I'm not gonna lie to you. I had a serious cheese addiction and never thought I could give up dairy let alone be making a dairy-free cheese sauce from scratch.
I guess you never know what you are capable of until you try, right?
And as someone who literally had a poster of cheese in their bedroom as a kid, I can honestly tell you that this sauce will change your life.
Seriously, if you can no longer consume dairy or choose not to because you are vegan or for any other reason, this sauce tastes incredibly similar to a real cheese sauce...you know, the kind you might lather all over your nachos at the ballpark. 😉
Why you'll love this vegan cheese recipe
- easy vegan cheese sauce recipe with no coconut milk or any plant-based milk at all
- nut-free cheese sauce is a great option for those who have a nut allergy and is an optimal replacement for cashew cheese sauce
- simple ingredients you can find at most grocery stores
- you'll want to use this easy peasy vegan sauce on everything from a baked potato to your favorite steamed veggies
Ingredients you'll need
- Potatoes - I find Yukon Gold to work best.
- Nutritional Yeast Flakes - provides a cheesy flavor
- Lemon Juice
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
See measurements in the recipe card below.
How to make nut-free vegan cheese sauce
Add the chopped potatoes and carrots to a 2-quart pot.
Cover with water, and bring to a boil and cook for approximately 15 minutes.
Tip: The carrots and potatoes should be cooked until very soft so that if you stick a fork in a piece, it starts to fall apart.
Add nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, olive oil, lemon juice and water to a high-powered blender.
Drain the potatoes and carrots in a mesh strainer and add to the blender.
Secure the lid and blend on high.
Stop to scrape down the sides as needed, and keep blending in the high-speed blender until the ingredients are well-incorporated and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
Storing and reheating
Cheese sauce can be stored in an airtight sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reheat leftovers in a microwave safe dish in 15-second intervals, stirring in between.
You can also reheat in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until heated throughout.
Ideas for serving
This creamy cheese sauce is perfect to serve over veggies such as broccoli or cauliflower.
Or use it as a dip for tortilla chips, French fries or these air fryer frozen sweet potato fries.
It's also great on our pinto bean tacos and sweet potato black bean burgers.
Whether you pour it on or dip into it, the options are endless!
Frequently asked questions
Yes, but doing so will result in a sweeter taste. And, the measurements will be a little different. Instead of 1 ¾ cups chopped Yukon Gold potatoes, use 1 ½ cups chopped sweet potatoes. You will also have to add more water. Start with ¾ cup water and add more as needed in 1-tablespoon increments.
Yes, but you will be able to taste the cauliflower in it and the final product will be a little more sharp. If using cauliflower, replace the potatoes with the same amount of chopped cauliflower (1 ¾ cups). Boil the cauliflower along with the carrots just as the directions note for the potatoes. Instead of ½ cup water, start with ¾ cup and add 1-2 more tablespoons after blending, if needed, to thin out.
More dairy-free "cheese" sauce recipes
For a nacho version of this great recipe, check out our Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce next.
Vegan Cheese Sauce
- 1 ½ cup peeled and chopped Yukon Gold or other gold potatoes (cubes or chunks about 1" thick)
- 1 cup peeled and diced carrots
- 6 tablespoon filtered water (plus more if needed)
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- Add the potatoes and carrots to a 2-quart pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until *very soft (approximately 15 minutes once boiling).
- Add ½ cup water, nutritional yeast, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder to a high-powered blender.
- Drain the potatoes and carrots in a mesh strainer (5 ½" or 7 ⅞" size) and add to the blender.
- Secure the lid and blend on high, scraping down the sides as needed, until the ingredients are well-incorporated and the sauce is smooth and creamy. If the sauce is too thick for your liking after you've used ½ cup water, you can add 1-2 tablespoons more water and blend again.
(Please refer to the post above for instructional photographs and other helpful information for this recipe)
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your Funny... can't wait to try this; I'm doing the potato cleanse.. and this will be when I start having a hard time w that. Thank you for posting (and making me laugh)
Thanks Lizzy! Glad you enjoy my humor; it drives my kids bonkers lol 😉 Good luck with your cleanse and hope you enjoy the "cheese." 🙂
what if you can't have yeast (brewers or baking ) so I am guessing I can't have nutritional yeast either. Do you need this? I am new to this who restricted diet thing.
Hi Angie! I would definitely check with your health care professional about the nutritional yeast as I know it is different from those other two but I wouldn't want you to eat something you shouldn't. I have not tested this recipe without the nutritional yeast as it is largely responsible for the "cheesy" flavor in this sauce. However, I did find two other recipes using carrot and potato that don't call for it so perhaps one of those would work better for you. Here they are: https://www.veggiesdontbite.com/ultimate-cheese-sauce/ and https://eathealthyeathappy.com/life-changing-vegan-cheese-sauce-clean-glutenfree/. Hope that helps and best of luck to you! 🙂