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Easy Plant-Based Cheese Sauce

Easy Plant-Based Cheese Sauce

This is the best vegan cheese sauce! Made with cashews and nutritional yeast, it is dairy-free and gluten-free. It is quick and easy to make as well.

Vegan cheese sauce in a jar.

One of the things I miss the most on a plant-based diet is my mom’s cheese sauce. She used to put it on broccoli, and it was absolutely delicious. It made me super excited about eating broccoli when I was growing up.  So, I decided that I would try making my own vegan cheese sauce so that I could put it on everything and get excited about eating vegetables again! It really doesn’t taste much like your typical cheese sauce, but it’s a delicious alternative with some cheesy vibes.

Blending the Ingredients:

If you don’t have a powerful blender or food processor, you may not be able to get this sauce feeling silky smooth. But no worries, because this sauce will still be delicious with a bit of texture to it. I recommend blending the cashews with the water and vegetable broth for a while before adding the remaining ingredients so that the cashews have more time to blend.  

For a smoother sauce, boil your cashews for a longer time so that they will soften up some more. You can also soak your cashews in water overnight, however I prefer the boiling method so that I can make this sauce quickly without having to wait for my cashews to soak after deciding to make it.  

How I Use This Cheese Sauce:

This is the perfect sauce for pasta or rice bowls.


I’ve been putting this sauce on soooo many other things lately too. Here are some ideas:







Green beans


Basically any vegetables!

Not only is this plant-based cheese sauce delicious, but it is healthy as well. No dairy or processed ingredients makes this sauce something that you can add to any dish without feeling guilty. This sauce is definitely not for a cheat day! If you’re on a weight loss journey, this sauce will help you stay on track.

Pasta with vegan cheese sauce.

Easy Plant-Based Cheese Sauce

This is the best vegan cheese sauce! Made with cashews and nutritional yeast, it is dairy-free
and gluten-free. The perfect healthy plant-based sauce for pasta, rice,
potatoes, or nachos!

Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword: gluten-free, oil-free, vegan
Servings: 2 cups


  • 1 cup raw cashews*
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper (approx. 75 grams)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard


  • Boil approximately 3 cups of water. Add the cashews and reduce boil to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes to soften the cashews.
  • Remove cashews from the water and add them to a food processor with ½ cup water and ½ cup vegetable broth. Blend.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth.


*You can soak the cashews in room temperature water for at least 3 hours instead of boiling, but I prefer boiling on the stove because it is much faster. 
The best vegan cheese sauce. Dairy-free and gluten-free.

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