What’s Inside: Looking for the best dairy-free cheese sauce? Well, I’m giving you 3 recipes to make on repeat and pour on all the things. There are Paleo, Whole30, and AIP-friendly (nut-free) options. And don’t miss all my delicious recipes to get creative using these sauces with!
The Best Dairy-free Cheese Sauces To Make On Repeat (Paleo, Whole30, AIP-friendly)
When I first eliminated dairy from my diet many moons ago, I felt a lot of things. Firstly, I felt way better, I saw less skin breakouts and irritations, and my digestion improved. But, I also felt a dairy-shaped gaping hole in the depth of my soul, let’s be real now. And so began the search for dairy-free substitutes to be able to have things I missed like mac and cheese, ice cream, and of course… a good ol’ cheese board. This post is all about the sauce though, because sauce can be used in so many different ways! Pouring it on veggies, gluten-free pasta, veggie noodles, using it in casseroles… it’s become quite a staple in my fridge because it’s so easy to make and so tasty.
The 3 best dairy-free cheese sauces in this post are my go-to’s. And 2 of them are AIP-friendly which means they’re nut-free, vegan, and veggie-full. This is also a great way to get kids (or people who eat like kids) to eat veggies in a sneaky way. Double-win, as it turns out, feeling better can (and should) taste delicious.
What’s needed to make dairy-free cheese?
- Nutritional Yeast – different from bakers or brewer’s yeast, this is a pivotal ingredient in dairy-free cheese recipes. It provides a cheesy-like taste. This is the brand I use.
- Lemon Juice or Vinegar – this helps with that little bite that cheese has and brings something acidic to your recipe.
- Cauliflower, Nuts, Coconut, or Potato – something that will be creamy in texture whether it be from fat (nuts, coconut) or starch (like potato or arrowroot starch I like to use).
Recipes to use these sauces with:
- Butternut Squash Lasagna
- Spaghetti Squash Pastitsio (baked ziti)
- Spaghetti Squash Alfredo
- Other ideas:
- Use it as a dip on a platter!
- Use it over nachos!
- Use it on any pasta dish! (this is my favorite gluten-free pasta)
- Use it over broccoli for a cheesy broccoli dish!
3 Dairy-free Cheese Sauces
Coconut-Cauliflower Cheese Sauce (Paleo, Whole30, AIP-friendly, Nut-free)
This nut-free, AIP-friendly cheese sauce is a staple in my recipes! It's easy and delicious.
- 2 cups steamed cauliflower
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup water to loosen
- 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch/flour
- 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend on high until well combined. Use in cooking or store in a mason jar for up to 5-days.
Classic Cashew Cheese Sauce (Paleo, Whole30)
- 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
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.
Sweet Potato Cheese Sauce (Paleo, Whole30, AIP-friendly, Nut-free)
This easy coconut-free sauce is so creamy and dreamy! It's AIP, Paleo, and Whole30.
- 2 cups cooked and cooled white sweet potato (skin peeled off)
- 1 cup+ water
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/2 juiced lemon or 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until your sauce forms, add more water as needed to loosen and use in cooking or store for up to 5-days in the fridge.
This Sweet Potato Cheese Sauce Recipe was adapted from Rachel’s delicious one @meatified!