Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast from the same family as baker’s yeast and brewer’s yeast (via Healthline). According to Healthline, this savory fungus, which comes in a powdered or flaky form, is a highly nutritious product that can fit a wide range of eating styles because it is low-calorie, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly. It’s also a source of protein and B vitamins.
Per Food Network, nutritional yeast is often used as a vegan alternative to cheese because it can provide a cheesy flavor without any dairy. Nutritional yeast can be sprinkled on dishes in place of grated Parmesan, says Eating Well, and it’s also an ingredient in some commercially available vegan cheeses.
According to Food & Wine, in sandwiches like grilled cheese, nutritional yeast can be sprinkled on to add nutty flavor and crispiness. Food & Wine continues that nutritional yeast also makes a great pairing partner for vegan mayonnaise, which can add a savory upgrade to the bread of any plant-based grilled cheese sandwich.
So whether you’re vegan or just a lover of cheesy flavor, nutritional yeast is an ingredient that belongs in your pantry. Not only will it enhance the flavor of your dishes, but it will also provide a healthy boost.