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 (40 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. This is THE BEST nut free, soy free (unless you use soy milk), dairy free cheese recipe there is! I used to look at people who made macaroni and cheese with potatoes and carrots weird (like please stop). But after trying this recipe? I’m sold. I’ve found my Mac and cheese cheese sauce! Thank you!

  2. Hi Nora, I want to make a mac & cheese using this vegan cheese recipe to bring to a pot luck. Can I make it the night before and warm it up the day of the potluck? This is my first time cooking vegan and I’d like to get it right.

    1. Yes, you can make it the night before. After blending, transfer it to a container with a lid overnight in the refrigerator. If you can warm it up in a pot/pan right before serving that would be ideal. And you’ll want a whisk so you can make it as smooth as possible as it can become less smooth after being refrigerated.

  3. Hello, can you make this recipe of cheese sauce based on chickpeas?
    Do you think I can sub the potatoes for chickpeas?
    Thanks, Fred

      1. Thank you Thank you.

        This recipe looks and sounds amazing.

        My son has issues with potatoes ,
        ( huge pain – gout like symptoms when eating potatoes).He loves cheese but has dairy issues as well.

        I will try sweet potatoes AND/or carrots and let you know.

        Thank you sooooo much for your recipe sharing.

        I LOVE Cooking and Sharing.

        Wilma B

  4. Hi Nora, this recipe is amazing. It has a great consistency and lovely cheese flavour. I added 1tsp of lactic acid also and it came out great. Will definitely make again. 💗

  5. This is an amazing recipe! I used it to make scalloped potatoes as my contribution for Easter dinner. I think I’m now the official scalloped potatoes gal in the family! Everyone loved it! I used less cornstarch, around a teaspoon-ish, because I didn’t want the sauce to be too thick. I also sprinkled some Daiya shredded vegan cheddar cheese on top. It’s definitely the best vegan cheese sauce I’ve ever had/made. WAY better than the expensive ones sold in stores. Thanks Nora.

    1. You are welcome, Ann. I love your idea of using cheese sauce! That sounds SO delicious! Thanks for sharing your fabulous idea and feedback!

  6. 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.

    1. 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!

    1. If you want the color without the carrots you could try adding a spoonful of pumpkin puree or annatto seed powder.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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 ❤️

  11. 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!

    1. 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!

    1. 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.

  12. 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!!

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

    1. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

    1. 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!

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