Is Parmigiano Reggiano Vegetarian?

The essential ingredients contained in parmigiana Reggiano, like most cheeses, are milk, salt, and rennet. Eating a certain type of cheese depends on the kind of vegetarian. But is Parmigiano Reggiano vegetarian?

First of all, it’s worth noting that cheeses made using rennet are not vegetarian as rennet is gotten after you must have killed animals.

Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan) is not vegetarian as it contains animal rennet which is not suitable for vegetarians. The coagulation process, which is necessary for making the milk, usually requires an enzyme known as chymosin.

After the calf must’ve been killed, its stomach is then taken out, cut into tiny cubes, and added to the cheese mixture to ensure curdling.

What Is Parmesan Cheese?

Parmesan is the generic name used to describe the domestic versions of the classic Italian cheeses in the US and Europe.

Its name indicates the specific regions around Parmaand Reggiowhere it is made as it is an EU-protected designation which means that you cannot use it for any other cheese.

Is Parmigiano Reggiano Vegetarian?

Parmesan cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano is not vegetarian as it is made from animal rennet which involves killing calves and taking out their stomach.

Some vegetarian parmesan cheeses have been produced using vegetable rennet. Even if it doesn’t taste exactly like the parmesan cheese, it can also fit in well as a vegan substitute.

See Also: Can You Marinate Frozen Chicken?

Are There Any Parmesan Cheese Vegan Substitutes?

Is Parmigiano Reggiano Vegetarian

Yes, of course. Some soft cheeses do not require coagulation, and instead of using the animal rennet, some acid is added. It can either be vinegar, lemon juice, or bacteria produced from lactic acid.

Some vegan cheeses include:

Fresh Mozzarella

Not only is this cheese soft and an excellent substitute for parmesan cheese, but it is also almost always vegetarian, and you don’t have to worry about having any allergic reactions to it.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is also a fresh cheese that consists of loose curds. Cottage cheese is a fantastic source of protein as it contains about 30g of protein for every cup.


Apart from being very creamy, ricotta cheese comes with many health benefits. It is very rich in whey protein which is one of the most easily absorbed and utilized forms of protein that assists in aiding muscle strength and growth.


Paneer is a traditional soft Indian cheese made with milk and a bit of either lemon juice or vinegar. And while this cheese is not available in most stores in the United States, it is very easy to make yourself!

Some brands that make vegan cheeses that you should probably check out are our organic valley, Applegate, Amys, horizon, laughing cow, trader’s joe, Cabot, Nancy, and Tillamook.

Does Parmigiano Reggiano Have Meat?

Parmigiana Reggiano is not made from meat directly. Still, the coagulation process necessary in making the milk used usually requires an enzyme known as chymosin which comes from rennet which is gotten after calves are killed.

See Also: Can You Cook Frozen Ground Turkey?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kraft Parmesan Cheese Vegetarian?

Kraft parmesan cheese may or may not be vegan as it all depends on the ingredients used. Kraft grated parmesan and kraft natural Swiss cheeses use microbial rennet, which is not gotten from animals.

Some grated parmesan may contain lipase, which is gotten from animals, so always ensure that you check the ingredients used when shopping for your cheeses.

How Do I Get to Know If the Parmesan Cheese I’m Getting Is Vegetarian?

If your cheese is imported, its chances of being non-vegan are very high. Also, parmesan cheeses in bottles in grocery stores in the US may be vegetarian, but it all depends on the source of rennet used as most parmesan cheeses are made from animal rennet.

What Is Vegetable Parmesan Cheese Made Of?

Vegetable parmesan cheeses are made of vegetable rennet, either vegetable-based, i.e., made from plants such as the figs, nettle, and thistles, microbial, or made using a genetically modified rennet.

What Is the Difference Between Parmesan and Vegetable Parmesan?

The major difference between regular parmesan and vegetable parmesan is the rennet used. While one is made of animal rennet, the other is made from vegetable rennet and is vegan-friendly.