Cacio e Pepe. It’s loaded with butter, parmesan and freshly cracked pepper. For this recipe, we swapped the parmesan for dairy-free nutritional yeast, and you’d never know!
Soak 1/2 cup raw cashews and 1/2 cup blanched almonds in water for 30 minutes. Blend with 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Melt 2 Tbsp vegan butter in a pan. Whisk in cashew mixture. Add in 250 grams of cooked pasta and toss. Add in pasta water to loosen as necessary (about 1/4 – 1/2 cup). Crack fresh pepper and garnish with more nutritional yeast. Here, we used rigatoni instead of the classic spaghetti, so choose the pasta noodle you prefer.
This recipe is an amazing way to spruce up standard veggies. The zucchini is breaded in an almond flour and nutritional yeast combo, then baked to resemble French fries. They are jam-packed with flavour, and taste extra delicious dipped in ketchup.
Combine 1/2 cup almond flour with 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cut 2 zucchinis into 1/4 -inch thick “fries”. Toss them in 2 Tbsp of Dijon mustard, then bread them in almond flour mixture. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 425ºF.
Scrambled eggs are so fluffy and creamy, but they desperately lack salt and umami. Nutritional yeast is all you need to add a savoury (and healthy) kick to this go-to breakfast. Just whisk in 1 Tbsp with two eggs, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp of milk (dairy or plant-based). Cook slowly in a non-stick pan over medium heat.
Nutritional yeast gives salad dressing an incredible flavour boost. This simple dressing can be used on absolutely anything! Mix together 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast, 2 minced garlic cloves and 1/2 tsp salt. Pour over any salad for a deliciously rich and nutty flavour.
Looking for more delicious health-boosting dishes? Here are the 30 Best Dairy-Free Recipes You’ll Cook on Repeat.