Make Nutritional Yeast Your Plant-Based Secret Weapon

Sarah Schlichter, RD
by Sarah Schlichter, RD
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Make Nutritional Yeast Your Plant-Based Secret Weapon

Nutritional yeast is a type of deactivated yeast you can buy in the form of flakes or powder. Because it’s egg-, corn-, nut-, dairy- and gluten-free it can be a great ingredient for those who have food allergies or intolerances. But regardless of your dietary preferences, it provides a healthy dose of nutrients such as potassium, iron, calcium, fiber and protein. Many brands are also fortified with B vitamins and one serving size (1/4 cup or 60 grams) contains 60 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein.

Here are five ways to incorporate nutritional yeast into your everyday cooking:



Since nutritional yeast comes in powder or flake form, it’s easy to use as a salad topping, sprinkled on vegetables or blended into your favorite stir-fries. It gives the dishes a taste similar to Parmesan cheese, so it’s ideal for savory meals.



Consider mixing a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic and salt for a vinaigrette-like dressing. Since nutritional yeast is dry and flaky, mixing it with liquids like olive oil and apple cider vinegar helps make it creamier.



Next time you find yourself in the mood to pop some kernels, add a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast, some salt and garlic powder for a savory umami flavor. The nutritional yeast adds a buttery, cheesy flavor without the need for actual dairy.



Nutritional yeast is also a versatile ingredient to add during baking. It can be a great way to impart a dairy-free nutty or cheesecake flavor in baked goods, like crackers, biscuits, muffinscheesecake and more.



Nutritional yeast is an easy and tasty addition to creamy rice and pasta dishes, like risottolasagna or mac and cheese. Just sprinkle a few tablespoons in as the recipe finishes cooking or sprinkle some on top right before serving.

About the Author

Sarah Schlichter, RD
Sarah Schlichter, RD

Sarah is a registered dietitian based in the Washington, DC area. She works with athletes on fueling for their sports without strict dieting. Sarah is also a nutrition consultant and writes the blog, Bucket List Tummysharing nutrition posts, healthy family-friendly recipes and running tips.


2 responses to “Make Nutritional Yeast Your Plant-Based Secret Weapon”

  1. Avatar Jason says:

    Someone at work loves to microwave popcorn with nutritional yeast. The stench is absolutely revolting. If you live the taste of this, please be considerate and keep it in the privacy of your own home.

  2. Avatar Cathy says:

    Please, for the love of headache sufferers everywhere, explain that nutritional yeast is not a healthy choice for everyone. That umami flavor is just a natural MSG. It may be yummy and it may help vegans with their cravings for cheese, so that’s great. But it comes at a price: it interrupts the message from your stomach to your brain saying you’re full (not so good on a diet). And if you’re like me, and get a headache when you eat Doritos, Chinese food, etc., stay far away from this stuff!

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