What can I use instead of nutritional yeast? Delicious alternatives!

Nutritional yeast is a popular ingredient among the vegan and vegetarian communities due to its umami flavor and nutritional content. However, if you are allergic to yeast, following a low-sodium diet or simply don’t like the taste of nutritional yeast, here are some delicious alternatives you can use instead.

Nutritional Yeast Alternatives

1. Miso

Miso, a traditional Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans, is a great alternative to nutritional yeast. It has a rich, savory flavor, and contains protein, vitamins, and minerals. Miso can be used to add flavor to soups, stews, marinades, dressings, and glazes. You can buy miso paste at most health food stores.

2. Tahini

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It has a nutty flavor and a creamy texture, making it a great alternative to nutritional yeast in sauces, dressings, and dips. Tahini is also rich in protein, healthy fats, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron.

3. Tamari or Soy Sauce

Tamari and soy sauce are both fermented soybean products that have a salty, umami flavor. They are great alternatives to nutritional yeast in dishes like stir-fries, sauces, marinades, and soups. While tamari is gluten-free, soy sauce usually contains wheat, so if you are gluten-sensitive, be sure to check the ingredients list.

4. Smoked Paprika

Smoked paprika is a spice made from dried, smoked peppers. It has a smoky, slightly sweet flavor and can be used to add depth to sauces, rubs, marinades, and dressings. Smoked paprika is also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.

5. Nut Butters

Nut butters like almond, peanut, or cashew butter are rich in protein, healthy fats, and minerals like magnesium, and potassium. They can be used as an alternative to nutritional yeast in sauces, dressings, dips, and smoothies. Nut butters can also add creaminess and richness to dishes like curries, soups, and stews.

6. Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices like basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger can add flavor and depth to dishes without the need for nutritional yeast. Herbs and spices are also packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can benefit your health.

Recipes Using Nutritional Yeast Alternatives

Here are some delicious recipes using nutritional yeast alternatives:

Recipe Nutritional Yeast Alternative
Vegan Alfredo Sauce Tahini
Vegetarian Chili Miso or smoked paprika
Pesto Fresh basil or pine nuts
Roasted Cauliflower Steaks Tahini or miso


Nutritional yeast is a versatile ingredient that can add flavor and nutrition to vegan and vegetarian dishes. However, if you are unable or unwilling to use it, there are plenty of delicious alternatives available. From miso and tahini to tamari and smoked paprika, these substitutes can add depth and complexity to your favorite recipes.

Common Questions

  • What is the nutritional content of nutritional yeast compared to its alternatives?
  • Nutritional yeast is a good source of protein, fiber, and some B vitamins, but it is not a complete protein. Its alternatives such as miso, tahini, soy sauce, and nut butters are also rich in protein, healthy fats, and minerals.

  • Can you use nutritional yeast alternatives to make vegan cheese?
  • Yes, you can use some nutritional yeast alternatives like miso, smoked paprika, and nut butters to make vegan cheese. There are also many recipes available online that use these ingredients.

  • Are nutritional yeast alternatives low in sodium?
  • Some nutritional yeast alternatives like miso and tamari are naturally high in sodium, but you can buy low-sodium versions or use them sparingly to control your sodium intake. Other alternatives like tahini, nut butters, and herbs and spices are low in sodium.

  • Can nutritional yeast alternatives be used in baking?
  • While nutritional yeast is not a common ingredient in baking, some of its alternatives like tahini, nut butters, and herbs and spices can be used in baked goods like cookies, cakes, and breads.


  • https://foodrevolution.org/blog/nutritional-yeast-recipes/
  • https://minimalistbaker.com/nutritional-yeast-what-it-is-why-we-love-it/
  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nutritional-yeast

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