Once in a while, our favorite Sweet Vegan recipe developer, Hannah, creates something savory. And when she does, it always amazes. A dinner out at the famed raw food restaurant One Lucky Duck, peaked her interest in recreating the vegan parmesan flakes she spied on another diner’s salad.
Hannah was keen to realize that the large vegan parmesan flakes could provide much more crunchy goodness and a bigger pungent dose of flavor than the powdered recipes. Lacking a dehydrator, she opted to make it a slow-baked oven recipe, but you can go the raw route by dehydrating these vegan parmesan flakes for 6 to 10 hours.
As for the flavor, Hannah describes her vegan parmesan flakes as “Slightly tangy and more complex than the typical crumbly sprinkle of plain walnuts, nooch, and salt.” She recommends them as a cheesy topping over pasta, soup, or salad.
Special Diet Notes & Options: Vegan Parmesan Flakes
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, peanut-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
For nut-free and vegan parmesan flakes, you can use pumpkin seeds in place of the almonds, though the flavor will be a bit different as seeds tend to be more bitter and less creamy than most nuts.
For soy-free and vegan parmesan flakes, you can use coconut aminos as a 1:1 substitute for the soy sauce.
- ½ cup sunflower seeds, soaked for at least 6 hours
- ½ cup blanched almonds, soaked for at least 6 hours
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce or wheat-free tamari (for gluten-free)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 250ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Once your seeds and nuts are soaked, thoroughly rinse and drain them in a fine wire mess sieve or colander. After removing as much excess water as possible, toss them into your food processor. Add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, and salt. Pulse until the mixture is fairly smooth, but still relatively chunky, sort of the consistency of a rough pate.
- Spread the mixture as thinly as possible on your prepared baking sheet, taking care to ensure the paste is evenly distributed on top.
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until dry and firm but not browned. Let cool completely on the sheet before breaking up in large flakes.
- Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to a month. If your flakes become soft, just toss them in the oven again for a few minutes and they’ll crisp right back up.
Is it absolutely necessary to soak the sunflower seeds and the blanched almonds?
Hi Judith, if you opt to skip that step, then you will need to grind the nuts and seeds (I use a spice grinder) and then add some water when blending with the other ingredients, as needed. I couldn’t tell you how much liquid you would need without testing.
My son cannot have sunflower & hasn’t been tested for tree nuts yet, but has an allergy to peanuts. Can I replace both the seeds and nuts with something else?
Hi Serena, that would probably be a whole other recipe to test! You might try coarsely ground oats and a little oil? I’m not sure without testing though!
I have not made this but I think I’d use coconut aminos in place of the soy.
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