This low-carb, paleo, and vegan nacho cheese sauce or queso is rich, creamy, cheesy, and comforting. Even if you CAN have dairy, this is sure to be a hit and having you wanting more.
macaroni and cheese
My kids love macaroni and cheese, and I mean LOVE. Every week this school year I’ve bought a box of gluten and dairy free daiya mac and cheese for my kids and they LOVE it! I buy them to make after school for a snack and then I send the leftovers in their lunchboxes the next day.
But I got tired of spending 8 or 9 dollars for mac and cheese every week when I could make my own. Especially when homemed is healthier, cheaper, and not much more effort. So I went to work to make my own recipe.
*Even though I used the cheese sauce to make mac-n-cheese, the sauce is Paleo, low-carb, and can be used for all kinds of amazing things!
nacho cheese sauce
To get the flavors just right I made the cheese sauce from a box of Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese so I could do a side-by-side taste test. It definitely paid off, I was able to get the flavor spot on!! There were only a few subtle differences I could taste. The main one being that the dairy free version just barely had a flatter aftertaste, if that makes any sense. But trust me, unless you were doing a side-by-side taste test like me, no one would ever know!
It’s rich, creamy, cheesy, and comforting – everything you would expect from a good mac-n-cheese. Or leave out the macaroni and serve it as as a nacho cheese dip. Even if you can have dairy, I’m sure you will love it and it will leave you wanting more 🙂
Note- After I came up with this recipe I ran across Tessa The Domestic Diva’s Cheese Sauce Recipe and it’s so similar!! Tessa and I frequently make each other’s recipes and we are amazed at how similar our taste buds are. I guess it makes sense that eventually we would come up with such a similar recipe, lol 🙂
pin for later:
Paleo, Vegan, & Low-Carb Nacho Cheese Sauce
Nacho Cheese Sauce:
- 1 Cup Raw Cashews soak in hot water 1+ hours if you do not have a high speed blender
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1/2 Cup Non-Dairy Milk
- 1/3 C Nutritional Yeast
- 3/4 tsp. Minced Garlic
- 1 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 1/8 tsp. Chili Powder
- 1/4 tsp. Dried Mustard
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 Tbsp. Ghee or Non-Dairy Butter
- 1 tsp. Arrowroot Flour or any gluten free starch
- Melt the non-dairy butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant and browned, about 1 minute.
- Set the saucepan aside for later use.
- In a blender, add the butter/garlic mixture, cashews, water, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, paprika, chili powder, dried mustard, and arrowroot until very smooth. I use my Vita Mix to get it completely smooth.
- Return to the saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until slightly thickened, whisking frequently.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- Serve immediately. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Nutritional information is approximate and may vary.
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