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The Best & Easiest Paleo Cashew Cheese Sauce

4.53 from 34 votes

What’s inside: This quick and easy Paleo cashew cheese sauce recipe is a staple in my fridge. Toss the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth and thick. Lather it on pasta, nachos, tacos, and so much more – the options are endless for this versatile cashew cheese sauce. Whole30 friendly and vegan too!


Paleo Cashew Cheese Sauce in a mason jar

Why You’ll Love This Paleo Cashew Cheese Sauce

In my nutrition practice, I see a lot of patients who have a dairy intolerance. And so many of my patients miss enjoying those dairy-laden dishes! But alas, people with diary restrictions no longer have to miss out on these decadent dishes. Quick and easy homemade cheese sauces such as this one is a staple amongst my patients.

This Paleo Cashew Cheese Sauce can be whipped up in a matter of minutes and is the perfect dip for crisp vegetables, crunchy chips, or use to make Butternut Squash Lasagna or Spaghetti Squash Pastitsio (Baked Ziti). Honestly, though, if you’d like to eat it straight off the spoon, I wouldn’t hold it against you – it’s that good! 

But if you are someone who can’t tolerate tree nuts and are looking for a delicious dairy-free, vegan, AIP, and paleo-friendly sauce, I got you! Check out this Sweet Potato Cheese Sauce that is rich and luscious or this ultra-creamy Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce From Cauliflower. No matter which recipe you use, I can guarantee that it will satisfy that cheese craving – no matter when it hits!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups-soaked cashews 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup filtered water

How To Make Dairy-Free Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • Soak cashews in water for a minimum of two hours. Drain prior to using.
  • Throw all ingredients into a high-speed blender and puree until thick and smooth.
  • Feel free to add more water as needed to loosen to desired consistency.
  • Use immediately or store in the fridge up to 5 days.
overhead photo of cashew cheese sauce in mason jar with spoon

Tips and Variations

  • Use a pinch of paprika to give this classic cashew cheese sauce a subtle kick
  • Flavor this sauce as a homemade ranch with the addition of minced parsley, chives, and dill.
  • Feel free to mix in your favorite fresh herbs for different flavor combinations
  • Be sure to soak cashews for a minimum of two hours prior to using

Storage Instructions

Store any leftover dairy-free cheese sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can this dairy-free cheese sauce be frozen?

Of course! Place in a freezer-safe container or bag and lay flat in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to use, allow to thaw overnight in the fridge and then warm up according to the directions below.

How do I reheat this vegan cheese sauce?

When ready to use, reheat in the microwave in 30-second intervals until warmed through, stirring frequently to ensure it’s smooth.

This sauce can also be reheated via stovetop in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until simmering. Whisk frequently to remove any lumps.

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that is cultivated for use in food as an easy way to add a cheesy flavor to dishes. Commonly taken from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae species that is used for baking bread and brewing beer, this form of yeast is not alive and therefore, it won’t raise your bread. Commonly sold in yellow flakes, granules, or powder, it can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores.

For people who need an alternative diet, nutritional yeast is an excellent vegan source of vitamins, minerals, and protein which are vital for healthy cell function and tissue repair.

Can I use another seed or nut to make this recipe?

You certainly can but keep in mind that cashews have a neutral flavor and, when mixed with nutritional yeast will give you a flavor most closely resembling authentic cheese sauce. However, if you’d like to make this recipe with a different seed or nut, feel free! Sunflower seeds would be a great alternative as they soften quickly and are relatively inexpensive, but feel free to use pecans, walnuts, or almonds.

sweet potato lasagna made with cashew cheese sauce on circular plate

More Dairy-Free Recipes To Try

The Best Dairy-free Cheese Sauces To Make On Repeat (Paleo, Whole30, AIP-friendly) via Food by Mars

The Best & Easiest Paleo Cashew Cheese Sauce

4.53 from 34 votes
This quick and easy Paleo cashew cheese sauce recipe is a staple in my fridge. Toss the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth and thick. Lather it on pasta, nachos, tacos, and so much more – the options are endless for this versatile cashew cheese sauce. Whole30 friendly and vegan too!
Prep Time: 2 hrs
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 5 mins
Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cashews soaked in water for at least 2 hours & drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup filtered water plus more to loosen as needed

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and mix until well-combined, add more water as needed to loosen. Use or store for up to 5-days in the fridge.
Diet: American
Keywords: cashew cheese sauce, dairy-free cheese sauce, paleo, paleo cashew cheese sauce, paleo cheese sauce
Course: Sauce
-Alison Marras
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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9 comments

  1. Love vegan cheese sauce and this recipe looks ace. Looking forward to making it and enjoying it over some cauliflower 🙂