This vegan nacho cheese is zesty, creamy, and incredibly tasty! It’s a super healthy recipe that’s made with 7 ingredients in under 30 minutes. Enjoy it as a dip, dressing, spread, or sauce for nearly any appetizer and meal. Try it with homemade nachos, french fries, roasted vegetables, tacos, or veggie burgers!

a bowl of vegan nacho cheese garnished with diced jalapeño, tomato, and cilantro beside corn tortilla chips

Today I’m bringing you one of my favorite dips, dressings, and spreads. (Yes, it classifies as all three!)

Did you know it’s possible to make super easy + guilt-free nacho cheese? Well, now you know! 😉 And, once you try this recipe, you’ll be creating it often. It can be enjoyed alongside countless appetizers, meals, and snacks. Choose between nachos, french fries, baked potatoes, veggie burgers, tacos, burritos, vegan hot dogs, or classic tortilla chips. There’s no wrong way to delight in this recipe!

This vegan nacho cheese is:

  • Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and contains no added sugar
  • Creamy, spicy, and flavorful
  • Easy to make + ready in under 30 minutes
  • Super healthy / Made with wholesome ingredients
  • Perfect for game night, parties, and pot lucks
a hand dipping a corn tortilla chip into a bowl of vegan nacho cheese surrounded by more tortilla chips

What is vegan nacho cheese made of?

  • Cashews: Cashews are the base of this vegan cheese sauce. They provide a creamy consistency and are packed with nutrients.
  • Nutritional yeast: Instead of real cheese, we’ll use nutritional yeast. Not only does it have a plant-based cheesy flavor, but it’s also loaded with B vitamins.
  • Lemon juice: Lemon juice provides a tangy component. It helps this recipe taste similar to traditional nacho sauce.
  • Tomato paste: Tomato paste contributes to both the flavor and color.
  • Jalapeño: In particular, pickled jalapeño is used for this recipe. Don’t skip out on this ingredient; it provides the spicy and zesty flavor.
  • Spices: Specifically, garlic, onion, salt, turmeric, chili powder, and cayenne pepper are used in this recipe.
  • Plant-based milk: Any type of plant-based milk works, but I typically use almond milk. If you don’t have any milk, water is fine.
a sliced lemon, raw cashews, jalapeño, spices, tomato paste, almond milk, and nutritional yeast on a marble board

How to make this cashew nacho cheese sauce

For the full ingredients list and step-by-step instructions, see the recipe card below.

To start, bring water to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the raw cashews and soak for 20 minutes. After, drain the water completely.

Next, combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until it becomes smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

cashews soaking in a bowl of water and nutritional yeast, tomato paste, jalapeño, and lemon inside a blender
a bowl of vegan nacho cheese garnished with diced jalapeño, tomato, and cilantro beside corn tortilla chips

What do you eat with nacho cheese?

There are so many ways to enjoy this easy recipe! My personal favorite is to make these vegan chili cheese fries. Additionally, I love using it as a dip for sweet potato black bean quesadillas and sweet potato black bean taquitos.

Here are 15 ways to serve this nacho cheese:

  • As a dip:
    • Tortilla chips
    • French fries
    • Roasted veggies
  • As a dressing or sauce:
    • Nachos
    • Tacos
    • Burritos
    • Burrito bowls
    • Pasta
    • Mac and cheese
    • Chili
  • As a spread:
    • Sandwiches
    • Veggie burgers
    • Baked potatoes
    • Vegan hot dogs
    • Homemade pizza
a hand dipping a corn tortilla chip into a bowl of vegan nacho cheese

More vegan dip recipes

If you try this Vegan Nacho Cheese, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a rating and comment below! Ready for more? Subscribe to my newsletter or follow along on Instagram and YouTube!

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a hand dipping a corn tortilla chip into a bowl of vegan nacho cheese surrounded by more tortilla chips

Vegan Nacho Cheese

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Kaylie Grace
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1.5 cups 1x
  • Category: Condiment, Dip, Spread
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This vegan nacho cheese sauce is easy, creamy, and packed with flavor! It’s ready in under 30 minutes and made with healthy ingredients.


  • 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked
  • 1 cup plant-based milk
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 6 sliced tamed jalapeño* (from a jar)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper


  1. Soak cashews: Add cashews to a bowl. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil on the stove. Pour boiling water over the cashews. Allow cashews to soak for 20 minutes. After, drain water.
  2. Combine ingredients: Add soaked cashews + all other ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Serve: Transfer nacho cheese to a bowl and serve with tortilla chips. Alternatively, drizzle it over these vegan chili cheese fries or homemade nachos, burrito bowls, tacos, roasted vegetables, etc. It’s great with nearly anything!


  • *Use tamed jalapeño, NOT fresh jalapeño or hot jalapeño.
  • Store nacho cheese in an airtight container or mason jar. It should keep fresh for 3-4 days.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
  • Calories: 285
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 11g

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