What can I substitute for nutritional yeast?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “what can I substitute for nutritional yeast?” with an in-depth analysis of nutritional yeast, what are the possible substitutes of nutritional yeast, how it can be prepared and what are its advantages and disadvantages.

What can I substitute for nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast can be substituted with white miso paste, yeast extract, brewer yeast, cashews, sunflower seeds, vegetable bouillon, soy sauce, liquid aminos, and chickpea flour.

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is considered as a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is available in markets and used as an ingredient for food products. It is also termed as a cloud of hippy dust or nooch which is a deactivated form of yeast. 

In markets, it is available in the form of granules, powder, and flakes which are yellow and are available in bulk portions in almost all those stores which have natural food.

Possible substitutes of nutritional yeast

Some of the possible substitutes for nutritional yeast are as following:

Soy sauce or Liquid Aminos

Soy sauce is a good alternative to nutritional yeast which is added in savoury dishes that differentiates the flavour of dishes which is a perfect one-to-one replacement for nutritional yeast. Liquid aminos are quite similar to soy sauce in taste and physical texture but their flavour is light as compared to soy sauce and nutritional yeast.

Nutritional yeast also demands to adjust liquid portions in the recipes if we are using nutritional yeast in a large quantity. Soy sauce is a better choice due to having low sodium content.

White Miso paste

White miso paste is prepared from fermented soybeans. Its texture is salted, paste-like and savoury. It is considered the best substitute for nutritional yeast especially in creamy sauces such as vegan cheese sauce. 

In alteration, use white miso paste just like soy sauce in one-third quantity according to recipes.


Cashews are also a good substitute for nutritional yeast. These can be used in two methods. 

Firstly, grind cashews in a powder form that can be spread over the dishes that would be a Parmesan, or it can be used after soaking them and then whisk them well in a vegan cheese sauce. 

Cashews are also an important part of vegan cheese sauce. So, it is a good choice to add cashews in vegan cheese sauce. 

To use cashews in alteration of nutritional yeast, equal quantity is replaced by nutritional yeast.

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are a good substitute for nutritional yeast. Sunflower seeds should be covered with their shells and it is one of the good nut-free choices. 

The method of using sunflower seeds is almost similar to cashews; both are used after soaking.

These can be crushed into a refined powder that can be used over the popcorns or paste. These are salted in taste. So, it is necessary to adjust the taste as per choice.

Dried Porcini mushrooms

Dried Porcini Mushrooms are a good replica of nutritional yeast in flavour, and taste and it is also considered as a one-to-one replacement.  

Porcini mushrooms taste deeper with an earthy flavour as compared to most of the other mushrooms.

Some texture alternatives for nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast gives a thickening effect to the sauces, stews, and soups. We will also discuss some substitutes of nutritional yeast according to the texture that can make the recipes thicker.

Brewer’s yeast

Brewer’s yeast is mostly used in manufacturing bread and beer. Its physical appearance is almost similar to nutritional yeast, such as both are present in the form of flakes and powder. But, in taste brewer’s yeast is more bitter and it also gives a thickening effect. 

It is most preferably used in soups or sauces. It makes the soup thick in texture than all other alternatives. Brewer’s yeast does not raise the texture, it only thickens it. 

That is why it is recommended to use more in all those sauces and soups which are formed from cheese. 

Firstly, use half or one-third amount of the brewer’s yeast in recipes then adjust it according to your choice of taste and thickness.

Chickpea flour

Chickpea flour is used in replacement of nutritional yeast just to get thickness in stews and soups. It is considered as a one-to-one replacement of nutritional yeast and it is an easily available and also a suitable substitute. 

Chickpea flour is easily manufactured if it is available in your pantries just by pinching the chickpeas that can be sprinkled over the popcorn and pasta to get a delicious taste.


In this brief article, we have answered the question “what can I substitute for nutritional yeast?” with an in-depth analysis of nutritional yeast, all possible substitutes concerning the taste and texture of nutritional yeast and the required quantity to be used.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.