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Cashew-based cheese sauce in a white bowl topped with a side of crackers

How To Make Vegan Cheese Sauce

Smoky, savory, creamy, cheese sauce made from plant-based ingredients including raw, unsalted cashews. A great recipe to use a dip, sauce, in dairy-free mac and cheese.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1 cup cashews (raw + unslated)
  • 1.5 cups cashew water (reserved after boiling cashews)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt
  • 4 cups water


  • First, add water to a pot and set over high heat. Once it starts boiling, add your cashews and cover with a lid. 
  • Boil the cashews for at least 10 minutes to soften.
  • Once the cashews are done boiling, remove cashews from the water and keep the cashew water.
  • In a blender, add cashews, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, tomato paste, garlic powder, fresh lemon juice, vegan butter (optional) and 1.5 cups of the leftover cashew water.
  • Then, blend until smooth.
  • Add more water, depending on how thin you would like your sauce. Adjust salt and seasonings to your liking 
  • Finally, serve your easy, homemade vegan cheese sauce to any dish you like. 
Keyword Homemade, Vegan Cheese Sauce