What is Nutritional Yeast and How Do You Cook With It?

Not sure where to start with nutritional yeast? Here’s a handy guide

If you’re new to plant-based cooking, you may encounter some new ingredients that seem weird and wonderful at first. For many people, foods like tofu, seitan and tempeh aren’t common cooking staples, but trust us when we say they will be!

In this blog, we want to introduce you to a vegan kitchen superstar: nutritional yeast. If you haven’t met this flaky, cheesy wonder yet, buckle up because you’re in for a treat. And if you’re already a fan, get ready for some fresh inspiration.

What is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast, affectionately known as “nooch” among vegans, is a deactivated yeast that comes in flake or powder form. Not only does it contain B vitamins, protein and other essential nutrients, it also has a cheesy, nutty flavour that can elevate any dish, hot or cold.

Its delicious savoury flavour makes it a popular substitute for cheese in vegan recipes such as pasta, soup, salad or Bolognese. So, for those who are trying to curb their cheese cravings, nooch is here to save the day.

You can find it in the cooking or baking section of the supermarket.

Nutritional yeast flakes in a wooden dish
Image Credit: AdobeStock

How to Use Nutritional Yeast in Cooking

The best thing about nutritional yeast is undoubtedly its strong flavour, so a little goes a long way. You don’t need to do anything to prepare it – just sprinkle it in your favourite dishes.

Here are some of our go-to ways to use nutritional yeast:

  • Sprinkle it on popcorn, roasted veggies, salads, pasta, etc. for flavour and texture
  • Use it in sauces, dips, dressings, and gravies for a savoury, creamy element
  • Blend it into smoothies, batters and soups for added richness
  • Mix it with plant-based milk and spices to make vegan cheese sauces or alfredo
  • Make vegan “cheesy” kale chips by topping kale with nutritional yeast and olive oil before baking
  • Sprinkle it over baked beans (trust us on this one)
  • Add it to spaghetti Bolognese or pasta dishes as a Parmesan alternative
  • Add it to mash for a savoury finish – especially when making a cottage or shepherd’s pie

There are so many ways to get creative with this healthy, delicious ingredient. And if you want to eat it by the spoonful straight from the tub, we won’t judge you.

Vegan Mac 'n' Cheese by BOSH!
Image Credit: BOSH!

Nutritional Yeast Recipes to Get You Started

Ready to start experimenting with this wonder ingredient? Here are some recipes to get you started on your journey with nooch.

Did you find this guide helpful? Discover even more vegan cooking hacks in our blog.

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