Pour this Vegan Cheese Sauce over baked potatoes, bowls of veggies, or any dish that could use a little cheesy goodness. Use it with cooked pasta to make a healthy vegan mac and cheese. Homemade non-dairy cheese sauce can also be used to make casseroles, lasagna, and even dip! It’s delicious when drizzled over nachos. This easy recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, and oil-free, but it’s definitely not flavor-free! No one will guess that it’s made with vegetables and is sneakily healthy!
A few weeks ago, I shared my recipe for cheesy Vegan Broccoli and Rice Casserole. Since then, I’ve been making the cheese sauce on its own and using it for macaroni and cheese. It’s perfect comfort for these chili autumn days.
If you remember that recipe, you might recall the cheesy sauce was made with carrots, potatoes, and onion. I like to make creamy sauces such as this with cauliflower. But when I created that recipe, Dennis was avoiding it, because it causes his gout to flare up. Fortunately, he’s doing better now.
Here, I’ve gone back to using cauliflower because it’s so nutritious. And also because I like to pour this sauce over baked potatoes, and a potato sauce on a potato is a bit weird.
Of course, potatoes will work really in this recipe, too, if you’re avoiding cauliflower. I like to use little yellow waxy potatoes when making creamy sauces. I’ve experimented with using sweet potatoes, but I’ve found that their strong flavor overpowers the sauce.
When first learning how to make vegan cheese sauce, I made them with a cashew base. I still love cashew cheese, and I like to keep on hand in the fridge to drizzle on my tacos and burgers.
Since this cheese sauce has a vegetable base, it’s a little more nutrient dense and it contains less fat. It’s a great way to hid vegetables from picky eaters, and it’s perfect for giving meals a little nutrient boost.
I haven’t had cows’ milk cheese since 2001, so I can’t say for sure if this tastes like its dairy-laden counterpart. It is creamy and has a bit of tang, thanks to nutritional yeast and cashews though. Most people eat with their eyes first, so if it looks like “the real thing,” it will be perceived as the real thing.
Making Vegan Cheese Sauce is super easy!
- First, you boil the vegetables in a large pot on the stove.
- Then, you mix the vegetables together with the rest of the ingredients together with water in blender until smooth and creamy. (I like to use my Blendtec for this step.)
- And finally, you heat it until it’s warm and thickened to your desired consistency.
This Veggie-Packed Vegan Cheese Sauce is incredibly versatile. Mix with cooked pasta to make macaroni and cheese. Pour it over a loaded baked potato. Drizzle it over nachos. You can even add peppers and spices and make a spicy dip!
Veggie-Packed Vegan Cheese Sauce
- 2 medium-sized carrots, chopped (about a cup)
- 2 cups chopped cauliflower
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Place the carrots, onion, cauliflower, and cashews in a large pot. Fill it with enough water to cover the vegetables plus about two inches.
- Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork tender.
- Drain the vegetables and save the water. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly and then place them in a high-speed blender or food processor along with the nutritional yeast, garlic, cornstarch, lemon juice, mustard, and salt. Add 2 cups of the reserved cooking water and blend until smooth and creamy. Add a little more water if the mixture is too thick. Keep in mind that it will thicken when it’s heated.
- Pour the sauce in a medium-sized sauce pan and place it over medium-high heat. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat and allow to thicken slightly.
- Remove from heat. Mix cheese sauce in with pasta for macaroni and cheese, drizzle it over a baked potato, or add it to any dish that could use a little cheese goodness.