One scoop of the ​​Best Vegan Cheese Sauce and you’ll be hooked! Made in one pot in less than 5 minutes with super simple ingredients. No nuts, potatoes, carrots or blender needed! This all purpose dairy free cheese is perfect for nachos, mac and cheese, tacos, burgers and more.

womans hand dipping a nacho chip into a pot filled with yellow cheese sauce.

The short list of ingredients in this Vegan Cheese Sauce recipe are incredibly simple. No need for cashews, carrots, potatoes, or messy blending either. All you have to do is whisk everything together in a pot, heat it up, and dip away!

Every bite is creamy, ooey gooey, and perfect for dipping. Get creative with how you serve it! It has endless uses and is delicious on everything, from baked potatoes to pizza to nachos.

I call this the best vegan cheese sauce because it’s:

  • Silky smooth
  • Nut free and allergy friendly!
  • Made in 1 pot
  • Quick and easy
  • Pourable
  • Dippable

Craving more dairy free cheese sauce recipes? Be sure to try my Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce and this Vegan Cheese Sauce made from potatoes and carrots.

a stream of yellow cheese sauce dripping from a spoon back into a metal pot.

Ingredients needed (with substitutions)

  • Plant milkHemp, soy, cashew, full fat coconut milk, or oat milk. Full fat coconut milk will make the sauce richer and creamier but it truly works well with any other unsweetened plant milk you like.
  • Tapioca starch – The starch will help thicken the sauce and give it that signature cheesy stretch. Feel free to use cornstarch or arrowroot powder instead.
  • Nutritional yeast – For cheesy flavors of course!
  • Lemon juice – The acid and tang in citrus juice or apple cider vinegar will balance the savory flavors.
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground mustard
  • Turmeric
individual glass bowls filled with yellow seasonings, milk, and white powder.

How to make it

This is simply an overview with photos. For the full, printable recipe, see the recipe card below.

Add all of the cheese sauce ingredients to a small pot and whisk until smooth.

yellow and white seasonings in a metal pot.

Turn the heat up and bring it to a simmer while stirring frequently. Once it’s simmering, turn the heat down and stir for 1 or 2 minutes straight. This is when the sauce will start to thicken and become stretchy.

Is it too thick? Use less tapioca starch or add a little water to thin it out.

a white, bubbly liquid cooking in a metal pot.

Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Once it’s to your liking, serve the cheese right away!

whisking an orange sauce in a metal pot.

Serving suggestions

There are plenty of ways to enjoy your ooey gooey cheese sauce, but these are some of my favorites:

Frequently asked questions

  1. Does this cheese sauce melt? This recipe is better off being used as a dip or spread because it’s so loose and creamy. If you need a vegan cheese that melts, check out my vegan cheddar cheese.
  2. How long does vegan cheese sauce last in the fridge? The cheese sauce will keep for about 1 week when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
  3. Can you freeze it? Sure! Keep the sauce in an airtight container or ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw, then heat it on the stove until it’s back to its creamy texture. 
close up on a spoon taking a scoop of yellow cheese sauce out of a metal pot.

Want more cheesy vegan recipes?

womans hand dipping a nacho chip into a pot filled with yellow cheese sauce.
4.82 stars (22 ratings)

Best Vegan Cheese Sauce (All Purpose, NO Cashews)

One scoop of the ​​Best Vegan Cheese Sauce and you’ll be hooked! Made in one pot in less than 5 minutes with super simple ingredients. No nuts, potatoes, carrots or blender needed!
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened hemp milk* or soy, cashew, oat or full fat coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric


  • Add all ingredients to a small pot and whisk until smooth.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently.
  • Once simmering, turn the heat down to low-medium and stir constantly for a minute or two. The sauce should get fairly stretchy and thicken. If you want a thinner sauce, use less tapioca starch, or add additional water to thin it out.
  • Taste; adjust seasonings as desired. Sometimes I add a little extra salt.
  • Enjoy immediately! I use this cheese sauce everywhere: pizza, mac and cheese, baked potatoes, nachos, quesadillas, tacos, burgers, fries and more.


  1. For a richer, thicker cheese sauce, use canned full fat coconut milk. 1 can is just about perfect. It works well with any unsweetened, unflavored plant milk though. My favorite is hemp milk!
  2. Leftover cheese sauce will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator, in an airtight container. It can also be frozen if needed.


Serving: 1of 6 servings | Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 228mg | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 123IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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  1. Hi Nora!
    Would cornstarch work for this? I don’t have tapioca starch and don’t want to have to buy a whole bag of it!

  2. Very nice. I made some oat milk for this, then customized it by adding 1 teaspoon acv, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder and 1 teaspoon cayenne. Made some delicious pbwf nachos and mac & cheese w steamed broccoli. Thanks Nora!

    1. Hi David. I’m so glad you loved the cheese sauce! I sure do appreciate you sharing your ideas! Happy cooking!

  3. I wanted to use up my leftover coconut milk so this was the perfect pizza topping!! (BTW, I only use Native Forest Coconut Milk – no cruel monkey labor!!!) and instead of lemon juice, I always use lime juice. It gives a good flavor. I usually add a bit of corn starch as well, that seems to give a nice texture to sauces and baked goods too. Thank you Nora, for being my first go-to when I need a recipe!!

  4. I’m giving this recipe a 5 star. Super fast, lacks the fat from nuts, which is good. The flavor I would say is just okay. But hear me out when I say that, finding a substitute for real cheese is a struggle. When I make these vegan cheese sauce recipes, I’ve stopped calling them cheese sauce, I usually say here is my pasta and yellow sauce. So when I say the flavor was okay, I truly mean that as a compliment. Thank for creating a recipe that is quick and does not taste like potatoes and carrots. I added some sriracha sauce and it took the recipe to another level. This will be a go to for me.

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