Brazil Nut Parmesan

This Brazil Nut Parmesan recipe finds a way to create the tangy flavor of Parmesan in a homemade plant-based version. One major win is the nutty flavor of Brazil Nuts. It’s made with minimal ingredients and ready in minutes.

A small glass container of Brazil nut Parmesan has herbs around it. There are Brazil nuts and bowls of ingredients in the background.

Brazil Nuts combined with a favorite secret ingredient create the perfect non-dairy parmesan that you can make right in your own home.

Once you’ve tasted the delights of something homemade, you don’t want to go back to the highly processed cookie-cutter variety from the middle aisle of your local grocery store.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Brazil nuts add a nutty flavor, and because they’re loaded with healthy fats, this is a great healthy plant-based parmesan.
  • Adding nutritional yeast flakes gives this parm color and light, cheesy flavor.
  • Miso paste adds the perfect texture and umami flavor that’s part salty and party tangy. It’s perfect for this recipe!

Key Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe, including substitution ideas:

  • Brazil Nuts — You can buy Brazil nuts in health food stores, in the produce section of some grocery stores (it may be hard to find certain times of the year), and online.
  • Nutritional yeast flakes — You can find them at health food stores or online. Here are even more nutritional yeast recipes to try.
  • Mild miso paste — You can find miso paste at health food stores and sometimes in the refrigerated section of grocery stores.
  • Ground flax seeds — I love adding ground flax seeds to a variety of recipes as an egg replacer, or even simply a nutritional booster. We make buying ground flax seeds a regular part of our buying vegan at Costco shopping trips.
  • Seasonings — You’ll need a bit of turmeric (for color), paprika, garlic powder, and salt.
Looking into a container of mild miso paste.

What Miso is Best?

Miso is a Japanese paste made from fermenting soybeans with salt and other ingredients. There is a myriad of health benefits associated with miso paste and it may be a better way of adding salty flavor to your food, rather than traditional table salt. (Source) But which kind of miso paste should you buy? There are several varieties to choose from. For this recipe (and most), you’ll want mild miso paste, which can be either yellow or white.

How to Make Vegan Parmesan

  1. Combine the Brazil Nuts and remaining ingredients in a food processor.
    Brazil nuts and other ingredients are in a food processor.
  2. Pulse in short bursts until the nuts are broken down into smaller pieces. Then continue pulsing until the mixture is a coarse meal.
  3. Assess the flavor and add more salt if needed.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a lidded glass jar (like a mason jar) and store it in the fridge.

Storage Tips

Keep this parmesan in the fridge in a sealed container. It will keep up to 15 to 20 days when stored properly.

And now that I’ve made my own Brazilian Nut Parmesan, nothing else will do!

Are Brazil Nuts Healthy?

Brazil Nuts are really good for you. One cup of Brazil Nuts will yield you nutritious things like thiamin, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and selenium.

However, studies note that you can overdo it on selenium, so it’s good to eat Brazil Nuts in moderation.

If Brazil Nut Parmesan is not your thing, be sure to try this Vegan Parmesan Cheese made with cashews.

How to Serve Brazil Nut Vegan Parmesan

This Brazil nut parmesan is delicious sprinkled over everything from pasta to popcorn. You can usually find me sprinkling it over my favorite Tofu Scramble, too.

More Italian Recipes

Looking down on a glass container with Brazil nut parmesan in it. There are herbs and Brazil nuts around it.

All you need here are a few ingredients and a food processor to make this Brazil nut parmesan.

Looking down on a glass container with Brazil nut parmesan in it. There are herbs and Brazil nuts around it.

Brazil Nut Parmesan

Brazil Nuts combined with a favorite secret ingredient creates the perfect non-dairy Brazil Nut Parmesan.
5 from 4 votes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 49kcal


  • 1 cup Brazil Nuts shelled
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tablespoon mild miso paste I used Westbrae Organic Mellow
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic
  • Salt to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  • Pulse in a quick burst to break up the nuts into smaller pieces. Pulse again until it develops into a coarse meal, similar in size to parmesan.
  • Take a small taste and add salt if needed.
  • Transfer to a glass lidded jar (like a Mason jar) and keep refrigerated.

Recommended Equipment

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 44mg | Vitamin A: 50IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.3mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2014 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

12 Responses to Brazil Nut Parmesan

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBonnie Reply

    5 stars

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks so much Bonnie!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySheilagh Reply

    An easy way to crack Brazil nuts is to freeze them first

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Sheilagh. Love this tip! I have a bunch of Brazil nuts that are going to be going in the freezer now. 🙂

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlyataraktos Reply

    just an fyi – im not sure how many nuts 1 cup/week works out to be, per day, but beware that 1 brazil nut can contain 160% of one’s RDA of selenium and eating too many, on a regular basis, can lead to selenosis (selenium poisoning).

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      An important reminder to be sure to include variety in one’s diet. Brazil nuts and selenium poisoning are important things to read up on.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySam Garmonsway

      I just made this and it’s yum! I don’t even miss the real thing. Regarding the brazil nuts… I did the calculations, I used 36 nuts for 1 cup. The finished mix made 190grams. 190/36= 5grams.

      So there is 1 Brazil nut per 5grams of finished cheese which is about 1-2 teaspoons.

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySven Reply

    How long would this keep for in the fridge?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      So far mine’s lasted only about a week (because I eat it all!). I think it could last a couple of weeks if you keep it in the fridge. Brazil Nuts have a high fat content that causes them to go bad quickly if left out. Hope that helps!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen Reply

    5 stars
    This looks so great! What a creative and nutritious idea.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Lindsay! I’m so happy to have this on hand because I feel like it adds flavors to my other dishes…and it’s so healthy too!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Lindsay! And it’s great on popcorn too!

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