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4 Cheesy Recipes Featuring Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a beloved flavor booster among plant-based eaters. Also known as “nooch,” this gold-hued dust has a rich, fermented, “cheesy” flavor, that, when blended with ingredients such as nuts, beans, and cooked starchy vegetables, perfectly mimics a creamy, cheese sauce. Whether you’re a nutritional yeast-newbie or a fan from way back, these 23 hand-picked recipes showcase its ability to enhance savory flavor in a variety of dishes. All the recipes are plant-based and oil-free, which means they’re deliciously healthy too!

Want to know more about nutritional yeast? Check out Fork Over Knives's beginner’s guide.

Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese


  • 1 14-ounce package dried whole grain macaroni

  • 1 large sweet potato (12 ounces), peeled and chopped

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • ½ cup unsweetened plant-based milk, such as almond, soy, coconut, or rice

  • ½ cup nutritional yeast

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon grated whole nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

  • Sea salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large pot cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Transfer macaroni to a large bowl.

  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan cook sweet potato, covered, in enough boiling water to cover 8 to 10 minutes or until tender; drain.

  3. For sauce, in a blender or food processor combine sweet potato and onion. Cover and blend or process until smooth, adding enough of the milk to reach a creamy consistency. Add yeast, garlic, nutmeg, and rosemary. Cover and blend or process just until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Pour sauce over cooked macaroni; stir to coat. Transfer to a 2-qt. square baking dish. Bake 15 minutes or until top starts to brown.

Crispy Potato Vegan Cheese Sticks


  • 1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1¼ cups unsweetened plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice; divided

  • ¼ teaspoon agar powder

  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, divided

  • 1½ teaspoon white wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • ½ of a small garlic clove, minced

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, divided

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder

  • ¾ cup whole grain bread crumbs

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • ¼ teaspoon paprika

  • 1 cup oil-free marinara sauce


  1. Place potatoes in a steamer basket in a large saucepan. Add water to saucepan to just below basket. Bring to boiling. Steam, covered, about 15 minutes or until tender.

  2. In a small saucepan combine ¾ cup of the milk and the agar powder; mix well. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cool 5 to 10 minutes.

  3. Transfer potatoes to a food processor. Add the milk mixture, 1 Tbsp. of the nutritional yeast, the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, ¼ tsp. of the salt, and ⅛ tsp. of the pepper. Cover and process until very creamy.

  4. Line a small freezer-safe tray or dish with parchment paper. Spread the potato cheese in prepared tray to no more than ½ inch thick; let cool. Cover tray in plastic wrap; freeze overnight.

  5. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a shallow bowl whisk together the arrowroot powder and the remaining ½ cup milk until there are no lumps.

  6. In another bowl whisk together the bread crumbs, the remaining 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast, the flaxseeds, Italian seasoning, paprika, the remaining ¼ tsp. salt, and the remaining ⅛ tsp. pepper. Place one-fourth of the mixture in a shallow bowl.

  7. Remove cheese from freezer; let stand on the counter a few minutes or until the parchment releases easily from the tray. Invert the cheese onto a cutting board and remove the parchment. Cut cheese into 2× ½-inch sticks.

  8. Dip frozen cheese sticks in milk mixture, then roll in bread crumb mixture to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat dipping and rolling each stick a second time, starting with the sticks that were coated first and adding reserved bread crumb mixture as crumbs get soggy. Arrange sticks at least 1 inch apart on baking sheet.

  9. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until the cheese starts to peek out from the sticks. Don’t bake too long or the sticks will melt. Serve hot with marinara sauce for dipping.

New American Veggie Cheeseburgers


  • 2 cups finely chopped onions

  • 11 to 13 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 large carrot, cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 bell pepper (any color), cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 6 oz. green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 6 oz. fresh trumpet mushrooms, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

  • 3 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce

  • 4 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or millet

  • ½ cup whole wheat flour or brown rice flour

  • ½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 large red onion, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices

  • 2 large green bell peppers, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices

  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes

  • 1½ cups unsweetened, unflavored plant-based milk

  • ½ cup nutritional yeast

  • 5 whole grain burger buns


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

  2. In a large skillet combine chopped onions, minced garlic (reserving one clove for Cheese Sauce), and ¼ cup water. Cook over medium-low 5 to 7 minutes or until onion is translucent.

  3. In a food processor combine the next five ingredients (through mushrooms). Pulse until vegetables are uniform ¼-inch bits. Transfer vegetables to skillet; add parsley, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, the thyme, paprika, and black pepper. Cook 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and most of the liquid is cooked off.

  4. Add quinoa, flour, bread crumbs, and salt; mix well. Cook 5 minutes more. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes.

  5. Place a 2 ½-inch round patty mold or cookie cutter on one of the prepared baking sheets. Fill the mold with about ½ cup of the vegetable mixture; press with the back of a spoon to compact. Carefully remove mold. Repeat to make a total of 10 patties on the baking sheet.

  6. Bake burgers on middle rack in oven 20 minutes.

  7. For toppings, in a bowl combine sliced red onion, sliced bell peppers, and 2 tablespoons vinegar; mix well. Arrange vegetables on the second baking sheet. Bake on top rack in oven 20 minutes.

  8. For Cheese Sauce, peel the potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place potatoes in a steamer basket in a large saucepan. Add water to pan to just below basket. Bring to boiling. Steam, covered, 10 to 15 minutes or until very tender. Transfer potatoes to a blender; cool. Add the plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, the remaining vinegar, and remaining minced garlic. Blend just until smooth. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer sauce to a saucepan; heat until thick and warmed through.

  9. Split buns and warm them in a toaster or skillet. Top each bun half with a burger, onion-pepper mixture, and Cheese Sauce.

“Cheesy” Veggie Pizzettes



  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced (2 cups)

  • 1 zucchini, cut into long diagonal slices (1 cup)

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips (1 cup)

  • 6 whole-wheat pita breads

  • 1 ½ cups store-bought pizza or marinara sauce

  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped


  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed

  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast

  • 1 clove garlic, minced (½ teaspoon)

  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

  • 1 dash crushed red pepper flakes

  • Sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Combine the onions, zucchini, and bell peppers in a skillet and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the onions start to turn golden brown. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time as needed, to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan.

  3. Place the pitas on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.

  4. Combine the beans, nutritional yeast, garlic, vinegar, and ¼ cup water in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Add pepper flakes; mix well, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

  5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the pitas over.

  6. Spread 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce over each pita. Dot the pitas with spoonfuls of the bean spread.

  7. Layer the vegetables on top. Sprinkle with some basil and bake for 20 minutes.

  8. Remove from the heat. Slice into quarters and serve warm.


Read the full article from our friends Fork Over Knives

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Mila x

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