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Vegan Nacho Cheese

Oh, sweet cheese sauce! If you’re craving that spicy, melty goodness of nacho cheese then this recipe is you for you (and your friends too – they’ll have NO IDEA it’s dairy-free). Replacing most of the nuts with vegetables makes the dip ultra-creamy while reducing the amount of fat and calories — that means more dipping can happen.

  • Author: The Real Food Dietitians
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 10 servings (~2 ½ cups) 1x
  • Cuisine: Paleo, Dairy-free, Vegan


  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cubed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup unsweetened, plain cashew or almond milk
  • 3 Tbsp. avocado oil (such as Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil)
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne (or more for a spicier sauce)
  • ¾ tsp. salt + more to taste
  • 1 (4-ounce) can roasted green chiles, drained
  • 1 small Roma tomato, seeded and finely diced
  • Fresh cilantro and lime wedges for garnish, optional


  1. Place the cashews in a small glass bowl. Pour boiling water over the top to cover completely. Cover the bowl with a plate or kitchen towel and allow the nuts to soak while you prepare the vegetables.
  2. Place the diced potatoes and carrots in a small saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until vegetables are soft (about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces).
  3. Drain the cashews and vegetables and add them add to a food processor or high powered blender.
  4. Add remaining ingredients (except diced tomatoes) and blend on high, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl/blender, until sauce is uniformly smooth. Add additional non-dairy milk if needed to attain desired consistency (thick for dipping, thinner for drizzling). Stir or pulse the tomatoes into the sauce once you have the desired consistency.


  • Serving Size: ¼ cup
  • Calories: 115
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Sodium: 267mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 2g