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Dairy Free Cheese Sauce

This dairy free cheese sauce is the perfect alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or choose not to eat dairy. Creamy and smooth with a perfect “cheese” flavor, you’ll love it on veggies or as a dip!

Sometimes, you just want cheese. And sometimes, your body just can’t tolerate it. Enter dairy free cheese sauce. It might not be real cheese, but it may just fill that hole in your heart that you thought could only be filled by real cheese.

This delicious dairy free sauce has a similar flavor to that of cheese. It requires no cooking, a minimal amount of hands-off prep work, and comes together in a matter of minutes. All you need are a few ingredients and a food processor, and you too can have dairy free “cheese” sauce at your fingertips.

How to make dairy free cheese sauce

To start, you’re going to need to soak your cashews. I prefer overnight – the longer you soak them the creamier the sauce will be.

If you don’t soak them long enough, it has a tendency to come out gritty, and nobody likes gritty cheese. So pop those cashews in a bowl or measuring cup, fill it with water, and put it on the counter the day before.

Once they’ve soaked, you’re going to add them to the food processor with all your other ingredients. (The only thing you might not have on hand is nutritional yeast, but you can get some here.)

overhead view of food processor containing dairy free cheese sauce ingredients

Then you’re just going to turn that thing on, and let it run. You might have to scrape down the sides once or twice to get everything incorporated, but after a couple of minutes, you should have a creamy mixture like this:

overhead view of food processor containing dairy free cheese sauce

And that’s it. You’re done. No, I’m not kidding – it’s that easy.

How to use this sauce

Drizzle it over broccoli, dip your raw veggies in it, stir it in over some zoodles. Ta-da! Noodles with cheese!

You can also follow the instructions over in my award-winning Prosciutto Mac & Cheese Bites on how to add eggs to the mixture, then bake it for a firmer, baked, mac and cheese style use.

Help! My sauce is too thick

Don’t worry. The sauce does come out thick. It’s supposed to. If you prefer it to be thinner, add water a bit at a time until you’ve reached the desired consistency.

When you refrigerate it, it will also get thick as it cools. This is the coconut cream, hardening in the fridge. To soften, you can either let it come back to room temp, or you can heat it over low heat on the stove in a saucepan to thin it out again.

My preferred consistency is a thick sauce that I can still “drizzle” like this:

spoon drizzling dairy free cheese sauce over broccoli
broccoli florets on a plate with dairy free cheese sauce

Get in my belly!

Dairy Free Cheese Sauce

Dairy Free Cheese Sauce

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Soaking Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 10 minutes

A dairy free, no-cook, paleo cheese sauce that can be used in a variety of ways! 


  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 can coconut cream
  • 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • pinch garlic powder
  • pinch onion powder


  1. The night before, measure out cashews, then cover with water and set out to soak for up to 24 hours. (The longer you soak, the creamier the sauce!) 
  2. In a food processor or high powered blender, combine the cashews, coconut cream, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. 
  3. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 12 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 73Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 268mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g
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How did you use your dairy free cheese sauce? Leave a comment and let me know!

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