The vegan cheese sauce is versatile, tasteful, and a perfect treat for your burgers, mac, and cheese, casseroles, and snacks. This vegan cheese sauce is made using potatoes, carrots, and cashews. It is healthy, gluten-free, and utterly delicious.
I have been making vegan cheese sauces ever since I became vegan over 20 years ago. Giving up cheese was one of my biggest challenges as I transitioned to a dairy-free lifestyle, so making my vegan cheese was imperative. I won’t lie; it took me years to learn about vegan ingredients that fulfilled my craving for cheese. But I never gave up, and all the experience gave me so much insight into the amazing ingredients nature has provided us with.
This recipe is an adapted version of one that I first tried over 16 years ago while I attended a natural health training at Wildwood Lifestyle Center, where I spent a month. They served vegan meals that were simple yet very delicious. The training program helped me a lot in adopting the veg vegan lifestyle. It was a wonderful experience, and I bought back many amazing recipes.
The original recipe was made with carrots and potatoes, but I have added cashews to it. If you are nut-free, eliminate the cashews. You can also try my Vegan Nacho Recipe and the best vegan Mac n Cheese recipe.
This recipe is probably the easiest one you can ever try. It is just like my other vegan sauce recipes, but the only difference is that I have added potatoes and carrots to add more texture, flavor, and nutrients. All you need is a few ingredients and a high-speed blender. That’s all! This sauce is so easy and delicious. And the best part is it lasts for about 1 week in the refrigerator. So, you can prepare it in a large batch and enjoy it with a couple of sides throughout the week.
Also see Vegan Mac and Cheese, Vegan Cheddar Cheese, and Vegan Parmesan Cheese.
Do you serve this vegan cheese sauce hot or cold?
What I love about this vegan cheese sauce is that it is versatile. You can serve it as both hot and cold with respective dishes. The main aim is to enjoy the flavors so you can serve them with anything and in any way you like. You can also top it over casseroles and mac and cheese. As the sauce bubbles away, you can enjoy its creaminess.
You can make this delicious vegan sauce using simple and healthy vegan ingredients. These are:
- Potatoes: The main ingredient for making this vegan cheese sauce is potato. Most people find potatoes an unusual ingredient in a vegan cheese sauce. But since we are making a vegan version, we will use vegan ingredients, and trust me; potatoes fit the description very well. Potatoes are known for their smooth and creamy texture. For instance, you can enjoy their creaminess and smoothness in mashed potatoes, so why not try these in making vegan cheese sauce? Now you can use any type of potatoes for this recipe. I, however, prefer using russet and Yukon gold. That’s because they have the right texture and result in a very smooth sauce.
- Carrots: The next main ingredient I have used in this sauce is carrots. Now, the main reason for using carrots is that they add color to the sauce. But above all, they are rich in vitamins and nutrition. So, you get all the goodness of carrots. Also, if you are not a big fan of carrots, this vegan cheese sauce is a great way to add them to your diet. Isn’t it smart?
- Cashews: If you have read my other vegan cheese sauce recipes, you would have noticed that I have used cashews as a base for my cheese sauce. So, I am not ignoring this ingredient in this recipe. Cashews are loaded with nutrients and are a powerful food. I have used raw cashews for this recipe. Just make sure you soak them for at least an hour in warm water. This way, the cashews will give you a smooth sauce.
- Water: You will need water to adjust the consistency of the sauce. I prefer using water from boiled vegetables as it contains nutrients. But you can also use vegetable stock for extra flavor.
- Nutritional yeast flakes: This is my favorite ingredient when it comes to vegan cheese, as its flavor is just like cheese. Plus, you get an umami undertone which makes this sauce just delicious.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice adds freshness, tanginess, and citrusy flavor to this dish. Always use fresh lemon juice for this recipe.
- Tahini paste: This is yet another ingredient that contributes to the smoothness of the sauce. Tahini paste is made from sesame seeds and has a rich, nutty flavor. It is readily available at stores, but you can make it at home as well.
- Onion powder: Onion powder adds a savory and slightly sweet flavor to this sauce.
- Garlic powder: No ingredient adds a deep savory flavor than garlic powder. It is just perfect.
- Sea salt: You can use sea salt or plain table salt. The main aim is to adjust the flavor of the sauce.
- Cayenne pepper: A dash of cayenne pepper excites your taste buds by adding heat to the vegan cheese sauce.
How to make Vegan Cheese Sauce?
Making vegan cheese sauce is the easiest thing you can do. Here are the steps you have to follow:
Step 1: Start by washing and scrubbing the potatoes to get rid of dirt. Now peel them and cut them into equal pieces. The same goes for carrots.
Step 2: Boil water in a saucepan over medium heat and add potatoes and carrots to the boiling water. Let them cook for 10 minutes or until they are tender. Drain the vegetables and set them aside.
Step 3: Add cooked vegetables to a high-speed blender jug. Add about a half cup of water from cooked vegetables, along with cashews, nutritional yeast flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, tahini paste, and lemon juice.
Step 4: Seal the lid of the blender jug and start blending at low to medium speed. You can add more water to adjust the consistency of the sauce.
Step 5: Once the sauce is creamy and smooth, take it out of the blender into a container. Season with salt and cayenne pepper, mix, taste, and enjoy!
Tips for better results
Here are a few tips that you can follow to get more flavor into this vegan cheese sauce:
- If you don’t want to use vegetable water, use vegetable stock. It will add so much flavor to the vegan cheese sauce.
- If you find the consistency of the sauce a bit thick, add more water or vegetable stock. If you find it thin, add a potato or cashews.
- The more you soak the cashews, the creamier the sauce will be. Soaking the cashews for less time will result in a grainy sauce.
- You can add avocado to this dipping sauce as well for more flavor and nutrients.
- You can use red chili flakes or smoked paprika for a smoky flavor instead of cayenne pepper.
- Add cumin powder, black pepper, or allspice powder for more flavor and warmth.
- Make sure you dice potatoes and carrots in equal pieces. This way, they will cook evenly.
- Cook the vegetables in an instant pot for quick results to save time.
- If you want a nut-free vegan cheese sauce, you can skip adding raw, soaked cashews and make the sauce without them.
How to use vegan cheese sauce?
There are so many amazing ways you can add this delicious vegan cheese sauce to your dishes. Here are a few ideas you should try:
- Mac and cheese: You definitely need a white cheese sauce to make the perfect mac and cheese. Whether you are a vegan or not, you can definitely add this vegan cheese sauce instead of your regular one. It is cheesy, smooth, and a healthy choice. Plus, the flavors are on spot.
- Vegan nachos: You can try my vegan nacho recipe and use this vegan sauce. I am sure you will love the texture and flavor.
- Casseroles: You can use this vegan cheese sauce to top your many vegan casseroles. It is a tasteful and pleasant addition to your dishes.
- Tortilla chips: You can enjoy it with tortilla chips and salsa. The pair will taste wonderful.
- Vegetable sticks: Serve this vegan cheese sauce with vegetable sticks for the ultimate healthy snack.
- Burgers/sandwiches: You can also use it alongside burgers and sandwiches. Whether you drizzle this sauce in them or you this sauce as a dip, you will still love it.
Can you store this vegan cheese sauce?
Absolutely! You can add it to an air-tight jar and refrigerate it. It will stay fresh for 7 to 10 days. Just remember not to add a wet spoon to the sauce, or it will go bad instantly.
Most people ask if you can freeze this sauce. Well, you can do that, but when you thaw it, the texture can go a little off. Because it is so effortless to make, I don’t prefer freezing it but make fresh every time. You can do the same!
Other Vegan Cheese Recipes
- Gluten-Free Vegan Broccoli Cheese Casserole
- Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing
- Vegan Nacho Cheese Doritos
- Instant Pot Chili Cheese Mac and Cheese
- Vegan Nacho Cheese Recipe
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- Categories: Gluten-Free, Vegan
- Course: Sauce
- Cuisine: American
- Energy: 155 kcal / 648 kJ
- Fat: 5 g
- Protein: 8 g
- Carbs: 21 g
- Preparation: 10 min
- Cooking: 10 min
- Ready in: 20 min
- For: 4 Servings
- 2 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup cashews, soaked for 1 hour in warm water
- 1/2 cup water, (use water from cooked vegetables)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon tahini paste
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch of Cayenne pepper
- Boil potatoes and carrots in water over medium heat in a saucepan for about 10 minutes.
- Scoop out potatoes and carrots using a large slotted spoon, and transfer to a high-speed blender.
- Add 1/2 cup of the water used for cooking potatoes and carrots. Add cashews and remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.
Love, love this cheese sauce. I have tried many different vegan cheese sauce recipes and this is my favorite. A must try. Easy ingredients you already have at home, and this turns out cream and delicious! Thank you. I love all your recipes that I have tried.
this looks really nice
This is ridiculously delicious. Thank you for sharing!
Do the cashews have to be raw? Thank you for a lovely recipe!
Heidi, preferably but you can still get a delicious cheese sauce with roasted cashews.
Sounds so good! I could spend hours looking through your recipes, now I’m making a list of ones to try first! Thanks!
Donna, thank you very much. I hope you enjoy!
Love this recipe. Can it be frozen and still be good when thawed?
Shelley thank you, I never had the chance to freeze it but now I’m curious.
My favourite cheese sauce! So creamy for mac n cheese :) I don’t add tahini or cayenne pepper and have forgotten the cashews before and its delicious either way! Great recipe and easy to make! My toddler goes crazy over this as well :)
Wow Melissa so happy to hear you love it even without the tahini and cayenne pepper. I’m tickled that your toddler goes crazy, too cute!
Glad I found this site! So many great recipes here!
Welcome Yameka, I hope you enjoy the recipes!
Thank you Don
Thank you for this recipe, it is so good!
You are welcome Christy, I’m so happy you enjoyed it.