Nutritional yeast rocks. Not to be confused with brewer's yeast (the stuff that makes dough rise), nutritional yeast has a slightly salty/parmesan-y taste. It's chalk full of Vitamin B-12, which can be tricky to get without animal byproducts in your diet.
It can veer on the pricey side, so I highly recommend buying it in bulk instead of in a pre-packaged container. Nutritional yeast is sold as flakes, so typically, I grind it between my fingers so that it becomes more of a powder before using it.
Nutritional yeast works best used in place of where cheese might be added to something and when used with a liquid or oil-like substance. So basically, nutritional yeast and brownies? Not a good mix. Nutritional yeast with pasta? Perfection.
Here are my favorite ways to use nutritional yeast:
1. On popcorn
This is probably the most popular way to use nutritional yeast. Sprinkle it on immediately after popping the popcorn with a little bit of olive oil to help it stick!
2. In mashed potatoes
It transforms traditional creamy mashed potatoes into cheesy creamy mashed potatoes (I know crazy right?)! Just mix it into your plain mashed potatoes with a little extra milk!
3. On pasta
If you combine it with some almond milk and butter, it can create a cheesy spread for vegan mac n' cheese. Or you can mix it in with your regular pasta along with some basil and oregano!
4. On hash browns or potato patties
Recipe here. It totally changes the blandness of plain shredded potato bits into something delicious.
5. On pizza
You can't even taste it if you mix some nutritional yeast in with the pasta sauce or put it on top with some vegan mozzarella cheese.