Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

This silky, cheesy, dairy-free dip is perfect for nachos or any time you need a creamy vegan cheese sauce.  I have used it with tacos, quesadillas and more.  It is addictive and tastes remarkably like the real deal.

Chip being dipped in vegan nacho cheese CLOSE

This vegan nacho cheese is simple to make and comes together quickly in your blender.

This is nutritious, easy comfort food at its best, guys.

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce Chip and Dip

My husband is a huge nacho cheese lover and not dairy-free at all, yet he begs me for this dip and gets genuinely excited whenever I make it for him.  He couldn’t wait until I finished the photos so he could dig in.

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My daughter has a cashew allergy so for her I make this nut-free version.  I also don’t make it as spicy for her since she is only three years old.  That is what is so great about a homemade cheese sauce, you can customize the flavors and texture to your liking.

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce Overhead

This vegan nacho cheese recipe is soy-free, gluten-free and loaded with veggies which you just wouldn’t expect at all in a dip that looks like the opposite of healthy.  You can serve as a dip or use to make nachos.  Here are some fun topping ideas if you go the nacho route: diced avocado, sliced olives, scallions, black beans, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, salsa, sliced or diced jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and hot sauce.

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

Below is a quick video to show you just how easy this appetizer is to make.  You wouldn’t believe that these ingredients come together to make a plant-based, dairy-free nacho cheese dip that tastes like the real deal.  This is a must-try recipe that is somewhat life changing (if you are the type of person where food can change your life).

If you would like to subscribe to my Eating by Elaine YouTube channel click here.  You will receive email update when I upload new recipe videos to my channel.  You can also find this Queso recipe video on YouTube here.

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Chip being dipped in vegan nacho cheese

Try this vegan nacho cheese recipe with my Easy Sheet Pan Vegan Nachos.  So good!

Easy Sheet Pan Vegan Nachos

The Best Vegan Nachos Recipe

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Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce Chip and Dip

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 17 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


A plant-based cheesy dip that your friends will not believe is dairy-free. It is mostly made from cashews for creaminess and carrots for color. The cheesy flavor comes from the nutritional yeast and is enhanced by the spices. I find it to be luxurious, slightly spicy and totally addictive. It is perfect for game day or any time you have a cheese dip craving. Note: The nut-free version can be found here.


  • 1 cup carrots, diced*
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews or slivered almonds**
  • 1/2 cup water (or more if needed)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more if you want more heat)
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder (or more if you want more heat)


  1. Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil and add carrots. Cook until fork tender (about 12 minutes). Drain and add to high speed blender.
  2. Add all other ingredients to a high speed blender and puree until smooth and creamy. You may need to thin with water 1 tablespoon at a time to reach your desired consistency.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. You may want to add a squeeze of fresh lemon to help the flavors pop and for some acidity.
  4. Pour into a small serving bowl for dipping with chips. Garnish with jalapeno, sliced green onions, paprika and/or fresh cilantro.


* You can substitute peeled cooked sweet potatoes in place of carrots.

** Soak in water overnight or for a fast soak you can put them in a glass jar with boiling water and shut the lid. Let soak for at least 30 minutes. The longer they soak the creamier they are and the easier they are to digest Click here for a nut-free version of this recipe.

You may want to microwave just before serving. Serve the cheese sauce on a plate warmer or with a pot-holder to lock in the warmth. The cheese sauce can also be used for making nachos.

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan nacho cheese

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  1. sara

    i have made a million vegan nacho cheeses and this BY FAR takes the cake for easiness and most delicious!!!! I subbed butternut squash for the carrots because it was all I had and it was AMAZING!!!!

    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know, Sara! I love your substitution idea and will have to try it out next time I make it. XO


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