Vegan cheese sauce 3 ways – to be used as fillings for quesadillas, toppings for potatoes, a base for pasta, and much more.

vegan cheese sauce 3 ways

Confession: Before going plant-based, 75% of my diet consisted of cheese 😬.

Although I no longer eat cheese, that doesn’t mean I don’t still love that cheesy taste! Nutritional yeast has been one of my favorite discoveries during the past five years, providing an umami flavor and scratching that cheese itch.

In this blog post, I’ve created vegan cheese sauce three ways. They all have a base of soaked cashews and vary in the spices and herbs added in. The great thing about this base is that you can customize it! Adding in different flavor profiles will keep this fresh and can be used for so many different recipes. Try them on pasta, potatoes, quesadillas, and so much more.

Classic Vegan Cheese Sauce

The classic vegan cheese sauce is my go-to for pasta, especially for a mac and cheese bake. This is my favorite dish to bring to events and to friends that think plant-based food isn’t for them. Throw in some veggies and you have a healthy and delicious meal (that works great for meal prep too!).

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Classic Vegan Cheese Sauce


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of raw cashews
  • 1 cup of water (plus 2 cups hot for soaking)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews in hot water for 30 minutes and drain.
  2. Add all ingredients and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Basil Vegan Cheese Sauce

This year my garden has gone full-throttle on the basil and I’ve struggled to figure out what to do with it all! A pesto-y cashew cheese sauce solved my problem. This is a fun way to channel the pesto flavor in a simple way, and cashews are much less expensive than pine nuts. Top potatoes, add to your pasta of choice, or spread this on toast with fresh tomatoes.

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Basil Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • Author: Fueled For Adventure
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of raw cashews
  • 1 cup of water (plus 2 cups hot for soaking)
  • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 packed cup of fresh basil
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder

Instructions

  1. Soak the cashews in hot water for 30 minutes and drain
  2. Add all ingredients to a blender
  3. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes

Mexican-Inspired Cheese Sauce

Just by adding in some different spices, the profile of this cheese sauce can change in a drastic way. The cumin, paprika, and crushed red pepper make this version perfect for quesadillas – my favorite WFH lunch. Add the sauce, some beans, onion, and broccoli and you have a quick and cheesy meal.

Print

Mexican-Inspired Vegan Cheese Sauce


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of raw cashews
  • 1 cup of water (plus 2 cups hot for soaking)
  • 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews in hot water for 30 minutes, then drain
  2. Add all ingredients to blender
  3. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes

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