Aug 31

Vegan Cheese Sauce (…for loaded vegan nachos).

I’ve been wanting some really good vegan nachos for like ever.

We’re talking chips piled high with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, avocado, tofu, corn, red onions, cilantro, salsa…

…and then everything should be smothered in a ‘cheesy’ sauce.

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve picked up my phone and searched for “Best Vegan Nachos in Houston.”

Only to find…not much of anything.

And then I was totally like, “Hey, wait a minute, I have a food blog.  Why don’t I just make the things myself?”

So here we are.

My main worry was how to make the ‘cheese.’

Because you can’t have nachos without cheese.

And I can’t have dairy without              .*

See the dilemma?

Luckily, when you mix together nutritional yeast and cashews, a cheesy delicious sauce is created.

So naturally, I’ve been dipping everything in it.  Lettuce, sweet potatoes, tofu strips, spoons, chips, celery…but back to the nachos.  They were exactly what I’ve been looking for.

*fill in negative side effect of choice.

Vegan Cheese Sauce

makes about 2 cups

[inspired by my appetite…which you can now view on instagram:) username=immaeatthat]

1 yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp cashews, toasted


1 cup nutritional yeast

5 turns/cranks of Alessi Dipping Spices Seasoning (can just substitute in ~1/2 tsp ground sea salt)

Add oil to a saute pan and heat over medium-high heat.  Once oil is heated, add in your chopped onion and red pepper.  Season with salt and pepper.  Saute vegetables for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently.  Once vegetables have softened, stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Transfer your sauteed mixture to a blender.  To the blender, also add in the nutritional yeast, cashews, and alessi dipping spices seasoning.  Blend until smooth.  Serve hot or cold.

Loaded Vegan Nachos

serves 1 happy person

16 Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips

Piled high with…

3/4 cup shredded cabbage

1/4 cup chopped tomato

1/2 block tofu made via this method

1/4 large avocado

3 heaping Tbsp Vegan Cheese Sauce (the above recipe)

25 comments on “Vegan Cheese Sauce (…for loaded vegan nachos).”

  1. I want to stuff my face with that cheese sauce. Just saying.

  2. Oh yummy… I’d like that right now… Really. I don’t mind it’s 7 AM here. I want cheese sauce.

  3. I just discovered your blog, very nice !
    I was wondering if it would be as good as your cheese sauce if replacing cashews with peanuts ?
    Thanks !

    • Hi Mithra!

      Thanks for the comment!

      Peanuts would give the cheese sauce a slightly different taste and texture, but that might not be a bad thing!

      Cashews are used frequently in vegan cooking because when raw they don’t have much taste and just allow for added creaminess. If peanuts were used in this sauce, I imagine the sauce would have a definite peanut taste (potentially a good thing) and wouldn’t be quite as smooth (a little gritty from the peanuts).

      If you decide to try it out, let me know how it goes!

  4. oh my gosh, this looks so good! what a great sauce!!!

  5. That looks delicious! I have tried alfredo-like cheese sauces with raw cashews and they turned out really good. Right now, I’m working my way through CASES of Follow Your Heart vegan cheese. I came up with a really good “cheese” sauce that was incredibly easy and a hit with my family. I will have to try yours, too!

    • I’ve never even heard of Follow Your Heart cheeses!! Yum:) I’ll have to look for it!

      And I’m heading over to find your “cheese” sauce recipes:)

  6. I can’t wait to try this! I have missed nachos and mac n cheese since I am no longer able to tolerate dairy.

    • I can’t tolerate dairy either (except I can tolerate Greek Yogurt!) and have been dairy-free for about 6 months. I missed cheese/milk at first but recipes like this help:) I accidently ate Nutella the other day which I totally didn’t realize had dairy in it…the outcome was less than ideal…

      • I found out I was gluten and dairy intolerant. I thought I would die without my cheese, and all things wheat. I found the almond cheese was more tolerable than the soy and rice ones’s. I had a vegan cheese sauce at a restaurant the other day and I was inspired to search, and here I am. Today the ingredients are on my shopping list. By the way, I tried a little bleu cheese and I was ok with that, I will try the Greek yogurt, of course I will make sure I have no plans to go anywhere.

        • I’ve never tried any vegan cheeses before but maybe I’ll give almond cheese a try. And I’ve been avoiding blue cheese (which I used to love) but I might give that a try again. Good suggestions:))

  7. I think the almond cheeses have casein in theme- so if you want vegan you’ll have to pass on them :-(

  8. This looks so G.O.O.D. I tried this raw vegan burger at this place my friend showed me, and it had a “cheese” sauce on it that I went nuts over! So eager to try this recipe! Thought maybe it could work on pizza? Hopefully the heat thickens it up ^_^

  9. isnt there any liquid ?

    • Nope. Mine blended fine because the softened veggies added a lot of liquid once they started blending. If you’re not using a vitamix/high powered blender, you could just add some almond milk to get everything going:) I hope it works out!!

  10. I just made this and it is delicious! I was looking for a cheesy sauce that didn’t require vegan butter or tons of oil. I used a yellow pepper instead, and added a few extra cloves of garlic. I didn’t have the Alessi dipping sauce seasoning, so I used black salt with a little rosemary, pinch of red pepper, and thyme instead.

    This cheese sauce actually tastes very much like the cheese sauce in a Peruvian dish called “papa a la huancaina”. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    • Hi Angelique! I’m so glad you liked it:) I have a feeling I would like Peruvian food A LOT!! I need to make this sauce again, I’ve been wanting to make an enchilada dish with it!

  11. I made this last night, and followed the recipe except for the Alessi seasoning (used salt & pepper instead). My faux cheese sauce looked exactly the same as yours in terms of color and consistency.

    Taste-wise, was yours sweet? I found mine to be so sweet that I could not eat it, and the overall flavor combination was not something I’d want to eat on purpose. Where did I go wrong? I was so excited to try this recipe, and now I’m pretty bummed.

    Has anyone else found this to be overly sweet? I may have to try it again, although I really have no idea what I did wrong.

    • So sorry it came out way too sweet!! It is a sweet sauce but I still liked it! You might add a less sweet pepper like a green bell pepper instead of the red. Also, when I made this recipe I used it on top of nachos (like in the pictures) so I guess the sweetness was balanced out! Hopefully some other people will comment about how the sauce turned out for them…my opinion of it is biased haha:) again, sorry about you not liking it:( it’s so frustrating to go through the work of making a recipe only to have it not turn out!!

      • Thanks for your reply!

        I’ve been pretty lucky with trying different recipes, so having the occasional dud is not so bad. I’m glad you and so many others like this sauce.

  12. Pingback: Loaded Nachos with Vegan ‘Cheese’ Sauce | The Wheatless Kitchen

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