This creamy Velvet Vegan Cheese Sauce is a delicious, savory sauce. This easy to make sauce includes not not one, but two secret nutritional powerhouse ingredients. Try it with steamed or sautéed veggies, baked potatoes, nachos, open-faced sandwiches, or over cooked macaroni for a mac and cheese fix!
If you were to look at our weekly menu of meals, you might be surprised to learn that we’re vegan. Maybe that’s because the names sound kind of familiar.
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Pepperoni Pizza
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Loaded Nachos
- Chicken and Cheese Broccoli Casserole
These are all recipes on the cheesy side. Cheese and Vegans. They’re kind of oxymoronic. Arch enemies. Nemeses.
As the infamous Pink Panther says, “Not any more.” (best spoken with a French accent).
I made this Velvet Vegan Cheese Sauce the other day and my daughter immediately declared it her favorite.
Of course, I think she says that about everything I make. I swear, she’s up to something! I’m expecting a request for something really big some time soon.
What is Vegan Cheese Made Out Of?
I call it velvet because it reminds me of that highly processed American cheese that is sold in rectangular blocks at the store. You know it as Velvet. I used to love that stuff when I was a kid. The main difference between that stuff and my vegan cheese sauce? This one is dairy-free and actually healthy too. That’s because I use a lot of healthy ingredients to make it, like:
- pumpkin puree
- nutritional yeast flakes
This vegan cheese sauce can be as thick or as smooth and melty as you’d like it to be. Simply add more liquid for a smooth-flowing cheese sauce. I store this in the fridge and it thickens up as it cools.
Vegan Cheese Sauce Cashews
A lot of people these days are making vegan cheese sauce with cashews. I’ve done that as well. Take, for example, my Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe. Adding cashews to the cheese sauce adds a creamy, rich texture.
This recipe uses other techniques to make this sauce smooth and creamy. You’ll definitely want a food processor or a high-powered blender to make this as smooth as possible.
Best Vegan Cheese Sauce
The best vegan cheese sauce is the one you like! With that in mind, this recipe is a perfect base from which you can adapt to make it a favorite recipe for you and your family. Here’s some ideas for how you could adapt this recipe:
- Add more garlic powder for a more garlicky flavor
- Try a cup or so of steamed cauliflower to add creaminess to this sauce
- If you want a smoky flavor, try adding a teaspoon or so of smoked paprika
- You should definitely salt and pepper to taste.
This vegan cheese sauce is a perfect sauce for your everyday dishes. Dollop spoonfuls of it over freshly steamed veggies like broccoli or green beans. Pour it over freshly cooked macaroni for your own vegan Mac and Cheese fest! Use it in place of Velveeta in your favorite nacho cheese dips. You can even spread this cheese sauce on bread and make your own grilled cheese sandwich. There’s no end to the possibilities!
It’s surprising the things you can eat while living on a vegan diet. You don’t have to give up your favorite foods, just veganize them!
We love this recipe for vegan cheese sauce and hope you will too. If you make it, be sure and grab your phone and take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. We love seeing your photos!
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (sub gluten-free)
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon Bragg Amino Acids
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 15 oz chickpeas (including liquid from the can)
- 2 cups vegan cheddar shreds either Follow Your Heart or Daiya
In a saucepan, melt vegan butter over low heat. Add flour with a whisk and beat over a medium heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
Whip in 1 cup of hot water, Bragg, salt, garlic powder, and turmeric, stir well.
In a food processor combine the pumpkin and full can of chickpeas (including liquid from the can). Pulse the food processor up to a minute or as needed so that the mixture is very smooth. You don't want lumps from the chickpeas.
Add the flour mixture from the sauce pan to the food processor along with the vegan cheese. Pulse for up to a minute. You may still have some lumpiness from the vegan cheese.
Transfer this mixture back into the saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of water. Stir to combine. Put the lid on the saucepan and cook for one minute. Remove the lid and stir then reduce heat to low and cook for another 4 - 5 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.
Once the cheese sauce is done, allow it to cool before transferring to a sealed container. This will keep in the fridge for up to one week.
Serve over baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, on sandwiches, and you can even add some salsa to create a delicious nacho cheese sauce.
This recipe creates roughly 4½ cups of cheese sauce. I find using ¼ cup at a time (say, spread over broccoli or a baked potato) is plenty. The nutrition information is provided for ¼ cup servings.
You can use a microwave to create this recipe. Simply use a microwave safe dish to create the roux (in the first step). Then transfer the contents from the food processor back into the microwave-safe dish, place a loose lid on the top and microwave for one minute. Use oven mitts to remove from the microwave and stir. Return to the microwave and heat for another minute. Repeat until the cheese sauce has melted.
After it's refrigerated, this cheese sauce will thicken up. You can add water or vegetable broth while rehearsing to return it to sauce consistency.
Now you know what my secret ingredients are. The pumpkin adds some delicious beta carotene and the chickpeas provide a powerhouse of protein! So not only is this recipe delicious, it’s also packed with fiber, protein, and healthy nutrients.
*Sigh* Life is just too good.