This vegan cheese sauce is full of flavor, smooth and creamy, despite being completely dairy free. You can serve it as a sauce or a dip with any plant based meal of your choice!
It’s perfect for mac and cheese, lasagna, as a pizza sauce or as a dip for chips. Made with just simple ingredients in 5 minutes.
Have you ever made your own vegan cheese sauce before? If you haven’t, you absolutely must!
It’s so easy to do and the result is not only incredibly delicious, but also so versatile. And I just love sauce recipes that go well with anything.
I absolutely love making vegan cheese. For instance, my spreadable cashew cheese is the best for spreading on crackers and toast.
But sometimes, we don’t have the time or patience to leave them in the fridge overnight.
So if you want a dairy-free cheese alternative that requires just 10 minutes, this vegan cheese sauce is perfect for you!
The result is thick, creamy, and very close to regular cheese sauce in terms of flavor. Both the taste and texture are exceptional, but there are no complicated ingredients or preparation techniques involved at all.
I can guarantee that you can impress anyone with this wonderful sauce!
Ingredients for vegan cheese sauce
Cashews. This is the main and most important ingredient. They’re great for making vegan cheese for a number of reasons. Firstly, they have a neutral flavor, and take on the profile of whatever you flavor them with. Secondly, when blended for long enough, the resulting texture is very smooth and creamy.
Plant based milk. You can use any unsweetened dairy-free milk of your choice to make this sauce.
Mustard. This is great for adding a deeper, more authentic cheese sauce flavor. Make sure to check the packaging as some are not vegan.
Seasoning: cumin, garlic granules and paprika. You can also add turmeric for color, but don’t add too much as the flavor can be quite overpowering.
Nutritional yeast. These dry flakes are great for adding a cheesy flavor to vegan dishes.
Lemon juice. I love adding a hint of citrus to my vegan cheeses as a balance to all the other ingredients.
Tapioca flour. I like to add tapioca right at the end of the cooking process to thicken the sauce a little bit more, but it’s optional as the sauce is thick by itself.
How to make vegan cheese sauce
It’s incredibly easy! Firstly, make sure that your cashews are adequately softened, especially if not using a high speed blender. Soak them in water for around 4 hours, or simmer in a saucepan for 15 minutes. A properly-soaked cashew will come apart between your fingers.
Drain and rinse the cashews thoroughly, then transfer them to a blender or food processor together with all the other ingredients except for the tapioca flour.
Blend for a couple of minutes until very smooth and no cashew lumps remain.
This step is optional, but if you want to make the sauce thicker, transfer it to a pan together with the tapioca flour. Stir over a medium heat for around 3-4 minutes, until the vegan cheese sauce reaches your desired consistency.
Instructions for storage and freezing
Vegan cheese sauce is best used immediately. However, if you're going to store it for later or freeze, skip adding the tapioca flour.
You can keep it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze it in ziplock bags for up to 2 months. Reheat on the stove directly from frozen.
How to serve vegan cheese sauce
Stir it with pasta to make an amazing vegan mac and cheese.
Add it to homemade vegan gnocchi for an exceptional weeknight meal.
Add it to a vegan Crunchwrap for extra flavor and deliciousness.
Use it as a dip for crackers, chips or garlic butter corn ribs.
Add it as a sauce to chickpea and cauliflower stuffed peppers.
You can also add it as a topping to French onion soup.
If you give this vegan cheese sauce a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@ohmyveggies), or leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating. I'd love to hear from you!
- Blender or food processor
- Drain and rinse the cashews thoroughly after soaking, then transfer them to a blender or food processor together with all the other ingredients except for the tapioca flour. Blend for a couple of minutes until very smooth and no cashew lumps remain.2 cups cashews, 2 ½ cups plant based milk, 1 tbsp mustard, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ cup nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Transfer the sauce to a pan together with the tapioca flour. Stir over a medium heat for around 3-4 minutes, until the vegan cheese sauce reaches your desired consistency.2 tbsp tapioca flour