Cashew cheese sauce is so rich and creamy that you won’t believe that it’s vegan! It’s a great addition to sandwiches, tacos, potatoes, and more! The cheesy flavor in this easy-to-make recipe comes from a blend of nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and miso. Drizzle this nondairy cheese on tacos, slather it on sandwiches, pour it on baked potatoes, or add it to any dish that could use a little bit of cheesy goodness. This easy recipes is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
My Go-To Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce
I consider this to be the best vegan cheese recipe! It’s so versatile! I spread it on raw “bread” for easy sandwiches in the summertime and drizzle it on nachos when I want a little snack. It’s adds a little flavor to just about anything – tacos, salads, baked potatoes, tofu scramble, avocado toast – you name it!
How to Make Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce
It couldn’t be easier to make non dairy cheese!
- You need to remember to soak your cashews ahead of time.
- Once they’ve soaked for about 2 hours, drain and rinse them.
- Then place the cashews along with the rest of the ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor and mix until smooth and creamy.
If the mixture seems too thick and won’t blend, add a little more water, a tablespoon at a time. Don’t add too much, as the cheese might end up too liquidy. It’s better to add a little as you blend.
Customizing your Cashew Cheese
This dairy-free cheese is incredibly versatile. You can add a variety of herbs and spices to change the flavor to suit what you’re serving it with. I sometimes add some spice when I’m serving it with nachos. Fresh herbs cool it down if I’m serving it with a dish that already has some heat to it.
- You can add a pinch of chili powder to spice it up for tacos and nachos.
- Add a dash of sriracha if you’d like to give your cheese sauce some heat.
- If you want an herbed cheese, you can add 1 tablespoon chopped dill and 1 tablespoon chopped chives.
Storing your Cashew Cheese
Cashew cheese will thicken as it sits, so you may need to add a little water to thin it out, depending on how you’re serving it. It freezes well, so if you find yourself wondering what to do with the full batch, you can pop some in the freeze and save it for later. Store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Raw cashews aren’t technically raw. Cashews have to be processsed with heat in order to be removed from their shells, which are toxic. They’re usually steamed or boiled in the process. They are considered “raw” because they haven’t been roasted.
For this recipe, you should soak your cashews for about 2 hours to soften them a little. If you have a high-speed blender, you might not need to soak your cashews. I have a Blendtec, but I find that my sauces are a little chunky if I don’t soak the cashews ahead of time.
In vegan circles, nutritional yeast is common as “nooch.” It’s a deactivated yeast that has a nutty, cheesy taste. Nooch contains protein, vitamins, and minerals, and is a good source of vitamin B12.
When I post recipes that call of nutritional yeast, I frequently have people ask if they can make the dish without it. Nutritional yeast will add a slightly cheesy flavor to this ricotta, and it won’t taste quite right without it, so I do not recommend skipping it.
Mello White Miso
Miso paste is usually made from fermented soybeans, but I have seen chickpea miso, too. It comes in several varieties. Typically, the darker it is, the stronger and saltier the flavor. Two of the most common types are red miso and mellow white miso. I like using the mellow white kind for recipes like this, because it doesn’t overpower the dish.
Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked for two hours and drained
- 1 medium tomato coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon mellow white miso
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. If you’re using a blender, start slow and then build up to a high speed, otherwise the ingredients might get stuck. If the mixture seems too thick, add a little more water, a teaspoon at a time.
For Herbed Cheese, add ¼ cup fresh chopped herbs, such as dill, cilantro, or parsley.
For Spicy Cheese, add 1 chopped jalapeno.
For Nacho Cheese, add 1 chopped jalapeno and 1 teaspoon chipotle powder.
Serve Your Cashew Cheese Sauce with:
- Chipotle Lentil Burgers
- Walnut Lentil Burgers
- Portobello Cheese Steak Sandwiches
- Chili Cheese Nachos
- Tempeh Tacos
- Raw Taco Salad
Other Non-Dairy Cheeses You Might Enjoy Include
- Cashew Ricotta Cheese
- Tofu Feta
- Walnut Parmesan
- Smoked Almond Cheddar
- Vegan Queso
- Tangy Herbed Vegan Cheese Spread