Vegan Nut-Free Nacho Cheese

Vegan Nut-Free Nacho Cheese
Vegan Nut-Free Nacho Cheese

Before I went vegan, I was one of those people that would say I couldn’t live without cheese. Nachos was one of my all time favorite foods—I could not imagine a life without nachos. Even when I made the connection and became vegan, I accepted that I would never enjoy nachos the way I used to. Well.. lo and behold.. I now have a vegan, nut-free nacho cheese trick up my sleeve and I’m happy to say it hits on every single sensation I loved and remembered about nachos.

Pro-tip: if you want a super easy (but not nut-free) option, Siete Foods makes an amazing Mild Nacho Cashew Queso that works fantastically on nachos as well. Sprinkle on a little vegan shredded mozz (I like Good Planet, 365, and Daiya Cutting Board Collection brands) and you’ve got a very solid, quick and easy vegan nacho recipe!


Vegan Nut-Free Nacho Cheese Recipe

Ingredients (2–3 Servings)

  • 1 cup potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • .5 cup carrots, peeled and cubed
  • .25 cup vegetable oil
  • .25 cup plant-based milk, I used Silk soy milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • .5 tsp salt
  • +Any combination of cayenne powder, chipotle powder (or use a small amount of real chipotle peppers in adobo sauce), chili powder, smoked paprika


1. Boil the potatoes and carrots in pot of water for approximately 10 minutes or until fork tender. Drain them from the boiling water and add to a blender.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and combine until smooth—taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. I usually go pretty light with all the red seasonings but then continue to add and build up flavor. I also usually end up adding more salt, more lemon juice.

3. Serve immediately over nachos. You could also use as a dip but it won’t be gooey like other vegan cheese dip recipes out there—I like to keep this recipe super simple. For nachos, I like any combination of tortilla chips, black beans, corn, cilantro, scallion, tomatoes, bell pepper, olives, etc. Add a slice of lime on the side for an extra punch of flavor. Enjoy!

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Vegan Dill & Scallion Cream Cheese

Vegan dill and scallion cream cheese on everything bagels


Vegan Dill & Scallion Cream Cheese Recipe


  • 1/2 package (4oz) vegan cream cheese (I use Tofutti brand)
  • Finely chopped fresh dill
  • Finely chopped scallion
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Dash of salt
  • Splash of lemon juice


1. Make sure the cream cheese is soft and spreadable—may need to microwave for about 15 seconds.

2. Combine everything well, and enjoy on a bagel, sandwich, etc.!

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Vegan Cashew Cream Alfredo Pasta

Vegan Cashew Cream Alfredo Pasta

I recently purchased a high-speed blender and have been enjoying experimenting with vegan cashew cheeses! This recipe utilizes some leftover cashew cheese that I made previously for pizza, but also combines some vegan cream cheese for extra creaminess. The veggies in this dish can be mixed and matched to your desire. I used artichoke, shishito peppers, green bell pepper, and red onion, but I often also throw in some spinach or vegan bacon bits!


Vegan Cashew Cream Alfredo Recipe

Ingredients (Serves 2)

Vegan Alfredo Sauce:

  • 0.25 cup raw cashews
  • 0.5 cup water
  • 1.5 tbsp + 1 tsp tapioca starch/tapioca flour
  • 0.5 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 0.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 0.13 tsp garlic powder
  • ~1oz vegan cream cheese (I use Tofutti brand)

Other Ingredients:

  • ~0.25 cup red onion, diced
  • ~0.25 cup green bell pepper, sliced then halved lengthwise
  • 3 artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • Handful of shishito peppers, stems cut off and chopped in half
  • 2 servings of dry pasta (I use penne)
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter (I use Earth Balance brand)
  • Handful of fresh basil for garnish, ripped up
  • ~1 cup reserved pasta water
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper


1. To make the cashew cheese, add the cashews to a small pot and with water. Bring to a boil for 10 to 15 minutes until they are softened.

2. Drain and rinse the cashews and add them along with the water, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, salt, and garlic powder to a blender (the vegan cream cheese will come in later). Blend until completely smooth.

3. Pour into a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, and continually stir as it cooks. It will start forming clumps, and then it will become a gooey blob. This takes 5 minutes or less. This cheese can be used for any number of recipes, but for this pasta dish be sure not to overcook it as we will need to loosen it back up in the Alfredo sauce. (As I mentioned, I had this cheese leftover in my fridge. If I were to make this cheese fresh for this recipe, I might recommend taking it off the heat just before it becomes a blob!) Set aside.

4. Cook pasta according to package instructions, and remove from heat once al dente. Reserve about a cup of pasta water. Set aside.

5. While the pasta is cooking, add the butter, garlic, onion, artichoke, and bell pepper to a pan over medium high heat. Panfry for about 3–5 minutes.

6. Add the cashew cheese into the pan, pouring in about a tablespoon at a time of the reserved pasta water into the pan to break down the cheese blob. Continue to add pasta water and smoosh around the cashew cheese, it may take a decent amount of pasta water.

7. Add in the vegan cream cheese, continuing to use pasta water to combine everything into a smooth sauce. Keep the pan simmering and reducing.

8. Once sauce is to your desired thickness, turn off the heat and taste to adjust seasonings. More salt? Black pepper? Nutritional yeast? Add in the pasta and stir well to combine.

9. In a separate pan, heat ~1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil on high heat until it is nearly smoking. Add the shishito peppers, moving them constantly so that they don’t get too burnt. After about 3 minutes, remove from heat and sprinkle generously with salt.

10. Serve the pasta with the shishito peppers on top. Garnish with some fresh basil, and optionally, a drizzle of olive oil. You could even opt to add vegan bacon bits or herby panko bread crumbs to bring this dish to the next level. Enjoy!

The vegan cashew cheese was inspired by “Melty Stretchy Gooey Vegan Mozzarella” from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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Vegan Nut-Free Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Vegan Nut-Free Mac 'n' Cheese

One major aspect of my philosophy when it comes to vegan cooking is to not get too hung up on veganizing dishes that rely heavily on non-vegan foods, with cheese as a prime example. I was drawn to this recipe, however, because it uses simple vegetables to create the cheesy sauce, as opposed to cashews, which can be expensive, time-consuming, or dependent on a high-speed blender to turn into sauce; or a concoction of non-dairy milk and flour, which can be bland or troublesome to thicken.

I also love that this recipe can be made entirely on the stovetop, not requiring any oven time.

I opted to add some herby toasted breadcrumbs to add a bit of crunch of the dish, but this is totally optional.

Two Bowls of Vegan Nut-Free Mac 'n' Cheese


Vegan Nut-Free Mac ‘n’ Cheese Recipe

Ingredients (Serves ~2)

Vegan Cheese Sauce:

  • 1 cup potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used Butter Potatoes)
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • .5 can Great Northern Beans (or any white beans), rinsed and drained
  • ~.40 cup of unsweetened plant-based milk or water (I used Silk soy milk)
  • 2.5 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • .5 tbsp lemon juice
  • .5 tsp salt
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic or .25 tsp garlic powder
  • .25 tsp onion powder
  • A very small splash of liquid smoke (optional)
  • .25 tsp tomato paste (optional)

Other Ingredients:

  • .5 pound dried pasta, I used shell pasta
  • .25 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance) (optional)
  • 1 tbsp additional nutritional yeast (optional)
  • .5 tbsp olive oil (optional)
  • .5 cup panko breadcrumbs (optional)
  • Dried oregano (optional)
  • A few fresh basil or parsley leaves (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Boil the potatoes and carrots together in a large pot for about 20 minutes or until fork-tender.

2. While it boils, cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

3. Once the potatoes and carrots are soft, put them into a blender (or leave in the pot to immersion blend) along with all of the other Vegan Cheese Sauce ingredients. Blend well and adjust seasonings as needed.

4. Once the pasta has cooked, reserve .25 cup pasta water, drain the pasta, and add it to the large pot of Vegan Cheese Sauce.

5. Mix well and adjust seasonings as needed. If it seems too thick, slowly add some of the reserved pasta water. If it doesn’t seem cheesy enough, add the additional nutritional yeast, butter, and/or salt and pepper.

6. For the breadcrumb topping: In a separate pan, heat .5 tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat until the oil can be swirled around the pan and is nearly smoking.

7. Add the .5 cup of panko breadcrumbs to the pan and stir constantly until they all look goldeny brown. Keep an eye on them the whole time! Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Mix in some dried oregano to your liking.

8. Spoon breadcrumbs mixture over the top of your vegan nut-free mac ‘n’ cheese, and rip up some fresh basil (or parsley) to garnish. Enjoy!

This recipe was inspired by “Nut Free Vegan Mac N Cheese” by Alexa Fueled Naturally. Thank you for sharing!

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