Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
A vegan cheese sauce made without nuts. This sweet potato vegan cheese sauce is perfect for vegan mac & cheese or for serving over vegetables.
Sweet Potato Vegan Cheese Sauce (Nut-Free)
You don’t need to be vegan to like this recipe. Don’t get caught up in the label; this recipe is really about adding healthy, real foods together to make a vegetable-laden sauce that tastes like cheese!
I’ve been lactose intolerant most of my life, so I was never able to do cheese or cheese sauces. So whether you are like me and lactose intolerant, have a dairy or nut allergy, or just don’t love the processed cheeses, this recipe is for you. If you want to sneak some more vegetables into your diet or even your kids’ diets, this recipe is for you. It’s a great staple to have on hand, and super easy to make!
What to do with vegan cheese sauce?
- Top some cooked pasta with it. I like to put it on black bean pasta (as shown) for a protein-filled, plant-based meal. But it works well on any pasta, really!
- Serve it atop some cooked vegetables—think steamed cauliflower, or even a baked potato.
- Make a loaded queso dip with black beans, guacamole and pico de gallo.
- Dip fresh veggies into it.
- Make a healthier plate of nachos with it.
Vegan Cheese Recipe Ingredients
This dairy-free cheese is not only delicious – it’s good for you, too! Unlike processed vegan cheese that you can find at grocery stores, it’s made of a short list of whole foods ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Sweet potatoes & carrots – These are the key ingredients for giving vegan cheese recipes a creamy texture AND a vibrant color. These vegetables provide a light sweetness that’s balanced with the spices and nutritional yeast.
- White beans – This is the key ingredient to help bind and also make for the creamy texture. It’s also the secret ingredient that helps us avoid cashews!
- Nutritional yeast – It gives this dairy-free cheese the nutty, savory flavor of the real thing!
- Onion powder, garlic powder & paprika – These spices add a delicious depth of flavor.
- Lemon juice – It gives this vegan cheese a bright, tangy finish and balances out the sweet/savory with a little tang.
To make this vegan cheese recipe, first boil the sweet potatoes & carrots. When they’re tender, transfer them, along with 1 cup of the water that you boiled them in, to a high-speed blender. Add the beans, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, garlic & onion powder and paprika. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth and creamy. That’s it! So easy.
What is nutritional yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated form of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, commonly known as baker’s or brewer’s yeast. The key word is deactivated – meaning it won’t make your next loaf of bread rise. But it is a great source of vitamins and minerals. Nutritional yeast contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein like those found in animal products, and even in quinoa. Complete proteins are important nutrients that assist functions like tissue repair and nutrient absorption. And while I don’t follow a vegan diet, I don’t eat a lot of animal protein – so I do like adding nutritional yeast when possible. It’s one of those things—once you try it, you’ll definitely find more uses for it!
Nutritional yeast at first may seem like a funky, flaky yellow powder. But it’s super useful for making vegan cheese sauces (like this one!) and dips, punching up popcorn, and adding savory flavor to soups, scrambles and more.
Can I freeze this vegan cheese sauce?
Yes! Simply freeze in a freezer-safe container and pull out when you are in a pinch, or when you are looking for a healthy convenience food. I like to make this sauce in a big batch and then safe some for another day.
A vegan cheese sauce made without nuts. This sweet potato vegan cheese sauce is perfect for vegan mac & cheese or serving over vegetables.
- 1 cup sweet potato , cubed
- 1 carrot , cut into chunks
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup vegetable broth (from cooked vegetables)
- 1/4 cup cooked white beans
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- pinch paprika
In a medium pot, boil carrots and sweet potato for 15 minutes or until they are tender. Cooking times may vary.
You will need to keep 1 cup of the water that you cooked the veggies in. Drain veggies in a colander keeping that 1 cup that's needed.
Add all ingredients, including the reserved 1 cup of broth, to a blender.
Blend on high until smooth, about 30-60 seconds.
Top cooked noodles or vegetables with this cheeze sauce, or use as a dip for cut vegetables or tortilla chips.
Store in a closed container for up to 7 days.
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Some other recipes you may enjoy:
- The Easiest Vegan Mac & Cheese
- Healthy Vegan Cookie Dough (with Chickpeas)
- Instant Pot Vegan Quinoa Chickpea Stew
- Paleo Berry Cobbler (Vegan + Nut-free)
And other homemade sauces you need to try:
- Easy Green Tahini Sauce
- Nut-free “Peanut” Butter Sauce (Paleo, Dairy free, Nut free)
- Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe
Oh my gosh. To be brutally honest with you; I was not expecting much from this recipe. I was 100% wrong! This was insanely delicious; I couldn’t stop eating it! Making more tonight:)
So glad you enjoyed it!!
Is there a substitute for nutritional yeast?
This is really good! I added a dash of cayanne pepper. Really good thanks for sharing