Favorite Nondairy Vegan Cheese Sauce

You know why I think cheese is not a health food, but I never said it didn’t taste good! You’ve got to have a replacement.

And there’s good news, for all you cheese lovers. There’s not an exact replacement for dairy cheese, but I think I’ve got something better…especially if you love cheesy sauce.

I was first introduced to vegan cheesy sauce from a recipe in Neva & Jim Brackett’s 7 Secrets Cookbook. It’s delicious over enchiladas, pizza, lasagna, nachos, and potatoes, rice, pasta….

This recipe is an adaptation of that found in the 7 Secrets Cookbook. Instead of a red pepper to give the cheese color, I use paprika. A little of this is very rich and a little goes a long way.

It’s really important to use all of the ingredients listed, otherwise you’re going to be disappointed because the sauce requires the right mixture of ingredients. For a little Mexican flavor, add diced chilies once the sauce is made, or chopped jalepenos.


Simple Cheese Sauce

1 c. raw cashews
2 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 scant tsp. paprika
2 tsp. onion powder or dehydrated onions
2 TBS. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Blend smooth on high and then cook over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, then turn down heat to medium-low, stirring constantly (to avoid burning and clumping) until thick.

Lighter version: Use 1/2 c. cashews and add 1 TBS. cornstarch.


Simple Vegan NO-nut NO-soy Cheese Sauce

  • 1 c. cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 c. sesame seeds
  • 2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. jarred roasted red pepper/pimento
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 TBS. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 TBS. cornstarch

Process all ingredients following directions above.


  1. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on June 10, 2010 at 2:18 pm said:

    Tahini would work.

  2. Marilyn
    on June 10, 2010 at 7:25 am said:

    Do you think tahini would work instead of sesame seeds?

  3. Ann
    on January 20, 2010 at 6:05 am said:

    We just tried the top cheese sauce tonight (the lower fat one) and my entire family went nuts over it! We had it over baked potatoes with some steamed broccoli, and sauteed mushrooms and onions. YUM!!!

  4. The Zandi Zoo
    on September 22, 2009 at 8:25 pm said:

    hi.. I found your blog about a month ago. It's great. We just tried the top cheese sauce recipe this afternoon. My crew went wild over it. It was SO good! Thanks!!

  5. Alisa
    on May 4, 2009 at 11:38 pm said:

    Sounds like a cheesy hummus sauce!

  6. StephenOlsonFamily
    on May 4, 2009 at 4:45 pm said:

    7 secrets. cheese sauce is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo yummy!

  7. Deja
    on May 3, 2009 at 1:43 pm said: