Vegan Sunflower Seed Parmesan Cheese

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by Alena Schowalter
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Umami, slightly nutty, and deliciously cheesy — our vegan sunflower seed parmesan cheese is the perfect topping! Add on top of pasta, pizza, popcorn, and more. Made in 5 minutes.

Just because we’re vegan doesn’t mean we miss the flavor of cheese! Thankfully, we have nutritional yeast to mimic the flavor in this recipe. 

Plus, the addition of sunflower seeds adds a fun texture and mildly nutty taste!

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We love how there are more vegan options in store, but we understand not everyone has access to certain ingredients. That’s why we created this vegan parmesan option! Plus, you know exactly what’s going in it since you’re making it yourself.

Wanna make more vegan cheeses at home? Try out our vegan tofu feta or almond ricotta cheese!

Storing Vegan Parmesan in a glass Jar

Recipe highlights

  • Made in 5 minutes
  • Meal prep-friendly
  • Affordable 
  • Nut-free
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Simple ingredients

All you need is a pan, measuring equipment, spoon, and blender or food processor!

sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and spices on a table

Ingredients needed

  • Sunflower seeds — our nut-free parmesan base! Slightly nutty flavor.
  • Hemp seeds — for added texture and some omega-3s. 
  • Nutritional yeast — adds the perfect cheesy taste!
  • Salt — add as much or as little as you need.
  • Lemon zest — a hint of freshness to balance flavors. 
  • Garlic powder — for added flavor. Garlic is the best!

Find exact measurements and serving suggestions below!

sunflower seeds and spices in a blender jar
Homemade Vegan Parmesan in Blender

How to make vegan sunflower seed parmesan 

  1. Place the sunflower seeds into a skillet over medium heat and lightly toast for 2-3 minutes, until slightly golden. Move them with a wooden spoon to toast evenly.
  2. Place in a bowl and let cool completely.
  3. Transfer into a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients and process to get a coarse powder. 
  4. If in a blender, only blend for 1-2 seconds at a time! In the food processor, pulse a few times and scrape down the sides. If you blend too much, you’ll get sunflower butter.
bowl of vegan sunflower seed parmesan

Storage & serving suggestions

Store in a container in a cool, dark place. You can place it in the fridge to make it last a couple of weeks. 

For seasonings, feel free to adjust as needed! Onion powder would make a great addition. You can also add some chili powder or paprika for an extra kick.

As for sunflower parmesan uses, you can use it on anything you like! Add on top of vegan bolognese, pizza, popcorn, breadsticks, and whatever your heart desires.

topping bolognese with vegan parmesan

FAQs & tips

Can I use pre-roasted sunflower seeds?

Yes, you can! And you can skip the roasting step if you’d like! The flavor may not be as pronounced, but it will still work.

What can I use instead of sunflower seeds?

You can use almonds or cashews if you’d like. If you want to keep it nut-free, you can use pumpkin seeds as well! 

Keep in mind the resulting flavor will be different if you swap out the sunflower seeds. Make sure to taste and adjust seasonings as needed. 

My cheese turned into butter!

Oh no! Unfortunately, you may have blended too long. You can definitely use the butter for sauces or casseroles, but you will have to make the recipe again.

Thankfully it takes no time! Make sure to blend/pulse in 1 second increments to make sure you get the right consistency.

Are sunflower seeds healthy? 

Yes, they contain many nutrients! Notably, they contain vitamin E, fiber, selenium, folate, iron, zinc, and copper. 

More vegan cheese recipes

Did you make our vegan sunflower seed parmesan cheese and like it? We’d love to read about it, so be sure to leave a review and share it in the comments below. You can also Pin this recipe here!

Vegan Sunflower Seed Parmesan Cheese

by Alena Schowalter
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Umami, slightly nutty, and deliciously cheesy — our vegan sunflower seed parmesan cheese is the perfect topping! Add on top of pasta, pizza, popcorn, and more. Made in 5 minutes.
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds 140 g
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast 30 g
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  • Place the sunflower seeds into a skillet over medium heat and lightly toast for 2-3 minutes, until slightly golden. Move them with a wooden spoon to toast evenly.
  • Place in a bowl and let cool completely.
  • Transfer into a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients and process to get a coarse powder. 
  • If in a blender, only blend for 1-2 seconds at a time! In the food processor, pulse a few times and scrape down the sides! If you blend too much, you’ll get sunflower butter.

Notes

  • Add on top of pasta, pizza, popcorn, and more!
  • Sunflower seed parmesan can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
  • Adjust seasonings as needed.
Course: Basics
Cuisine: American
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Sunflower Seed Parmesan Cheese
Amount per Serving
Calories
260
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
20
g
31
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
16
g
Sodium
 
1967
mg
86
%
Carbohydrates
 
12
g
4
%
Fiber
 
7
g
29
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
15
g
30
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Hi, I'm Alena Schowalter — a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with my husband, I founded nutriciously in 2015 and have been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages toward a healthy plant-based diet. I enjoy discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature, and creating new recipes. Read more about us here.

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