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

Vegan Cheese

rate this recipe:
4.94 from 132 votes
Prep Time: 15 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.


To make your cheese spicy or smoky, try adding:

  • ½ to 1 chipotle pepper from canned chipotles in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeños
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon smoked paprika


  • Place the 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.


Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Filomena

    4 stars
    Can this be frozen? I make it for my little one with allergies and it’s just too much.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I don’t think this one will freeze well – I’ve tried freezing similar recipes and the texture comes out more grainy.

  2. Anel

    Hi can you leave out the cashew nuts and how will it impack the recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Anel, you can leave out the cheese and reduce the 1/4 cup water to about 2 tablespoons, to start. When I’m not using cashews, I like to add an additional tablespoon or two of olive oil, for richness.

  3. Jeanine Donofrio

    Hi Chris, it does sound like a blender issue. If you’re interested in making creamy vegan sauces very often, I think a good blender is a worthwhile investment. I use a Vitamix and can’t recommend it highly enough.

  4. Ivy

    5 stars
    Great recipe! I highly recommend 1-1.5 tbsp capers for a little extra salty/briny flavor.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I love capers, thanks for the idea!

  5. Anne Murdock

    5 stars
    Absolutely perfect vegan cheddar sauce.
    Thank u

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  6. Aharon

    5 stars
    Yummy! Just tried it first time. Non-dairy Cheez Whiz! Without all the bad stuff. Congratulations on a great recipe. I think I may try to double it next time. I inserted generous amounts of your spices, used regular paprika, plus I added dried coarse ground garlic. Needless to say, I’m checking out your other recipes.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      I’m so glad you loved the vegan cheese!

  7. Carina

    I am planning to make this in advance. What’s the best way to reheat it? Do I need to worry about it sticking or separating?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Carina, the sauce might thicken a bit in the fridge, so you can reheat it gently on the stove, adding water as needed, or in the microwave, adding water as needed and stirring well every minute or so.

  8. Bro

    5 stars
    I was very impressed by this recipe! Store bought processed vegan cheese always taste so artificial. This however tasted very natural and super delicious. The only modification I made was a small amount of salt on top and a small amount of chopped green onion to add some color and combo with the potato base. I will definitely make this again.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi, I’m so glad you loved it!

  9. Felecia

    I have a nut allergy. So could I use sunflower or hemp seeds?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Yep, that would work! I might start with 2 tablespoons instead of 1/4 cup and add more as needed to reach your desired consistency. Sunflower seeds and hemp seeds pack more tightly into a measuring cup than cashews do, so there’s a good chance you’ll need less.

  10. Lori

    Can you use roasted cashews instead of raw?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lori, no the raw cashews become creamy without any cashew flavor – roasted cashews would bring a strong cashew flavor to the sauce that will take away from the cheesy sort of flavor.

  11. Landon

    Finally!!! I found my cheese sauce. Thank you so much. This is delicious.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
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.