Last Updated: Sep 4, 2020 @ 1:37 pm.

What's the best nutritional yeast? For vegans, nutritional yeast is a great substitute for cheese, to sprinkle on popcorn or mix into pasta. (We should point out this is different than yeast used for baking. Nutritional yeast is deactivated). We tried out 8 different brands before picking these best bets.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep it real, we don't take freebies or money from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Least Salt

No artificial colors or preservatives
We loved this as a great substitute for parmesan cheese. And as a popcorn topping! Sugar free and gluten free. Shaker top bottle is convenient. Lowest amount of sodium of the brands we tested.
$14.23 ($1.58 / Ounce)

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Least Salt: Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast Seasoning

Nutritional yeast comes in two basic varieties: powder or flakes. We tried out several popular brands of nutritional yeast, sprinkling them on popcorn and mixing it into risotto as a substitute for parmesan cheese.

One big difference we noticed among brands: the amount of salt. Since nutritional yeast is basically used as a substitute for cheese, how salty it tastes can vary widely from brand to brand.

Since we know some folks prefer a less salty taste, we looked for brands that had the best flavor with the least sodium. In the end, we thought Bragg’s Premium Nutritional Yeast Seasoning tasted the best.

What We Liked

• Very tasty!

• Nice cheesy flavor profile.

• Sugar free.

• Gluten free.

• Shake top bottle is convenient.

• No eggs, milk, starch or soy.

• No artificial colors or preservatives.

• Two basic ingredients: yeast and B-vitamins.

What Needs Work

• Flakes too big? Some folks prefer smaller flakes of other brands. We weren’t bothered by this and thought they were the right size for most dishes.

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Best Budget-Friendly

Great for vegan mac and cheese
This tangy flavored yeast has a cheesy, creamy texture. Sprinkle on foods as a Parmesan substitute. Gluten-free, non-dairy, no GMO's.
$12.99 ($0.81 / Ounce)

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Best Budget-Friendly: Anthony’s Premium Nutritional Yeast Flakes

No, nutritional yeast doesn’t have to be priced like it is from a hotel mini bar! This pick, Anthony’s Premium, is both yummy and easier on the wallet.

What We Liked

• Nice, cheesy flavor. We liked the taste of this yeast, which provided a cheese texture . . . without the dairy!

• Gluten-free.

• No GMO’s.

• Not fortified = no synthetic vitamins. 

• Doesn’t have to be refrigerated. 

• Affordable. 

What Needs Work

• More like a powder than flakes, in our opinion. That was fine with us, but we know some folks would prefer flakes.

• Too salty? Yes, Anthony’s has three times the sodium of Bragg’s. We liked the taste, but we know some folks may find this too salty.

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Best Non-Fortified

Zesty! No additives or preservatives
This powdery brand is great to sprinkle on baked potatoes or vegetables as a nutty replacement for parmesan cheese. Or popcorn!

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Best Non-Fortified Yeast: Noochy Licious By Gloriously Vegan Nutritional Yeast

Yeast has naturally occurring B-vitamins. Some nutritional yeast brands fortify their yeast with additional vitamins. Yet we know some folks don’t want that—they’d prefer non-fortified yeast.

We tried out a few non-fortified yeast brands before deciding that Noochy Licious is the best tasting. Here’s why:

What We Liked

• Nutty, cheesy flavor!

• Just the right amount of salt, in our opinion. This yeast has 30 mg of salt per serving—more than Bragg’s, but less than others we tried.

• No additional synthetically produced vitamins.

• Gluten free.

• USDA Organic

• Dairy free.

• No GMO’s.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

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Best For Popcorn

No GMO's, no synthetic vitamins
This powdery brand is great to sprinkle on baked potatoes or vegetables as a nutty replacement for parmesan cheese. Or popcorn!
$8.43 ($1.40 / Ounce)

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Best For Popcorn: Foods Alive Nutritional Yeast Flakes

One favorite for nutritional yeast is a topping for popcorn. But we realized not all brands were equally good as a popcorn topping—they didn’t stick or have the right texture.

Foods Alive, however, was great for popcorn—just the right amount of crunch. Plus the more powdery texture adhered better to the popcorn we made.

What We Liked

• No synthetic vitamins.

• Crunchy, powdery texture.

• No GMO’s.

• Gluten-free.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Too powdery for some folks. As a cheese substitute, we know nutritional yeast fans sometimes prefer flakes to powder. This brand is definitely more on the powder end of the spectrum!

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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