Enjoy a delicious vegan cashew cheese sauce you can make in just minutes. Perfect for nachos, pasta, or as a dip.
If you don't like broccoli, you find baked potatoes boring, and creamy is your favorite food group, this easy vegan cheese sauce is for you!
It will liven up your potatoes and broccoli like no other condiment. Made from raw cashews, too much won't be kind to your hips, but it will be good for your lips.
This staple recipe at our house gets drizzled on everything - pizza, potatoes, veggies, and rice bowls. It is the same recipe I use for my Chili Cheese Fries, where my family consumes a double batch of this gooey delight.
Popular uses for cashew cheese sauce
- Pasta Sauce: This sauce is an excellent alternative to traditional Alfredo sauce.
- Pizza Topping: It's a great substitute for traditional pizza cheese. It is a healthier option and tastes just as good.
- Dip: Vegan cashew cheese sauce can be used as a dip for vegetables, crackers, or chips. It is perfect for parties or gatherings.
- Dressing: This sauce can be used as a dressing for salads. It is a healthy and flavorful alternative to traditional salad dressings.
- Grilled Cheese or Burger Topping: Vegan cashew cheese sauce is a great substitute for traditional cheese in your grilled cheeses or burgers.
- Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich: Smother this on top of a steak sandwich made with Beyond Steak Seared Tips, red peppers, and onions.
Here are the ingredients for this delicious recipe that you may already have in your pantry. The tahini is optional.
- Cashews are not the most budget-friendly ingredient - the price is nuts - but this recipe is meant as a condiment and used sparingly. I buy my cashews from Costco, but you can find them on Amazon for a reasonable price. Raw cashews are better in this recipe because roasted cashews won't give you the desired creaminess.
- Nutritional Yeast (AKA, Nooch) - If you're new to plant-based cooking, nutritional yeast sounds like a weird ingredient, doesn't it? But I'm here to tell you that nooch is a staple in most plant-based kitchens because it has a nutty, cheesy flavor and is often used to add a savory flavor to dishes that traditionally use cheese. It adds flavor and protein to dishes without adding unhealthy fats or cholesterol. It's a deactivated yeast found in the baking aisle of most supermarkets.
- Tahini - This ingredient is optional in this recipe, but I add it for the depth of flavor it adds to this sauce. Tahini is made from toasted ground sesame seeds and used as a base in many sauces and dressings. It is found in many hummus recipes. I buy it at Trader Joe's or on Amazon. Not all tahini brands taste the same, so experiment to find your favorite.
- Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Water - Adjust the amount of water until you achieve the desired consistency.
How To Make Easy Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce
If you like pictures, here are a couple to show you what you'll be doing. This recipe comes together fast!
Place all the ingredients in a blender, bullet, or food processor.
Blend the ingredients until they reach a smooth and creamy texture. Gradually add a tablespoon of water at a time to achieve your desired consistency.
- For thicker cheese, use less water. For a thinner salad dressing consistency, use more water.
- You can soak the cashews if you do not have a high-speed blender. Soak them in hot water for 90 minutes before blending or for at least 4 hours in room-temperature water to get a creamier consistency with a regular blender. Check out Guide to Soaking Cashews for other ways to plump up those cashews.
- For storage, place in an air-tight container for 3 to 4 days.
- If you like making sauces and dressings at home, I have a quick and easy method for making any sauce in How to Make Homemade Vegan Sauces.
- If you want other delicious cheese sauces to try, check out Best Nut-Free Vegan Cheese Sauce or Vegan Cashew Queso.
You can freeze vegan cashew cheese sauce for up to three months. When you are ready to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator, reheat it on the stove, and add water to reach the desired consistency.
Vegan cashew cheese sauce is a healthy alternative to traditional cheese sauces. It is free from cholesterol and unhealthy fats. But use in moderation if reducing calorie intake is what you're after.
Yes, you can use roasted cashews to make the vegan cashew cheese sauce, but it is best to use raw cashews to get the creamiest texture.
- 1 cup cashews (soaked if necessary (look at tips)
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic (¼ tsp of dried)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and mix until creamy and smooth. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. Use a nutritional app like Cronometer to get information on the exact ingredients and amounts you are using.
I recommend a high-speed blender for this recipe. You can still use a regular blender, but blending into a creamy consistency may take time.
If you want it spicy, blend in a jalapeno or add some red pepper flakes.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: condiment, dressing, sauce
- Method: Blender
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- Serving Size: ¼ cup
- Calories: 218
- Sugar: 2
- Sodium: 588
- Fat: 16
- Saturated Fat: 3
- Carbohydrates: 13
- Fiber: 2
- Protein: 9
- Cholesterol: 0 mg