This simple, fast and easy dairy-free cheese sauce recipe was originally shared with us by a reader. I’ve added some options to help modify this recipe to taste, and some instructions to make sure the sauce is smooth. It’s a very basic sauce that can add a pleasant cheesy flavor to everyday foods. Use it to make dairy-free (and gluten-free) mac and cheese or pour it over baked potatoes and steamed vegetables.
Special Diet Notes: Easy Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
- ¼ cup raw cashews (see the Nut Options below)
- 2 cups water, divided
- ¼ cup diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons non-GMO cornstarch or arrowroot starch
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
- 1 to 1½ teaspoons sea salt, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Grind the cashews in a spice grinder or small food processor until powdered.
- Pour the cashew powder into your blender. Add the 1 cup water, tomatoes, nutritional yeast, starch, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Puree until smooth. Add the remaining 1 cup water and briefly blend to combine.
- Pour the mixture through a sieve into a saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Taste test and add more salt, if needed.