17 Nutritional Yeast Recipes That Use The Superfood In Delicious, Creative Ways
Nutritional yeast is no longer a fringe food. These days, you can find it on the shelves of most grocery stores, among other vegan substitutes and superfood powders.
This nutrient-dense powder is packed with vitamins. Most notably for plant-based eaters, it's rich in vitamin B12–which is difficult to get from non-meat sources. It also contains a lot of other B vitamins and proteins.
Whether nutritional yeast is new to you or something that's always in your pantry, creative ways to use this product are always welcome. Although it's often just tossed on top of foods, it can also be used in sauces, soups, and more. Below, 18 of our favorite recipes using "nooch" (as it's affectionately nicknamed):
1. Savory Breakfast Oats
These savory oats put a spin on the breakfast classic. According to longevity expert Gil Blander, Ph.D., oats are also something of a superfood for healthy aging. But if you find yourself tiring of the usual sweet mixture, swap in this recipe, which stirs in some nutritional yeast.
2. Tofu Breakfast Bites
These little vegan bites are perfect for taking the place of poached eggs in your breakfast or brunch dishes—like atop avocado toast or in a big bowl of greens. The nutritional yeast lends both color and flavor to the tofu mix, though the eggy flavor is really thanks to kala namak, an Indian salt that has a high sulfur content (also known as black salt).
3. Quick Breakfast Sandwich
Just as above, here nutritional yeast is used to flavor and color a do-it-yourself vegan egg substitute. This time, it's pan-fried to make the easiest vegan "egg" sandwich ever.
4. Grilled Romaine With Caesar-ish Vinaigrette
For a refreshed take on Caesar salad, start with popping the greens on the grill. Then, put together this "Caesar-ish" vinaigrette, which has garlic, shallot, nutritional yeast, mustard, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. We promise it's worth making your own instead of just buying a store-bought option—it's seriously good.
5. Kale Caesar Salad
Kale salads, like Caesar salads, may seem overplayed at first—but when you dig into this protein-packed recipe, you'll see it's anything but average. It's topped with coconut "bacon," lentil "croutons," and a cashew dressing (which is where you'll find the nutritional yeast).
6. Zero-Waste Salad With Kale Stem Pesto
If you're looking to dip your toe into the world of low-waste cooking, this recipe is a great place to start. It uses all parts of kale, even the stems you'd traditionally toss because they're too tough to eat. The nutritional yeast adds some Parmesan-esque flavor to the pesto, which is rounded out with brain-healthy walnuts.
7. Vegan Pesto
For a slightly more traditional pesto (based on basil instead of kale), this recipe adds another dose of nutrients with mindbodygreen's organic veggies+. The delicious cheesy taste from the nooch gives this a full, well-rounded flavor—trust us, you won't even miss classic pesto.
8. Ribollita With White Beans & Kale
Ribollita is a traditional Italian rustic soup, and the word itself literally means "reboiled"—a reference to how great this soup tastes reheated. This version, in particular, is M.D.-approved and swaps some of the traditional ingredients for vegan alternatives—like using the nutritional yeast as a final stir-in, instead of Parmesan.
9. One-Pot Lentil Walnut Baked Ziti
Another recipe that uses nutritional yeast in lieu of Parmesan is this one-pot baked ziti, which is completely vegan and completely delicious. Though it does also call for vegan Parmesan itself, the nutritional yeast still packs its vitamin-rich punch in a few tablespoons.
10. Classic Lasagna
Similar to the baked ziti, this take on lasagna may have a long ingredient list—but it's all worth it when you pull it out of the oven. You'll add the nutritional yeast to a vegan béchamel sauce, which gives the lasagna a creaminess to compliment the earthy veggie and tomato sauce.
11. Zucchini Spaghetti With Creamy Alfredo Sauce
Not far off from the béchamel above, this vegan Alfredo sauce features alternative milk as the base and nutritional yeast for flavor. It's creamy, delicious, and perfectly coats the zucchini spaghetti in this recipe.
12. Keto "Macaroni & Cheese"
This dish has neither macaroni nor cheese—contrary to the name. To fit the ketogenic diet, the noodles are replaced with cauliflower, while the sauce is made up of cashews, spices, alternative milk, and nutritional yeast. It's almost as simple as the box variety.
13. Lobster Mushroom Mac 'n' Cheese
In this recipe, there is some macaroni—however, this lobster mac 'n' cheese doesn't actually have any lobster...or cheese. Instead, this vegan recipe is packed with lobster mushrooms, which have a color and flavor that's vaguely reminiscent of the shellfish.
14. "Cheesy" Mashed Celery Root
From chef Michael Symon, this mash is a healthier update on a cheese mashed potato, and it's vegan, too. It uses celery root (also known as celeriac), which is a good source of fiber and nutrients. The recipe is just as simple as making mashed potatoes, and the nutritional yeast adds even more healthy-for-you goodness.
15. Roasted Pumpkin With Cheese Walnut Crumble
Bet you can't guess what gives the walnut crumble in this dish its cheese flavor. It's nutritional yeast, again! Here, it's paired with walnuts, lemon juice, and salt to achieve an ideal crumbly texture and flavor. It's the perfect topper for roasted pumpkin cubes that are tossed in coconut sugar, miso paste, rice vinegar, and spices like nutmeg and cayenne.
16. Avocado Chips
Did you know you could make chips from avocado? Start with a mash of avocado, seeds, and seasonings (for this recipe, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, ground flaxseeds, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper). Then, spread the mash thinly on a tray before baking it, for a pretty magical snack.
17. Plant-Based Meatballs
Add some extra flavor to these tofu meatballs with nutritional yeast, and then top them with your favorite sauce for a perfect start to a vegan dinner. You'll also need mushrooms, onion, garlic, oats, and herbs to finish the meatball's flavor profile.
Whether you're mixing it into a dish or using it to sprinkle atop your favorite snacks, nutritional yeast is an essential pantry ingredient for plant-based healthy eating.
Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.