11 Substitutes for Nutritional Yeast

Substitutes for Nutritional Yeast
Photo by Ina_LH

Nutritional yeast has many of the same uses as baking yeast. It can be used in bread, pizza crusts, and pastries.

This is to add a unique and savory flavor that’s hard to find elsewhere. However, not everyone likes nutritional yeast due to its strong taste or sugar content. 

While it’s true that you can’t use nutritional yeast in all recipes, there are alternatives you can use instead. Suppose you don’t have nutritional yeast on hand.

Here are some creative substitutes for nutritional yeast in your favorite recipes.

1. Chickpea Flour

This protein-rich flour is made from ground chickpeas and can be used in place of nutritional yeast. It has a nutty flavor that works great as a base for sauces, pasta dishes, and even vegan cheese sauces. 

You can substitute it with whole wheat flour in recipes such as pancakes or loaves of bread. It will have a denser texture but still taste delicious. Chickpea flour is easy to find at natural food stores and well-stocked grocery stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

2. Soy Sauce  

It’s one of those things that so many people have sitting in their cupboard but never use! Soy sauce is rich in sodium and, therefore, one of the great substitutes for nutritional yeast. 

Like yeast, it adds depth of flavor to soups and sauces. Make your favorite recipe with soy sauce instead. You can also try garlic-flavored soy sauce. It tastes just like nutritional yeast!

3. Yeast Extracts  

A half teaspoon of yeast extract equals one teaspoon of powdered yeast. So if your recipe calls for one tablespoon of nutritional yeast, use two teaspoons of dry yeast extract instead. Make sure you are using plain, non-alcoholic versions of these products; otherwise, they may be overpowering in flavor. 

4. Vegetable Broth Powder

You can also try vegetable broth powder as a substitute. It’s among the different substitutes for national yeast that you can add according to how much yeastiness you want in your dish.

3/4 teaspoon will give a mild yeasty flavor to an entire pot of soup or sauce, whereas 2 or 3 tablespoons will create an intense umami taste without ruining the texture or color too much.

Please make your vegetable broth and add it to baked goods to replace some of the yeast. The subtle flavor might be just what you’re looking for in a substitution. 

5. Dried Onion Flakes  

Dried onion flakes are suitable substitutes for nutritional yeast, in case you don’t have any. They tend to be more expensive and less flavorful, but they work just as well.

Add one tablespoon of dried onion flakes to your mixture or recipe. This can easily replace one teaspoon of nutritional yeast (approx. 8g.) in recipes that require it. 

You can also try mixing 1/2 tsp of dried onion flakes with 1/4 tsp of all-purpose flour for a different taste! If you have not tried using dried onion flakes in cooking before, then I suggest that you give it a try.

6. Miso Paste  

You can use miso paste instead of nutritional yeast in soups, stews, and sauces. A small amount goes a long way as it is very salty. If you don’t like too much salt, try mixing miso with a small amount of water before adding it to your food. 

Miso is available in most health food stores. Find it with all other Asian foods in your supermarket. Miso can also be used as an ingredient in stir-fries or vegetarian burgers.

7. Dried Seaweed  

Nori, also known as laver in English, is a type of dried seaweed commonly used to wrap sushi rolls. Nori is high in vitamins A and C as well as B-complex vitamins. There are wide varieties of nori that can be used as substitutes for nutritional yeast flakes in recipes. 

However, it should be noted that not all types of nori have equal levels of vitamins or dietary fiber; some have more than others.

Additionally, nori contains iodine; some may consider consuming large amounts unhealthy because too much iodine can potentially lead to thyroid problems, according to WebMD. 

8. Garlic 

Add garlic powder, chopped or minced, or fresh garlic to any recipe. This is a great substitution if you enjoy garlicky foods and want more of that flavor in your diet.

Consider blending fresh garlic with some salt or oil and freezing it in an ice cube tray for use in recipes when you don’t have new on hand; pop out one cube at a time as needed!

9. Dried Mushrooms  

Dried mushrooms are close substitutes for nutritional yeast—just 1 tbsp. Of dried mushrooms is equal to 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast. Use it in place of nutritional yeast in your favorite recipes.

Recipe such as making vegan cheese and popcorn cheese sauce, or as a topping on pasta dishes and pizza instead of parmesan cheese. 

You can add it to pasta sauces or sprinkle it over popcorn before popping it into your oven. Dried mushrooms are available at most health food stores. Try experimenting with different types; you’ll be surprised at how many different flavors there are!

10. Liquid Aminos  

Liquid Aminos are great substitutes for nutritional yeast. 1 tsp. Of aminos is equivalent to 1 Tbsp. According to Dr. Axe . Liquid aminos are typically made from soy sauce.

So, they’re vegan-friendly and naturally gluten-free (although you should still check your labels). They can be found in most health food stores or online at Amazon.

11. Vegetable Bouillon Cubes  

Add them to sautéed vegetables to make a rich, creamy broth. Mix a cube in with pasta sauce for a hearty pizza sauce.

Add some cubes and spices to your marinara and serve it over spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. Use one teaspoon of vegetable bouillon in soups instead of 1 tablespoon of yeast flakes.

Vegetable bouillon cubes are tasty and nutritious, just like yeast. So, be ready to give this a try.


So there you have it, my list of substitutes for nutritional yeast use. Now you know how to be creative in your recipes and spice things up a bit when using nutritional yeast in them. 

Did I miss any? Do you prefer one type over another? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you!

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