Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast product that comes in flakes or powder. It is often used in vegan cooking to add a cheesy flavor with no dairy. Learn how to substitute for nutritional yeast if you run out or don’t have it on hand.

Bowl of nutritional yeast on wooden table.

Overview of Nutritional Yeast

What it tastes like

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that is often used as a seasoning.

It has a nutty, cheesy flavor and is popular among vegetarians and vegans for its protein and vitamin content.

Nutrition info

Nutritional yeast is a great source of protein and fiber. It’s often used as a dietary supplement.

While nutritional yeast does not provide B12, it is often fortified with this nutrient. It’s also low in fat and sodium and is gluten-free.

How it’s used

Nutritional yeast can be used in many different ways. Sprinkle it on popcorn, use it to make sauces or add it to recipes that call for cheese. You can even use it as a plant-based seafood seasoning.

Best Nutritional Yeast Substitutes

Whether you’ve run out of nutritional yeast or you don’t like it, you’ll enjoy this list of the best substitutes.

These are all fairly common ingredients that can be used as a nutritional yeast alternative.

1. White miso paste

Bowl of white soybean paste on wooden surface.
White miso paste.

Made from fermented soybeans, miso paste is rich in umami flavor and gives dishes a savory, slightly salty taste. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals. It can be used in place of nutritional yeast to add depth of flavor to seasoning and soups.

Look for miso paste in the refrigerator section of most grocery stores or natural food stores. It’s a great substitute for the flavor of nutritional yeast.

To substitute one tablespoon of nutritional yeast, use 1/3 tablespoon of white miso paste.

2. Prepared vegan cheese sauce

Bowl of vegan cheese sauce on countertop.
Vegan cheese sauce.

Vegan cheese sauce is a dairy-free and vegan-friendly alternative to the traditional cheese sauce. It is usually made with a base of plant-based milk, such as almond or soy milk, and often contains additional ingredients such as nuts, seeds, and spices.

Sometimes vegan cheese sauces are made with nuts or seeds like cashews or sunflower seeds. The final product is creamy and versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes.

While it may not taste exactly like dairy-cheese sauce, it is a delicious and dairy-free option that will appeal to vegans and non-vegans alike.

To substitute one tablespoon of nutritional yeast, use one tablespoon of prepared vegan cheese sauce.

3. Vegetable bouillon

Bowl of vegetable bouillon on wooden surface.
Vegetable bouillon.

Vegetable bouillon is a type of broth made from vegetables. It is typically seasoned with herbs and spices. The exact composition of vegetable bouillon varies depending on the recipe. It often contains ingredients like porcini mushrooms and garlic powder that give it a rich savory flavor.

It tends to be a bit on the salty side and is great for soups and sauces.

This is a good substitute when nutritional yeast is used in small amounts. Otherwise, it can change the consistency.

To substitute one tablespoon of nutritional yeast, use one tablespoon of vegetable bouillon.

4. Parmesan cheese

Grated parmesan cheese on wooden surface.

While it’s not appropriate for those on a dairy-free diet or for vegans, Parmesan cheese is one of the most popular types of cheese in the world. It’s made from cow’s milk, and it has a hard, crumbly texture.

Parmesan cheese is usually used as a flavoring agent or topping, but it can also be eaten on its own. Parmesan cheese is made by treating the cows’ milk with rennet, which is an enzyme that helps to curdle the milk. After the milk has been curdled, it’s then pressed into blocks and aged for at least 12 months. This aging process gives Parmesan cheese its distinct flavor.

Parmesan cheese is often used in Italian dishes, but it can also be found in a variety of other cuisines. Be aware it is higher in sodium than nutritional yeast, but it will obviously replicate the cheesy taste but with a stronger flavor. Adjust your recipe accordingly and remember that real cheese made from dairy products is not appropriate for vegan dishes.

To substitute one tablespoon of nutritional yeast, use 3/4 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese.

5. Liquid aminos or coconut aminos

Bowl of liquid aminos on wooden surface.
Liquid aminos.

Liquid aminos or coconut aminos are a type of seasoning sauce made from the fermented juice of coconuts. The sauce is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries to marinades. It is also a great source of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.

Liquid aminos or coconut aminos are also relatively low in calories and fat, making them a healthy option for those watching their weight.

In using liquid aminos, adjust the amount to taste and be aware of the salt content of the dish. In addition, the sauce is gluten-free and vegan, making it suitable for those with dietary restrictions.

To substitute one tablespoon of nutritional yeast, use 1/3 tablespoon of liquid aminos or coconut aminos.

6. Dried onion flakes

Wooden spoon with dried onion flakes on wooden surface.
Dried onion flakes.

Use dried onion flakes as a versatile kitchen staple that can add flavor and texture to a variety of dishes.

Made from dehydrated onions, they have a strong, pungent flavor that is perfect for adding depth to soups, stews, and sauces. They can also be used as a seasoning for roasted vegetables or as a topping for salads and pizzas.

One of the great things about dried onion flakes is that you can store them for long periods of time without losing their flavor.

To substitute one tablespoon of nutritional yeast, use 1/3 tablespoon of dried onion flakes.

7. Chickpea flour

Bowl of chickpea flour on wooden surface.
Chickpea flour.

Chickpea flour is a type of flour made from chickpeas also known as garbanzo beans. It is high in protein and fiber and has a nutty flavor.

Chickpea flour can be used in a variety of recipes, including soups and stews. It is also a popular ingredient in gluten-free and vegan recipes. Chickpea flour is available in most grocery stores and health food stores.

To substitute one tablespoon of nutritional yeast, use one tablespoon of chickpea flour.

Nutritional Yeast Substitute FAQs

Can I substitute brewer’s yeast for nutritional yeast?

No, these are two completely different products. It’s better to use one of the other substitutes listed above.

Are all nutritional yeast products fortified?

Many nutritional yeast brands are fortified with vitamin B12. If you prefer an unfortified brand, just search for it online.


Nutritional yeast is a popular food ingredient, but it’s not suitable for everyone. If you’re on a dairy-free diet or are vegan, you can use most of the substitutes listed above. Each of these substitutes has a similar flavor or texture to nutritional yeast. Choose the substitute that best suits your needs and dietary restrictions.

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About the Author: Carrie Forrest has a master’s degree in public health with a specialty in nutrition. She is a top wellness and food blogger with nearly 10 million annual visitors to her site. Carrie has an incredible story of recovery from chronic illness and is passionate about helping other women transform their health. Send Carrie a message through her contact form.