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Overhead image of cheddar mac and cheese with a spoon.

Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipe

  • Author: Lindsay Cotter
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 to 2 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Skip the overpriced store-bought options, and make this easy vegan cheese sauce with a handful of ingredients and simple steps instead!


Units Scale
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plant based butter, or 3 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 Tablespoons cornstarch or 2 Tablespoons (28 grams) gluten-free all-purpose flour (without thickeners or binders)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk or coconut milk lite
  • 1/2 cup non dairy milk (see notes for substitutes)
  • 1 teaspoon bouillon (optional for flavor)
  • 2 cups soy-free vegan cheese or 2/3 to 3/4 cup gluten- free nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter (or heat the oil) over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the cornstarch or flour, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir for 2 minutes on medium-low heat until the color of roux gets slightly darker in color.


Substitute Tips – For a less creamy but more savory flavor, substitute non-dairy milk for vegetable broth.

Texture Tip – Use cornstarch for a thinner sauce to use in pastas and other dishes. Gluten free all purpose flour will produce a thicker sauce, perfect for dipping sauces. No matter which ingredient is chosen, the sauce will turn out well!

Storage Tips – The texture of the sauce will change and thicken once chilled. To thin it out, reheat in a saucepan and whisk in 1 to 2 Tablespoons milk or broth, if needed.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: condiment
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2 tbsp (using plant based cheese)
  • Calories: 165
  • Sugar: 0.5 g
  • Sodium: 281.2 mg
  • Fat: 14.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.9 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 0.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: vegan cheese sauce recipe, dairy free cheese sauce, nutritional yeast cheese sauce, easy veggie dip