This tasty and easy-to-make Vegan Cheese Sauce is gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free and soy-free. Pour it on all your favorite veggies…or even French fries. You can also mix it with pasta for a rich and creamy mac and cheese.
First, I’d like to share a little diddy I call The Day I Gave Up Cheese.
♪ Not so long long ago
I can still remember how
That che-ese used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my cheese
It would make me feel at ease
And then I would be happy for a while
But Veganuary made me consider
Giving up dairy cheese forever
I knew that as I wept
I’d just take it step by step
I tried and tried and tried and tried
To let it go with all my might
Something brought me to my knees
The day I gave up cheese
Bye, bye cheddar cheese-laden fries
Now my cheese is made from carrots and potatoes, oh my!
And those good ole cows are letting out a big sigh
Singin’, “this is a cheese you gotta try…
This is a cheese you gotta try.” ♫
Prize winning song parody? Maybe.
A winning vegan cheese sauce recipe? Heck yeah!
But before we get into the delicious details, let’s check out the backstory, shall we?
As mentioned in my masterpiece above, I took part in the Veganuary challenge this year. Going in, I knew it was was going to be tough for this self-proclaimed “cheeseivore” to give up her FAVORITE food…cheese!
Side note: When I say cheese was my “favorite food,” that is an understatement. I was OBSESSED with cheese. In fact, my parents would joke around saying that my first word was “cheese.” I used to put gourmet cheese balls and crackers on my Christmas list. As a teenager, I had a cheese poster on my wall. I even said that I could give up coffee and chocolate but NEVER. EVER. CHEESE.
I have to admit there were a few slip ups here and there, but I made it through most of January without cheese. When the month was over, I surprisingly found myself compelled to continue eating a plant-based diet, and I decided to start the transition process.
Today, I’m proud to say that I have officially cut all dairy products (including my formerly beloved cheese) from my diet. I can honestly say that I feel much healthier and have also noticed a drastic improvement in my asthma symptoms.
So, while I won’t be enjoying “cheddar cheese-laden” fries anytime soon, I will be enjoying vegan cheese-laden fries instead.
So, how did this one-time poster child for cheese give it up? I found just as satisfying alternatives, that’s how. I’m not going to lie to you…it took A LOT of experimenting with making homemade cheeses and taste-testing store-bought ones. There are some amazing vegan cheeses available today. Vegan cheese making has definitely come a long way.
Speaking of cheese making, let’s get to it…
Learn how to make it
To make this Vegan Cheese Sauce, I opted to use pumpkin seeds instead of cashews since they worked so well in my Vegan Parmesan Cheese. Personally, I think they make the sauce a little more tangy, along the lines of a sharp cheddar. And they allow the sauce to stay nut-free, so those with nut allergies can enjoy it too.
To soften the pumpkin seeds, cover them with boiling water and set them aside for 20 minutes.
I like to use my BREVO electric kettle to boil water because it does the job much faster than on the stovetop.
In addition to the pumpkin seeds, the base of this sauce is also made with carrots and potatoes. So, while the pumpkin seeds are soaking, peel and cut the potatoes and carrots into very small chunks. Add the potatoes and carrots to a 2-quart pot.
Cover with water, and bring to a boil and cook until tender (approximately 10 minutes). Add nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, lemon juice and water to a high-powered blender.
Drain pumpkin seeds along with the potatoes and carrots in a mesh strainer 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 (approximately 2 minutes).
So, what do you think? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂
Vegan Cheese Sauce [Nut-Free, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free]
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1 3/4 cup yukon gold potatoes (peeled and chopped into small chunks)
- 1 cup carrots (peeled and chopped into small chunks)
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- Cover pumpkin seeds with boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes
- While the pumpkin seeds are soaking, peel and cut potatoes and carrots into very small chunks.
- Add the potatoes and carrots to a 2-quart pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender (approximately 10 minutes).
- Add water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and turmeric to a high-powered blender.
- Drain pumpkin seeds along with the potatoes and carrots in a mesh strainer 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 (approximately 2 minutes) .
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