Dairy Free Cheese Sauce (no cashews!)
This dairy-free cheese sauce is simply the best! It’s made with lots of vegetables, and zero cashews for a nut-free cheese sauce that’s perfect for dipping, drizzling, and pasta sauce.
Cheese is one of those things that seems irreplaceable when you change your diet! Being dairy-free is hard, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. This cheese sauce is totally dairy free, but it feels like the real deal. It’s creamy, has a lightly cheesy flavor, and it’s perfect to use just like you would any cheese sauce.
Why you’ll love this cheese sauce
- It’s nut-free and dairy-free. Most dairy-free cheeses will still be cashew based which is limiting for those with a lot of food allergies. This one doesn’t use cashews or almonds. It uses coconut, which isn’t technically a nut.
- It’s veggie-packed. This sauce has hidden veggies, making it the perfect option for any picky eaters.
- You can use it just like a regular cheese sauce…
How to use this cheese sauce
- Drizzle over veggies. This sauce is perfect for adding to steamed broccoli or cauliflower! I love to eat a big plate of broccoli with this sauce.
- Dip it in chips. If you like a basic cheese sauce for chips, this is a great option.
- Use it as a mac and cheese sauce. The only thing I would do is add some pasta water to help turn this into a true pasta sauce.
The Ingredients for the Dairy Free Cheese Sauce
- Chicken Broth. Sub veggie broth if needed.
- Coconut Milk. Use full-fat coconut milk from a can! I use the Native Forest simple coconut milk.
- White Sweet Potato. I prefer white sweet potato like Hannah or Japanese sweet potato as it’s less sweet, but you can use orange sweet potato in a pinch… it’ll just be sweeter.
- Nutritional Yeast. This really helps give the sauce the “cheesy” flavor.
- Salt, Pepper, Avocado Oil, and Garlic.
- Carrots and White Onion. I love the extra flavor and nutrients these add!
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Arrowroot Starch.
How to make Dairy Free Cheese Sauce
- Step One: Combine the liquids and set aside.
- Step Two: Saute the veggies. Using a large pot, heat the avocado oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, and sweet potato and saute for 7-8 minutes or until lightly tender.
- Step Three: Cook the liquid and veggies together.
- Step Four: Blend. Allow to cool slightly before blending in a blender or with an immersion blender. See notes for adjusting taste or thickness.
- Step Five. Serve warm!
Can you make this recipe ahead of time? How do you reheat it?
You can make it in bulk and keep it in the fridge for 2-4 days. I like to reheat it on the stove top for a few minutes on low. I haven’t tried to freeze it yet, but it should work just fine.
What’s the difference between this and queso?
I have a queso recipe that’s similar to this recipe, but this one is a bit thinner in consistency which lends it better to mac and cheese or drizzling on veggies. The queso recipe, and this are still both great for a chip dip!
How do you make the sauce thicker or thinner?
This sauce is a thicker consistency, but if you want it thinner, simply add a bit of chicken broth!
If you want it even thicker after the sauce is blended combine 1 tsp arrowroot starch with 1 tsp water and mix. Add the sauce back to the pot along with the arrowroot mixture and stir to heat for 1-2 minutes. Add more arrowroot as desired.
Can you leave out the nutritional yeast?
The nutritional yeast gives a cheesy taste to this sauce. If you don’t like it, you can leave it out, but the sauce won’t taste quite as cheesy.
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- 1/2 cup chicken broth (sub veggie broth)
- 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 tsp arrowroot starch
- 2–3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup white sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- Salt and pepper (omit pepper for AIP)
- Combine the chicken broth, coconut milk, vinegar, arrowroot, and nutritional yeast in a bowl and set aside.
- Using a large pot, heat the avocado oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, and sweet potato and saute for 7-8 minutes or until lightly tender.
- Pour the liquid over the vegetables and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Allow to cool slightly before blending in a blender or with an immersion blender. See notes for adjusting taste or thickeness.
- Serve warm over vegetables, or as you would a cheese sauce.
- The nutritional yeast gives a cheesy taste to this sauce. Start with 2 tbsp and adjust the nutritional yeast to taste.
- If a thicker sauce is desired after the sauce is blended combine 1 tsp arrowroot starch with 1 tsp water and mix. Add the sauce back to the pot along with the arrowroot mixture and stir to heat for 1-2 minutes. Add more arrowroot as desired.
- All nutritional information are estimations and will vary. Estimations do not include optional ingredients.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 200
- Fat: 16.8g
- Carbohydrates: 11.8g
- Fiber: 1.8g
- Protein: 2.7g