Vegan Nacho Cheese - Make It Dairy Free

Steps by steps Quick & easy Vegan Nacho Cheese

Quick and easy vegan nacho cheese is an indulgent yet health-conscious alternative to traditional nacho cheese dips. This flavorful concoction is designed to satisfy cravings for something creamy and cheesy without using any animal products. It’s perfect for vegans, those with dairy allergies or intolerances, or anyone looking to add more plant-based options into their diet.

The base of vegan nacho cheese typically includes cashews or blanched almonds that have been soaked to create a creamy texture once blended. Nutritional yeast is also a key ingredient, contributing a cheesy flavor that is both nutty and savory, making it a staple in vegan cheese substitutes.

To add color and depth, ingredients like turmeric, paprika, or even red bell peppers can be used. These also contribute additional flavors and nutrients. Spices and condiments — such as garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and lemon juice or vinegar — enhance the cheese-like taste and zestiness.

One of the remarkable aspects of quick and easy vegan nacho cheese is its versatility. It can be whipped up in under 15 minutes using a high-speed blender and enjoyed immediately with chips, drizzled over tacos or burritos, or as a side to add extra flavor to vegetable platters.

Moreover, this sauce is not just limited to Mexican cuisine; it can be a delicious addition to baked potatoes, sandwiches, or even as a pasta sauce for a twist on mac’n’cheese. It retains all the comforting qualities of traditional cheese sauce while being entirely plant-based, making it a guilt-free pleasure for many.

Quick & easy Vegan Nacho Cheese Recipe

Vegan Nacho Cheese - Make It Dairy Free

Quick & easy Vegan Nacho Cheese

Quick and easy vegan nacho cheese is an indulgent and plant-based alternative to the classic cheesy dip. It highlights the creamy texture and savory taste that mirrors traditional nacho cheese without any animal products. The key ingredients for creating this vegan treat typically include soaked cashews or blanched almonds blended to a smooth consistency and nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor profile.
Other elements such as turmeric and paprika, or red bell peppers, are added for color and depth of flavor while enhancing the sauce's nutritional value. Essential spices include garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder, along with acidic components like lemon juice or vinegar to bring zestiness to the dish.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 cup
Calories 107 kcal


  • 1 medium pot
  • 1 blender
  • 1 bowl


  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 7 oz. can mild green chiles
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder let it not be spicy
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Place the cashews in a medium pot, add water to cover by 2 inches and bring to boil over medium heat for 10 or 15 minutes depending on type of blender you are using. For standard blender, let it boil for 15 minutes and 10 minutes for high speed blender. Remove from heat and drain.
  • Combine all the ingredients in bowl a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and make adjustment as needed.
  • Transfer to an air tight container and keep in the fridge, use within a week.
Keyword raw cashews, yellow mustard

Cooking Tips about Quick & easy Vegan Nacho Cheese

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  • Soak Your Nuts: If using cashews or almonds as the base, make sure to soak them for at least 4 hours, or for the best results, overnight. This softens the nuts and makes your sauce creamier once blended.
  • Use A High-Speed Blender: To achieve the smoothest consistency for your vegan nacho cheese, use a high-speed blender. This will help in breaking down the nuts and other ingredients into a silky-smooth texture.
  • Nutritional Yeast Is Key: For that cheesy umami flavor, nutritional yeast is essential. It provides a savory, cheese-like taste that’s perfect for vegan cheese alternatives.
  • Add Some Acid: A bit of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar can add the tanginess commonly associated with cheese. Adjust the quantity according to how sharp you want your cheese to be.
  • Spice It Right: Feel free to adjust the spices. Garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder are great for adding depth. You can also include a bit of smoked paprika for a hint of smokiness.
  • Get The Color Right: To replicate the classic color of nacho cheese, use turmeric sparingly. Start with a small amount and increase as needed; it’s potent, so a little goes a long way!
  • Adjust Consistency: If your cheese is too thick, add small amounts of water until you reach the desired consistency. If it’s too runny, blend in a few more soaked nuts or add a thickener like cornstarch.
  • Taste and Tweak: Always taste your sauce before you finish. If it needs more salt, spice, or acid, adjust it to suit your palate.
  • Heat It Up: Gently warm up your vegan nacho cheese if you prefer it hot, but be careful not to overheat it as it may become too thick or the flavors might change.
  • Store Properly: Vegan nacho cheese can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Simply reheat it gently when you’re ready to serve.

Serving suggestions about Quick & easy Vegan Nacho Cheese

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  • Classic Nachos: Covered over corn tortilla chips and topped with black beans, jalapeños, tomatoes, and green onions for a classic nacho experience.
  • Loaded Fries: Drizzled on top of oven-baked or air-fried potatoes or sweet potato fries.
  • Vegan Tacos: Used as a zesty, creamy topping for tacos filled with plant-based protein, lettuce, and salsa.
  • Mac & Cheese: Mixed with your favorite cooked pasta for a dairy-free macaroni and cheese dish.
  • Burrito Bowls: As a flavorful additive to rice, beans, veggies, and tofu in a deconstructed burrito bowl.
  • Grilled Sandwiches: Spread inside a vegan grilled cheese sandwich or as an addition to Paninis and wraps.
  • Dips: Combined with salsa or guacamole for a richer dip texture.
  • Steamed Vegetables: Spooned over steamed broccoli or cauliflower for extra flavor.
  • Pizza: Used as a cheesy sauce base or a drizzle over freshly baked vegan pizza.
  • Stuffed Peppers: Poured over bell peppers stuffed with quinoa or rice blends before baking.

Top 5 FAQs about Quick & easy Vegan Nacho Cheese

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  • What are the main ingredients in quick and easy vegan nacho cheese? The primary ingredients in quick and easy vegan nacho cheese typically include soaked cashews or blanched almonds, nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor, and a variety of spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder. Additional ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar are added for tanginess, and turmeric, paprika, or red bell peppers are included for color and flavor.
  • How do I achieve a creamy texture for vegan nacho cheese? To ensure a creamy texture, it’s important to soak your nuts beforehand—cashews or almonds—for at least 4 hours or, ideally, overnight. Then use a high-speed blender to blend the soaked nuts until completely smooth. If the cheese is too thick, you can gradually add water until you reach the desired creamy consistency.
  • Does vegan nacho cheese taste like traditional dairy cheese? While vegan nacho cheese aims to replicate the savory taste of traditional nacho cheese, it will not taste exactly like dairy cheese. The nutritional yeast helps provide a cheesy flavor, and the combination of other ingredients and spices creates a similar savory and tangy profile that many find to be a satisfying alternative to dairy-based cheese.
  • Can vegan nacho cheese be heated up? Yes, you can gently warm vegan nacho cheese on the stove over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning or sticking. However, be careful not to overheat it, as it may become too thick or change in flavor.
  • How long can I store vegan nacho cheese, and how should I store it? Vegan nacho cheese can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. To serve again, simply reheat it gently on the stove or in a microwave, adding a bit of water if necessary to adjust the consistency.

In conclusion, Quick & Easy Vegan Nacho Cheese stands out as a dynamic and flavorful substitute for traditional cheese sauces. It relies on plant-based ingredients that not only cater to vegan dietary requirements but also offer health benefits and an ethical choice for those concerned with animal welfare.

The sauce’s base typically includes soaked nuts such as cashews or blanched almonds that are blended to smooth perfection, taking advantage of the creamy texture that these ingredients naturally provide. Nutritional yeast plays a crucial role in imparting the cheesy, umami flavor that cheese enthusiasts crave, while spices like garlic and onion powder, cumin, and chili powder contribute to the overall depth and savoriness of the final product.


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