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Easy vegan cheese sauce made in 5 minutes with 8 simple ingredients. Made without nuts. Gluten-free and soy-free.
A good vegan cheese sauce will change your world! The best part is that this recipe requires no blending! It is also soy-free, nut-free, and gluten-free. The base is coconut milk, but you can substitute with another kind of creamy dairy-free milk (see the section on variations below.)
The only equipment you need is a whisk and a pot.
This vegan cheese sauce is super versatile. Here are some ways to use it:
- Dip for chips or veggies
- To make mac & cheese
- Over roasted vegetables
- To make a loaded baked potato with vegan bacon bits
You are only 8 ingredients away from the most epic cheese sauce. See the section on variations below if you have substitution questions, and the recipe card for the measurements.
- Coconut milk: Full-fat canned, unsweetened coconut milk.
- Cornstarch: Thickens the sauce.
- Lemon juice: Adds brightness and a zing! to the cheese sauce.
- Nutritional yeast: Otherwise known as "nooch" - a great cheesy substitute for vegans.
- Garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt: Flavorful seasoning. No blandness here.
This dairy-free cheese sauce takes less than 10 minutes to make! You can find the full printable recipe in the recipe card below.
- Whisk all ingredients together in a medium-sized pot.
- On medium heat, bring the cheese sauce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce to low if the sauce is splattering.
- Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
- I do not recommend freezing the cheese sauce. Cornstarch does not freeze well.
🥛 Variations & Substitutions
- Coconut milk substitutions: You can substitute the coconut milk with 1.5 cups of another type of milk. I recommend using extra creamy oat milk for the best consistency. Other kinds of milk will work, but you may need to add more cornstarch. To do this after the sauce is warm, make a cornstarch slurry (dry cornstarch will clump in warm liquid.) Mix 2 tablespoons of water with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Add a little at a time until the sauce is the thickness you desire.
- Cornstarch substitutions: Arrowroot powder is the next best substitution for cornstarch. Tapioca starch will also work in a pinch.
- Different flavors: Add taco seasoning for a nacho-style sauce, or find inspiration from this carrot and potato vegan nacho cheese. Use smoked paprika instead of regular paprika for a smokey flavor. Add hot sauce for some heat.
Try this homemade vegan feta cheese next!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Please leave a comment and a ⭐ star review below!
- 1 can coconut milk 13.6 ounces (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¾ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- In a medium-sized pot, whisk all ingredients together.
- On medium heat, bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.
- Use full fat, unsweetened coconut milk.
- You can substitute the coconut milk with 1.5 cups of another creamy non-dairy milk. I recommend oat milk because it tends to be the creamiest (Planet Oat's Extra Creamy Oatmilk is my favorite!) See the variations section in the blog post about thickening the sauce if using a different kind of milk.
- Because the sauce is so thick and creamy, it may splatter when simmering. Reduce the heat to low or cover with a lid.
Tracy McConnell says
I love love love this vegan cheese sauce! I just add a little of Daiya cheese to thicken, like someone had mentioned. Turned out delicious ! Thanks for the wonderful recipes that you’ve shared.
liz neff says
the nutrition information does not state the serving size or the # of servings. can you provide this information?
This makes about 2 cups with 8 servings. 1/4 cup per serving.
I used some hemp milk I got on clearance and finely chopped up some pickled jalapeños for spice. Also added a bit more salt and some pepper. Loved it 🙂
Finally! I have now found a cheese sauce we really like…thanks to you! Followed the recipe like you said. At the end I sprinkled just a tiny bit of timeric for a little coloring.
Not sure what I did wrong…. Followed the recipe exact and it was gross! And brown…. Maybe it was the brand of Nooch??
Oh no! What brand did you use?
Love how easy and quick!! Will definitely be using this lots:)
I added a tsp of ACV, 1/2 tsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp mustard powder, and a pinch of nutmeg to really bring it home. So goood!!
I made this for my 3 year old who has lots of food allergies. I added some daiya cheddar and mozzarella blend. It was a bit thick so I added some oat milk to thin it out added a bit more paprika. I'm not a vegan it was tasty. Making nachos
Simple, flavorful and I had all the ingredients on hand! Based upon a few of the comments, I used almost the complete can of coconut milk but put about a 1/4 of a cup aside. Turned out perfect!
I’ve made it twice following the recipe exactly both times, and it came out super watery both times. If you dip, it drips. Any suggestions?
Much easier than the cheese sauce recipes that use potato or cashews. I used oat milk and a little more cornstarch to make it thicker. Will make this one again.
Sooo delicious, fast and easy!
Theresa Stephens says
This was pretty good! I made this for lunch (quick mac and cheese), the only subs oat milk instead of coconut and tapioca instead of arrowroot. I also left out the paprika because I don't enjoy that in my mac and cheese. Texture was SUPERB. My sister even said it looked like real cheese! The only reason two stars are knocked off is because the flavor could use a little work. It was pretty bland, needed a lot more salt, and left a bitter aftertaste. I eventually stopped eating it because it got really bad. I may make it again (texture!) but maybe tweak the flavors a little bit.
Hey, Theresa! Tapioca starch definitely gives this cheese sauce a different texture. I prefer the texture with cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Definitely try one of those next time!
Damit Barnes says
Turned out delicious a little to thin ,used oat milk .
I agree with Buff's comment! Definitely good for a quick and easy "cheese" sauce! This was the perfect recipe for me as I always have these items on hand. Nooch, oatmilk, easy....YUM!!!! TFS!
Scarlet Tay says
I found it bland for my taste, but it was a good start. With the addition if some dry mustard powder, spicy deli mustard, nutmeg and Tajin seasoning, it does almost taste like actual cheese sauce!
Very good for a quick sauce. It is heavy on the nutritional yeast flavor so may not be for those who aren't a fan. I used soymilk/oatmilk combo instead of coconut milk, and added about 1/2 t of tapioca starch in addition to the arrowroot powder and it came out nice and thick.
I only had the lite coconut milk on hand. It still turned out perfectly! I added a little turmeric for color. Thank you for this recipe. We loved it.
Clare MacGregor says
Thank you for this!! I was looking for a cheezy sauce that didn't involve getting groceries and this defied all expectations. Truly amazing thank you.
L Randle says
I followed instructions to the letter and one of the best vegan cheese recipes I have tried, and the hubby likes it; it is a done deal.