Vegan Cheese

This oozy, gooey vegan cheese sauce is just as good as the real thing! Versatile and easy to make, it's delicious on pasta, nachos, and more.

Vegan cheese

You don’t have to be vegan to fall for this vegan cheese recipe! It’s creamy, tangy, and rich, with a crave-worthy oozy texture just like that of dairy-based cheese sauce. Even Jack – the biggest real cheese lover I know – adores this recipe. Last time I made it, we stood at the counter, scooping it up with tortilla chips. We only got halfway through the first batch before we decided to make a second. Yep, it’s that good!

Serve this vegan cheese as a dip with tortilla chips or fresh veggies, toss it with pasta to make vegan mac and cheese, top it onto a baked potato, or drizzle it over chips to make a vegan nacho platter. Once you have it on hand, you’ll find endless ways to use it, and you won’t be able to get enough!

Potatoes, sweet potatoes, cashews, and nutritional yeast

Vegan Cheese Recipe Ingredients

This dairy-free cheese is not only delicious – it’s good for you, too! Unlike processed vegan cheese that you might find at grocery stores, it’s made of a short list of whole foods ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Yukon gold potatoes and cashews – They’re the key ingredients for giving vegan cheese recipes oozy, creamy texture.
  • Sweet potatoes – You couldn’t make a cheddar-style cheese sauce without an orange ingredient! Sweet potato gives this recipe its vibrant color, and it adds a light sweetness that’s delicious with the rich, tangy flavors here.
  • Nutritional yeast – It gives this dairy-free cheese the nutty, savory flavor of the real thing!
  • Garlic and onion powder – They add delicious depth of flavor.
  • Apple cider vinegar – It gives this vegan cheese a bright, tangy finish. Yum!

To make this cashew cheese recipe, start by boiling the potatoes. When they’re tender, transfer them to a high-speed blender. Add the nutritional yeast, garlic, onion powder, cashews, and vinegar, along with water, extra-virgin olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth and creamy, adding more liquid as needed. Then, enjoy!

Vegan cheese sauce

Best Vegan Cheese Variations

Though I love this recipe as written, I also like to change it up from time to time. Here are a few of my favorite variations:

  • Change the veggies. If you don’t have sweet potato on hand, swap in carrots or butternut squash.
  • Make it smoky. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, to taste. I love to serve this variation as a loaded queso dip with guac, pico de gallo, and black beans!
  • Spice it up. For extra heat, blend a tablespoon of pickled jalapeños or a chipotle pepper from a can of chipotles in adobo into the cheese.

Let me know what variations you try!

Best vegan cheese recipe

More Plant-Based Basics

If you love this vegan cheese recipe, try one of these plant-based basics next:

Then, check out this post for more of my favorite vegan recipes!

Best vegan cheese

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Vegan Cheese

rate this recipe:
4.95 from 167 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4
The BEST vegan cheese recipe! It has a delicious oozy texture and cheesy flavor. I love to toss it with pasta, drizzle it over nachos, or serve it as a dip. Gluten-free.


Optional add-ins

  • ½ to 1 chipotle pepper from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeños
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon smoked paprika


  • Place the Yukon Gold and sweet potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water by about 1 inch. Add a few pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until fork-tender, 8 to 12 minutes.
  • Drain and transfer to a high-speed blender with the garlic, cashews, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, olive oil, and water. Blend until smooth.
  • For spicy vegan cheese, add the chipotle pepper or pickled jalapeños. If you’d like a smoky flavor, add the smoked paprika.
  • Serve with tortilla chips for dipping or over pasta to make vegan mac & cheese.


Note: if you're using a high powdered blender, like a Vitamix, there's no need to soak the cashews. If you're using a less powerful blender, you can soak them for 2 hours. Drain before adding to the recipe.


4.95 from 167 votes (110 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Pat

    Your cheese recipe sound great but what if you are allergic to tree nuts and peanuts? Is there a substitute for cashew s?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Pat, you could use raw sunflower kernels. I’d start with 2 tablespoons and add more as needed to get a creamy consistency. They pack more densely into a measuring cup than cashews do, so you’ll likely need less.

  2. Barb

    Has anyone tried this without using oil?

  3. Sujatha

    5 stars
    Grateful for this recipe 🙇🏻‍♀️

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Arvis

    5 stars
    Fabulous! A nacho cheese sauce that is good for me!
    Thank you so much! My husband was skeptical of the ingredients and he loves the sauce. I added the pickled jalapeños and smoked paprika and it’s just what we love. You’re a genius!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Arvis, I’m so glad you both loved the recipe!

  5. Liz W.

    5 stars
    I cannot say THANK YOU enough for this recipe!! I have used this so many times for sweet potato nachos and gluten free Mac n’ cheese and more! Even vegan friends coming over for dinner can’t believe how delicious this recipe is. It’s so easy. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Liz, I’m so glad you’ve loved it so much!

  6. Valerie

    How long can you store the cheese in the fridge?

  7. Tiffany

    My daughter is allergic to sweet potatoes 🙁 is there anything that I can use instead? I have nutritional yeast as well? New to the no dairy game as we are doing elimination method for my daughters eczema

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Tiffany, you could carrots instead. Hope that helps!

  8. Sandra

    5 stars
    I made this today and let me tell you it was so delicious, I will never buy regular cheese again, I will make this from now on..

  9. Laura

    What could you substitute for cashews for a nut allergy?

    • Patrick J Dodge

      Sunflower seeds

  10. Diane from

    5 stars
    I made this today and it’s so dang delicious, and creamy.
    I’ve been making several versions from different recipe sources but I’ve now found THE ONE! This is the only one I’ll be making from now on. Thank you.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Diane, I’m so glad you loved it!

  11. Mel

    Hi – Do you think russet potatoes would be ok instead of Yukon gold? Thanks!

    • Diane from

      I used russets and it turns out great

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Mel, yep! I think russets would be fine.

  12. Robin

    5 stars
    I made four times quantity of this recipe for a vegan potluck. It scaled up easily. It was a big hit, guests loved it.

    Definitely top contender for best vegan Mac n cheeze sauce I’ve made, and was easier than I thought even with boiling the potatoes. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Robin, I’m so glad the recipe was a hit!

  13. Mignonne

    5 stars
    Would you know nutritional breakdown?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Mignonne, I’m sorry, but we don’t calculate nutrition facts for our recipes. An online nutrition calculator is the best way to get an estimate!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.