This easy vegan cheese sauce needs just 5 ingredients and takes minutes to make. Made nut free and dairy free, this vegan bechamel is perfect in pasta, lasagnas, or even as a warm dip!
Vegan Cheese Sauce
Everyone needs a foolproof cheese sauce recipe in their life, and this one truly is the best. It’s been a game changer in my cooking, and honestly, I’ve been using it in anything and everything.
What is vegan cheese sauce made of?
Traditional vegan cheese sauce recipes tend to use cashews for the creaminess and thickness. However, we wanted to create a versatile, affordable, and foolproof cheese sauce so omitted it.
Now, this vegan cheese sauce may look incredibly fancy, but it is such a foolproof recipe. Its texture is so thick, smooth, and creamy. It’s cheesy, salty, and full of umami flavor.
What I love about this sauce is how versatile it is- use it in pasta dishes, lasagna, over nachos, or even as a warm dip. In fact, it can easily be used in any recipe calling for a bechamel.
How do you make a vegan cheese sauce without cashews?
- Vegan butter– Use good quality vegan butter, preferably from a block. If you can’t find any, you can use vegan margarine.
- Flour– Plain or all purpose flour. If you’d like to make this gluten free, you’ll need to use a gluten free flour that contains added xanthan gum.
- Soy milk– This milk is the best plant based milk to use, as it doesn’t have a strong flavor and works well in savory recipes. You can use another non-dairy milk, but it may have a slightly different flavor.
- Vegan parmesan cheese– Gives the cheesy and salty flavor.
- Nutritional yeast– Optional, but gives an extra umami kick.
- Salt and pepper– To taste.
Start by adding the butter to a saucepan and place over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and mix it into the butter until it begins to bubble. Next, add the milk slowly while whisking, until smooth. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 12-15 minutes until it begins to thicken.
Now, remove from the heat and add the vegan parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Let the mixture sit for 2-3 minutes before serving or let it cool completely before storing away.
Tips to make the best vegan bechamel
- You must the milk slowly, otherwise, there will be clumps of flour throughout the sauce.
- For an even cheesier flavor, add 1/2 cup of your favorite shredded vegan cheese.
- Don’t worry if you notice a thin layer of film on top of the sauce. Simply whisk it well back into the sauce.
Storing and freezing nutritional yeast cheese sauce
- To store: Leftover cheese sauce should be stored in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for up to 2 weeks.
- To freeze: Place the sauce in a shallow container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Reheating: Either microwave the sauce in 30-second spurts or in a small saucepan until warm.
What to serve the vegan cheese sauce with
Vegan cheese sauce
- 1/4 cup vegan butter chopped
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 4 1/4 cups soy milk
- 3/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg optional
- Place your butter in a saucepan and place it over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and mix until combined and bubbling.
- Remove from the heat and gently whisk in the soy milk. Place back over medium heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until it thickens.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, and spices. Let sit for 3 minutes, before using it.