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.
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:
- Easy Vegan Nacho Cheese
- 5 Ingredient Vegan Queso
- Easy Stretchy Mozzarella
- 5 Minute Vegan Cream Cheese
- Vegan Mac and Cheese
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
- 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.
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 (Nut Free!)
- 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.
- May also use yukon gold potatoes, you will need 2 small potatoes.
- The oil adds some richness to an otherwise low fat cheese sauce, but if you are avoiding oil you may omit it.
- You can use any unsweetened non-dairy milk that you like, I used coconut milk.
Hi Nora, I just found your website and can’t wait to try your “cheesey” recipes! Is there a substitute for the potatoes? I’m not eating nightshades.
Hi Cindy, glad you found my site! I would actually recommend this recipe: Vegan Cheese Sauce, if you can’t have potatoes. I’m not sure what to substitute them for in this particular recipe. Hope that helps!
We dont like carrots… would it work if I deleted the carrots and added more potatoes for the bulk?
That would probably be just fine. Thanks!
This sauce is great! Can you freeze it?
Hi Jeannie. I’m glad you love the cheese sauce! Yes, it freezes quite well.
We make this every time we do nachos and I always add in a can of diced chilis and tomatoes and some seasoned tvp to the leftovers. We adore it!
Do you think this would this work with a yellow potato? It’s what I have on hand and am worried it may not be suitable.
Sure, yellow potatoes should work well.
I’m glad you loved it! Thanks for your feedback!
I was asked to bring Mac & Cheese to a family gathering, but the nursing baby is allergic to dairy so both of us cannot eat cheese. I’m hoping to try this for everyone to eat rather than making separate dishes. Anyone know how much macaroni this would make? 1 lb?
Hi Hannah. I would say about 12 ounces of uncooked pasta. I hope you enjoy the Mac and cheese!
Way too much milk🙄
This is delicious! I used a recipe with sweet potatoes prior but the carrots are definitely the way to go.
I can’t even! This is so, so good, have chucked the rest of my cheese sauce recipes. I freeze it in silicone mini muffin trays so I can grab a few out for super quick pasta or steamed veg, or blitz a couple of jalapeños in for nachos. And agree with people below – good when first made, even better next day. Literally haven’t had a fail off this site yet ❤️
That’s a great idea, Frances! Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback and review! Happy cooking 🙂
When I first whipped this recipe up exactly as stated, I thought this has way too much vinegar punch from the mustard and vinegar.. I tried to tone it down with a little more plant milk.
The next day- let me tell you, it’s addictive, I keep coming back to it.
I too chili with it, have it on a baked potato and use it as chip dip.
Thank you for this delicious and super easy recipe!
Hi Karina. I know what you mean about being addictive! I’m thrilled you loved the cheese sauce! Thanks for sharing your feedback and review!
Hi Nora! How much is one serving?
Hi! It’s 1/6th of the entire recipe, I’m not sure exactly since I don’t measure, but maybe around 1/4 cup or so.
Yum just made this tonight. So good.
I did opt to sub in 1/4 tsp hungarian paprika with the smoked paprika, sometimes the smoky-ness is too much for me.
I also added a 1/4 tsp white pepper
And more black pepper and a sprinkling of shredded vegan cheddar on top too. ?
Thank you for having the most flavorful, and easy potato cheese on the internet!!
Thank you, Jasmine, for your wonderful feedback! I’m so glad you love the cheese sauce!
Looks amazing! Can you make this and then bake in a pie?
Hmm, I wouldn’t recommend that because the sauce will not solidify when baked.
Would this be good in lasagna? I’ve tried a number of nut free cheese recipes and they’re awful; I haven’t tried this one yet.
The cornstarch would help this sauce firm up if it was cooked in a lasagna, but I think my Stretchy Vegan Mozzarella would be a better choice!
Great dairy free alternative with a surprisngly cheesy taste. I prefer a thicker sauce so used just over a cup of milk. Also added a handful of cashews and mixed in sirracha sauce for added bite. Lots of options with this recipe!
Hi Jen. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for sharing your review!
It turned out really delicious! Great recipe:) Thank you so much Nora.
Hang on and let me grab my jaw off the ground. This is amazing! I’m speechless! Wow! Thank you for opening my eyes to a whole new world of cooking! I’m not even vegan and this just…WOW!
Thank you for your fun comments and feedback! I’m thrilled that you loved the cheese sauce! I have lots of recipes to explore! Enjoy, and happy cooking!
This recipe is awesome and we make it often! I recently tried an experiment to see if I could save time and make it more weeknight-friendly. I used canned, sliced potatoes and carrots and it worked great! It also means I can make it anytime, even when I’m low on produce!
I am very particular with anything “cheese” and this recipe is 5 star! Made loaded nachos and my husband complimented the sauce with very bite. Can’t wait to try it on other things!
I’m glad you guys enjoyed the cheese sauce! There are so many fun ways to use this sauce. Thank you sharing your great review and comments!
Hi Nora! For the quantity of carrots, are you using baby carrots? or large carrots?
I use regular size carrots!