Hi friends! We’ve talked before about how much we love cheese, and how it led me to publishing this incredibly easy vegan parmesan cheese recipe. Well, as amazing as that recipe is, I felt the need for something to pour over nachos during a lazy weekend movie night… hence this easiest ever vegan cheese sauce recipe!
So many people say that when they try to go vegan, no matter if they’ve got really good reasons to go vegan, cheese is what throws them off course. Mature cheddar, sharp parmesan, creamy and tangy blue… all of them!
If you go into any vegan beginner group such as the ones on Facebook and ask ‘where can I get good vegan cheese?” you will generally get two main answers. One is ‘wait until your tastebuds change in 6 months time, and then the store-bought coconut oil based cheese such as Violife, will taste alright’.
The other is “forget it, you’re vegan now so put cheese in the past and just forget it existed.” Hmm. I totally get both of these types of thinking and it may be true for some people that they get used to the taste of coconut-oil cheeses, but they’re really not the best in terms of health.
I know that regular dairy cheese doesn’t exactly count as a health food anyway, but when I went vegan I found that I felt quite restricted as to what I could eat, so I didn’t want to cut out cheese but I also didn’t want to carry on eating whole packs of Violife in a day and a half (true story) because I felt so hungry and was craving it so badly.
There is definitely another way. I can’t promise you that anything is going to taste exactly like a dairy mature cheddar unless you go for a super expensive specialist artisan vegan cheese deli (and good luck finding one), but I do think we can get, at home, a balance of good cheesey taste, and healthiness, and convenience.
That’s why I’m thrilled with this vegan cheese sauce recipe. It’s made from whole, nutritious foods, it is pretty cheesey and it is adaptable to make SEVEN different kinds of cheese sauce! Yep, 7. It’s also gluten free.
Enjoy pepperjack, smoked gouda, mixed herb and even bacon flavor cheese sauces by simply popping a couple of extra ingredients into your food processor with the basic recipe. Ideal for making several dips for tortilla chips or as a tasty sauce for burgers!
This basic recipe calls for just 4 ingredients and they are all pretty basic vegan store cupboard ingredients (if you are wondering what I mean, check out my vegan grocery list with 12 essential items for stocking your kitchen).
These ingredients can be picked up in any large food store and are some of the few ingredients that I’d recommend on any beginner vegan’s shopping list as store-cupboard essentials. When I first explored vegan food I was wary of things I hadn’t heard of (such as nutritional yeast)- now they are my staples and I use them in everything!
This creamy sauce is perfect for making mac and cheese, topping nachos or dipping sliced raw veggies. Simply pop the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until silky smooth.
Hey presto, you have the best and easiest vegan cheese sauce recipe!
To make the pepperjack version of this recipe, just pop half a teaspoon each of onion powder and garlic powder, and finish with a teaspoon of red pepper flakes stirred through. For smoked gouda flavor cheese sauce add a teaspoon of smoked paprika, half a teaspoon of dried dill and half a teaspoon of garlic powder (man I love garlic powder, don’t you?)
For mixed herb sauce add 2 teaspoons of any mixed dried herbs of your choice (the type you add to bolognese). I also like to add a quarter teaspoon each of onion and garlic powder.
You can also use the basic recipe to make vegan cheese spread for sandwiches and melty cheese for grilled and baked dishes. For cheese spread simply leave the product in the fridge for 24 hours, or change the water amount to just 3 tablespoons.
For vegan melty cheese, pop the finished recipe into a saucepan and stir constantly over a medium heat for around 5 minutes. Then pour over the food about to be cooked and continue!
I hope you enjoy this vegan cheese sauce recipe- let me know how you get on and what you cook with the results!
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for last least 60 minutes in warm water and drained (reserve the water)
- 2 tbsps lemon juice
- 2 tbsps nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup reserved soaking water
- 1/2 tsp white or chickpea miso, or soy sauce (gluten free if needed)
- + 1/2 tsp onion powder
- + 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- + 1 tsp red pepper flakes
Smoked Gouda Variety
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
Mixed Herb Variety
- + 2 tsp mixed herbs
- + 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- + 1/4 tsp onion powder
- + 1/2 tsp bacon seasoning
- + 1 tbsp 'bacon' coconut flakes
- Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add a tablespoon or two more water if the cheese is too thick.
- Pour over nachos, pasta or gratins and enjoy!
- * If you are making the 'baked melted cheese' version, use 2/3 cup of water instead of 1/4 and add 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Then heat gently in a saucepan for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Then stir it into/ pour it onto whatever you are cooking, and continue your recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 155Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 703mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 8g
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and is approximate. I cannot be held responsible for any results or effects that occur as a result of action taken by readers as a result of reading anything on this website. Recipes may be adapted.