Vegan Shaved Parmesan Cheese Salad Topper

Vegan Shaved Parmesan Cheese (4)

Chocolate overload.

The pudding, the truffles, the candy at every turn… I’ve maxed out… and I’m guessing that you have too.

So let’s make a yummy dairy-free recipes salad topper that will inspire us to fill up on nutrient-rich salads, shall we?

Vegan Shaved Parmesan Cheese (54)

One of the best meals I enjoyed during my gluten-free adventures in New York was a $14 salad from One Lucky Duck. It was just a bowl of greens, herbs and hemp seeds but the macadamia nut Parmesan topper did me in! It was so flavorful and melted into the dressing beautifully. One bite and I knew I had to recreate the recipe when I got home. And I certainly didn’t waste any time recreating it. Kevin picked me up at the airport, we went to the store to grab the ingredients, and I got to testing it out.

The original recipe from One Lucky Duck used macadamia nuts as the base. But they’re expensive and so many of you have nut allergies, so I wanted to make a nut-free version.

I’ve made this vegan Parmesan a bunch of different ways:

  • Just sunflower and flax: it wasn’t rich enough
  • Apple cider vinegar instead of lemon: it didn’t taste as good on my salad
  • Sunflower and pumpkin only: it tastes pretty similar, but why skimp out on omegas?
  • Without pumpkin seeds: the pumpkin seeds add a nice richness to the cheese and the color is so much nicer!

Needless to say, this recipe is tested, ready for consumption and has been added to our ever-growing list of dairy substitutions!

Vegan Shaved Parmesan Cheese (7)

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5.0 from 7 reviews
Vegan Shaved Parmesan Cheese Salad Topper
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Egg-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Melt in your mouth dairy-free Parmesan cheese flakes, perfect on their own, or sprinkled over a salad, pasta or roasted veggies.
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds, finely ground
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepita seeds), finely ground
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeeze lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons golden flax seeds, finely ground
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 250F and take out one large baking sheets. Set aside.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until fully mixed. The dough will be very thick, like cookie batter.Grab a large piece of parchment paper about 20 inches wide. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the middle of the parchment.
  3. Fold over the parchment (like a book) and then roll the dough between the two pieces of parchment until it’s as thin as you can get it. The thinner the better.
  4. Fold away the top half of the parchment and cut or rip it away. Keeping the cheese on their current sheet of parchment, transfer to a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 1 hour, take out of the oven and remove the parchment paper. Break the cheese up into rough chunks and place directly on the baking sheet. Return to the oven to cook for another 20 minutes, or until crisp.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.
  7. Keeps well in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Golden flax doesn't have to be used, brown flax is a great option, too. I just liked the color that the golden flax gave the cheese. If you're not sensitive to nuts, you could replace either the pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds with ¼ cup macadamia nuts.

View nutrition information (once on page, scroll down)


Did I mention how easy it is to make?

And inexpensive, too!

Just add everything to a bowl, stir, roll and slap on some parchment paper. The dough will be very similar to cookie dough – easy to roll out.


When you think you’re done rolling, roll a little more. The thinner the better with these guys.


Place in the oven, cook for an hour, then remove the parchment. Break up into random pieces and place back in the oven.

Vegan Shaved Parmesan Cheese (11)-2

I cannot express how darn good these little things are. Ah!

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. I love the looks and sounds of these! I just dusted off some seeds and nuts earlier in the week for a nobake dessert but need to make crackers like this. Love the nooch in them, too! And they’re so thin & crispy – very impressive!

    • Thanks Averie! They’re pretty darn addictive. I can’t stop making and EATING all of them :)

  2. this looks fantastic! thanks for giving me another recipe w/ nutr. yeast. making this very soon.

    • I’m happy you like the nutritional yeast recipes, Dawn! There’s a couple more coming up later this month if all goes as planned :)

  3. Parm made out of seeds and nutritional yeast? I know I’ve said it before, but you amaze me to no end! I think you should open your own version of One Lucky Duck. I might even have to move to Montreal if you do! ;)

    • Oh my gosh, wouldn’t that be cool? I’d love my own restaurant one of these days….

  4. I’m off to the kitchen to make these NOW! I love that they are nut free, I feel like lately everything I make has nuts, nuts, nuts. I know they’re good for us but a little something different is nice. :-) This is one of those things I just know hubby and the kids are going to love…

    • How’d they go, Lisa? You’re right… nuts are great, but nice to mix it up once in awhile! I’ve been challenging myself to reach for seeds and other fillers for my recipes lately and give nuts a tiny break. Glad you’re with me on that!

      • Oh these are DELICIOUS!! Hubby was curious at first but after one bite of his salad he was like “These are stupid!” Youngest daughter really liked them, too, and she is quite finicky and suspicious of “healthy” alternatives. This one is a keeper! THANK YOU!

        • I’m happy that most of you guys liked them! Thanks for reporting back, Lisa :)

          • (Hope you know when hubby says anything is “Stupid!” it means he really, really likes it!) LOL!

  5. Once again, all the ingredients are in my pantry… Woman, you are AH-MAY-ZING! This sounds terrific – I’m looking forward to getting past the “make 50,000 Valentine’s for children” rush then I’m bolting for the kitchen with my list! :D

    • Ah, I bet it’s crazy for you right now. I remember how many Valentine’s my Mom created every year. Mom’s have crazy, insane super powers I tell ya!

  6. Yummy! Do you have the macadamia nut version, too?

    Can you dehydrate these instead of baking? If so, how?

    Did you score them prior to baking or just break them up afterwards?


    • Hi Chris – I included the macadamia nut version in the notes of the recipe.

      I’m sure that you could dehydrate. Maybe 110F for… 8 hours? I haven’t tried it but let me know if you do!

      No need to score, just add to the oven.

      Hope that helps!

  7. How did you know I simply NEED this in my life Leanne?…I can imagine this as a perfect snack for “apèro” here in France as well…

    Stunning photography in this post, by the way, and your carefully crafted photo-tutorials are so clear and much appreciated…Lent begins today…and I am quite certain that the “giving of yourself to others” category is something you can “check off” as being accomplished…Bravo!…and thanks for the share!

    • I’m just THAT good! Haha just kiddin’

      Thanks for noticing the detail of the photos, Donna! I really try to capture each and every important bit to make all this healthy eating business as simple and easy as possible ;)

    • Hi Kim – there’s no need to soak the seeds before using them for this recipe. If that’s something you’d like to do to help with digestion, you’ll likely want to dry out before you use them in the recipe. I hope that helps!

  8. Hi, Leanne.
    I would like to cook this recipe. Just a little question about the quantities.
    Do you mean 1/4 cup of whole sunflower seeds and then to grind them or 1/4 cup ground sunflower seeds?
    I guess it’s the former, but I would like to be 100% sure as the volumes of whole and ground seeds are different.
    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi! Yes, that’s 1/4 cup of whole sunflower seeds, then grind them. Hope that helps!

    • You’re right, they will never, ever be the same. And you’ll never look at nutritional yeast the same either. I’ve gone through 2 whole packages in 2 weeks because of this stuff!

  9. Hey Leanne,
    These look great! I haven’t had much luck with any cracker-type recipes yet, but I’m going to give this one a shot. I definitely need to invest in a good rolling pin! It would make my life so much easier :)

    • No luck because the recipes aren’t good? Or your oven? If it’s the former, I promise you that you will be amazed by these. I wouldn’t have it any other way :D

      I used an old wine bottle for years before I bought my rolling pin but you’re right, it does make life a little easier!

  10. This recipe looks so easy! And delicious! This is definitely on the must make list (like many other recipes you post)!

    • It is SO easy, you’re right! I hope you enjoy them when you give it a try :)

    • I would love to find a good recipe for raw almond parmesan. Was the one you tried any good? I had one at a restaurant once that didn’t call for nutritional yeast and it was bind blowing. I wish I could figure out what they had in it!

  11. Ingenious! I love how your mind works around incorporating healthy foods into delicious creations. This is a definite thumbs-up!

    • Thanks Kris! Sometimes I’m not sure how I my mind comes up with some of these crazy ideas… but I’m not complaining!

  12. I had all the ingredients and made a batch and they were delicious! I couldn’t stop eating them!

  13. I’ve had a package of nutritional yeast gathering dust for awhile… Have never tried it before… Seems a little scary to me for some reason. I may just have to take the plunge to try this out!

    • I totally know what you mean, I was scared too. Embrace this ingredient and forge forward… you wont regret it!

  14. Leanne,
    These crackers look yummy. I’ve already tried two of your recipes since discovering your site two days (!) ago the the banana chocolate chip protein pancakes and the good for you chocolate chip muffins. (Can see where I’m heading There is no such thing as a chocolate overload you silly girl!

    Any way I found my way over here while looking up dairy free and soy free cheeses. i’ve been gluten and soy free for alost 3 1/2 years now and have recently gone dairy free as well. i really appreciate all the resourse availav\ble out there for people with food allergies and intolerances and the people (like you who help spread the info to us.)


    • Hey Nancy! You’re a chocolate lover, that’s for certain… and you’ll find loads of it over here! So happy that you found me. Thanks for stopping in and introducing yourself!

  15. Hello! These look delicious and I love your website! Could you please tell me if there’s a difference between nutritional yeast and textured vegetable protein/soy protein? Thanks so much!

    • Hey! There’s a major difference, for sure. Nutritional yeast is yeast and TVP is protein, usually with gluten and soy. Hope that helps!

  16. I LOVE that salad from One Lucky Duck… actually I love everything there. I am so excited to try this less expensive, and nut free, version. I love nutritional yeast in my salad but the crunch will be a welcome addition.

    • …and they were delicious! Mmm. I didn’t wait for them to cool to start eating them. :)

    • It should be about the same measurement. Perhaps a couple of tablespoons less because it’s a bit finer. Enjoy!

  17. Any suggestions for making this suitable for candida diets? The ingredients were great up until the “nutritional yeast” part. Darn.

  18. Have you ever used this unbanked as a dairy and nut free parm crumbles ….I. Am looking for that to put on my tomato pie recipe….

  19. These are so good just made them tonight!!! Now I finally have something for my parmesan cheese cravings that actually comes really close! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  20. I am baking the shaved parm topping now. I licked the spatula and WOW the flavor is so intense and delectable; it’s miles above other nooch-&-nuts parm I’ve made. I’m planning to top Isa Chandra Moskowitz’ eggplant parm with it when THAT comes out of the oven! Thanks a million!!!

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