Nutritional yeast is commonly used in vegan diets as a vitamin-rich, flaky substance that creates a cheesy flavor in the absence of actual cheese. But paleo eaters can enjoy it too, with lots of B vitamins and amino acids! Nutritional yeast is delicious, and it’s a complete protein, so try it in some of these recipes.
1. Pepper Kale Chips
In this simple recipe for peppery kale chips, a bit of nutritional yeast adds a nutty, savory flavor to the chips, complementing the extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. These have a bit of a kick to them, so be careful with feeding them to kids!
2. Paleo Caramelized White Onion Pizza
Need a unique paleo pizza recipe? Here it is. This pizza has an almond and coconut flour crust seasoned with Italian herbs, and it’s topped with deliciously caramelized onions and a silky sauce made from cashew milk and nutritional yeast. The white sauce has a fantastic cheesy flavor without any dairy!
3. NY Flax Seed Crackers
Sliced cucumbers and zucchini are all well and good for dipping in paleo dips and spreads, but sometimes you’re really craving a deliciously crunchy cracker—a real cracker! This is the real cracker you’re looking for, with flax seeds, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. So simple, but so yummy.
4. Classic Cashew Cheese
You can use this dairy-free “cheese” as a spread on the crackers above, on veggies, or in sauces. It’s a perfect dip and has a cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast, along with sophisticated notes of white wine, Dijon mustard, garlic, and lemon juice. You won’t believe how silky cashews make this spread.
5. Jalapeno Cheddar Kale Chips
These kale chips have a super cheesy cheddar flavor and a lot more substance to them than most kale chips do. That’s all thanks to the thick and rich coating of almond or cashew butter, nutritional yeast, and seasonings such as cayenne, chipotle, jalapenos, and garlic.
6. Paleo Cheese Sauce
This multi-purpose cheese sauce can be used over veggies or paleo pastas, or as an aid to making casseroles rich, creamy, and cheesy. You’ll need nutritional yeast, macadamia or olive oil, chicken stock, onion and garlic powders, and almond meal. If you don’t include miso in your diet, use an extra tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
7. Cheesy Baked Cauliflower Poppers
These cauliflower poppers have a lovely cheesy flavor, almost like they were coating in parmesan before roasting. But they’re cheese-free! To make these little guys, you’ll just need cauliflower, olive oil, garlic salt, and nutritional yeast to make a fabulous coating.
8. Cheesy Paleo Crackers
These crackers don’t taste exactly like Cheez-Its, but they still might satisfy your craving if you’ve been off processed foods long enough. They’re totally delicious, and very nourishing with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast, coconut oil, and sea salt.
9. Paleo Macaroni and Cheese
You don’t have to give up macaroni and cheese when you go paleo, but you do have to give up processed, fluorescent cheese-sauce noodles. That’s okay, though, because this is WAY better with spaghetti squash and a sauce made from nutritional yeasy, mustard, lemon juice, and more.
10. Nacho Cheese Kale Chips
These kale chips are super snackable and have lots of protein from tahini and nutritional yeast, which also gives the an awesome flavor! A hint of sriracha adds a little kick, which you can adjust based on how much heat you can handle in your chips.
11. Nacho Cheese Cauliflower Tots
Try this recipe out as a healthier alternative to tater tots, which I bet your kids are going to love. You’ll make them with cauliflower and white onion, lemon juice, red bell pepper, liquid aminos (coconut aminos are perfect), cumin, garlic powder, almond flour, and nutritional yeast.
12. Cashew Parmesan
This topping looks and tastes a lot like grated parmesan cheese, but it’s not cheese at all. The best part is that it has only three ingredients, making it one of the simplest uses for nutritional yeast around—you just need your nutritional yeast, raw cashews, and sea salt.
13. Homemade Cheeze-It Crackers
Okay, I admit it. Cheez-Its were my weakness before I started eating real food, and I could down most of a box in a single afternoon if I didn’t stop myself. They’re addictive, but not at all healthy like these almond flour and nutritional yeast crackers, which are a great paleo replacement.
14. Dairy Free Mac and Cheese
If you’re looking for a mac and cheese recipe that uses actual noodles, try this one with almond flour pasta and cauliflower. The well-seasoned cheese sauce is made with nutritional yeast (of course), lemon juice, tahini, cashews, Dijon mustard, nut milk, and a host of other spices. You can even add a bit of turmeric for a cheesy color.
15. Broccoli Breadsticks
I’m one to get very excited about unique recipes, and this is a recipe that I’m going completely bonkers over. How cool are these breadsticks? They’re made with broccoli, nutritional yeast, psyllium husk (a fiber-rich binder), eggs, sea salt, and fresh basil.
16. Paleo Pesto
Plenty of paleo eaters just make pesto without the cheese and call it a day. That works just fine, but sometimes you really want that classic pesto flavor, and that’s when you try this recipe with the traditional pine nuts, garlic, and nutritional yeast in place of parmesan.
17. Paleo Bread Crumbs
These bread crumbs are great to use as a coating for anything fried where you would normally use wheaty crumbs. But they’re paleo-friendly, and super flavorful from almond flour, nutritional yeast, garlic and cayenne powders, and pink sea salt.
18. Pizza Frittata
This frittata tastes a lot like a really good pizza, but it’s much healthier for you, and you can even eat it for breakfast (or lunch, or dinner!). You’ll need butter or ghee, cremini mushrooms, baby spinach, eggs, almond or coconut milk, nutritional yeast, tomatoes, and herbs.
19. Nutrient Dense Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing
This less common use for nutritional yeast gives a simple salad dressing lots of flavor and B vitamins. To make it, you’ll also need extra virgin olive oil, raw apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt. Remember, fermented foods are great for your body!
20. Paleo Pizza Crust
Paleo pizza crusts have long been accused of being flavorless because of their lack of grain flour and, usually, lack of baking yeast that gives it a characteristic flavor. This pizza crust, though, is anything but flavorless, because nutritional yeast gives it a lovely flavor boost!
21. Grain Free Flatbread
I love the simplicity of this flatbread recipe, and how soft and pliable the tapioca starch makes it. It has a cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast and an Italian flair thanks to oregano, rosemary, and an olive oil drizzle. I seriously want a snack of this right now.
22. The Best Green Goddess Dressing
Green Goddess dressing recipes are popular because they’re super nutritious with vitamin-rich greens, and they’re great for giant salads. This one is packed with B vitamins and flavor from nutritional yeast, and it also features coconut aminos, white vinegar, tahini, garlic, and maple.
23. Twice Baked Macaroni and Cheese
There’s one huge thing that really takes macaroni and cheese to the next level: bacon. Yes, this dairy-free spaghetti squash macaroni has bacon in it, and a delicious cheese-free sauce with cashews, nutritional yeast, mustard, pepper, and sweet onion.
24. Paleo Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
I love this casserole with broccoli and cauliflower, grass-fed butter or ghee, full-fat canned coconut milk, nutritional yeast, salt, black pepper, and pork rinds. It’s a pretty simple recipe, and it works well for a weeknight meal that isn’t too hard on the dish-cleaner-upper.
25. Kale Oregano Pesto Salmon
Oregano is the only herb that can compete with my love for basil, so I’m pretty excited about this unique pesto that features sunflower seeds (instead of expensive pine nuts) and nutritional yeast to keep it dairy-free. This dish has an awesome flavor and lots of vitamins.
26. Cheesy Chicken Casserole
This casserole has a deliciously creamy texture and a flavor similar to a rich cheesy casserole with shredded cooked chicken, mashed butternut squash, coconut cream, ghee or butter, seasoning salt, apple cider vinegar, and shredded coconut for the top.
27. Perfect Paleo Mac-n-cheese
I’ll close out this list with a final macaroni and cheese recipe, because this one results in a dish that’s remarkably similar to the one your kids might be addicted to if you’ve recently made a paleo family switch. Homemade noodles? Check. Nutritional yeast cheesy sauce? Check!