This Vegan Cheese Sauce recipe is easy to make and tastes good on just about everything! It’s made with vegetables and cashews for an oil-free, dairy-free cheese sauce. You’ll love it with pasta or vegetables, on nachos, and taco bowls, or used as a vegan cheese dip with chips or veggies.
Any other dairy-free // vegan people here who miss the goodness that is cheesy delicious things?
A good cheese sauce can do wonders, and I know I’ve always been partial to good mac and cheese. I’m also a big fan of queso dip, grilled cheese sandwiches, nachos, veggies with cheese sauce, and just about anything else that allows me to scoop warm cheesy dips and sauces into my mouth. Give me all the cheese sauces, please.
But, being dairy-free and vegan, traditional dairy cheese sauces aren’t usually in the mix. UNTIL now.
Meet my new favorite vegan cheese sauce.
It’s so tasty you’d never guess how dang HEALTHY it is. It’s loaded up with tons of steamed veggies, it’s oil-free, and even includes some antioxidant boosts like garlic and turmeric. I like using a lot of nutritional yeast to give the sauce a “cheesy” flavor – don’t skimp on this! The nutritional yeast also adds a B12 boost.
This vegan cheese sauce satiates all of my cravings and has so. many. uses. I love using this vegan cheese sauce:
- Drizzled on nachos
- Mixed with pasta for vegan mac and cheese
- Spooned over roasted vegetables, like broccoli
- Served with chips and veggies as an appetizer
Or anywhere else you’d use a regular cheese sauce. So many possibilities!
A few notes to help you make the BEST sauce:
- Be sure to use a high-powered blender. This helps ensure your sauce is super smooth and creamy. If it’s grainy at all, just keep blending until you get the perfect smooth texture. Certain blenders will take longer to achieve this.
- Soak your cashews if you know your blender isn’t super high powered. In my Vitamix, the cashews will get super smooth even without soaking, but if you’re working with a less powerful blender, be sure to soak your cashews in water for at least 30 minutes before draining, rinsing, and using in the sauce.
- Add lots of spices! This includes salt. I include an option below for which spices to use for traditional cheese sauce and which ones to add in for a more “queso”-style flavor. Either way, add them to taste. All of us have different palates, so add more spices to taste if it’s not strong enough for you!
- Taste, taste, and taste again. This doubles down on the last tip – make sure you love the way it tastes! Add more salt if the sweetness of the veggies is still coming through.
This Vegan Cheese Sauce recipe is easy to make and tastes good on just about everything! It’s made with vegetables and cashews for an oil-free, dairy-free cheese sauce. You’ll love it with pasta or vegetables, on nachos, and taco bowls, or used as a dip with chips or veggies.
For the cheese sauce
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup cauliflower florets, diced
1 small Yukon gold potato, diced
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 to 3 cloves garlic
⅓ cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
⅛ teaspoon turmeric
More spices to add for a Mexican flavor (for nachos, tacos, etc.)
1½ teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- Steam the onion, cauliflower, potato, carrots, and garlic until all the vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Cool slightly and transfer vegetables to a high-powered blender.
- Add ½ cup water, soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, and spices.
- Blend for 2 to 4 minutes or until completely smooth and silky. Add more water if needed to help it blend smoothly and get it to a thickness you’d like. Add more salt and spices to taste.
- Serve with chips, mix with pasta, use for nachos, or anything else you like using cheese sauce for!