Parmesan "Cheeze" Spread

April 25th, 2012 11:30 am by Kelly Garbato

2012-04-14 - Parmesan Cheeze Spread - 0010

I accidentally discovered this recipe when I tried – and failed epically – to make a batch of vegan Parmesan cheese from Vegan Junk Food.

(In retrospect, I really should have seen it coming: it was still early in the day; I had just eaten breakfast and normally would’ve been getting ready to do my workout. But I was tired and groggy and not at all in the mood, so I decided to get myself going with a few rote chores. Like those that involve reading comprehension, measuring, and mathematics. WHAT COULD GO WRONG?)

The original recipe calls for 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1/2 cup walnuts, a pinch of salt, and a teaspoon of olive oil; simply toss in a blender or food processor and pulse until mixed. Only instead of a teaspoon of oil, I used a tablespoon.

But wait! It gets better! I’d quadrupled the recipe so that I’d have plenty of extra cheese left over, so the disaster was four times as bad. In a last-ditch attempt to save the cheese, I quadrupled the recipe yet again, this time omitting the oil entirely. No such luck. The damage had been done!

The result wasn’t crumbly like Parmesan cheese, but more of pasty concoction, similar in texture to hummus or even almond butter.

And rather delicious, too! Use it as a spread or dip: put it on crackers, warm bread, or toast. It’s wonderful spread thinly on bagels, along with a little pat of margarine for added moisture.

2012-04-14 - Bagel & Parm Spread - 0009

Or mix a little in with sauteed veggies and a dash of water, to make a sauce that tastes great on pasta. The possibilities are … savory.

After I’d depleted my supply of Parmesan “Cheeze” Spread, I did a little experimentation to see if I could recreate the dish; this is what I came up with. The hubs has requested a garlic version, so keep an eye out for variations. Or create your own and share ’em in the comments!

The extras keep well in the fridge (idk if refrigeration is necessary, but better safe!), so feel free to double or even quadruple the recipe. Just pay attention to the quantities!


Parmesan “Cheeze” Spread*


1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup walnuts
a dash of salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons water, if needed

Variations: reduce olive oil to 1 teaspoon and omit the water to make vegan Parmesan cheese.


Combine the nutritional yeast, walnuts, salt, and olive oil in a blender or food processor and pulse until well blended. If the “cheeze” is still crumbly, add a teaspoon of water and continue to process. If necessary, continue to add water in 1/4 teaspoon increments until the spread begins to stick together. The finished product should be smooth and paste-like in texture, spreadable but not too creamy.

Eat, enjoy, repeat!


* I don’t usually care for this cutesy, “cheese with a ‘z,’ because vegan cheese isn’t really cheese” spelling, but here it seems somehow appropriate. Probably because this recipe was a total accident? Who knows. Just, you know, going on the record!

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2 Responses to “Parmesan "Cheeze" Spread”

  1. Vegan Junk Food (is surprisingly healthy!) » V for Vegan: Says:

    […] on the Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole in Lane Gold’s Vegan Junk Food ), topped with some diy parmesan cheese (also from VJF – put parmesan on ALL the things! ) and served with sweet potato tots and some […]

  2. Vegan Two-cheese Veggie Pizza « gwen cooks Says:

    […]  This stuff tastes like parmesan.  It was inspired by a bunch of recipes I found online and this one in particular that made a spread out of the sprinkle stuff.  I made mine oil-free by using cannellini beans. […]

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