Think of nutritional yeast—or nooch, as fans like to call it—as the Parmesan of the plant-based food world. Made from yeast cultures that have been deactivated and dried into tiny granules or flakes, melt-in-your-mouth nutritional yeast has a rich, fermented, cheesy flavor that’s perfect on everything from popcorn to pasta.
Once billed as a protein and vitamin supplement (hence the name), the savory sprinkle has gone mainstream, with well-known natural food companies such as Bob’s Red Mill and Bragg marketing their own brands alongside the old standard, Red Star. Keep in mind that while nutritional yeast is a good source of vitamin B12, you shouldn’t rely on it to meet your needs of this vital nutrient.
Bring on the Flavor
In addition to substituting nutritional yeast anywhere you’d use grated cheese, you can use 1 to 2 tablespoons (or more) to:
- Season stews and casseroles
- Turn blended cashews or beans into “cheese” spread
- Flavor homemade kale chips
- Add a creamy element to salad dressings
- Give baked goods a buttery flavor
Or try the following recipes, which harness the power of nooch to delicious effect.