Nutritional Yeast Substitute: 14 Best Substitutes

A great staple and a part of the vegan pantry, nutritional yeast is always about adding cheesy flavours to your food. The reason your vegan food becomes nutty and cheese is the addition of nutritional yeast.1

Nutritional yeast substitutes would also do the same for your vegan recipes as nutritional yeast would do. There are many excellent nutritional yeast substitutes you would love in your food. This article will help you find appropriate and effective nutritional yeast substitutes for your daily recipes.

What is Nutritional Yeast?

Nooch2 (Nutritional yeast) is used in cheesy sauces, soups, and many other items requiring cheesy consistency. You could also use nutritional yeast to make your food consistency thicker. If you have used nutritional yeast earlier, then it could be tough to find a nutritional yeast substitute.

Many nutritional yeast substitutes could bring the taste and flavours of nutritional yeast, but you couldn’t expect the substitutes to be the original nutritional yeast3. Don’t worry! In this article, you will read two types of nutritional yeast substitutes for both flavour and texture. Here is a list of nutritional yeast substitutes based on both texture and flavour.

14 Flavor Alternatives

There are many nutritional yeast substitutes for replicating the flavours of natural yeast. Some of these include:

1. Liquid Aminos (Or Soy Sauce)

The savoury flavour of soy sauce would be a great nutritional yeast substitute for Nooch. Liquid aminos also resemble soy sauce in their flavours.

The flavours of Liqyud Amonos are milder compared to soy sauce, and it could be drawbacks that you need to use a lot of Liquid Aminos4. People who want a gluten-free nutritional yeast substitute should trust Liquid Amonos (also soy-free).

These could be a little saltier for some people, so make sure you add a proper amount of salt. You could also try low-sodium soy sauce to replace nutritional yeast substitutes.

2. Oregano and Basil

If you are a big fan of light flavours, then the blend of organ and basil would be a treat for your bread. The blend together will add freshness to your recipes with savoury essence. The herbs may not taste like nutritional yeast, so it’s better to call them nutritional yeast alternatives.

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

3. Paprika

One of the smokiest herbs used by people to get that savoury flavour in the recipes. If you want to experiment with natural yeast substitutes, then Paprika is the best for you.

Paprika will not exactly bring that thickness to your recipe but will enhance the flavours of your food by acting almost equally nutritional yeast substitute. You shouldn’t expect cheesy flavours from Paprika, but a smoky, savoury flavour is a big deal without nutritional yeast in your dish.

4. Miso

Compared to others, one of the easily available ingredients found in the market is mentioned as a nutritional yeast substitute. Miso will bring almost similar flavours to your recipes as nutritional yeast.

You must note that Miso is just a flavour substitute for nutritional yeast. If you are expecting it to be a thickening agent, then you may fail. You should use a very small amount of Miso to enhance the flavour of your food.

5. Sunflower Seeds

Shelled sunflower seeds are a good nutritional yeast substitute for nut-free options. Sunflower seeds play a vital role in health benefits and would also be a healthier choice for nutritional yeast substitutes. You could soak them before using them in the form of paste or powder.

The procedure and portion remain the same for sunflower seeds as cashews. You can use powdered sunflower seeds for sprinkling on pasta or noodles as a good agent to get that cheesy consistency with savoury flavours. Using plain sunflower seeds is always best, but you could also adjust the salt ratio if you use salted sunflower seeds.

6. Vegetables Bouillon

A good way to build that creamy and savoury flavour in your recipes without a lot of quantity added. Vegetable Bouillon paste would work pretty well for increasing the thickness of your food recipe.

If you are looking for a natural yeast substitute for cheesy sauces or soups, then vegetable bouillon is a must-try nutritional yeast substitute. You need to be careful while adding vegetable Bouillon to your recipe, as these are extremely salty. You will find vegetable cubes that will also be a smart natural yeast substitute.

7. Dried Mushrooms (Porcini)

There are a lot of dried mushroom varieties available on the market that will be nutritional yeast substitutes, but porcini mushrooms are the best among them. Porcini-dried mushrooms will be another delicious and effective natural yeast substitute.

The nutty flavour of Porcini is no less than heaven for creamy flavour lovers. Porcini is a great combination of nutty and earthy flavours that build to earth a good natural yeast substitute.

  • Texture Alternatives

Now for any recipe, texture plays a very significant role in improving the level of that recipe. Natural yeast substitute is well known for bringing that creamy yet thick texture to recipes. There are very few nutritional yeast substitutes that work exactly as nutritional yeast substitutes. These are:

8. Brewer’s Yeast

Brewer’s yeast is the hero ingredient in making pieces of bread or any beer. This type of yeast is generally available in powder form and flakes in the market. Brewer’s yeast is different from natural yeast substitutes as it is bitterer, but the texture effects are almost similar. Brewer’s yeast is also effective in making the recipe thicker and creamy.

Many people think its use in pieces of bread could raise the number of soups as well. It’s not true. Brewer’s yeast is used in soups and cheese sauces. It tends to make your soups and cheesy sauces thicker and helps hold the structure of your recipes. Just make sure you don’t add extra Brewer’s yeast in your recipe, as it will give that bitterness to your recipes if added above the requirement.

9. White Miso Paste

A salty paste prepared using soybeans (fermented) that gives savoury flavours. White Miso paste is a hero ingredient used in much vegan creamy cheese for its cheesy consistency. This paste can turn your sauce, soup, or any recipe thicker.

10. Cashews

A nutty healthier option for people looking for natural yeast substitutes. Cashew is worldwide known for its creamy and nutty flavours. You can use them in two ways, either make a paste of it by blending cashews or use cashew powder in your recipes.

Make sure you soak your cashews before blending them to make a cheese sauce. If you’re using cashew powder, the portion required would be the same as a healthy yeast substitute.

11. Chickpea Flour

You could use chickpea flour in the same way you add nutritional yeast to your soups and stews. One of the easiest and most healthy nutritional yeast substitutes for your recipes. The best part about nutritional yeast substitutes is that they can be made in your kitchen without a lot of effort.

Chickpea flour would make the consistency of your foods thicker by adding that extra volume to it due to its binding capacity. Chickpea flour is also well known for sprinkling ingredients on your pasta and popcorn. This nutritional yeast substitute is the easiest and healthiest of all.

12. Parmesan Cheese

Another cheesy treat and a great nutritional yeast substitute, Parmesan cheese is a high-value replacement for the nutritional yeast substitute. Nutritional yeast is almost equal to parmesan cheese in terms of calories. It would be best to try out this healthy yeast substitute to give that creamy consistency to dishes.

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Image by Waldrebell from Pixabay

You need not worry about the nutrient value, as it is almost equal; for example, if you expected 40 calories from nutritional yeast, the same could be expected from parmesan cheese (with the same quantity).

13. Yeast Extract

Yeast extract is generally very slat, and it could be a reason behind many people not using it. Yeast extract could be a great thickening agent for your soups. It would also give that salty twist to your recipes.

It would be a beautiful spread for your sandwich and bread, just like peanut butter. If you are a big fan of brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast, then the next plan should be getting your hands on yeast extract (also known as marmite or vegemite).

14. Tofu

Every vegan’s favourite food is found in almost all vegan kitchens. You may not have to run to the supermarket to buy tofu. The soft texture with the smoothness will be no less than the feeling of cheese (soft). Tofu would be a good ingredient and substitute for nutritional yeast in your vegan cheese sauce.

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Image by hanul choi from Pixabay

Read more about Nutritional yeast benefits by Medical News Today

Key Takeaways

I hope this article will help in finding you a good nutritional yeast substitute. Nutritional yeast is a superhero of your kitchen for some delicious creamy and cheesy recipes. Running out of nutritional yeast substitutes may put you in a bind as your recipes will lack savoury and tangy flavours.

Be relaxed if you don’t get the exact flavours or consistency from nutritional yeast substitutes, as they will vary for sure. There are a lot of flavours and textures that you could invent by exploring your creative skills to find an almost close nutritional yeast substitute. Till then, give these nutritional yeast substitutes a shot.

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1. How important is nutritional yeast to any recipe?

Ans. Nutritional yeast is one of the central ingredients in most recipes. Thus, cutting this out is not at all advisable.

2. What is the nutritional benefit of nutritional yeast?

Ans. Nutritional yeast is one of the main sources of vitamins and minerals. Nutritional yeast consists of all nine essential amino acids.

3. What is nutritional yeast made up of?

Ans. Nutritional yeast is made up of glucose primarily.

  1. Jach, Monika E., and Anna Serefko. “Nutritional yeast biomass: characterization and application.” Diet, microbiome and health. Academic Press, 2018. 237-270. ↩︎
  2. Donaldson, Michael S. “Metabolic vitamin B12 status on a mostly raw vegan diet with follow-up using tablets, nutritional yeast, or probiotic supplements.” Annals of nutrition and metabolism 44.5-6 (2000): 229-234. ↩︎
  3. Fulmer, Ellis I., Victor E. Nelson, and F. F. Sherwood. “THE NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF YEAST. I. THE ROLE OF VITAMINES IN THE GROWTH OF YEAST.” Journal of the American Chemical Society 43.1 (1921): 186-191. ↩︎
  4. Pizzi, A., and C. C. Ibeh. “Aminos.” Handbook of thermoset plastics. William Andrew Publishing, 2014. 75-91. ↩︎

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