This quick and easy vegan nacho cheese is the ultimate comfort food made in just minutes! A simple cashew-base, plus a few delightful add-ins like miso paste and apple cider vinegar, tweak the flavor to something undeniably cheese-like!
One of the easiest-to-make vegan cheese options out there, this nacho cheese sauce lacks absolutely nothing when it comes to the taste experience!! Comfort food at it’s best, this rich and creamy sauce is my go-to for all things Mexican – unless you need a shreddable cheese and then you might want to check out this amazing easy vegan block cheese.
What is Vegan Nacho Cheese made of?
- Raw Cashews – the queen of creamy nuts!
- Seasoned Salt, Garlic and Onion Powder – the flavor trio.
- Nutritional Yeast Flakes – otherwise known as ‘nooch’! This stuff adds amazing cheesiness.
- Cornstarch or Tapioca Flour – thickening agents
- Vegan Butter – adds richness and buttery flavor, but totally optional if you want to skip the refined fats.
- Miso Paste – it’s a hidden agent! Don’t use dark Miso paste, it’ll over-power. Stick with light or white Miso and you’ll be amazed!
- Apple Cider Vinegar – I know it seems weird. It’s not. Just try it. You won’t taste it, it just gives the right tang.
- Pimentos – lend flavor and color without being over-powering.
Steps to make this Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce:
First you rinse your cashews under hot water for several minutes, or soak them for 5 minutes in hot water (Photo 1).
Then put the rest of the ingredients plus just one cup of the water in your blender and process until completely smooth (Photo 2).
(If you are using a high powered blender such as a Vitamix, you can just go ahead and add both cups of water at once, without difficulty.)
Add your second cup of water (if you hadn’t already done so!). Pour blender mixture into medium saucepan and whisk blender cheese mixture over medium heat until it becomes bubbly and thickened! (Photos 3 & 4)
Devour this with:
- steamed broccoli and baked potatoes
- deluxe vegan burgers
- potato wedges
- oven-roasted cauliflower
- almost any cheesy way you can think of!
How to Re-Heat this Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce:
Re-warm this nacho cheese in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat stirring often, or microwave it!! Lasts in a covered dish in the refrigerator for up to five days, and freezes well for up to 4 months!
Another fun way to add even more flavor (and spice!) to this nacho cheese sauce is to add a small (10 oz.) can of diced tomatoes with green chilis (Rotel) towards the end of the thickening process! Talk about a yummy nacho cheese dip! It’s absolutely irresistible!
No oil option:
As an alternative to vegan margarine/butter you can add a tsp of Butter Flavor!
Other delicious vegan recipes:
If you’ve tried this, or any other recipe on my blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I LOVE hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what this blueberry farm girl is keepin’ busy doing!!!
Vegan Nacho Cheese
- 2 cups water divided
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 2 oz canned pimientos or 1/4 C.
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch may also use Tapioca Flour/Starch but increase amount by 1 Tbsp.
- 2 Tbsp vegan margarine/butter optional
- 1 Tbsp white or light miso paste
- 1.5 tsp seasoned salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Rinse cashews under hot running water for several minutes or soak in HOT water for 5 minutes and then rinse.
- Place rinsed cashews in blender. Add 1 cup of the water and all other remaining ingredients and blend on high until completely smooth.
- Add second cup of water and pour mixture into a med size pot.
- Whisk over med heat until thickened, about 8 minutes. Watch closely to avoid burning.
- Voila! Dip chips, serve as a side for baked potatoes, drizzle over maxi-bowls etc!