Silky smooth vegan cheese sauce that is also nut free! It’s absolutely perfect over nachos, baked potatoes, steamed broccoli and makes a delicious mac and cheese.

vegan cheese sauce being poured onto chips

What’s the hardest thing for people to give up when they want to go vegan? CHEESE. I hear it over and over again; people can usually imagine going meatless but cheese? That’s a hard one! As a former cheese fanatic, I totally understand! It felt really difficult in the beginning, but now I don’t miss it at all. 9 years ago, when I went vegan, there weren’t as many delicious vegan cheeses you could buy at the store like there are today. Now I can find vegan cheese products at my local discount store. These are exciting times people!

Even though you can buy special vegan cheese products at many stores now, I still mostly prefer to make my own. Often, those products are super pricey and not all of them taste good. You can tell I love “cheese” by the fact I have several recipes for vegan cheese on my blog:


vegan cheese sauce in a pan with a ladle picking it up

All of my vegan cheese recipes to this point have included cashews, because when soaked and then blended with other ingredients, they make a really rich, thick and creamy cheese sauce. I fell in love with cashews awhile back for their ability to create such rich, creamy dishes such as the cheeses above and sour cream.

But what’s a person to do that can’t eat nuts? That’s who this recipe is for today! And anyone else who enjoys an ultra-creamy vegan cheese sauce to drizzle over EVERYTHING. Seriously, I was surprised at how good this turned out with such simple ingredients. I hope you love it, too!

How do you make vegan cheese sauce (nut free!)?

Boil some potatoes and carrots (amounts are listed below in the recipe card.)

While they boil, add everything else to a blender:

  • non-dairy milk
  • nutritional yeast
  • olive oil (optional, but I highly recommend for richness)
  • lemon juice
  • salt & spices
  • cornstarch
  • optional for nacho cheese: can of diced green chiles

Once the potatoes and carrots are fork tender, drain and add to the blender. Blend on high until silky smooth.


vegan cheese sauce in a blender

You shouldn’t need to warm it on the stove, since the potatoes and carrots were hot when you blended it. But if you want, you can add it to a pot and warm, stirring frequently, until it thickens up a bit more.

This vegan cheese sauce is incredibly versatile and can be used many places, such as:

  • With tortilla chips, for nachos (of course)
  • On baked potatoes
  • Over steamed or roasted broccoli
  • With elbow noodles for Mac and Cheese

My toddler went crazy over this vegan cheese sauce; he literally could not get enough of it! My older kids were impressed, too.


vegan cheese sauce on a chip

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vegan cheese sauce being poured onto chips
4.91 stars (41 ratings)

Vegan Cheese Sauce (Nut Free!)

Silky smooth vegan cheese sauce that is also nut free! It's absolutely perfect over nachos, baked potatoes, steamed broccoli and makes a delicious mac and cheese.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped russet potato (1 medium)
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped carrots (about 2-3 carrots)
  • 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Optional for nacho cheese: 4 oz can diced green chiles, drained


  • Add the potatoes and carrots to a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, until fork tender.
  • While the vegetables are boiling, add all the other ingredients (including green chiles if using) to a blender. 
  • Drain the potatoes and carrots and add them directly to the blender with the other ingredients. Blend on high until silky smooth. You don't need to warm it further, but if you want you could add it to a pot to keep it warm. Stir frequently if you do this; it will thicken even more.
  • Serve over tortilla chips, drizzle on baked potatoes or steamed broccoli. Mix into macaroni pasta to make mac and cheese! Store leftover vegan cheese in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, if it lasts that long.


  1. May also use yukon gold potatoes, you will need 2 small potatoes.
  2. The oil adds some richness to an otherwise low fat cheese sauce, but if you are avoiding oil you may omit it. 
  3. You can use any unsweetened non-dairy milk that you like, I used coconut milk. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 513mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3646IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 112mg | 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. Thank you! I’m so glad I found your recipe 😊. My little boy is allergic to cashews and after tasting it just now, I’m sure he’ll devour it.
    I didn’t have a lemon, so used rice vinegar, instead. And also replaced the corn starch with tapioca for stringiness (heated it again). And then I also added a bit of turmeric, just because, and made mac’n’cheese with it.

  2. I haven’t made this yet, but I’m wondering why you used cornstarch rather than tapioca starch. I made your lasagna with stretchy mozzarella (delicious btw!) and when I doubled the mozzarella recipe I forgot to double the tapioca starch. I stirred and stirred wondering when the clumping magic would happen, and then realized what I’d done— but discovered that what I had was a pretty good cheese sauce! Anyway— I might try it with this recipe just to get a little stretch factor unless you already know that it doesn’t work with these lower fat ingredients.

    1. You know, either will work but this sauce is not particularly stretchy like my mozzarella. But yeah, you can use it instead of cornstarch and see how it turns out, it might get a little stretchy! 🙂

  3. Unfortunately, it doesn’t taste anything like cheese to me. It would make a great soup though. This is the frustrating thing about these recipes that tout that they taste just like the real thing. I’m just not sure if people get so far removed from the taste of the dairy cheese that this tastes “close enough” to what they remember dairy cheese tasting like and they get excited? I’ll try the cashew one.

    1. I’m an ex-vegan (doing low carb for diabetes) who is trying to get back to being a vegan as my therapy progresses. So I eat cheese and remember what it tastes like. I also make my own miso. So I tried adding a spoonful to the cheese sauce and that seemed to add the necessary sharp-fermented flavour it needed.

      The substance that actually makes cheese taste sharp is lactic acid, which combines with calcium in milk to make calcium lactate crystals in cheese. The lemon juice substitutes citric acid for the lactic acid in this recipe, and no, it does not taste exactly the same. There was probably lactobacillus bacteria in my miso forming lactic acid.

      Tyrosine crystals, which form naturally, add to the savoury flavour of aged dairy cheeses like Cheddar. You might experiment with adding bits of a tyrosine supplement capsule if you think it is still missing something you can’t quite put your finger on.

  4. Thank you SO much for this recipe. After all the fabulous comments, I just had to try. I’ve been vegan now for almost a year but I was still searching for something “cheesy”. Everything on the market just doesn’t do it right, almost gag worthy. This is pretty good and very easy to make. It does taste better if left to set for a bit- but it’s delicious!

    1. You are welcome, Elaine! I’m glad you enjoyed the cheese sauce! Thanks for your wonderful review!

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