By Julia Malacoff

Published on April 15, 2017

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Photography by RAINBOW NOURISHMENTS

If you’re even a little familiar with vegan cooking, you’ve probably heard of the magical stuff that makes savory meat-and-dairy-free dishes taste delicious: nutritional yeast. The ingredient is basically the best for when you’re craving something super cheesy, salty, and flavorful, but don’t want to load up on dairy or even vegan cheese alternatives. It’s also good for you, since it’s packed with vitamin B and is way higher in protein than you’d ever expect. One quarter cup of nutritional yeast has around 9 grams of protein, or the equivalent of about 36 almonds. Whether you’re already a devotee or you have yet to try it, these recipes will make you want to incorporate it into your diet on the reg.

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Photography by FORK AND BEANS

Cool Ranch Spinach Tortilla Chips

Dorito lovers will fall in love with this healthy “cool ranch” alternative, made from spinach tortillas and topped with a “cheesy” nutritional yeast crust. They’re easy to make and perfect for dipping in salsa, hummus, or your favorite healthy spread. 

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Photography by OLIVES FOR DINNER

Baked Pumpkin Ravioli With Rubbed Sage

In this recipe, the nutritional yeast adds a tangy kick to the creamy sauce that goes on top of yummy pumpkin ravioli. If you’re looking for a standout main course for your next dinner gathering that’s also dairy-free, this is a must.

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Photography by MINIMALIST BAKER

Spicy Vegan Pimento Cheese Ball

Um, yes please. Pimento cheese that somehow doesn’t actually contain cheese? Sign us up. This is about to become your new favorite appetizer.  

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Photography by RAINBOW NOURISHMENTS

Silverbeet and Ricotta Pumpkin Quiche

Who said quiche couldn’t be made without eggs? This recipe swaps in tofu and adds a rainbow of delicious veggies for a taste that’s refreshing and light. Topped off with the kick of nutritional yeast, it’s the perfect combo.

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Photography by THIS RAWSOME VEGAN LIFE

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

No nutritional yeast roundup would be complete without a mac n’ cheese recipe. Known for its uncanny ability to replicate the taste and texture of cheese sauce, the ingredient is often used in vegan versions of the staple dish. This one includes butternut squash in the base of the sauce, which strikes an amazing contrast with the flavor of the yeast.

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Photography by SPROUTED KITCHEN

Vegan Caesar With Smoky Nut Crumble

Caesar salad is one of those things that’s just really hard to replicate when you’re vegan, but this recipe does an awesome job of creating an anchovy and parmesan-free take that you’ll actually want to eat.

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Photography by CANDICE KUMAI

Kale and Mushroom Lasagna Rolls With Homemade Cashew Cheese

Not only are these little lasagna rolls adorable, but they’re also good for you. If you’ve never tried making cashew cheese, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is. Just stick the nuts in a blender and you’re good to go.

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Photography by VEGAN RICHA

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta With Black Pepper Chickpeas

If mac n’ cheese isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of other types of pasta you can make with nutritional yeast, like this creamy and peppery dish. Plus, the addition of chickpeas means that between the those and the yeast, you’re getting plenty of protein.  

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Photography by LIKE A VEGAN

Sweet Potato Brown Rice Burgers

Veggie burgers are a vegan staple, but even meat-eaters will love these ones, which are made with sweet potatoes and brown rice. Plus, aside from the soy sauce (which you can easily omit), they’re Paleo-friendly, too. 

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Photography by PICKLES N HONEY

10-Minute Spinach Artichoke Dip

If you haven’t caught on by now, nutritional yeast can be used to make a healthier version of pretty much any treat you love—including spinach artichoke dip. Get those pita chips ready, because this one will go fast once served.

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Photography by VEGGIES DON’T BITE

Oven Baked Eggplant Fries

Calling all eggplant lovers: This is definitely one of the best ways to eat the veggie. A great mix of crispy and tender, once you make these, they’re bound to become a favorite side dish.

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Photography by LOVE AND LEMONS

Vegan French Toast

In this recipe, the nutritional yeast is used to give an “eggy” taste to a totally dairy-free version of french toast, showing yet again just how versatile this nutritious ingredient can be.