Healthy Plant-Based Nacho Cheese (Low-Fat + Vegan)

white bowl with bright orange homemade plant-based nacho cheese dip and a wooden spoon

Greasy dairy-based cheese is so last decade! Let’s combine delicious flavor with health-promoting nutrients and weight loss-friendly ingredients to make our ultimate plant-based nacho cheese dip.

Made with mostly vegetables and a heavenly spice mixture, this low-fat vegan cheese dip is bursting with nutrition and flavor, has a vibrant orange color and keeps well for days.

Nut-free, oil-free and soy-free, it’s the perfect plant-based nacho cheese sauce for anyone dealing with allergies or weight issues but who still wants to enjoy some delicious condiments.

Instead of creating a rich cashew-based or oil-based vegan queso, we wanted to share this low-calorie version that hides a bunch of veggies but still tastes fantastic!

We love this cheesy delight as a dip for oil-free tortillas or veggies, over roasted broccoli or mixed with any kind of pasta.

It’s kid-friendly, creamy and super versatile! Our plant-based nacho cheese can be spiced to your liking and enjoyed by the spoonful without “cheating” on your healthy whole food diet.

Here’s why you should choose it over dairy-based cheese any day, what it’s made of and how you can customize this low-fat vegan nacho cheese to make it the perfect choice for your family!

hand holding a tortilla chip and dipping it into some low fat vegan nacho cheese dip

Why Choose Plant-Based Queso

There are so many reasons why we suggest you swap your dairy-based nacho cheese for this low-fat plant-based version.

It’s not just a super delicious way of adding more veggies to your diet, it also supports any weight loss or maintenance goals, is allergy- and budget-friendly — and won’t leave you with any greasy aftermath.

What’s more, dairy products aren’t just cruel to the animals involved in dairy production —  they also come with increased greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution, along with plenty of other harmful environmental impacts.

Swapping dairy for plants is helpful when dealing with obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, better for the environment and, most of all, beneficial to the animals which aren’t needlessly sent to slaughter after production declines.

Making dairy-free alternatives at home that are healthier and often cheaper is honestly so easy! Check out our almond ricotta, chocolate ice cream, almond yogurt or vegan custard to see for yourself!

Giving up cheesy foods is oftentimes the hardest part for those wanting to transition to a fully plant-based diet — luckily, there are a ton of different vegan cheese recipes, just like our plant-based queso, on the internet these days.

Dairy-Free Beginner Guide
top view of a blender jar with homemade vegan nacho cheese and a wooden spoon

The Best Low-Fat Vegan Nacho Cheese

We love to enjoy this low-fat vegan nacho cheese in a plethora of ways and are positive that you will soon be serving this plant-based dip with anything and everything, too!

It’s the perfect cheap and easy way to help your kids or family to eat more veggies while replacing high-calorie, fatty dairy-based cheese! Win-win all around.

white table with different bowls containing potatoes, carrots, tomato paste, salt, vinegar and spices

Plant-Based Nacho Cheese Ingredients

  • Potato — all white varieties work for this recipe! Better yet if you have pre-cooked ones at hand.
  • Carrots — for some orange color, essential nutrients and hidden veggies!
  • Onion — we like to use cooked white onion but if you don’t have any, feel free to swap for onion powder. 
  • Vegetable Broth — that’s where we cook the vegetables in and what doubles for our liquid to blend the low-fat nacho cheese!
  • Nutritional Yeast — this ingredient can’t be skipped when making any cheesy vegan recipe! Don’t mistake it for brewer’s yeast.
  • Lemon Juice — for a tangy hint, better nutrient absorption and richer taste. Can be swapped for white vinegar!
  • Spice Mix — here’s where you can go as crazy as you like by not just using paprika, salt, garlic and cayenne but also traditional Mexican flavors like pickled jalapeños!

These budget-friendly plant-based staple foods are most likely already in your kitchen or at least easy to come by.

We love that this low-fat plant-based nacho cheese is super approachable, not just in terms of easy-to-get ingredients, but also because you don’t require any fancy kitchen tools.

With that out of the way, here’s how you can whip up your own vegan queso dip in about half an hour from scratch!

Full Vegan Grocery List
blender jar with potatoes, carrots, spices and tomato paste to make plant-based queso

How to Make Low-Fat Vegan Nacho Cheese

Making your own low-fat vegan nacho cheese is certainly easier than making a dairy-based one! Start by heating a medium-sized saucepan containing cubed potatoes, carrots and white onion.

Add vegetable broth, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes until everything’s nice and tender.

Now, add everything (including the cooking water) to a blender along with all of the other ingredients. You don’t need a high-speed blender for this recipe at all, pretty much any blender will be able to create a very smooth low-fat plant-based nacho cheese.

If you want to make it a higher-fat dip, you can do so by adding some soaked cashews to the mix — in this case, a good-quality blender is needed, though.

We’ll share some more ideas for add-ins or swaps in just a second! Just a quick note that once blended and adjusted to your taste preferences, this plant-based nacho cheese dip can be either used immediately or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Tips & Adjustments for Our Plant-Based Queso

Truth be told, this low-fat vegan nacho cheese doesn’t have exactly the same flavor or consistency as the dairy-based version you’re probably used to.

Instead of comparing it directly to high-fat queso, we recommend you see it as a flavorful, healthy and completely vegan dip or sauce you can use in all the same ways — not only does it make so many foods delicious, it also comes with added health benefits.

Here are some ideas for how you can make it your own perfect version and how to best use it!

blender jar pouring plant-based low fat queso into a small bowl

Plant-Based Nacho Cheese Replacements

How to Store This Vegan Queso

If you end up with any leftovers of this low-fat vegan queso, no need to worry! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, but in our house, it’s usually devoured much sooner than that.

We like to make a batch at the beginning of the week and create quick cheesy meals or snacks with it over the following days! Find some ideas below.

By the way, this plant-based nacho cheese made with potatoes and carrots can also be frozen and thawed at your convenience — should it separate, simply give it a good whisk or quick blend again before serving.

glass container with avocado, beans and fresh veggies on which vegan nacho cheese sauce is poured

How to Use Plant-Based Nacho Cheese

We love to use this low-fat nacho cheese primarily as a dip for tortilla or veggie chips, but we also like to make a seven layer bean dip with it.

Top your stuffed bell peppers or zucchini, baked potatoes, pizza, plant-based casseroles, bean burritos — or add it to your tacos, your bean burgers or make broccoli mac and cheese.

Other typical uses are to use it for fajitas, enchiladas or a whole plethora of Mexican dishes!

More Easy Plant-Based Condiments

Did this easy vegan nacho cheese recipe make you curious about plant-based condiments? Creating healthy plant-based beginner recipes are totally our thing, so be sure to check out this goodness next:

Have you made our healthy vegan nacho cheese? Share with us in the comments below and don’t forget to Pin it here. You can also tag us on Instagram if you’ve made it — we’d love to see your creations!

white bowl with bright orange homemade plant-based nacho cheese dip and a wooden spoon

Plant-Based Nacho Cheese Dip Recipe

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This creamy low-fat vegan nacho cheese dip is made with budget-friendly plant-based staple foods, super easy to make and a true crowd-pleaser! It’s delicious when added to all of the Mexican food you can think of, and it also works well as a pasta sauce or over vegetables. Make a large batch of this healthy plant-based nacho cheese and enjoy over the course of a week!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium potato, peeled
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 white onion, peeled
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth (240 ml)
  • ¼ cup almond milk, unsweetened (60 ml)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Pickled jalapeños or salsa (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, then wash and cut your potato, onion and carrots into small cubes. Cover with vegetable broth, put on the lid and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn down the heat and let everything simmer until very tender for about 15 minutes.
  3. Once cooked, transfer the veggies together with the cooking water to a blender and add the rest of the ingredients for your vegan nacho cheese.
  4. Blend until smooth and adjust with spices to your liking, then serve with homemade oil-free tortilla chips, roasted veggies, lasagna or vegan pasta dishes.
  5. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and even frozen for a few months.

Notes

  • To create a richer vegan nacho cheese, add some nuts or nut butter to the blender.
  • For a deeper flavor, add a spritz of tamari or soy sauce! You can also add chipotle powder, mustard, hot sauce or smoked paprika.
  • Serve with oil-free tortilla chips, over baked potatoes, pasta dishes or any other way you like!
  • Find many more ideas and tips in the article.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: ¼ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 262mgCarbohydrates: 18gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!

Did you make this recipe?

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Alena enjoying a bowl of fresh plant-based food and coffe in a restaurant
Alena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.
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