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Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

vegan nacho cheese sauce with chips

Vegan nacho cheese sauce that will satisfy all your cheesy cravings. Your only problem will be that you will want to put it on everything!

This vegan nacho cheese sauce is one of the best vegan cheese alternatives that we have found. Of course, there is no question that recreating the mouth feel and texture of a dairy cheese sauce is difficult, but so many traditional foods and comfort foods incorporate that very experience. It matters.

Melty Vegan Cheese Sauce We Use on Everything

We started using this recipe (found in Vegan Health and Fitness Magazine) for our Black Bean and Veggie Enchiladas and have made it many times since then. We tweaked it and added in a small can of diced jalapeno peppers for a little extra zing. Now, it is a house favorite, used as a dip for chips, a sandwich spread, a topping for potatoes or beans and rice. 

Seriously, you will find yourself with a bowl of it in one hand while you look through the fridge for something to dip into it, or spread it on. It has all the gooey, creamy texture you could hope for in a “cheese sauce”. Go ahead. Fool someone with it.

Cheese Sauce from the Produce Department

So often, the vegan “alternates” for animal-based products (like cheese shreds, sausage, burgers, etc) are highly processed and the ingredients list isn’t exactly stuff you find in the market (there ARE exceptions, of course). While there are many of those products that we occasionally enjoy, but we try to stick with organic, whole-foods, and easy to find ingredients. Which is one of the awesome qualities of this vegan nacho cheese sauce: its mostly carrots and potatoes! Actually, most of the short, easy, and inexpensive ingredient list comes from the produce department!

Nacho Cheese Sauce Ingredients: carrots, potatoes, jalapeño, nutritional yeast
The Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce simple, whole-food ingredients – straight from the produce department!

Simple To Prepare

First of all, how easy is it that the main ingredients are carrots and potatoes?! Who knew, right? The ingredient list for this vegan nacho cheese sauce is short, and there are only a few steps (just the way we like it). You simply cook the potatoes and carrots, then everything goes into the blender. FYI: this recipe can be a little tough on a standard household blender, so proceed carefully. Even though we use, and love, our heavy duty Vitamix, we find adding the potatoes in a few batches, after briefly blending the other ingredients, works really well.

Potatoes and carrots ready to become nacho cheese sauce in the Vitamix

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce is a Game-Changer!

Now that you have a big giant bowl of delicious vegan nacho cheese its time to put it on something (or lots of somethings!). Here are a few of our favorites: Black Bean and Veggie Enchiladas, a platter of nachos (of course), as a dip for chips, a cheesey addition to rice and bean bowls, or as a topping for tostadas. Its your batch of nacho cheese – its all up to you!

Black Bean and Veggie Enchiladas with Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
Delicious black bean and veggie enchiladas, topped with the amazing nacho cheese sauce and sour cream. Dig in!
Amazing platter of nachos topped with gooey Nacho Cheese Sauce

Let’s Make Some Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce!

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Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

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  • Author: Georgia @


Delicious, smooth, melty, cheese sauce that is completely dairy-free. 100% vegan! Plus, easy, whole-food ingredients!


Units Scale
  • 2 medium potatoes – scrubbed, peeled, and chopped (russets or golden)
  • 3 large carrots – scrubbed, peeled, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 4 oz can diced jalapeño peppers, drained (optional) or fresh (see the Notes section)


  1. Steam potatoes and carrots together until soft.
  2. Blend with remaining ingredients, except peppers, in blender (we LOVE our Vitamix) until smooth and creamy.
  3. Stir in peppers and enjoy as a sauce or dip for chips.


  • adapted from recipe by Dr Brooke Goldner published in Vegan Health and Fitness magazine
  • A powerful, high-speed blender such as a Vitamix helps a lot. This requires complete blending of the ingredients.
  • We find its a LOT easier on the blender if you add everything EXCEPT the potatoes, blend, then add the potatoes in stages.
  • As always, we strongly recommend using organic ingredients. Since this recipe is primarily root veggies it will be healthier and taste richer, too!
  • We LOVE adding the jalapeños for the xtra kick. Canned, or jarred, is fine but for a little extra sharpness, consider fresh jalapeños, cut to a fine dice.


Georgia is an unpretentious foodie who, at 50, transitioned from a vegetarian diet to a whole foods plant based diet and is loving it. She works as a nurse, plays as a quilter, loves to run, hates to race.
She thinks dogs are actually angels (in dog suits).

This Post Has 77 Comments

  1. Could I use less Nooch? Would it still be just as good if I added about 1/4 cup instead of the 1/2 cup? This is a beautiful, smooth cheese sauce.

    1. Hello Heidi!

      Well, you can absolutely give it a try. We’ve never made it with that amount of nutritional yeast so we can’t say exactly how it will turn out. It will certainly have less of the “nooch” taste. Give it a try and let us know what you think! 🙂

    1. Hi Melissa!

      No, we haven’t tried it, but our son’s girlfriend has. She said that it worked but changed the taste a bit (and intensified the color!). She thought it was good, just a little different.
      Try it out and let us know!

      Peace, Greg & Georgia

  2. Just tried this… very quick and easy…very surprised by the flavour …even my daughter loved it who i have trouble getting her to eat her veggies …will definitely be a recurring dish in our house

  3. Hello Georgia . Please can U help me ? I dont understand how much is 1 4 oz can jalaoeňos ? Its 1/4 or 14 ounces ? Im from Europe and we dont have this system . Anyway , Thank U for recipe 🙂

    1. Hi Liv!

      Sorry about the confusion – we should really do a better job posting measurements in both systems (although we wish the US would just get with the program and use metric…). The recipe is calling for 1 4oz-size can of the peppers. Thats about 118ml. I hope this helps!

      Peace, Georgia

  4. This stuff is simply amazing! I have been making it for a few months now and it gets better every time. Like someone else I add chipotle Chile peppers in adobo sauce and of course lots of jalapeños. Over the holidays I final ride it with tortilla chips…I couldn’t stop eating it. Thanks for this delicious recipe.

    1. Hi Diane,

      Were so happy that you enjoyed it and tweaked it to your taste (and it sounds really tasty!). We’ve been there with the chips and couldn’t stop either, LOL. The nice thing is you don’t feel gross after eating a whole bowl.
      Thanks for letting us know!

  5. Okay this is seriously amazing. I added some garlic to ours and its so good. Can’t wait for the kids to try it! Thanks for the great recipe

    1. Hi Sara,

      Ooooo, that sounds like a great addition! Yum! Isn’t it amazing? A big giant bowl of cheese sauce that’s actually good for you, lol!
      Thanks for trying it and letting us know what you think. We’re betting the kids will LOVE it.

      Georgia & Greg

  6. Just made my second batch. This stuff is addicting! I added crushed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
    Thanks for this incredible recipe

  7. Is there a substitute for the carrots? My son is allergic to carrots…yes seriously allergic to carrots. He’s 17 and recently forgot he’s allergic to carrots…his allergies expand every year. It’s very hard to keep up with. He had 2 carrot chips before he remembered and it hot quickly! Seriously allergic.

    1. Oh, my, so sorry to hear that. Allergies can be such a struggle.
      We could play around with the recipe and figure out an alternative. But we would start with parsnips (and you might add some sweet potato for color). If you try it, please let us know what you think.


    2. I googled carrot substitute and many things were suggested. Parsnip, kohlrabi, daikon radish, rutabaga/turnip, and my fav. butternut squash, also celeriac root. 😊 I would try with squash first, since my favourite.

  8. I just made this and instead of using oil I used a handful of raw cashews. The sauce is divine. O.M.Yummm

      1. I have a strong blender, so just threw in a handful with all the other ingredients. If you don’t have a really powerful one, sosk thecashews for st least 4 hrs.

    1. I have a strong blender, so just threw in a handful with all the other ingredients. If you don’t have a really powerful one, sosk thecashews for st least 4 hrs.

    1. Hi Kristin,

      So sorry that it took a few hours before we realized you had left this comment. (we need to have a chat feature on the site!)
      Its probably just fine. You could have taken the peels, steamed them, too, and added to the blender. But we hope you just forged ahead and gave it a try. Please let us know if everything seemed to work out. Our bet is its going to be great!


    2. Hey Kristin!

      Greg here again. I asked Georgia (and our daughter who made this a lot at college) and peeling is fine. As a mater of fact its how they usually are making the Nacho Cheese Sauce these days. The blending is a little tough on a blender and sometimes the peels don’t get completely blended up. Either way is fine – no worries!


    1. Hi Bianca!
      You can steam in a large pot by using an inch or so of water, drop everything in, and cover. You can also purchase a steaming basket to keep the veggies just above the water. However, college students we know say boiling works just fine, too. 🙂

      Let us know how you like the sauce!

    1. Hi Stella, the volume this recipe makes is a large amount for our Vitamix, so it might be tough with a Bullet. (we had one for a while) You might try a smaller batch (maybe 1/2) or doing it in pieces and then combining it all in a big bowl.
      Try it and please let us know how it goes. We can add a note to the post about your experience!

      Peace, Greg and Georgia

  9. This recipe is seriously AMAZING. I use it as nacho cheese, as a sandwich spread, and as a mac n cheese sauce. My boyfriend and I have been making this as mac n cheese almost every week for the past year. It’s crazy delicious and so easy to make. Thanks!

    1. Hey Christina! That’s awesome! Thank you so much for letting us know. We feel the same way about it, actually. We just made a batch the other day and sat around with chips until it was all gone! lol

    1. Hi Jenna!
      It does depend on the size of your potatoes and carrots, but it makes a lot! We estimate about 4-5 cups. You’ll have many meals worth of the sauce. 🙂

  10. This cheese sauce is Divine! What a treat to be able to enjoy this at the holidays while celebrating alongside non-vegan family members. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

    1. Hi Amy! Thank you SO much for the sweet comment. We know exactly what you mean about the celebrating with non-vegans. (but they are going to want some too! ?)

  11. Super yum! Finally got around to making this after my sister sent me the pin. I just had to walk away from it so I wouldn’t eat it all.

    I roasted the veggies instead of boiling them. Also, I used almond milk instead of water and wound up adding more milk since my veggies were drier. I used diced green chiles and added some Chipotle hot sauce.

    It’s super creamy, tangy, and delicious! Thanks for the great recipe; I’ll definitely be making this again.

    1. Hi Kim! So glad you enjoyed it and your “customization” sounds FANTASTIC! ? We love it when readers make the recipes their own. We might just do it your way next time! Thanks for trying it and sharing your comments. Hope to hear from you again.
      Greg and Georgia

  12. Hello
    I would love to try this nacho cheese recipe. All I see in the ingredients is 2 medium potatoes listed twice. Then it states to steam the carrots with the potatoes. Then to mix it with the other ingredients. Can you let me know what else goes into this?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Christine, we would love you to try it too! We are having some weird problems with that recipe “card”. I have just fixed it (again) . Please give the page another try and let us know if you still have trouble. -Greg

    1. LOL! Hi Julia, that’s just how we feel. We look around for stuff to dip in it, or to put it on, and sometimes it’s just a spoon! -Greg

      1. Made this last night – had everything on hand and I was trying to throw together a sauce for my “bowl” of red quinoa, mixed heirloom beans and steamed kale.

        I used red potatoes, mixed color carrots and a can of diced green chilies. Next time, I may try chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I actually blended the chilies in because I wasn’t really reading the recipe. But, hubby said he thinks he would prefer that anyway. So, hurray.

        Told hubby last night, “Just wait till you taste this sauce – it is incredible! You’ll NEVER guess what’s in it!”

        Any excuse to use a bunch of nooch – and this is a GREAT sauce! This will be a repeat player, for sure!

        1. Love your thoughts about next time! I love to fiddle with recipes and try to use what is on hand. Thanks again. Georgia

  13. I just made this and it was surprisingly easy and quick! It was soo good! It was creamy and tangy, I put it on top of a baked potato and it was great!

    1. Hi Veronica! Yay! So glad that you enjoyed the sauce – isn’t it yummy? Plus that recipe makes a big old pile of it so there is (usually) plenty more. 🙂
      – Greg & Georgia

  14. Yumm! That looks so amazing. I love trying out new vegan cheeses and cheese sauces. I have to give it a try because it looks so good! I already see myself eating the cheese with tortilla chips.

    1. Hi Bianca, it’s really yummy and a simple recipe. Straight up with tortilla chips is a winner – we have been there, believe me! 🙂 Please let us know what you think and how you served it! -Greg

    1. Hey Amrita, so glad you liked it! That stuff is just CRAZY! We might just pop it in a bowl and eat it straight next time.

        1. Hi Gorgie
          1 quick question. I’m from the UK and bit sure what you mean by a “cup”. What would that be in say tablespoons or mls or ounces please. I am desparate to try this recipe and it looks amazing but obviously need to get correct measurements.
          Thank you and I’ve sent this link to my niece as she is extremely gluten intolerant.
          Kind regards

          1. Hi Eve, thanks for the question. The Imperial/Metric conversion is something that we have not attempted on the site so we appreciate the confusion it can cause. 1 cup equals about 1/4L (237ml, to be exact). We hope this helps, and remember that this isn’t baking so slight variations in amounts are absolutely fine.
            Please let us know what you think and how it goes. Thanks for passing it along to your niece, too. As a matter of fact, our nice is gluten-intolerant, too. She LOVES this sauce and makes it ALL the time. 🙂

            Greg and Georgia

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