Vegan Nacho Cheese Recipe

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Vegan Nacho Cheese Recipe

This creamy and smooth Vegan Nacho Cheese Recipe is so easy to prepare yet so deliciously addictive. Cashews, bell pepper, nutritional yeast flakes, tahini paste, lemon juice and spices blended until creamy and thickened on the stove.  Vegan nacho cheese sauce is much healthier than traditional nacho cheese, your non-vegan friends and family will be amazed.

Vegan Nacho Cheese Recipe with tortilla chip


This amazing Vegan Nacho Cheese Recipe is great for your next event and will certainly be a huge hit!  In order to achieve the velvety cheese sauce, I highly recommend you use a high-speed blender such as Blentec or Vitamix.

Vegan Nacho Cheese Recipe

How To Make Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

To prepare your vegan cashew nacho cheese, you soak your cashews for 1 hour in warm water, rinse them and place in a blender with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and cook stirring constantly with a whisk until thick. You may add more or less water depending on the consistency you choose.

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce Pin

Here are why I choose the ingredients:

  • Red bell pepper for orange color and vitamins.
  • Nutritional yeast flakes for cheesy flavor and Vitamin B12.
  • Cashews for creamy, velvety sauce and a good source of protein.
  • Tahini paste for added cheesy flavor.
  • Lemon juice for sharp taste and Vitamin C.
  • Smoked paprika for a smokey flavor.

If you don’t have a high-speed blender then make sure to soak your cashews before blending, I also recommend that you blend at least two times resting the blender after each time you process the sauce to prevent your motor from getting damaged.

This is my tried and true Vegan Nacho Cheese Recipe that will be a hit every time you make it.  I use this non-dairy vegan nacho cheese as a dip with chips, as a sandwich spread, pasta and as a substitute for all your old non-vegan recipes that called for nacho cheese. It is delicious on my Vegan Black Bean Nachos and Vegan Pinto Bean Chili. 

Vegan Nacho Cheese

The good thing is that most of the ingredients can be found in every well-stocked pantry except for the Nutritional yeast flakes that can be found online and the tahini paste can be found here if you cannot find them in your local health food store.

For More Mexican Inspired Recipes Try My:

Easy Black Bean Enchiladas

Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Baked Jicama Fries

Mexican Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Instant Pot Mexican Rice

Vegan Fajita Rice Bowl

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Per serving

Energy: 168 kcal / 702 kJ
Fat: 12 g
Protein: 7 g
Carbs: 10 g

Cooking Time

Cooking: 5 min
Ready in: 5 min
For: 6 servings



  1. Soak cashews for about an hour in warm water to soften or boil in water for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse
  2. Place water in a high-speed blender, add cashews, red bell pepper, nutritional yeast flakes, tahini, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and cayenne pepper. Process until smooth.
  3. Pour sauce into a medium sized saucepan and bring to boil on medium heat stirring constantly with a whisk until thick and bubbly, being careful not to burn.



Notes: The remaining sauce can be kept in the refrigerator for a week in a container with a tight lid. To reheat, add a little water and stir constantly over medium heat.

Vegan Nacho Cheese

Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

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  1. Heidi Teresa Pafford
    April 9, 2020

    Hello, I’m glad to find this site. The recipes are quite impressive! I was wondering if I could leave out the cashews and how much would it affect the taste of the recipe? I was also wondering if white navy beans could be substituted in this recipe? Thank you!

  2. Eugene
    February 17, 2018

    I made this today and everyone loved it include my picky 8 year old

  3. Frezina
    February 17, 2018

    Wow this is such a great recipe that I’m using it on my pasta, thank you.

  4. philly
    February 5, 2018

    ok cool..i have the vitamix

  5. philly
    February 3, 2018

    hello… can I just blend some sesame seeds to make the paste. is it the same. take too long to order that paste. i have some nachos i bought last week ready to be used.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      February 5, 2018

      If you have a high speed blender then the seeds will work, if not then your sauce might be too gritty.