Paleo, Low-Carb, & Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce or Queso

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.

Paleo, Vegan, & Low-Carb Nacho Cheese Sauce

*Even though I used this vegan nacho cheese sauce to make mac-n-cheese, the sauce is Paleo, low-carb, and can be used as a dip and for all kinds of amazing things!


vegan 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 homemede is healthier, cheaper, and not much more effort. So I went to work to make my own recipe.


Vegan Macaroni & Cheese

vegan 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 🙂



Looking for more low-carb, vegan recipes? Check these out!

Snicker-doodle Cheesecake Bites

Peanut Butter Cups

Keto Caramel Sauce


Paleo, Vegan, & Low-Carb Nacho Cheese Sauce

This low-carb, paleo, and vegan nacho cheese sauce is rich, creamy, cheesy, and comforting. Even if you CAN have dairy, this is sure to be a hit and having you wanting more.
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate
Course: Appetizer, Cheese, dairy free, gluten free, paleo, Side Dish, Vegan, whole30
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free cheese, dairy free cheese sauce recipe, dairy free nacho cheese, keto cheese, keto nacho cheese, paleo cheese, paleo nacho cheese, vegan cheese, vegan cheese sauce recipe, vegan nacho cheese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 184kcal
Author: Cassidy

Any links on this site may be affilate links. If you purchase anything through them, your cost will remain the same, but I may make a small comission. Thank you for your support!


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.
Tried this recipe?Mention @CassidysCraveableCreations or tag #CassidysCraveableCreations!
Nutrition Facts
Paleo, Vegan, & Low-Carb Nacho Cheese Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 184 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 365mg 15%
Potassium 221mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 8.7%
Vitamin C 2.3%
Calcium 1.5%
Iron 10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is approximate and may vary.

pin nacho cheese sauce for later:

Paleo, Vegan, & Low-Carb Nacho Cheese Sauce - Collage

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. #PaleoCheeseSauce #PaleoNachoCheeseSauce #VeganCheeseSauce #VeganNachoCheeseSauce #KetoCheeseSauce #LowCarbCheeseSauce

Posted January 18, 2018 by Cassidy in Bars & Snacks, Egg Free, Keto, Milk & Cheese Substitutes, Paleo, Sides & Appetizers, Vegan, Whats For Dinner? / 16 Comments


Craving More? Subscribe By Email And Receive 2 FREE recipes from my Keto Breads Cookbook!


16 responses to “Paleo, Low-Carb, & Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce or Queso

    • There aren’t any specific ingredients that aren’t keto-friendly. It’s just a bit high in carbs to be considered Keto, which is why I labeled it as low-carb instead. I hope this helps!!


  1. evy

    THIS recipe is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And perfect.

    I’m guessing it could be made keto just fine…will experiment with either ground flax or chia or something to thicken it up a bit, and for that matter will try with no thickener first, and guessing it would still be perfectly YUM!

      • Hi Heather! Actually it’s the cashews, because there are roughly 40 carbs in a cup of raw cashews!!! The nutritional yeast and arrowroot add a few carbs, but it’s the cashews that get ya! We personally follow a modiefied Keto diet and don’t stick to 20-30 carbs a day so this works fine for us, but the carb cound is a bit high for those who follow a strict Keto diet. That’s why I re-labeled it as low-carb instead of Keto. Hope this helps!!!

    • Hi Lisa! I posted this recipe right when were starting to learn about keto and you’re right – I’m SO SORRY!!! I’ve changed to recipe to say low-carb instead of keto.

      Sorry again,

Leave a Reply