Dairy-Free Parmesan “Cheese”

Posted by Mike Miryala on

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Parmesan cheese, also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, is a hard, granular cheese that originated in Italy. It is named after the regions of Parma and Reggio Emilia, where it is traditionally produced. Parmesan cheese is renowned for its rich and nutty flavor. It is a versatile ingredient and is commonly used in Italian cuisine. It is often grated over pasta dishes, salads, soups, and risottos. It can also be enjoyed on its own, paired with fruits, nuts, or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Cashews can indeed be used as a low-carb and plant-based cheese alternative in some recipes. Cashews have a creamy texture and mild flavor, making them a popular choice for creating dairy-free cheese alternatives. While they do contain some carbohydrates, they are relatively low in carbs compared to other nuts and can still fit into a low-carb diet when consumed in moderation.

This Dairy-Free Parmesan "Cheese" recipe can be a great option for those following a plant-based low-carb or dairy-free diet. While it may not be an exact replacement for traditional Parmesan cheese, it can provide a similar flavor profile and add a cheesy element to your dishes.

      Dairy-Free Parmesan “Cheese”

      Prep Time: 10 minutes
      Cook Time: 0 minutes
      Yield: 16 servings (approx. 1 Tablespoon [15 g] per serving)
      Category: Condiment
      Cuisine: Italian


      • 3/4 cup (150 g) raw cashew nuts (do not soak)
      • 1/4 cup (30 g) pine nuts (do not soak)
      • 1 Tablespoon (8 g) nutritional yeast
      • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
      • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
      • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) apple cider vinegar
      • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (3 ml to 5 ml) melted coconut oil (optional, to help with blending)


                                          1. Add all the ingredients into a food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth with a dough-like consistency. If needed, add 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon (3 ml to 5 ml) of melted coconut oil if the mixture is too dry.
                                          2. Line a round mold (a small bowl or large ramekin) with plastic wrap. Spoon the mixture into the mold and press down firmly to compact the mixture as much as possible.
                                          3. Cover the mold with additional plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
                                          4. When ready to use, gently pull the plastic wrap to remove the “cheese” from the mold. The “cheese” should be firm enough to slice or grate, if desired.
                                          5. Cover leftover “cheese” with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

                                                                  Nutrition: (Estimated and based on per-serving amounts.)

                                                                  • Calories: 68
                                                                  • Fat: 6 g
                                                                  • Total Carbs: 4 g
                                                                  • Fiber: 0 g
                                                                  • Sugar: 1 g
                                                                  • Net Carbs: 4 g
                                                                  • Protein: 2 g

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