Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce (Gluten-free, too!)

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce |

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce | savannamehrad.comPrepare yourself for a mind blowing cheese experience. This Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce is da bomb, guys – you need to get it in your lives. Like, now.

So sit back, get your stretchy pants on, and let me take your taste buds to flavour-town. Oh, yeah!

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce | savannamehrad.comThis Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce is one of my all-time favourite things to make at home. It’s incredibly creamy, dippable, pourable, tangy, rich and oh so cheesy. Of course, we’re talking about vegan cheese here, so no cows were harmed in the making of this cheese sauce. But plenty of nachos were harmed though – it was actually a full on nacho massacre all up in here. More on that later though.

This cheese sauce is going to be you new favourite go-to and I can’t wait to share this recipe with you all. It’s amazing, so prepare to be amazed!

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce | savannamehrad.comThis cheese sauce was inspired by one of the best mac and cheese recipes I have ever tried. I thought it was impossible to make it any better, until one day I was just randomly playing around with the proportions of the ingredients and BLAMO – the absolute best nacho cheese sauce recipe I’ve ever had. It was so good that I knew I had to share it with you all.

This vegan nacho cheese sauce gets it’s creaminess from a blend of vegetables and cashews and it’s incredible flavour comes from a whole grab bag of ingredients. On paper, you are probably going to call me cray-cray after looking at this recipe, but I assure you that this vegan nacho cheese sauce is the real deal.

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce | savannamehrad.comThe only thing that might rival the amazing taste of this incredible vegan nacho cheese sauce is the short amount of time it takes to make this dreamy, creamy sauce. It comes together in less than 30 minutes! Now that’s my kind of sauce 😉

And don’t be scared of the “nacho” part of this vegan nacho cheese sauce – while the sauce does have a slight tangy spice to it, I feel like it’s really the tang of this sauce that makes the sauce believable. The sauce is also incredibly versatile too – it makes the meanest baked vegan mac ‘n cheese that I’ve ever had. Don’t fret, I promise to share all the details about that recipe with you soon!

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce | Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce | savannamehrad.comIn addition to being amazingly perfect in baked mac ‘n cheese, this cheese sauce is to die for on it’s own. Dipping nachos into it is a new regular pastime in our house, as well as making a very special Mexican dish that I will be sharing with you in a few more days. It was also amazing drizzled over top of our Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins and finished off with a big ‘ole dollop of The Best Damn Vegan Sour Cream. Oh baby, you guys have some serious recipe goodness coming your way soon – I can’t wait!!! Eeeek! 🙂

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce | savannamehrad.comSo, without further ado, I impart unto you my favourite-est cheese recipe of all times. Let me know if you try it out – tag your pictures with #glutenfreeveganpantry and post them to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Also, leave us some comment love and a rating to let us know how you enjoyed this amazing vegan nacho cheese sauce – I’d love to know if you adore it as much as I do! Let your own nacho massacre begin!

Lots of love & happy eats, Savanna |

4.0 from 3 reviews
Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce (Gluten-free, too!)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This vegan nacho cheese sauce is the perfect dip to serve at the next big game party or for Cinco de Mayo. It's creamy, rich and super dreamy - plus, your friends will never know it's dairy free!
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan
Serves: 5 cups
  • 2 cups potatoes, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • ¼ cup shallots, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • ½ cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • ⅓ cup vegan margarine
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 8 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  1. Place potatoes, water, carrots, onions and shallots into a medium sauce pan. Boil for 15 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are cooked. Do not drain the water.
  2. Pour entire contents of pot (all vegetables and cooking water) into a blender.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients and blend on high for 5 minutes, tamping as needed, until smooth and creamy.
This vegan nacho cheese sauce stores well in the fridge for up to a week. We store ours in the blender container and then just pop back onto the base of the blender and give it a whirl for a few minutes to get things moving again when we want to enjoy it later in the week.

Heavily modified from <a href="" target="_blank" data-mce-href="">VegNews Vegan Macaroni 'n' Cheese</a>
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 277 Fat: 17g Saturated fat: 4g Carbohydrates: 24g Sugar: 4g Sodium: 246mg Fiber: 4g Protein: 6g Cholesterol: 0mg



Hello! Welcome to the! My name is Savanna and I'm so excited that you've decided to stop by and check out my little blog.

This blog started out as a journey of living adventurously in the kitchen, trialing gluten free, vegan, whole food recipes that you and your whole family can enjoy.

Fast forward a few years and I've chosen to breath new life into it, this time, focus on my mental health journey, sharing the tools, resources and practices that continue to help me on my self-healing path.

I hope that you'll enjoy tagging along with me on this new adventure - I can't wait to share all of my ideas with each of you and look forward to your feedback along the way. I'd love to hear from you - whether it's a comment on a post, sharing your own unique journey or even just a quick hello! Feel free to leave a note in the comments or send me an email at savanna [at]

Lots of love and big hugs!

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  1. Hi there, could I use vegan butter instead of vegan margarine? Would it make much of a difference in taste/texture?

  2. We don’t eat mustard in our household – is there a substitution for the dijon that comes somewhat close in flavor so I don’t have to go out and buy a container of it to use only 1 Tablespoon? Or if I just omit it entirely, does the flavor lack entirely?

    1. Hi Kasey, The Dijon mustard adds a tanginess to this recipe. You could try maybe substituting apple cider vinegar? Add slowly though, adjusting to suit your personal taste.

  3. Hi there,
    I just tried to make this sauce as I am looking for tasty food ideas for a medically altered diet. I’m not too sure what I did wrong, but it wasn’t good at all. I added everything required subbing only yellow for dijon mustard (I’m not a mustard fan as it is). It’s very bland and has a grainy flavor to it. Sigh. Sorry, maybe I’ll try again one day.

  4. Can the Vegan Margarine be left out?…or is there something else you recommend in place of it for those that are trying to avoid oil?

  5. Is nutritional yeast different than regular ole “Fleishmanns” yeast? Could I use that or not for same results.?

    1. Nutritional yeast is must different than regular Fleishmanns yeast. You should be able to pick some up at your local health food store or your local bulk barn. You could also order it off of Amazon; Bob’s Red Mill carries it.

  6. I made this today and used everything but cashews (I added a little coconut oil). I put prepared Dijon (was this right?) all we can taste is the Dijon. I hate to start all over – anything I can add/do to make it less Dijon-y? The texture is spot on.

    1. Hmmm that’s unfortunate. Maybe try adding a bit more lemon juice to counteract the mustard?

  7. Is the nutritional yeast really supposed to be Tablespoons? I followed this recipe as written and it doesn’t look or taste anything like is described.

    1. Hi Paul,
      Yes, the nutritional yeast should be in Tbsp. Some people don’t enjoy the taste of nutritional yeast as much as others so maybe start out with less and then adjust? You can also play around with the amounts of dijon, lemon juice and cayenne pepper to better suit your tastebuds.

  8. This recipe looks amazing,. easy to make and the flavoring sounds spot on. I will be making this in the near future! Thank you for sharing.

  9. Hey im wondering did u use sweet potatoes or can u use regular potatoes as well?

    1. I haven’t used sweet potatoes for this but it’s on my list of things to try – I thing it would be super tasty with this substitution. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out so that I can share with my readers!

  10. Tasted absolutely gorgeous xx

  11. Yes, this tasted wonderful x There is none to save for another day as it all got eaten …rather quickly x

    1. So happy you enjoyed it so much! It’s definitely one of our go-to recipes at home 🙂

  12. I’m new to Vegan and this cheese sauce looks like the best thing EVER! My question is regarding the cashews – when you soak them for a recipe, do you leave the container you soak them in on the counter? Or in the fridge? Is there any reason why I couldn’t just have some perpetually soaking so they’re on hand when needed? Your advise is great appreciated!

    1. Hi Angie,

      Usually when I soak my cashews, I place the container in the fridge overnight. I have discovered the hard way though that soaking cashews does have a “shelf life”, so to say. Once, I kept delaying the recipe I was making and had cashews in my fridge that had been soaking for four days. When I went to use them, I noticed the colour looked off and they smelled bad – needless to say, I promptly tossed them in the compost and soaked some fresh cashews. So, while it’s nice to have soaked cashews on hand, be careful that you don’t end up having to toss them out as a result of them soaking for too long.

      Best of luck with the recipe!

    2. I’ve read cashews should only be soaked 6-7 hours (I’ve only done it a few times but I have some soaking now too), but then once they’re drained I’ve been able to keep them in a bowl in the fridge for a few days without going bad. Don’t let the container be too air-tight, and I shake them around or dump them out and put them back in with the bottom ones on top every day or so.

  13. Sounds super yum! Sadly I have a carrot allergy. Any suggestions for something I could use instead without messing up the flavour?

    1. Hi Cindy,
      I believe the carrot really just helps with the colour. While I haven’t tried it myself, you could probably try subbing in the same amount of sweet potatoes. If you try this, let me know how it turns out!!

  14. I have almost everything to make this today but the shallots. Can I just increase the onion amount?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Christine,
      I have made this recipe without the shallots and can tell you that, while still good, it is just not the same without them. They really help to bring a certain depth to this recipe and the result is a fabulous flavour.

  15. Great pictures, thanks for the inspiration!
    I have a doubt: I am supposed to add salt?

    1. Hi Nef,
      This recipe is completely salt-free but you could add some if you felt it needed it 🙂

  16. Hi Savanna, Just a quick question regarding the soaked-overnight cashews.. What are they soaked in? Just water. TIA xx

    1. Hi Mikaela,

      Yup, just water 🙂 If you’re in a pinch, you can soak them in boiling water for about 30 minutes instead. 🙂

  17. I was wondering if there was a sub for the cashews….my kids are allergic to them.


    1. Hi Aliyanna,
      Are they allergic to all nuts? If it’s just cashews, try subbing in macadamia nuts. Alternatively, you could probably just leave them out – it would be a touch less creamy but the flavour would be the same, I think. Let me know what you end up doing – I’d love to hear how it turns out!!

  18. You can’t go wrong with nacho dip! I love that this uses potatoes, cashews and carrots! I bet it’s so flavorful!

    1. It’s even better when you use it to make mac and cheese…*drools*

  19. Is there a substitute for vegan margarine? I am wondering if I could use coconut oil or butter. Would it mess up the flavor?

    1. Hi Gail,
      The recipe is actually still great without the margarine so you could just omit it completely if you aren’t able to eat it. If you find it needs a little something to help make it even creamier, try a bit of coconut oil – I haven’t personally tried it but I think it would do the trick. Let me know how it works out!

  20. Savanna, this looks amazing! I can’t use vegan margarine. What do you suggest I sub with? Maybe organic silken tofu? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Kelly,
      To be honest, the recipe is great without the margarine, it just adds a touch more creaminess. I would try using coconut oil if you can’t have vegan margarine. Maybe start with half the amount of the margarine subbed with coconut oil and see how you like it? Let me know how it turns out!

  21. Can’t wait to try it. How much lemon juice? Is it 1/4 cup?

    1. Yep, it’s a 1/4 cup. Thanks for catching that – I’ll update the recipe! 🙂

  22. Delicious! It looks so creamy, but judging by the ingredients isn’t that heavy at all…Loving the arrangement too!

    1. Thanks so much, Matea!

  23. I love this! And the fact that it uses potatoes to help get it nice and thick (as a cheese sauce should be!) is just genius. Definitely sharing!

    1. Thanks, Alyssa! I completely agree – cheese sauce should always be thick and gooey – YUM!

  24. I try a similar recipe for vegan cheese, it’s incredible how many delicious things you can make with vegetables right? You take amazing photos by the way

    1. Thanks, Azu! My wonderful husband found the cute dishes at a thrift shop – score! Thanks for the sweet words about the photography!!

  25. Firstly, I love your cute wooden serving dishes! Also, I don’t think I will ever get tired of trying new variations on vegan queso sauce. I love that your recipe uses veggies, and the color you achieved is beautiful!

    1. Thanks, Michelle – one of the things I love the most is how vibrant this recipe turns out!

  26. This cheese sauce is making me so hungry right now. Nachos are my #1 weakness.

    1. I hear ya! this sauce gets me every time!

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