Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce 🌱 The creamiest, dreamiest, tastiest cheese sauce made with healthy plant-based ingredients like cashews, carrots, potatoes and fresh lemon. Gluten-free and no added oil. Very vegan & very good!
When my husband and I became vegan, the one food item we missed was cheese. There's just something about the bright flavor and creamy texture that cheese adds to so many recipes like mac & cheese, pasta, veggies, tacos and nachos. Who doesn't love dipping french bread into a luscious cheese fondue?
Problem was, there just weren't any great tasting vegan cheeses available in stores. There were a few products trying to be cheese, but to be honest, the taste and textures were more like plastic. We realized if we wanted to enjoy what we loved about cheese, we needed to figure out a way to make it ourselves.
Finding the best vegan cheese sauce
We tried several different recipes, but couldn't find anything quite right, so we enlisted our daughter's creative cooking skills and uncanny knack at dialing in flavors and texture. Sure enough, she found just the right combination and balance of ingredients.
This delicious sauce has the tart bite of sharp cheddar cheese with the smoothest creamy texture. It enhances anything you pour it on: pasta, potatoes, meatballs, cauliflower, asparagus, fries, veggie burgers, nachos, tacos, soft pretzels and more. Whatever you like with cheese, this is your sauce!
Table of Contents
Why we love this recipe
- It's delicious
- Creamy, smooth and cheesy
- Made with all plant-based ingredients
- No added oil
- Only a few basic ingredients
- So easy to prepare
- One batch is enough for several dishes
- Did I mention it's delicious?
How to Make This Recipe
This recipe is so easy to make! With just a few basic ingredients, you can whip up the most luscious, tasty & healthy vegan cheese sauce.
One of the key ingredients in this recipe is nutritional yeast, aka "nooch". Nutritional yeast has a cheesy, nutty, savory, umami flavor that many people enjoy sprinkled on foods like potatoes, pasta, popcorn, pizza and veggies. We also use it to make a quick & easy 4-ingredient vegan parmesan.
- Cashews - raw
- Non-dairy milk - we prefer rice milk, almond or cashew based milk
- Nutritional yeast - we love this brand
- Lemon juice
- Black pepper
First - soak the cashews.
Cashews need to be soaked before using if you want your cheese sauce to be super smooth and creamy. If I know I'm going to make a batch of cheese sauce the next day, I'll soak the cashews in water (refrigerated) overnight.
A faster method is to cover the cashews in boiling water and allow them to sit for a couple hours. You can also place the cashews covered in water in a saucepan and boil for about 10 minutes on the stovetop until they plump up and soften.
🥕See the printable recipe card below for complete details
Next, peel potatoes and carrots and cut into large pieces. Boil until tender.
Finally, place cashews, potatoes, carrots, and remaining ingredients into a blender. Purée at high speed until thoroughly smooth.
That's it! Easy peasy & cheesy!
- High speed blender
- A colander or strainer
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Veggie peeler
- Citrus juicer
- Kitchen knife
- Cutting board
Here's just a few delish ways to enjoy this scrumptious vegan cheese sauce.
It's fantastic on a baked potato sprinkled with chives.
Create a festive nachos bar with a basket of fresh tortilla chips, guacamole, jalapeños, salsas, black beans, our refreshing watermelon pico de gallo, and a generous serving of this amazing vegan queso cheese!
Make the best vegan mac and cheese, like this toasty baked version with broccoli, breadcrumbs and vegan parmesan or this irresistibly yummy casserole sprinkled with smoked paprika, red pepper flakes & fresh basil.
Nutritional yeast is the same type of yeast used for bread baking and brewing beer - with a few differences.This yeast is grown specifically to be used as a food product. The yeast cells are killed during manufacturing and not alive in the final product. It is used in cooking and has a cheesy, nutty or savory flavor.
*Reprinted from healthline.com
Yes it is! It's super nutritious. According to this article, nutritional yeast is a great source of protein, B vitamins and trace minerals. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein as it contains all nine essential amino acids that humans must get from food. One tablespoon contains 2 grams of protein, making it an easy way for vegans to add high-quality protein to meals.
I suggest heating the cheese sauce in a saucepan on a stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently until it reaches your desired temperature. You can also microwave the sauce covered in a microwave safe container in short increments of 10-15 seconds until desired temperature is reached. Be careful not to over heat it in a microwave, as the sauce may caramelize and possibly burn
Leftover cheese sauce can be stored refrigerated in a covered container up to 4 days and can be frozen up to 3 months.
🥕This easy vegan cheese sauce is perfect with these delish dishes!
- Vegan Easy Cheesy Broccoli Pot Pie
- Cuban Crushed Potatoes
- Easy Vegan Mac & Cheese
- Vegan Lemon Roasted Potatoes
- Best Vegan Homemade Soft Pretzels
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, please rate it in the comments below. Sharing your experience helps others decide if they should give it a try too. Thanks a bunch!🥕
Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce
- high speed blender
- mixing bowl
- large strainer or colander
- Vegetable peeler
Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked overnight - see notes below
- 1 cup non-dairy milk we use rice milk, almond or cashew based milk
- 1 large potato cut into large pieces and boiled until tender
- 2 whole carrots cut into large pieces and boiled until tender
- 1-½ tablespoon nutritional yeast this our favorite brand
- ¼ cup lemon juiced - approx one whole lemon
- 2 teaspoon salt fine
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Soak cashews covered in room temperature water overnight or cover in boiling water and allow to soak for 2 hours. Drain in strainer and rinse with fresh water.
- Peel potatoes and carrots and cut into large pieces. Place in 4 qt or larger stovetop pot, cover with water (about 2" over veggies) and cover with lid. Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat for 10-15 minutes until tender. Remove from heat and drain in colander or strainer.
- Place cashews, potatoes, carrots, and remaining ingredients into blender. Run at high speed until thoroughly pureed and creamy.
- Sauce can be used heated or cold, depending on how you like it. To heat, pour amount needed into a stove top pan over low heat, stirring frequently until desired temperature.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended