vegan cheese sauce recipe

Vegan Cheese Sauce (with no nuts!)

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: appetizer, dip, vegan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 9 servings
Calories: 44 kcal
Author: Megan Gilmore

This easy vegan cheese sauce reminds me of the nacho cheese sauce they serve at baseball games and movie theaters. I love that it's naturally nut-free and soy-free!



  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 small Yukon gold potato , cut into chunks (about 4 ounces)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional for smoky BBQ flavor)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice (I used homemade hemp milk)


  1. To cook the carrots and potatoes, fit a steamer basket into a small sauce pot and fill it with an inch of water. Place the chopped carrots and potatoes into the steamer basket and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and let the vegetables steam until very tender, about 10 minutes.

  2. While the vegetables are steaming, add the water, nutritional yeast, starch, lemon juice, salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika (if using; I left this out) and a pinch of cayenne pepper, if desired, to your blender pitcher.

  3. When the steamed vegetables are tender, lift them out of the pot and add them to the blender. Blend until the mixture is very smooth-- it will be runny.

  4. Drain the sauce pot of the water from the steaming process, then pour the blended mixture into the empty pot. Heat the sauce over medium heat, stirring with a whisk until it thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the non-dairy milk until you reach your desired consistency.

  5. Add more salt to taste, then serve right away. This sauce is best used immediately, but it can be cooled completely and stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the fridge. Gently reheat the sauce when ready to use, but do not bring it to a boil. Whisk in

Recipe Notes

Make it Ahead: You can blend the sauce ingredients (omitting the non-dairy milk) and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days in advance. When you're ready to serve it, pour the mixture into the sauce pan, bring it to a boil and stir until thickened. Add the milk as needed for consistency and adjust the seasoning to taste before serving.