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Vegan nacho cheese with sliced jalapenos in a bowl.

Vegan Nacho Cheese (Oil-Free)

  • Author: Allie
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This oil-free vegan nacho cheese recipe creates a creamy sauce using cashews, carrots, potatoes, nutritional yeast, spices, and pickled jalapeños for added flavor. 


  • 1 medium potato (1/2 lb, 226 g), peeled and cubed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cubed
  • ½ cup (70 g) raw cashews (soaked)
  • 1 cup (236 ml) unsweetened dairy-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (for color)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 6-8 pickled jalapeños slices (depends on heat preference)


  1. Soak the cashews overnight or boil water then pour it over the cashews and soak for 10-15 minutes. 
  2. Place the potato and carrot in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 10 minutes or until the carrot/potato is fork-tender.
  3. Drain the potato and carrot then add them to a blender.
  4. Drain the cashews and add to the blender, along with all of the other ingredients.  Blend until smooth.
  5. If the cheese sauce is still warm from the cooked potatoes and carrots, then there’s no need to warm it up. If it’s cooled down, you might want to warm it up in a pot for a couple of minutes.


Be careful blending hot ingredients. If needed, remove the feeder cap (small center cap of the blender lid) to release any pressure caused by blending hot foods. Place a clean towel over the lid to prevent splattering.

If you don't have a high-speed blender you'll need to soak your cashews overnight.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer, Main Course
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegan nacho cheese with potatoes and carrots, oil free nacho cheese