Vegan Parmesan Cheese with Hemp Seeds



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Make your own vegan parmesan cheese with hemp seeds and nutritional yeast. It’s the perfect dairy-free topping for pizza, pasta, veggies, salads, popcorn and more. 

Heyo! We’re on our way home from Portland, ME this morning, but I wanted to pop in with a quick recipe I’ve been absolutely loving lately. It’s a homemade parmesan cheese made with just four ingredients — hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, garlic and salt. It’s cheesy, salty and tastes remarkably similar to grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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Vegan Hemp Parmesan.

Maria and I came up with this recipe on a whim one day while making this lemony rice salad. We wanted to make some sort of cheesy topping for the salad so we used this recipe from Minimalist Baker as a guide and came up with a nut-free vegan parmesan cheese with hemp seeds as the base.

We ultimately decided to keep things simple and use plain hemp seeds as a topping for the salad, but I’m so glad we experimented because the vegan parmesan is so good! Even Isaac, who is a diary-loving cheese man likes this vegan parm. He was skeptical at first, but now he’s a convert.

Shredded squash topped with vegan hemp parmesan and fresh basil.

We’ve been sprinkling this little mixture on just about everything — pasta, spaghetti squash, steamed veggies, salads, popcorn and more. The options are pretty much endless — almost everything tastes better topped with this cheesy, salty vegan parm. And added bonus, each tablespoon has 6 grams of protein!!

Vegan hemp parmesan in an orange bowl.

This recipe is super simple. Just pulse everything in your food processor or blender for less than a minute to combine or simply stir everything together in a small bowl. Each batch makes over a cup (and a little goes a long way) so just store the mixture in your fridge and use it over a few weeks.

Shredded squash topped with vegan hemp parmesan and fresh basil.
4.39 from 13 votes

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Make your own vegan parmesan cheese with hemp seeds. It’s the perfect cheesy topping for pizza, pasta, veggies, salads, popcorn and more.
Servings: 20


  • 1 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse a couple times until everything is combined. If you don’t have a processor or blender, simply place all ingredients bowl and stir to combine.
  • Place mixture in a sealed container and store in the fridge.



Serving: 1Tablespoon | Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Fiber: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

One quick note, you definitely need nutritional yeast for this recipe. It’s what gives the vegan parmesan that cheesy, nutty flavor you want! If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, you can grab it on Amazon. It’s worth it!

PS – I just realized I’m giving you all two hemp recipes this week, but I’m totally okay with it because hemp seeds are where it’s at. Plus, I have a recipe coming soon that uses this vegan parmesan cheese so it had to be shared ASAP. Get excited because the upcoming recipe is a good one!

Make your own vegan parmesan cheese with hemp seeds. It’s the perfect cheesy topping for pizza, pasta, veggies, salads, popcorn and more.

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating


  1. This sounds great! I usually settle for just using nutritional yeast, especially on popcorn but LOVE the idea of adding hemp seeds!

    I live in Portland too! Hope you had a wonderful time! 🙂

  2. This looks super tasty. Love hemp seeds!! Also, I just can’t get enough of your new blog layout 🙂 It’s so pretty!!! Who designed it for you?

  3. 5 stars
    How long do you think this would last? Or in freezer?
    I live alone so I tend to have to think ahead for things like this or risk wasting food which I hate!

    Recipe looks awesome – can’t wait to make it 🙂

    1. I honestly think it would last over a month! There’s nothing that will really go bad, especially in the fridge!

  4. Looks Delish! Also, I know it’s hard to put yourself out there on your blog, but I’m hoping you do an update soon on your amenorrhea journey! I know there are others, too! Thanks for the awesome blog!

    1. Hi Nikki. I’ve already started writing the next update. Just have to finish it up and post it. Coming soon!

  5. 4 stars
    I just made this! Thanks for the recipe! I was tired of using up so many cashews just to grind them down so this is a nice alternative. Also, the texture of the hemp seeds is so pleasant so I wanted to retain that in this cheese. I just shook all of the ingredients together in a jar and I’m done! Really delicious! I’d like to see more hemp recipes ☺

  6. There’s clearly a green herb in the pictures, but not in the recipe. What is it?
    Basil or oregano would probably be good.

    1. Hi Leah! The herb is basil. It’s not actually included in the recipe for the hemp parmesan, but I agree that adding some herbs to the mix would make for a nice addition. Let me know if you try the recipe.

  7. 5 stars
    I’m new to Vegan cheese. I tried a Mac and cheese sauce and I won’t attempt that again, however this cheese is a really good comparison to dairy Parmesan.

  8. 5 stars
    Made a half serving of this to go with your tomato basil soup. I just tried some by putting a teaspoon in and taking a bite lol. It has a great flavor and I’m looking forward to playing with it on things over the next couple of weeks.

    1. Yum! Glad you enjoyed this recipe, Amy. Thank you for your review & star rating, I appreciate it!