Nutritional yeast looks a little bit like fish food, smells a lot like cheese, and is a condiment like no other. Nicknamed “nooch” or “nature’s Cheeto dust” by some of its more avid fans, the “deactivated” yeast is loved by vegans and health-conscious meat eaters alike for its distinctive flavor and richness in vitamin B12 (which vegans often lack, because it is only found in animal proteins and byproducts). Not sold yet? It’s also gluten-free, sugar-free, preservative-free, and low-fat.

Now that you’re convinced that nutritional yeast is, in fact, for you, here are some foods you should be adding it to ASAP.

1. Popcorn

nutritional yeast

Photo courtesy of

Swap the buttery movie-theater popcorn for air-popped kernels tossed with olive oil and nooch for a snack that’s just as delicious, but has only a fraction of the calories and fat.

2. Noodles

nutritional yeast

Photo by Katherine Baker

Vegans, have no fear – a dairy-free mac and cheese that can finally compete with the real thing is now possible, thanks to good old N.Y. Make this bomb recipe with nooch and serve to your non-vegan friends. They won’t believe it’s not real cheese.

3. Avo toast

nutritional yeast

Photo courtesy of @bluestonelanecoffee on Instagram

We know, the super-white-girl-loved brunch staple is getting played out, but make it fresh again with a sprinkle of cheesy goodness on top.

4. Fries

nutritional yeast

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All the deliciousness of cheese fries without the extra grease or mess from the molten sauce. From smiley fries to sweet potato fries, any type of potato can only be made better with a healthy shake of nooch.

5. Scrambled eggs

nutritional yeast

Photo by Chelsea Barbee

Extra protein + boosted color + cheesy flavor? Good morning, sunshine.

6. Pizza

nutritional yeast

Photo by Megan Prendergast

Cooked cheese is hard for your stomach to digest, so give your body a break with a sprinkle of the flakes onto pizza hot from the oven. Extra bonuses: you avoid all the mess of the cheese falling off every single f*cking slice, and the third-degree mouth burns you get from trying to rescue it before it falls. Be sure to sprinkle it on top of this homemade veggie-and-pesto pie.

7. Salad bowls

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Photo by Danielle Cahoon

Get that cheesy flavor you crave on top of your greens without any of the guilt. So good, and so good for you.