Nutritional Yeast: It’s NOOCH What You Think

Though we aren’t sure where the name comes from, nooch, or nutritional yeast, is a food supplement that is a versatile addition to plant-based diets. Rich in B vitamins, nutritional yeast comes in the form of yellow flakes, granules, and powder that adds “cheesy” flavor to other foods.

Some of the many ways to use nooch include:

sprinkle it on popcorn instead of butter or salt
mix into risotto instead of other types of cheese
stir into creamy soups for added nutrients
add it to scrambled eggs or a tofu scramble
stir into stews, chilli, bean dishes in which you’d like a hint of cheese and added texture
sprinkle atop pasta dishes, veggie burgers, or over veggies

Nooch is not the same as brewer’s yeast. The two types of yeast are derived from different sources. Nutritional yeast comes from a species known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The heating process renders the yeast “inactive,” so nooch is not useful in baking. Rather, it is a dairy-free and usually gluten-free food supplement. It can be useful for people who have food allergies or sensitivities, as well as those on special diets. It is also low in fat and contains no sugar or soy. Nutritional yeast contains vitamins B 1, 2, 6, and 12.

You can find nutritional yeast in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores. It may also be available boxed as flakes or powder.


Pizzorno, J. E., & Murray, M. T. (1999). Textbook of natural medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.