Cheesy, nutty, and full of umami and protein, nutritional yeast is your pantry flavor friend that’s here to stay.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the cheesy, delicious seasoning and how to enjoy it. If you’ve been hearing about nutritional yeast and are wonder what the heck it is, you’re in the right place.

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a flaky, golden powder that’s made from a species of yeast that’s the same as baker’s or brewer’s yeast. Baking and brewing yeast is active, which lets bread rise and beer brew. Nutritional yeast on the other hand is inactive. It’s grown specifically for food, then harvested.

When harvested, heat deactivates the yeast, then it’s washed, dried, and crumbled. The result is a cheesy, nutty, savory ingredient that is used to make vegan cheese sauces, vegan dips, in soups, scrambles, stews, and more.

nutritional yeast |

Fortified vs unfortified

Yeast is a natural source of protein and B vitamins. There are two kinds of nutritional yeast, fortified and unfortified.

  • Fortified has vitamins added to boost nutritional content. Most of the ones you find commercially come fortified with B12 and folic acid.
  • Unfortified doesn’t have added vitamins or minerals. Unfortified yeast on its own has protein and B vitamins.

Flakes, granules, or powder

Based on what you want to use your yeast for, it comes in flakes, granules, or powder. I like large flakes for sprinkling and granules or powder for sauces. You can also just use your food processor to turn flakes into powder.

large flake nutritional yeast |

Is nutritional yeast good for you?

Nutritional yeast is, as its name proclaims, very nutritious. It’s a great source of protein, B vitamins, and minerals. It has all nine essential amino acids and is a great way to add high quality protein to your diet. Fortified yeast is great because it has B12 which helps with maintaining a healthy nervous system, energy, and creation of red blood cells. It also has antioxidants which help protect your cells.

How to enjoy

Think of it as a vegan grated cheese. Anywhere you want a cheesy hit, add a sprinkle!

Sprinkle it onto:

  • popcorn
  • pasta
  • salads
  • eggs
  • roasted vegetables

vegan kale salad with nutritional yeast |

Stir it into:

  • soups
  • stews
  • rice

Add it to:

  • cheese sauce
  • crackers
  • biscuits
  • sauces

Where to buy nutritional yeast

They sell it at health food stores and in the health aisle at most grocery stores. You can also buy it online. I like Bob’s Red Mill large flake but there are tons of brands out there.


vegan kale salad with nutritional yeast |

Vegan Kale Salad with Nutritional Yeast

You'll never miss cheese again.
Serves 2
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin preferred
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast large flake preferred
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice about 1 medium lemon
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • lemon zest from the lemon before you juice it
  • 1 bunch kale lacinato kale preferred, about 4 cups finely chopped


  • Combine all the ingredients except the kale and lemon zest, let sit while you prepare the kale.
    salad dressing |
  • Prepare the kale: Give the leaves a good wash and shake off any excess water, then slice the stems away with a knife or rip the leaves off by running your fingers along the ribs. Finally, cut into 1/4" thin strips.
    lacinato kale |
  • Toss the kale with the dressing.
    vegan kale salad with nutritional yeast |
  • Top with lemon zest and extra nutritional yeast. Enjoy!
    vegan kale salad with nutritional yeast |


Serves 2 as a small main or 4 as a side salad.

Estimated Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Kale Salad with Nutritional Yeast
Amount Per Serving
Calories 244 Calories from Fat 228
% Daily Value*
Fat 25.3g39%
Saturated Fat 3.7g23%
Cholesterol 0.01mg0%
Sodium 308mg13%
Potassium 19mg1%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 0.2g0%
Protein 1.9g4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  1. Sabrina says:

    5 stars
    didn’t know nutritional yeast existed and that it has some protein as well as B12, nice and thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating