This vegan nacho cheese sauce is an easy and healthy dip made with less than 10 wholesome ingredients. Plus, it contains no dairy, no gluten and it is keto friendly.
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What is a vegan nacho cheese sauce?
It’s a dairy-free dip with a delicious cheesy flavor, creamy texture that doesn’t contain cheese. It’s a tasty appetizer recipe to dip corn chips or vegetables.
Vegan cheese dip are made of 5 wholesome ingredients:
- Soaked nuts, can be either macadamia or cashews. This is the ingredient that creates the smooth cheese-like texture. Note that cashews are sweeter than macadamia nuts and should be limited if you are on vegan keto diet. Otherwise, cashews are cheaper and a delicious healthy vegan and gluten-free option.
- Nutritional yeast, adds a cheese flavor to the dip. Plus, if you use a vitamin-B12-fortified yeast, it will help you reach your daily intake.
- Spices – garlic powder, smoked paprika and salt. That is the best combo to enhance the cheese flavor of this vegan queso sauce.
- Vegetable stock – low sodium is the best to avoid a too salty sauce.
- Lemon juice, to add a little tangy flavor to the sauce.
- Red orange color vegetable, this recipe uses roasted red capsicum to add color and Mexican flavor. You can also find recipes that use steamed sweet potato puree. They have a sweeter flavor and contain more carbs.
How to make a creamy smooth nacho sauce?
First, make sure you soak the nuts for the recommended time. They won’t be soft if you soak the nuts for a shorter time. Therefore, you will end up with a grainy sauce. Next, use a blender not a food processor. Blenders are more powerful to crush soaked nuts into a puree. You must blend on high speed and for at least 2 minutes, by intervals of 30-45 seconds, to avoid a grainy texture.
Finally, adjust the texture with more liquid, it can be water, plant-based milk or more vegetable stock. We are all different when it comes to cheese sauces. Some people love them thick, see the picture below. This is what you will get following the original recipe. Then, some people love a smoother, runnier sauce. Read the recipe instructions to learn how to adjust the amount of liquid to make a smooth dip.
What to serve with your keto vegan cheese dip?
I hear you, this dip is keto-friendly but you don’t eat chips on a keto diet. So what can you dip into this sauce? First, let me tell you that yes, there are some vegan keto nacho chips recipes out there! You know I eat low-carb right? The Conscious Plant Kitchen is where I share the recipes I make for my husband, he eats vegan and mostly gluten-free. Therefore, I like to create vegan keto recipes we can share together. On my Keto site, I share this fabulous keto vegan tortilla recipe made of chia seeds and almond meal. Go have a look if you want to make them with this dip.
Otherwise, this vegan cheese sauce is perfect for plain or salted corn chips. You can also dip raw vegetables like cucumber stick, carrot sticks or roasted vegetable. Another idea is to use this as a burger cheese sauce with my vegan black bean burgers recipe.
How to store your cheese dip ?
Good news, this vegan queso sauce store really well. This sauce stores up to 4 days in the fridge in a glass mason jar. The sauce can thicken with time and that is ok. Simply add a splash of cold water in the jar, shake and serve!
Enjoy the recipe and don’t forget to Pin this on Pinterest to save it for later!
Your friend, Carine
Vegan nacho cheese sauce
Soaking the nuts
- Place the unsalted macadamia nuts in a glass bowl, cover with boiling water, cover the bowl with a lid or plate. Set aside.
- Soak for 45 minutes. You can also cover the nuts with cold water and soak overnight if preferred.
Roast the capsicum
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F)
- Cut the red pepper in quarters from top to bottom Slide the tip of a small sharp knife under the attached seeds and membranes to cut them out. If any seeds remain, remove the seed membrane with your fingers.
- Place the pepper quarters in a baking dish. Brush the skin with olive oil.
- Roast for 25 minutes until the skin is grilled and soft.
Make the vegan nacho sauce
- Drain the soaked nuts. Discard water.
- In a blender add soaked macadamia nuts, roasted capsicum quarters, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, spices and 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of vegetable stock.
- Blend on high speed for at least 1 minute or until the sauce is smooth. Stop the blender, scrape down the sides of the jug and repeat. It should not take more than 2 minutes in total. Also, make sure you check the consistency. You should obtain a thick cheese sauce. If too thick to your liking or doesn't blend well, follow the next steps to adjust.
- How to adjust the cheese sauce thickness?
- You can thinner the cheese sauce by simply adding liquid, water or vegetable stock, up to 3 tablespoons in total. Note that adding more vegetable stock increase the salty flavor of the sauce. To thinner the sauce, add 1 tablespoon of liquid at a time, process 10 seconds on high speed, taste and repeat if needed. This will ensure that you don't dilute the sauce too fast. I personally like to add 2 extra tablespoons of water in my sauce while my family prefer the thick cheese sauce. Play with texture to make it works for you !
- Can be served immediately or refrigerate for at least one hour to enhance the flavors.
- Serve as a corn nacho chip dip or veggie dip.
- Store in the fridge in a glass mason jar up to 4 days.
- Note that the sauce thicken after few days in the fridge. You can thinner the sauce by adding an extra tablespoon of water or plant-based milk in the jar, shake and serve!
- Freeze in an airtight container and defrost in the fridge the day before.
- Vegan keto followers, one serve contains 3 grams net carbs. The recipe makes 6 serves.
- You can use cashews or macadamia nuts for this recipe. Macadamia are less sweet and contain less carbs so I recommend them if you are on vegan keto diet.
- You can use any type of nuts raw nuts, sprouted nuts or roasted nuts but not salted nuts of the dip will be too salty
- Use a high-speed blender, not a food processor or your sauce won’t be as creamy and smooth.
- Always start with 1/2 cup of vegetable stock before adjusting the sauce. For a thick cheese sauce don’t add more liquid. For a smoother, liquid cheese sauce add up to 3 tablespoons of liquid (water, plant-based milk or extra stock)