Cashew Nacho Cheese (soy-free option)

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Creamy, zesty, cashew nacho cheese is delicious for dipping and great on tacos, burritos, nachos, and more. You make it in the blender, no cooking required, and it’s so versatile! Nutfree option

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I have a couple of versions of nacho cheese on the blog . They are nut-free, so I decided to make a nut-based version which is creamier and more decadent. This is a super easy vegan cheese recipe. Just add everything to the blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. 

From there, you can adjust the flavors by adding more spices or adjust the tang with lemon juice to make this your own. 

Use this cashew nacho cheese over nachos, burritos, a taco bake, baked potatoes, on blanched broccoli, or however you like. Add some salsa for even more flavor and serve with your fave tortilla chips! For a more neutral cheese sauce recipe see my potato carrot vegan cheese sauce

Why You’ll Love Cashew Nacho Cheese

rich and creamy vegan cheese sauce with no oil needed

velvety smooth with light smoky and spicy notes

versatile! Adjust saltiness and spiciness easily. Serve on nachos, tacos, burritos, and more!

naturally gluten-free with an easy soy-free option

🧀 More Vegan Cheese Recipes

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Cashew Nacho Cheese

Creamy, zesty, cashew nacho cheese is delicious for dipping and great on tacos, burritos, nachos, and more. You make it in the blender, no cooking required, and it’s so versatile!

Prep Time25 minutes minsTotal Time25 minutes mins

Course: Appetizer, cheese, SnackCuisine: Mexican InspiredKeyword: cashew nacho cheese
Servings: 6
Calories: 135kcal
Author: Vegan Richa
Ingredients1 cup (129 g) raw cashews unroasted, unsalted, soaked in warm water for at least 15 minutes2 tablespoons nutritional yeast1 teaspoon yellow miso paste½ cup (118.29 ml) water or more, if needed to get the creamy texture1 tablespoon lemon juice1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño plus 1 tablespoon brine from the jar of pickled jalapeños2 tablespoons salsa or chopped tomato½ teaspoon smoked paprika½ teaspoon garlic powder½ teaspoon onion powder½ teaspoon saltOptional Additions½ to 1 teaspoon chipotle chili flakes or cayenne for heat⅛ teaspoon turmeric

InstructionsSoak the cashews, if you haven’t already. Let them sit for 15 minutes in hot water, then drain.Add the soaked and drained cashews to a blender along with the rest of the ingredients, and then blend for a minute. Check the consistency of the mixture, and add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water, if needed. Then, blend again for 30 seconds. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and then blend again for 10 seconds. Let it sit for another 2 minutes, and then blend again for half a minute or, until the mixture is nice and creamy and smooth.Taste and adjust flavor by adding more lemon, salt, garlic, flavors or heat, and then blend in those additions. Then transfer to a serving bowl, top it with some salsa or pickled jalapeño, and serve with tortilla chips, or use the cheese sauce in tacos, wraps, over burritos, over nachos.
Video
NotesUse the turmeric if you want your nacho cheese to look yellower, it won’t impact the flavor much.
Cashew nacho cheese is naturally gluten-free. This is a soy-free recipe, if you use chickpea miso instead of yellow miso. For nut-free, make my nut-free nacho cheese sauce instead.
To make this without nutritional yeast, just omit the nutritional yeast and add another teaspoon of miso.
Nutrition
Nutrition Facts
Cashew Nacho Cheese

Amount Per Serving

Calories 135
Calories from Fat 90

% Daily Value*

Fat 10g15%Saturated Fat 2g13%Sodium 298mg13%Potassium 223mg6%Carbohydrates 9g3%Fiber 2g8%Sugar 2g2%Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 137IU3%Vitamin C 1mg1%Calcium 13mg1%Iron 2mg11% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Did you make this recipe?Please do leave a comment and rating below.. Tag me on Instagram @veganricha

Ingredients and Substitutions

raw cashews – Make sure to soak your cashews in hot water for 15 minutes, then drain before using. This will soften them, so they blend up smooth and creamy. You need raw cashews for the neutral flavor. Roasted cashews will add too much nuttiness. For a nutfree version make my nut free nacho cheese.

nutritional yeast – Adds cheesiness and umami. If you don’t want to use nutritional yeast, you can use an extra tablespoon of miso instead.

miso – Use yellow miso paste for this cheese sauce recipe. You can use chickpea miso for soy-free.

lemon juice – For tang.

pickled jalapeños – Adds more tang and some heat. You’re using both the pepper themselves and some of the brine from the jar.

salsa – Adds such a nice flavor! You can use chopped tomato, if you prefer.

salt and spices – We are seasoning this with smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. You can add in chipotle chili or cayenne for more heat. If you want this to be more yellow in color, also add in some turmeric.

💡 Tip

This recipe is all about thoroughly blending those cashews! Don’t skip the soak, and make sure that you blend as directed for the creamiest cashew nacho cheese.

How to Make Cashew Nacho Cheese Sauce

Soak the cashews, if you haven’t already. Let them sit for 15 minutes in hot water, then drain.

Add the soaked and drained cashews to a blender along with the rest of the ingredients, and then blend for a minute. Check the consistency of the mixture, and add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water, if needed. Then, blend again for 30 seconds. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and then blend again for 5-10 seconds. Let it sit for another 2 minutes, and then blend again for half a minute, until the mixture is nice and creamy and smooth.

Taste and adjust flavor by adding more lemon, salt, or heat, and then blend in those additions. Then transfer to a serving bowl, top it with some salsa or pickled jalapeño, and serve with nacho chips. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this recipe allergy friendly? Cashew nacho cheese is naturally gluten-free. This is a soy-free recipe, if you use chickpea miso instead of yellow miso. For nut-free, make my nut-free nacho cheese sauce instead. Will I taste the turmeric, if I use it? You really won’t. It’s such a small amount that it just adds a little bit of natural color. What can I use instead of nutritional yeast? An extra tablespoon of miso will give your cashew nacho cheese the umami flavor without needing nutritional yeast. how can I make my vegan cheese sauce taste more like nacho cheese? The combination of the spices(smoked paprika, onion, garlic, you can also add a pinch of cumin), nutritional yeast, miso and pickled jalapeño brine all together elevate this cheese sauce to a nacho cheese!

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