9 Ways To Use Nutritional Yeast, According To TikTok

“Tell me you’re vegan without telling me you’re vegan.”

Homemade popcorn with nutritional yeast.
MmeEmil/E+/Getty Images

Pretty much everyone in your life has a mason jar or little Trader Joe’s bag filled with little yellow flakes — and they seem to put it on everything. If you’ve never tried nutritional yeast before, you might not understand why all the vegans on TikTok love the weird little flakes so much. Whether you’re finally willing to give it a try or you’re looking for new ways to use nutritional yeast, these TikToks have got your back.

Wondering why so many folks are putting yeast in everything from their salads to their pasta and popcorn? It’s got this nutty, cheesy flavor that’s hard to describe to someone who’s never had it. That flavor comes from glutamic acid, which forms naturally when the yeast is made. For vegans, it’s a great way to sub in the umami cheese provides without, you know, the cheese.

But what the heck is nutritional yeast in the first place? “Nutritional yeast is a yeast that’s specifically grown as a food product,” @drheathermd explains in a TikTok posted in August 2020. The manufacturing process kills the actual yeast, she says, so there aren’t any living yeast cells in the final product (RIP). That’s why the flakes don’t make anything rise, despite their name.

Once you have it, you’ll probably want to sprinkle it on all your food, regardless of how much you subscribe to the plant-based life. These nine TikTok-approved ways to use nutritional yeast will leave your savory-tooth pleased and wanting more.


Make Vegan Mac & Cheese

TikTok user @bragglivefoods demonstrates how to make vegan mac and cheese with nutritional yeast.

Looking to wow your family with vegan mac and cheese that will actually taste great? This TikTok takes you through boiling potatoes and butternut squash; adding veggie broth, garlic powder, and garlic and herbs; mashing it all up; and adding a heck of a lot of nutritional yeast to give your mac and cheese sauce that peak cheesy flavor.


Add It To (Non-Vegan) Pizza

A fast-paced TikTok video takes viewers through the steps of assembling a pizza at home.

You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy the lift that nutritional yeast brings to all the meals. When you’re assembling your own pizza at home, this TikTok recommends tossing nutritional yeast onto your sauce along with your shredded mozzarella, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.


Bake Some Tofu Nuggets

A quick tutorial on how to make tofu nuggets breaded with nutritional yeast.

No tofu pressing requiring for making these tofu nuggets, according to this TikTok. Just pat your tofu dry, slice it up into little blocks, and bread it with nutritional yeast and whatever other spices you want (the vid recommends things like salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes). Bake for 20 or 25 minutes at 425 degrees and you’ve got yourself a snack.


Spice Up Your Veggies

A video guide to sauteeing onions and green beans using nutritional yeast.

Need to make sure your sautéed green beans don’t fall flat and kind of boring? Enter this TikTok, which guides you through sautéing onions in butter, adding in green beans and an array of spices (think garlic powder and salt). Add nutritional yeast toward the end of the process to give the whole dish a cheesy vibe.


Make Some Vegan Cheesy Dip

A handful of ingredients get mixed in a saucepan to make vegan cheesy dip.

This TikTok recommends boiling 3/4 cups of coconut milk, three tablespoons of nutritional yeast, one tablespoon of flour for sauce or two tablespoons for dip, and a teaspoon of salt. Why? Vegan queso for all your tortilla chip needs.


Add It To Your Avocado Toast

Avocado toast on English muffins with spinach, tomatoes, feta, and nutritional yeast gets drizzled with olive oil.

If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and tasty brunch snack, this TikTok advises taking an English muffin and topping it with avocado, spinach, tomato, feta, and olive oil. Sprinkled on all of that is nutritional yeast, of course.


Pop Some Popcorn

TikTok user @barberica_eats makes homemade popcorn with salt and nutritional yeast.

You don’t need a microwave to make movie theater-style popcorn. Spill some kernels into a pot and sprinkle it with olive oil. Then, this TikTok advises, enjoy the therapeutic popping of the kernels, add a pinch of salt and an irresponsible amount of nutritional yeast, and chomp by the fistful.


Sprinkle It On... Everything

TikTok user @turnipvegan describes the benefits of nutritional yeast while wearing a pink sweater.

Don’t want to dive into a full recipe featuring the good stuff? Just sprinkle it liberally onto pretty much anything. This TikTok suggests adding nutritional yeast on top of your salads, pastas, pizzas, and soups for an added kick of cheesy taste.


Use It To Tell People You’re Vegan

TikTok user @veganyums asks followers to say they’re vegan without saying they’re vegan.

“Tell me you’re vegan without telling me you’re vegan,” this TikTok says. “I’ll go first.” User @veganyums unearths a mason jar filled with nutritional yeast from the pantry and holds it up to the camera silently — because really, enough said.