Do you want to make some vegan pasta or a plant-based casserole but have no idea what to top it with? Our delicious low-fat vegan cheese sauce will bring your meals to the next level.
It’s made with an unexpected ingredient, one that’s secretly healthy and couldn’t be more convenient – because you definitely still want to enjoy tasty comfort dishes once you quit dairy!
Everyone loves a good cheese sauce, right?
You can dip things in it. You can top your pasta or veggies with it. You could eat it by the spoonful (been there, done that).
Don’t believe us?
The following recipe for our dairy-free cheese sauce is ridiculously easy, offering 18 grams of protein and only 200 calories per serving.
The low calorie density makes it possible to fill up while getting or staying lean, easily increase the amount of plant-based protein in your diet and even get your kids to try new foods – perhaps some broccoli florets covered in this cheesy, flavorful goodness.
Only 6 budget-friendly staple foods and less than 5 minutes are required to make this creamy yet low-fat vegan cheese sauce!
This can definitely become your go-to low-calorie sauce. It’s quick, it’s healthy, and it’s easy – the recipe is basically just blended whole plant-based foods.Full Guide: Whole Food Plant-Based Diet →
Keep on reading to see how to make it, why this cheese sauce is actually good for you, how to adjust it to your taste and what recipes to make with it.
Why This Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce is Amazing
- Made from cheap staple foods
- Cholesterol and saturated fat-free
- Heart-healthy & weight loss-friendly
- Protein-packed & oil-free
- Ready in under 5 minutes
- Makes every food taste fantastic
- Kid-friendly & approved by non-vegans
- Good source of fiber
- No kitchen skills required
- Easy way to eat more plant-based foods
- Meal-prep friendly and freezable
This might just be the dairy-free cheesy comfort food you’ve been waiting for to finally quit cheese or go fully vegan!
If you’re looking for an in-depth and hands-on guide on going dairy-free, check out our resource below.Full Dairy-Free Guide + Meal Plan →
What Is Vegan Cheese Sauce Made Of?
Truth be told, there are many different vegan cheese sauces around. Once you’re stepping away from the traditional dairy-based cheese sauces, there’s a world of plant-based cheese sauce options you can choose from!
Some quick and easy vegan cheese sauces can be created with the popular Daiya brand cheese (recipe here), which you can now find in many stores.
For more whole food plant-based options, the most common choices are potatoes and carrots (as in our mac and cheese recipe) or cashews (which is what we used in our potato broccoli casserole).
If you’re having a hard time eating beans because of their taste, this low-fat cheese sauce will be great news.
But how do you make an actually tasty dairy-free cheese sauce from beans? Just wait — the real magic is in the rest of the ingredients.
Ingredients for Our Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce
- White beans – for the creamy (though not heavy and fatty) texture and heaps of protein
- Soy milk – to mix all ingredients, addding more creaminess and essential amino acids
- Nutritional yeast – that’s what plant-based cheese sauces depend on for their cheesy flavor – plus it offers a decent amount of B vitamins
- Lemon juice – to give it some zing!
- Salt & pepper – can be adjusted to taste and belong in every savory recipe
Did I mention that this sauce, despite the white beans and soy milk, does NOT taste beany? I truly mean that.
How To Make Vegan Cheese Sauce
Honestly, gathering the few staple ingredients for our dairy-free cheese sauce will be the lion’s share of the work when it comes to making the sauce.
You then simply need to place the beans, soy milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and spices (more ideas on that later) into a blender jar and blend until smooth.
Nope, you don’t need a Vitamix or anything fancy for that! Even an immersion blender or very inexpensive personal blender will work here.Guide to Plant-Based Kitchen Tools →
For more cheesiness, increase the amount of nutritional yeast – and perhaps even add some garlic powder or freshly minced garlic, which takes this low-fat vegan cheese sauce to a whole new level.
If you cannot have soy milk for some reason, simply use another plant-based milk. Even water or vegetable broth will work, though the result will taste a bit different.
Customization over perfection!
Any plant-based protein-based cheese sauce will be better for your health than a dairy-based one.
Additional Fat-Free Flavor Options
- Herbs such as thyme or Italian herb mixes
- Ground paprika or smoked paprika
- Chili flakes or hot sauce
- Cooked or raw onion & garlic
- White wine or apple cider vinegar
- Soy sauce or liquid aminos
How To Make Vegan Cheese Sauce Without Cashews or Nuts
Wait, there’s no fat in this cheese sauce? As mentioned above, many vegan cheese sauces call for cashews or other nuts, such as almonds, for their creamy base – other dairy-free cheese sauces on our blogs included.
But what if you want to keep it really low-calorie or next to fat-free? Maybe even nut-free due to allergies?
You then have to choose a starchy base, like white beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin or carrots. The cheesy magic happens once you add the nutritional yeast and other spices, so the main component (i.e. nuts, legumes or veggies) isn’t really that important.
Blend it all up, adjust to taste and enjoy.
And this is how to make a low-fat cheese sauce without any dairy, nuts or oil!Is Oil Healthy For You? →
How To Thicken Vegan Cheese Sauces
There are several ways to thicken vegan sauces. Even dairy-based milky cheese sauces often call for flour or cornstarch as a thickener.
In a small separate bowl, you need to mix your starch of choice with a few tablespoons of cold liquid (such as water or plant-based milk) until the mixture is smooth. You then add it to the rest of your vegan cheese sauce and let it heat up to thicken.
Common choices to thicken a vegan cheese sauce are wheat flour, chickpea flour, potato starch, cornstarch and arrowroot powder.
However, if you use a starchy base for your vegan cheese sauce as we did, there’s no need to add any other thickeners as the starch that’s in the potatoes or beans will already create the desired texture.
How To Use Vegan Cheese Sauce
Let’s get to the fun part, shall we? Although our easy low-fat vegan cheese sauce is basically just a dense and flavorful bean soup (if putting it that way makes you feel better about just eating it by the spoonful!), this sauce has so many amazing uses that we simply must share with you!
Especially because it can be hard to give up all dairy products for some people, or to find ways to include more plant-based food in your daily meals.
So, here are our favorite uses for this plant-based cheese sauce!
- For pasta (i.e. mac and cheese)
- For lasagna
- For broccoli or any steamed veggies
- For vegetable bakes
- As a nacho dip
- As a veggie dip
- Stirred into rice or quinoa
More Creamy & Easy Vegan Recipes
We hope our tips and customization options were helpful! Let’s get straight to our quick and super easy recipe for a low-fat vegan cheese sauce that will rock your socks off.
What did you make with your dairy-free cheese sauce? Did you add any additional spices to it? Share with us in the comments below and feel free to rate our recipe. You can also Pin it for later and tag us on Instagram if you made it – we’d love to see your creations.
- 14 oz white beans (400 g)
- ½ cup soy milk (120 ml)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup nutritional yeast (30 g)
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- If you use canned white beans, drain and wash them. Then, place the beans with the rest of the ingredients into a blender jar.
- Blend everything until smooth.
- Taste, adjust with more salt, pepper, lemon juice or nutritional yeast if needed, then pour over your vegetables, pasta or whatever else you want to make it with.
- Keep the rest of the cheese sauce in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Recommended uses include pasta and steamed veggie dishes, vegan lasagna and dip for chips, potato wedges or raw vegetables.
- For more flavor, experiment with adding garlic powder, smoked paprika, Italian herbs, mustard or soy sauce (find more ideas in the article).
- Make it soy-free by using any plant-based milk of choice – vegetable broth also works.
- This vegan cheese sauce can be frozen in bags or air-tight containers for many months and reheated on the stove with some additional plant-based milk to thin out if needed.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 208Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1197mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 11gSugar: 1gProtein: 18g