Fat-free Vegan “Cheese” Sauce and Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Fat-free Vegan “Cheese” Sauce and Mac ‘N’ Cheese

The most amazing homemade vegan cheese and Mac 'N' Cheese sauce that is nut free, oil-free, gluten-free & fat-free. It is perfect for dips and mac 'n' cheese. Healthy, creamy and made from potatoes and zucchini.

Are you ready for this? Are you ready for a to-die-for vegan cheese sauce that tastes rich, thick, creamy and silky smooth?Β This is so darn delicious over mac 'n' cheese too. Since there is no cashews, there is no cashew flavor either.

GUILT-FREE AND FAT-FREE VEGAN MAC 'N' CHEESE

In case you are wondering, this one is totally guilt-free, nut-free and oil-free...even coconut-free and gluten-free. It is not only fat-free, it is also low calorie and low carb. Yeah buddy. Taste testers were stumped at it's authenticity. It was a winner all around!

This cheese sauce is amazingggg on nachos and guess what, as a fat-free mac 'n' cheese. I served this for dinner as mac 'n' cheese and my daughter gobbled it up in minutes.

The majority of vegan cheese recipes are made with nuts/cashews or tofu, etc. Since so many of you readers cannot have nuts, I wanted to create a nut-free and fat-free cheese sauce that we could all enjoy with absolutely zero guilt. There are some recipes lurking around using sweet potatoes and carrots. I haven't tried those yet, but since there is hearty veggies in them, apparently they are really filling, creamy and delicious. I wanted to create mine a bit different and really drive home that smooth cheesy taste.

So, I put my thinking cap on and perused my own recipes on my blog and since my Low-Fat Nut-Free Creamy Parsley Sauce has been such a hit with you guys and is potato-based, I knew the cheese would need to have potatoes involved.

Mashed yukon gold potatoes, to be exact.

Since I knew potatoes alone wouldn't give me the texture I wanted, I knew I wanted to incorporate another vegetable.....then it hit me, my Spicy Zucchini Pepper Soup is incredibly creamy, full of flavor and gives an amazing texture. Boom, zucchini! It is one of my oldest recipes and has always been one of my all-time favorite soups. I knew it would help give that killer silky-smooth cheese texture without it being too starchy by using all potatoes. I was right, it worked AMAZING.

Zucchini is the other magical ingredient here. Zucchini is what helps drive home that amazing, silky-smooth texture. So, sometimes inspiration for recipes can come right from your own blog! Using elements of my parsley sauce and my zucchini soup recipes came together to make an amazing vegan fat-free cheese sauce.

Lastly, another key ingredient that really drives home the cheesy flavor....soy sauce. It gives a depth of flavor that salt alone doesn't give. I tried just lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and salt and none of them gave that cheesy flavor as great as soy sauce. I mean seriously, this entire recipe is basic ingredients that I just got at my local grocery store. Easy peasy.

This whole vegan cheese sauce recipe is ready in 30 minutes. It really doesn't get any easier. Just roast your zucchini, cook your potatoes and blend it all up. All that's left to do is grab some friends and DIG IN.

In case you were wondering, it makes a phenomenal mac 'n' cheese!

Yeehaw. Fat-free Vegan "Cheese" Sauce and Mac 'N' Cheese?

Get in my mouth.

I'll be anxiously wondering what you all think of this Vegan Fat-Free Mac and Cheese, so pretty please leave me feedback below and rate it! This is obviously not exactly like dairy cheese, but it is a delicious sauce. You can also tag me on Instagram with your lovely creation at #thevegan8 so I can see it and have my day made!

Want to try another cheese recipe that is richer and Mexican-inspired and sure to wow your guests? Try my Easy Vegan Mexican Cheese Sauce made with cashews and a bonus tahini version!

Are you keeping up with me on Pinterest yet? I pin daily many recipes that you may not have seen on this blog or some yummy recipes I see! Click my button here to follow me!


Serves 4

Fat-free Vegan "Cheese" Sauce

Finally, a fat-free, nut-free, guilt-free cheese sauce that tastes authentic. This vegan mac 'n' cheese is smooth, flavorful, creamy and 100% good for you. It will leave you satisfied without feeling heavy. It goes great on nachos, tacos, burritos and even mac 'n' cheese!

15 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 small zucchini, peeled and sliced (130 g, you will need about 1 cup sliced zucchini before cooking, make sure you weigh the correct amount or you will get an off taste of zucchini!)
  • 5 small yukon gold potatoes (220 g, use any yellow or buttery potato, but not russet! Weigh your ingredients!, you should end up with 1 lightly filled cooked/mashed potato)
  • 3/4 cup -1 cup water, as needed to reach desired thickness (I ALWAYS use 1 cup, so keep that in mind in regards to other ingredients)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (20 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular if you don't like smoked, add to taste keeping in mind the water amount
  • 2 teaspoons liquid aminos (or low-sodium soy sauce or tamari, do not omit, this is what gives the cheesy flavor, do not use coconut aminos, it will not yield the correct flavor!)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • Optional toppings: red pepper flakes, chopped tomatoes, sliced jalapenos
  • Note: This recipe is only 8 ingredients (+ salt & water), so each ingredient is crucial to the final flavor result, so subbing or eliminating an ingredient can greatly alter the result. The weight in grams is provided for accurate results.

Instructions

  1. First prepare the zucchini by preheating an oven to 415 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Peel all the green skin off the zucchini and slice into 1/4 inch slices and salt and pepper well. It's imperative to peel the zucchini, otherwise your sauce will be an ugly green. Bake for about 15 minutes until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, cook your potatoes either by roasting, steaming or in the microwave. Since I wanted a fast dinner, I just cooked them in the microwave for about 5 minutes until very soft. Do not boil them as they will get water logged and make the sauce more runny. I left the skins on since I have a Vitamix, but if you are concerned about getting the sauce smooth, peel them before cooking.
  3. After the potatoes are cooked, mash them with a fork and measure out 1 cup. If you followed the correct weight measurement, you should get just about 1 lightly filled cup of mashed potatoes. If your potatoes are large, you may need less. It's important to measure the mashed potatoes for accurate results. Add them to your high speed blender. Update: Using a food processor will make this too gooey, make sure to use just a blender.
  4. Once the zucchini is done, add it along with all of the remaining ingredients (start with 3/4 cup water and add as needed, stopping at 1 cup) to your blender and blend until smooth. You will need to stop and scrape a couple of times from the bottom during. Do not be too eager to add extra water until you've really blended it up a couple of minutes on high to get it completely smooth. It will seem too thick at first, but it will start to turn very smooth from all the water from the zucchini. Trust me, it will get super thick and creamy this way, don't add water unless you blend it up a few minutes and If necessary, add just a TINY amount of water just to blend it. If it's a bit thinner than you like, you can reheat it over the stove to thicken it up some.
  5. Taste and add any extra lemon juice and/or salt/spices if necessary. Add any desired toppings such as red pepper flakes, chopped tomatoes, sliced jalapenos. I like a kick of heat to my cheese so I added red pepper flakes but will totally blend up some jalapenos next time in the sauce. Sauce makes 2 1/2 cups.
  6. To make it as a mac 'n' cheese, just simply boil your pasta and pour as much (a lot!) cheese sauce over the pasta. You can either warm the cheese by running it awhile in the blender or gently warming over the stove. It gives such an incredible cheesy, thick and stick-to-pasta result. It really reminded me of mac 'n' cheese growing up. Considering this is totally fat-free and good for you, I'd say that's huge!


212 Comments

  1. Just wondering how this would be without the nutritional yeast. For some reason it does not settle well with me, and it’s gotten worse over time where the smell of it even affects me. Any tips on not using it?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Joanne! Unfortunately, the taste is going to be greatly affected without nutritional yeast. It is a key component to giving vegan “cheeses” their cheese flavor. You can try adding a bit more soy sauce and a little tahini, since that combo gives a slight nutty/cheesy flavor….or even try adding some miso, but I have not tested that at all and not sure how much it would affect the flavor. If you try it, please let me know!

      • Thanks, I will definitely let you know how it comes out.

        • From what I’ve read, Dijon mustard along with the soy sauce (or liquid aminos if vegan) is also a good option.

      • I have an aversion to nooch. I find dry mustard helps a lot.

    • Hi Joanne. You might try nutritional yeast that is not fortified. it could be the added B vitamins bothering you. Most nutritional yeast contains added B vitamins which gives it the “smell” you mention. They do not occur naturally in the yeast. It is a little more expensive – why, I don’t know – but worth a try. Nutritional yeast is such a critical ingredient in vegan cheeses.

    • Joanne – I just saw this recipe for the first time so I haven’t tried it yet … πŸ™‚ But in other cheeze recipes I have made, I use white or yellow miso. You might try this in place of the nutritional yeast and the soy sauce. It is salty and has a cheesy flavor. Good luck and let us know πŸ˜‰

    • This was delicious. Thankyou.

      • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

        Thank you so much Margaret, I’m so happy you loved it!

  2. Brandi you did it again, amazing. I do love nutritional yeast, actually just as much as cheese and your sauce sounds so good. Love the addition of the yukon gold potatoes, my favorite. They are so creamy and sweet and perfect for the cheese sauce.

  3. Natalie @ Feasting on Fruit

    This looks magically cheesy!! I am having quest flashbacks just looking at it! Awesome Brandi πŸ™‚

  4. Drop to your knees yummy Brandi.
    I haven’t had Mac n cheese for over 5 years and this one is calling me loud and clear.

  5. Drop to your knees yummy Brandi.
    I haven’t had Mac n cheese for over 5 years and this one is calling me loud and clear. You’re a potato Wizard…

  6. Just wondering if you can use plain paprika instead of smoked. I’m not a fan of smoked paprika

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Absolutely! I just updated the recipe to reflect that. Since smoked paprika is stronger, than you may even be able to add more regular paprika…just add and taste.

  7. OMG! Never in a million years would I have guessed zucchini!! Wow! Can’t wait to try this. Gold potatoes make the creamiest mashed potatoes, so I can only imagine how amazing this is. And toddler approved?! Yay!!

  8. looks so yummy!!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thanks so much Andie! It is quite tasty!

  9. This looks SO GOOD! Love that it’s cashew-less, I looooove cashews, but never want to use it for cheese sauce, I’d much rather keep ’em for cashew butter so this is awesome. Definitely going to grab some potatoes next time I’m at the store!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Leah! Yeah, I love cashews too, but I just haven’t loved them in cheese sauce…I can always kind of taste them and as the cheese sauce sits, I don’t like how the texture turns kind of mealy. This new sauce will be my go-to now…it’s just 8 ingredients and easy and simple…..and super fast!

  10. Oh wow! My husband’s birthday was April 1st and we celebrate “birthday month”, which often involves more decadent recipes, since we don’t give gifts. The hubs is a cheese addict – to the point where my mom nicknamed him “the mouse”, haha! He has been so supportive of our journey to being plant-based, but cheese is literally the one thing that has been the most difficult to avoid / resist temptation. I will definitely be making this for him in honor of his continued birthday month as mac & cheese is his all time favorite! Thank you so very much for this recipe!

    • Also, isn’t the Vitamix like seriously, the best invention EVER?! We just traded in our Blendtec for the Vitamix a couple weeks ago and it is definitely worth every single penny!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Carey! Haha…mouse! Cute! I understand your hubby, cheese is always that one food that people miss the most….great thing though that there is wonderful alternatives to meet those cravings and they are so much healthier! I really hope he loves it as much as all the other reviews coming in! It really does taste so similar to dairy cheese and if you add jalapenos and/or tomatoes, it tastes like an incredible nacho cheese! It really is the best vegan cheese sauce that I’ve made since I’ve been vegan and the fact that it’s fat-free makes it even more shocking! Please let me know how he likes it!

  11. O my…this is perfection!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Rebecca, so kind of you!

  12. Utterly dippable!!

  13. Brandi, you really did well with this one. I’ve made many cheezee sauces and this one is at the top of the list. It’s really tasty with great texture and such simple ingredients. I will be using this one a lot. Thanks again.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      You are so awesome Estee! I’m so happy you made it so fast! I’m honored this one went to the top of the list! I love your photo on Facebook you shared, it turned out exactly like mine did! Thanks so much for making it and providing feedback!

  14. Hi Brandi!
    Your cheese sauce looks so good! I may try to trick my 10 years old carnivore into eating it (he loves nachos and mac&cheese). But it’s so hot already in Texas, that I don’t want to heat up the house for baking/roasting zucchini… what do you think about just water sauteeng or steaming it, would it make much difference?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Alfiya! I’m in Texas too! Sure, I think steaming it would be just fine! I wouldn’t water sautee it though, because that might make the sauce more runny. Please let me know how your child likes it! Thank you!

  15. So interesting Brandi! I think this would be a great”gravy”. I like a rich “cheesy” sauce so actually really love nut/seed based cheese sauces.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you Emma! Don’t be fooled by the lack of nuts, this tastes just as rich as the cashew ones, that’s the amazing part! The potatoes and zucchini turn magical when blended up and makes it so creamy and thick. I was pleasantly surprised. I absolutely love my sauces to be rich too and love cashews (which is in my alfredo sauce) but after making my cheese sauce from cashews and then this, I much prefer the texture of this one…it actually goes BETTER with pasta and reminds me more of classic mac ‘n’ cheese texture. Whenever I make the cashew ones…they tend to turn to an icky texture after a while. I was surprised at how much we all preferred this one, lol!

      • Sounds like you’ve been working your usual magic in the kitchen! πŸ˜€

        • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

          xoxo

  16. Can you replace the Zucchini with anything else?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      You can try yellow squash, but anything else might affect the flavor/texture too much. Zucchini and squash get sort of sweeter when they cook, so it lends a good flavor to the sauce.

  17. I love this already!!! I can’t wait to make it, I will definitely give you the feedback. Bravo Brandi! Thank you for helping out us nut allergy folks! πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Absolutely Paula! I know so many avoid or can’t have nuts and want healthy, oil-free, low-fat meals and I personally try to keep my savory meals very low-fat, so I’m thrilled when my readers are just as excited about them as I am! Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  18. Brandi!!! I had guessed sweet potato from your Instagram teasers, I was close! I’m so excited to try this! We don’t have Yukon gold potatoes here, what type of potato is it so I can use a similar variety? Is it a fluffy starchy or waxy kind? Thank you!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you Poppy! Yes, Somer had guessed sweet potatoes too, lol! I told her she was right on one of the main ingredients, haha! The combo of both potatoes and zucchini gives the most amazing texture. I made another batch today and added jalapeΓ±os and blended them up too and I almost died, it was so good! But if you can’t find Yukon gold potatoes, any yellow potatoes or even red potatoes should be fine, just don’t use russet potatoes, those will yield a completely different texture. Just make sure to measure about 1 cup of mashed potatoes since likely the potatoes you find may be different size. Hope that helps girl! ❀️

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Poppy for making it and your photo on Instagram! It looked amazing and I’m ecstatic you loved it so much!

  19. I am a firm believer that cheese sauce goes with anything! I love how you used potatoes as a base. I haven’t tried that yet but Im really excited to give it a go. Very clever..=)

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Chrystal! I agree too! Let me know if you try it!!

  20. Looks YUMMO- how did you calculate calorie count Brandy?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Lisa! For all my recipes, I add all of the nutrition up myself by going off the back of the bags/packages and then divide the number of servings. I have found many of the online nutrition counters to be way off and unreliable so I take the time to do it myself manually. For vegetables that don’t come with labels, I measure the weight of my ingredient and then will type that specific weight measurement online on calorie count to get the exact calories. Hope that helps!

  21. NAILED IT!! I made this for dinner last night…the day you posted it. We were out of pasta, and I’ve never bought smoked paprika…but this recipe warranted a trip to the store! I had very skinny zucchini, so I sliced 2 of those to bake…they made 1/2 cup when done. I loved that you included exactly how much potato to use (measure 1 cup after mashed). Wasn’t sure if 1/2 cup zucchini, after baked, was right. Anyway, baked the zucchini. Put 2 gold organic potatoes in a potato bag in the microwave and left to take the kids to soccer practice. (Wal-Mart stocks a VERY small crate with organic potatoes – most trips I can find a 2lb bag of organic gold for $3.74) After practice, we ran into Trader Joe’s to pick up some brown rice & quinoa spiral pasta, and smoked paprika.

    You do such a phenomenal job in your write up including all the supporting details, as if you were standing in my kitchen, talking me through it while I was cooking. I made the recipe exactly as you listed, except I had coconut aminos, instead of liquid ammonia, so I added about 1/2 tsp more salt. I blended it in my Vitamix for about 2 mins. The consistency was perfect! I never even had to scrape the sides down…it blended up so smooth. I cooked a bag and a half of TJ’s pasta, and that was the perfect amount for the cheese sauce. And then we dug in. On the first bite both kids (9 and 4 yrs) gave a giant Mmmmmmmmmm!!! So creamy, rich and yummy! By the 6th bite, my 4 yr old said it was too spicy…my 9 year old and I both thought it had decent heat, but not too spicy to devour. Note above, I bought smoked paprika for the first time just for this recipe, not a flavor we’re used to. I think next time I’m going to use just 1/4 tsp. But I have my daughter a glass of chocolate almond milk, and she took a swig after ever couple of bites and finished her bowl. We LOVED it!

    Thank you so much for the hard work you put into cooking! I can make adjustments and basic substitutions to recipes, but I’m not a good enough cook to CREATE the way you do. You are incredibly talented! I am so thankful to have found your blog. Your writing is as good as your recipes, I appreciate all the details in your recipe notes. Thank you, for another hit meal for my family!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Brooke- I don’t know what to say other than your comment was so incredibly kind and heartfelt that it truly brightened my whole week!! I’m so ecstatic you loved this recipe so much and more importantly, your kids did! It’s a good feeling to feed our kids meals that are not only delicious but GOOD FOR US and not full of processed fats and oils, so this recipe is a big deal to me. As far as the detailed notes, sometimes I think I’m being TOO detailed and don’t want to make the instructions appear too complicated at first glance, but you (and others) have stated how much it is appreciated, so I continue to do it. I have come across many recipes in my lifetime that the instructions were too confusing or not detailed enough that it drove me bonkers, so I try to make it as thorough as possible! Thanks again for taking the time to leave such a wonderful comment, these comments are what make what I do so worth all the hard work. As far as it being a bit spicy, did you add jalapenos or red pepper flakes? Because the cheese sauce by itself isn’t spicy at all, there isn’t an ingredient in it that is spicy….the smoked paprika has a smoky flavor but nothing at all spicy, so I was just curious. Thanks again Brooke!!

      • I have made this three times now, and know why it was too spicy the first time…I hadn’t roasted plain zucchini before (I’d done breaded zucchini fries, and grilled, sauteed and raw zucchini, but not roasted). When it said to salt and pepper the zucchini well before roasting …I did it TOO well, and went way overboard on the pepper. I used less pepper the 2nd & 3rd times, and it was perfect!

  22. How brilliant! I am a huge fan of vegan cheese recipes… So happy to have this in my collection! It might be tricky to get my hands on yellow fleshed potatoes, but I’ll definitely keep an eye on that. πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Nori! You are so kind! I think red skinned potatoes should still do the trick! Just make sure to peel them. The flavor isn’t quite as rich as the yellow, but you could make up in flavor with spices if necessary.

  23. Wow, Brandi this sounds like a vegan cheese sauce I would want to try too! I’m so happy as well that you added an alternative to soy-sauce – I’m not allergic, but soy often gives me headaches :/ Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Kat! It’s probably because of the high sodium content. There is only 2 teaspoons so hopefully that wouldn’t bother you, but it is definitely a key ingredient to the flavor. But worcestershire should be a decent sub, not 100%, but close πŸ™‚

  24. Oh man I can’t wait to make mac and cheese….I liked the cashew cheese sauce for some things, though I didn’t use it with pasta.

  25. Thos sauce looks delicious, and love the ingredients! Hoping to try soon!

  26. This is so inventive Brandi. I’ve used cauliflower to make cheese sauce, so I can see how the potatoes would make a nice and creamy cheesy sauce. The addition of soy sauce was so smart, I’m sure it adds a great boost to the flavor. Can’t wait to try this!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Linda! I’m not the first person to think of potatoes, but combining them with zucchini and soy sauce turned out to be the magic combo! It really is the best vegan cheese I’ve tried to date. I FINALLY found one I love and want to devour and up until now, I have not felt that way about a vegan cheese. Amazing that it just so happens to be the healthiest as well, lol!

  27. I made some cashew cream (for a bowl recipe) and it tasted like…well…cashews! Your sauce looks super yummy. I’m pinning it now and trying it out for dinner this week! Thanks!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Julie! Yes, I agree….that has always been my problem with cashew cheese that I’ve made…while it’s tasty, there is always that underlying cashew flavor and it works really well in my alfredo sauce but for cheese I’ve never jumped up and down about it. This not only tastes like cheese, it tastes incredible and better than the fat-filled ones to me and my family and taste testers! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!

  28. What an amazing idea! It takes a little more time to prepare than to blend up cashews, which I used to do, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it! Thanks for sharing, yum! πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Jana! Yes, a few extra minutes, but the taste is definitely worth it and even still, the whole dish comes together still within 30 minutes!

  29. I don’t usually comment but just to on this one…. AMAZING!!!! I saw the recipe today and made it tonight– it came out perfectly and is absolutely incredible!!! Thanks so much for sharing your culinary talents with us all!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Aww I’m so happy to hear that Chrstine!! Thank you so much for such wonderful feedback!

  30. Awesome!! I made this last night using a yellow squash and it came out delicious. I might add the water slowly next time, because a cup may have been a bit too much for my particular veggies/blender. I mixed with macaroni and just ate a big bowl for dinner. I can’t wait to do a nacho version!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      So awesome to hear the squash worked just as well, thank you so much for letting me know! I am so happy you loved it!

  31. thanks so much for the recipe. I made this tonight and it is amazing. I doubled the recipe so was supposed to include 2 full cups of water. It wasn’t thick so I think next time I will not put all the water so it is thicker. Definitely the best cheese sauce recipe I have tried yet :). Or perhaps I didn’t have enough potatoe should it be packed into the cup when measuring? I am always telling people about your site because your recipes are so easy to follow and the pictures always make me want it right now.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Erin! The best ever, wow! Thank you so much, but I agree, it is the best I’ve had as well! Did you by chance boil your potatoes? I’ve made it several times now and 1 cup water is always just perfect, but maybe it’s because my blender is super narrow. Just start out next time with 3/4 cup water and more as needed for desired consistency. The potatoes aren’t packed in tightly. I just gently pressed them in the cup and it just barely filled a cup (like in the above photo), that is exactly what I used for the recipe.

      Thank you so much for the kind words and for sharing my blog, I truly appreciate it!!

      • Yes I did boil the potatoes but next time I will just bake them and add water slowly. Planning to make nachos with it. Lol I can’t keep up to trying all your recipes, I just saw your granola now I have to make it very soon. Thanks again for all you do!

  32. I guessed right πŸ™‚ I just knew potatoes had something to do with this magic cheese sauce! Though I must admit I didn’t expect the zucchini — what a brilliant idea. Gorgeous recipe — I’m not surprised at the rave reviews at all. This #awesomesauce deserves it πŸ™‚

    • Well, guess what — made this tonight on a whim because I had all the ingredients on hand — DELICIOUS! Seriously, so good. Thanks for the great recipe πŸ™‚

      • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

        I’m so happy to hear you have loved it as much as we did and other readers have Audrey! Thank you so much for making it and sharing your lovely photo on Facebook, it is just beautiful!!

  33. SO yummy looking Brandi!!! I love that it’s filled with veggies! Definitely on my must make list for sure.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you Sophia!

  34. Wow…this recipe is a winner! Made this last night with pasta and it was so flavorful and delicious (I think I ate way too much of it but it was just that good). It was like magic watching the mashed potatoes, roasted zucchini, seasonings and spices blend into a rich and creamy cheese-like sauce THAT REMAINED CREAMY and did not change texture!!! I increased the spices to my liking (I love smoked paprika), used tamari in place of liquid aminos and added red pepper flakes for a nice kick. This recipe is so versatile and I can imagine all the pasta and non-pasta dishes that I will be making in the future. It’s definitely a keeper for me!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Nicolle for such wonderful feedback! You described exactly why I love it so much! I add red pepper flakes to mine as well and also adding jalapenos gives it a wonderful nacho flavor, so good! That is also what I love so much, the texture. Cashew cheese sauces get really weird and sticky thick as they sit and dry almost, this one remains creamy and smooth. Even after it sits in the fridge overnight, all you have to do is give it a good stir and slightly reheat it and it’s perfect again, no weird texture!

  35. Brandi, Brandi, Brandi, you have done it!! This is excellent. I made it just as your recipe reads, with one exception…I was SO hungry, I didn’t peel the potatoes nor zucchini, and is was still wonderfully creamy, cheesy, and deeeelicious! THANKYOU so much. I have a picture, how do I send it to you?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Oh yay! I’m so happy to hear you loved this so much!! It is definitely my favorite for sure πŸ™‚ You can share your photo on my Facebook page or on Instagram. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to do it on my comments. Feel free to tag me on Instagram at #thevegan8 with your photo (if you have an account) or just post it on my Facebook page. Thank you so much for the feedback!

  36. […] Fat-free Vegan β€œCheese” Sauce and Mac β€˜N’ Cheese via The Vegan 8 […]

  37. We made this for the second time in a week! This time I left out the smoked paprika and added tomatoes, jalapeΓ±os, and hot sauce. It was an amazing spicy Mexican cheese dip. Big hit at the wineries πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Sounds so incredibly delicious Leiah! Thank you for the feedback! I love adding jalapenos to mine for a nacho cheese flair. I actually just bought some red bell peppers yesterday to add to them as well. Your Mexican version sounds delicious! I bet it would be great with cumin too!

  38. mmm!! I’ve made a similar cheese sauce using just steamed/boiled potatoes, the hot water they boiled in, lemon juice, notch, s&p, and its my favorite ever because it actually stretches and gets gooey and super thick and broils and everything! I’ve used it on pizza and even in quesadillas! Im going to try adding zucchini and more spices next time because why not add veggies to everything! your flavors look divine!! thank you!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you Lacey! Yes, this one really is the real deal…the combo of potatoes and zucchini really gives a magical texture and super smooth. It was partly inspired by the amazing texture of my zucchini soup….and the soy sauce is key to the cheesy flavor. I have been making cheese sauce with apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt, etc. and none of them really clicked until I used soy sauce! It is my favorite I’ve ever had!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Oh and I know about the awesomeness of gooey potatoes! I actually make a pizza crust out of red potatoes! It acts as glue and makes the best pizza crust, so there are no binders or egg substitutes needed!

  39. My mouth was watering through this ENTIRE post!!! This Cheese Sauce honestly looks UNREAL, Brandi!! Plus, I love that it is completely fat free. I’ve been trying to eating closer to the Starch Solution side of things lately so any sauce that is completely oil free, fat free and made with potatoes is a GO, lol!! I’m honestly SO excited to try this. I had big plans to make it this Sunday but the day got away from me πŸ™‚ Will hopefully snap and image of it to share with you! I’ll be coming back with my feedback to let you know how it turns out!

    • I couldn’t wait any longer to make this recipe and made it for dinner tonight. OH my word – you have done it with this recipe! It is absolutely delicious! To be honest, the ingredients don’t sound like much (potatoes, zucchini) but when blended together into this sauce they turn into a magical, silky, creamy cheesy sauce. I smothered it all over whole wheat macaroni, topped it off with chives, ground black pepper and hot pepper flakes and served it for dinner this evening. So amazing! And the best part is that it is not “heavy” like traditional cheesy sauces – you feel amazing when eating this sauce AND after. I can’t wait to try this on potatoes next week and also serve it as a cheese sauce at a party! Thanks for the great recipe!

      Oh, and if anybody is wondering, I made this with a cheap immersion (stick) blender and it blended up creamy smooth in less than a minute! πŸ™‚

      • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

        Thank you so much Ceara for making it and such a wonderful feedback! Apparently a lot of my responses on these comments didn’t go through when I responded in my admin panel! Anyways, I’m so glad you enjoyed it and glad that your immersion stick blender worked so well too!

  40. I made this using sweet potatoes instead Yukon gold because I try to limit my consumption of nightshades for health reasons and it was AMAZING. I used Herbamare seasoning instead of salt and onion powder and it was just perfect. I had it with kamut penne and I mixed in some spinach to get some greens in there and topped everything off with my homemade vegan walnut parm. It was just perfect. Thanks for a great recipe Brandi. I’ll post a pic to Instagram tomorrow and tag you. Too dark for pics tonight.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I am so glad you loved this so much Nissrine! Thank you so much for making it! I know we already discussed about it on IG as well back then, so thank you again!

  41. All hail to Queen Brandi! I love that you are so inventive! I made this and served it over zoodles and sautΓ©ed mushrooms and onions. Oh. My. Stars!!!! Silky smooth and delicious! My husband had a ton of it on his plate but kept getting more cheese sauce out of the bowl to eat with his spoon! Plus this is more affordable to make using potatoes instead of cashews. Great job! Posting pic on Instagram shortly!

  42. Hi Brandy! Thanks so much for the great recipe! It was super easy and tookpractically no time at all. This sauce is so versatile I can tell it will be one I keep in my back pocket. I ate it with some cauliflower, and i will be definitely trying this over some pasta like you recommended as well. I love that this is an alternative to using cashews, I love cashews but it’s nice to have a different way to make cheese!!

  43. This sauce looks amazing and I like the healthy ingredients it has. I am going to try it. Is it possible to freeze it?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Cara, I’m so sorry I never saw this comment before!! So sorry! I have never tried freezing it but since it’s not made with any processed starch powders or anything weird, I would imagine it would freeze fine, that’s my guess!

  44. I’m SO excited to try this recipe – it looks incredible! Do you think using sweet potatoes would drastically alter the texture/flavor? Sweet potatoes are my favorite food, and I saw that one reviewer tried it with success, but I wanted to get your thoughts. Also, does this sauce keep well for leftovers? I’d love to make a big batch and bring it for work lunches!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Hannah! I haven’t tried the sweet potato personally but I can’t imagine it would alter the flavor too much, and as you said, another reader had wonderful success, so I say go for it! It might just make them a tad sweeter, but if you love sweet potatoes, then I’m sure you will be okay with that πŸ™‚ Please come back and let me know after you make it what you thought! Oh, and yes this is sooo much better than the nut-based cheeses because it stays really smooth and doesn’t turn into a thick paste which can happen a lot with nut cheese. All it will need is a gentle stir and reheat and it’s just as good as when you first make it. One reader even stated it was even better the next day. I actually agree, the flavors deepen and it’s just delicious. I’ve been eating it all week, haha!

  45. Ana

    oh my god. I am over the moon with this recipe. Came out to perfection and beyond my expectations. Thank you!!!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I am so happy to hear this Ana! Thank you so much for making it and sharing your photo on Instagram as well, I’m thrilled you love it so much!

  46. I was wondering how this would do transferring over to a casserole dish? I know most vegan cheeses have a hard time being in the over (Go Veggie cheese for example doesn’t melt and tastes awful), so does anyone have any experience with this in a casserole-esq dish?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Lauren! I know what you mean, most vegan cheeses are horrible for melting and nut-based cheeses tend to get really weird and thick and pasty. The amazing thing about this cheese sauce is that it stays smooth. I haven’t tried baking with it long term though in a casserole, so I’m not sure, but it’s definitely worth a shot. Please let me know if you try it, I’d love to hear!

  47. […] creamy vegan cheese sauces that sometimes include the most unexpected ingredients (check out this fat-free one). Oh and guess what! You can actuallyΒ make delicious pizza crust out of […]

  48. This recipe is amazing! So creamy and so yummy and super easy to make. I just whipped up a batch in 20 mins tops. Thank you Brandi I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Oh I’m so glad to hear that Laura! Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback! I’m so happy you enjoyed it so much πŸ™‚

  49. […] the ‘Cheese Sauce’ – I used this recipe from thevegan8.com. Β I would not dream of re-printing Brandi’s wonderful recipe here, as she […]

  50. I made this last weekend. The first thing that came to mind when I tasted it was BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP. This would be a perfect base for a cheesy soup! πŸ™‚

  51. […] Fat Free Vegan Cheese Sauce {Gluten-Free, Vegan} […]

  52. I’m must try my hand at this soon! As a fellow healthy recipe developer I take my hat off to you with this invention. I hope this recipe spreads far and wide and convinces many that you don’t need dairy cheese sauce or weird vegan fake cheeze sauce to achieve a gorgeously silky and versatile cheese sauce. I’m loving reading all of the brilliant comments about it (and you) too. Now to figure out what type of potato to use here in the UK!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      You are so incredibley sweet Kellie! Thank you for such kind words!!

  53. Can I use baking yeast in this? I can’t find nutritional yeast but my local natural foods store only had little refrigerated baggies of yeast when I asked and it says “baking” on the store’s label. Thanks!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Lindsay! Noooo, definitely don’t use baking yeast! It is not the same thing and will ruin the taste. Unfortunately, there is no replacement for nutritional yeast. I have found it to be fairly common at every grocery store I visit. I would ask a manager at the store if they carry it, or Whole Foods, Krogers and many stores carry it these days. Otherwise, you can always order it on Amazon. It is a crucial ingredient, as it is what lends most of the cheesey flavor.

  54. I’m so bummed I just discovered your blog and was so excited, especially for this recipe, but for some reason my phone does not do well with plug ins and I cant see a single recipe.
    Ive read the descriptions you give for a few and they sound so great. Only 8 ingredients is kind of unbelievable! God knows how many times Ive clicked on a recipe and the ingredients were just too much to deal with.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Brandi-I’m so sorry, I had a temporary website update earlier for about an hour, but it is fixed now, you should see the recipe now on any device! Let me know and I will email it to you if necessary! Thank you so much for your interest!

  55. Yaay I can see it now! I was blaming my phone. Looks great I can’t wait to try some recipes and tell some ppl from my fb food groups.

  56. Wow, this is incredible!! I’ve tried so many vegan “cheese” recipes to try to replicate the good ‘ol mac n cheese that I remember from days of yore, and yours is the best by far! I put in a little Sriracha at the end for an extra warm kick. This is going in my regular lineup. Thanks. You should REALLY be proud of yourself on this one. πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Oh thank you so much Scott for such wonderful feedback!!! I’m so sorry for the late response, sometimes I get so many comments that I may miss one here and there, but thank you very much! So glad this one is the best you’ve had by far!

  57. Hi Brandi! Just thought I’d check back in with you on this recipe as I’m making it, yet again, at this very moment! Since your initial posting of this recipe about 1 1/2 months ago, I’ve made this recipe numerous times. It has become a staple in my household and I use it mostly as a pasta sauce and for mac-n-cheese. I’m just so in love with this sauce – each bowl so flavorful and comforting. Keep the great 8-ingredient-or-less masterpieces flowing. πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much for such sweet feedback Nicolle! It means so much to me! I’m so happy to hear you love this cheese sauce so much!! I really love hearing that!

  58. THANK YOU! This is SO delicious. Such a perfect cheese substitute and I cannot see why any meat-eater wouldn’t love it too. This is an excellent addition to my Potato Hack Diet I am currently on, but I plan to use this regularly on or off a diet. I followed this recipe exactly btw…well except I made a double batch (so happy I did!). My immersion blender made extremely quick and easy work of this without any added water over the 3/4 cup. Highly recommend using the stick blender, as well as highly recommend this sauce to everyone!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Melanie for such wonderful feedback! I’m so happy to hear you loved this cheese sauce as much as I and others have! I agree too….my parents are meat-eaters and they love this sauce as well! It’s tastes so much like cheese that I think it would please anybody! Thank you again!

  59. […] sauce that will blow your mind and also happens to be fat-free, then you have to try my Fat-Free Vegan Cheese Sauce. It is one of my most popular recipes and makes an exceptional macaroni ‘n’ cheese as […]

  60. I made this today. It was soooo yummy !! I had all ingredients except I had red potatoes not yellow. Still amazing !!Had it at lunch on macaroni and for supper on top of More potatoes!! I love that it has no fat! Will definitely put in my favorites list ! πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback Simonne! I’m so happy you loved this so much!

  61. O.m.g! SO AMAZING! I just couldn’t believe it was so cheesy with no nuts!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Yay! I’m so thrilled you loved it so much! It is definitely amazing stuff and stay tuned….I have another amazing cheese coming up!!

    • Do you know if this freezes well? I have so much left and don’t want to waste it!

      Ps – we’re new to dairy/gluten free eating and my cheese loving kid loved this sauce. She devoured 3 bowls of Mac & cheese! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

      • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

        Hi Angie! I haven’t tried freezing it, but honestly, I don’t see why it wouldn’t! It contains mostly veggies and no weird fillers or starches, so I would imagine it would freeze well and all you would have to do it lightly reheat it over the stove. I’m so happy to hear your daughter loved this and devoured 3 bowls, wow, that is awesome! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for the feedback!

  62. Hey Brandi, just want to let you know I’ve made this recipe several times and absolutely love it! I agree it is the best cheese sauce I’ve found to date! I had a question though, more curious really. I sometimes am tempted to use milk instead of water, like a nut or soy milk. Don’t know why, I know that most cheese sauces calls for it, and just figure it would make it more creamy & richer, I guess? Have you tried nut milks and is there a specific reason why you use water? Just wondering.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Yay! I’m so glad to hear it’s the best you’ve tried, thank you so much! You are certainly welcome to use plant milk and yes it would make it richer. The reason I didn’t use any hear is because I wanted it totally fat-free, but you can definitely use some! I also tend to only use canned coconut milk in recipes because it doesn’t contain any weird additives and for this I didn’t want any fat. Use any milk you’d like though πŸ™‚

  63. Oh ok, that makes sense! I know sometimes you say, don’t substitute any of the ingredients or it will affect the outcome, so I was just making sure! Sometimes I use half milk half water in recipes too. I also really like the Silk cashew milk, it only has 2 g fat per 1 cup, and Westsoy makes an organic fat free soy milk that I use occasionally. Thanks for another great recipe!

  64. Great recipe! I didn’t have any paprika (just happened to be out!) but it was still very good. My kids LOVED it! This is the first vegan cheese sauce that my kids have liked. They have been vegan their whole lives and don’t really understand the importance of a good mac-n-cheese. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Regina! I am so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for the feedback!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Oh, and even better that your kids loved it so much! Thanks again!

  65. Em

    I have to believe that people with blogs have the right to remove reviews that they don’t want others to see. Rave reviews was all I have read regarding this recipe. Followed instructions to the “T”. Tried it again…… This has to be the most awful vegan, vegetarian recipe I have ever tried, and I am a chef. Do not waste your ingredients or time folks………I don’t want to go into what this recipe taste like, I will just say, more than disgusting. This post most likely will be removed as well as other truthful reviews from the past. Such is life on the internet…….

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Wow, I’m so sorry to hear this didn’t work out for you, but to accuse me of removing negative reviews I find a bit disrespectful. Just as yours remains, ALL recipe reviews on every single one of my recipes remain on my blog. I’ve never removed a review off of a recipe in 3 years of blogging. I welcome reviews, which is why I have a comment section.

      I don’t know what went wrong with the recipe but you are the 1st negative comment I have received out of 62 positive reviews from both above and on Instagram. I don’t have an issue with you not liking this recipe, we all have different opinions clearly, but encouraging others to “not waste their ingredients or time” isn’t fair to say, since you are clearly the one exception to not like this (that I’ve received). None of these people had to leave a review, but they chose to because they loved it.
      Sorry this recipe made you so angry. Thank you for trying it out.

  66. Hi Brandi. Do you think I could use sweet potato instead of the Yukon? The only potatoes my store had was russet and sweet potatoes.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Katie! I have not tried this with sweet potato but I think that would probably make them too sweet. I would try russet over sweet potato! Let me know how it turns out. I’m assuming it would still work, I just haven’t tried it.

  67. Hi Brandi I have IBS and so garlic and onion are not recommended in a Low FODMAP diet. I was wondering if removing them or subbing them might still work, if you have ever tried it? Thank you, Jess

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Jess! Sorry for the delay! It will still work, but will be a bit blander in flavor without the garlic or onion, so I would add in other spices like a little cumin and chili powder or even a touch of mustard. That will help give it a bit more depth of flavor. Let me know how it turns out!

  68. Jen

    Completely new to vegan cooking, but want to do more meatless dishes. I have never used nutritional yeast before, but have seen it in the Bob’s Red Mill section. Do you think I could freeze some of this? It’s only the two of us, and that’s more than we could eat at one or two sittings. Thanks!! I apologize if that question has already been answered, you have so many awesome comments on this, I couldn’t get through them all.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Jen! You can definitely freeze this. I’m not sure for how long, but since it’s just whole foods, I think it’d be fine freezing and just reheating gently on the stove. Let me know when you try it!

  69. Hi there! So I have tried making mac and “cheese” a bunch of time, never came out that great. I keep trying recipes hoping that I’d find “the one”. I have finally found it! I haven’t even put it on the pasta yet, I can’t stop eating it by the spoonful. Hopefully there’s enough left haha When I first tasted it I literally said “Holy shit. Get over here and taste this NOW!” to my boyfriend. This is so delicious. Thank you for this! This will be a staple for sure!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Awesome Teresa!! I’m so happy to hear this cheese sauce was “THE ONE”!! Haha! It is definitely my favorite I’ve had by far as well, it tastes the most cheesy out of any I’ve tried and I love the smooth consistency of it. Thank you so much for the awesome feedback, I really appreciate it!

  70. Hi, can’t wait to try this recipe! Do you use nutritional yeast flakes or powder?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Kelly! I used flakes πŸ™‚ Let me know how you like it!

  71. Well I did this without the nutritionnal yeast and it still tastes delicious πŸ™‚ thank you very much i found my new sauce! i’ll try with nutritionnal yeast next time πŸ˜‰

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I’m so happy to hear that Shiika! I’m surprised since the nutritional yeast is a key ingredient, but I’m really glad you still loved it. It definitely aids in the cheesy flavor so I’m betting you will love it even more next time, thank you for the feedback!

  72. This is a great cheese sauce!! Still has the nutritional yeast flavor (obviously) like most vegan cheese sauces do, but this is the best recipe I’ve tasted yet! I actually continued on with making some mashed potatoes out of the rest of the potatoes I bought and added some of this cheese sauce. They turned out great! Thank you!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Wonderful! I’m so glad you loved it and it is your favorite!! Thanks so much for the feedback! I actually don’t taste nutritional yeast in it, I just taste “cheese” but I know everybody has a different palette. I’m so glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

  73. Any substitute for the onion powder and garlic powder as I am allergic to those things. Thanks.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Christina! Those really help to flavor the sauce, so it will be a little more bland without it. I would just use some different spices you like. You could make it more nacho flavored by adding a little cumin and chili powder or some jalapenos…really any spices you like and it should be good!

  74. I loved this recipe! Does it keep well in the fridge for leftovers? Traditional cheese sauce always seems to get thick and yucky in the fridge. I’m the only vegan in the family and I can’t possibly eat the whole recipe in one sitting, although I tried :p I was thinking of making au gratin potatoes with this recipe

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Danielle! So glad you loved this! This will thicken up in the fridge overnight, however, it VERY easily melts right back to it’s normal version by gently heating it over the stove. Good as the first time! It’s not like cashew based cheese sauces that typically get a weird pasty thickens when reheated, this one reheats very well!

  75. That looks so delicious!
    I’ll be using this recipe this weekend, cashew nuts are too expensive for me to use in large quantities and mac and cheese was my favorite dish before making the switch.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Wonderful Veerle! I can’t wait to hear what you think!

      • I loved it! I liked it even better with some soy milk (since I don’t mind fat) πŸ™‚

        • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

          Wonderful! So glad you loved this cheese sauce, thank you for the feedback!

  76. Hi this looks amazing however I am allergic to Zucchini…would there be something else I could sub for this?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Dawn! I have not tried subbing it with anything else, but the closest vegetable is eggplant, but I have not tried it, so unsure of the taste it would leave. Make sure you peel all skins if you do try it. Let me know!

  77. A holiday should be named after you for inventing this. You’re a national hero! After trying it on chips and macaroni and cheese, I decided to try it on chicken/broccoli/rice and it was fantastic. I’ve tried nut-based cheese and thought they were okay, but nothing to tell everyone about. This one… I’ve told everyone about it. Even posted it on my Facebook page. I added a few jalapenos to give it some kick and spicy flavor and I couldn’t be happier with the result. Thank you SOOOOO much for sharing!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      WOW Jim! You made my day! Thank you so much for such wonderful feedback on this cheese sauce! I’m so happy to hear you are loving it on so many different recipes, that is awesome. Oh and I love it with jalapenos too, thank you so much!

  78. Trying this tonight, can’t wait!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Wonderful, I hope you enjoy it!

  79. Hey one more quick question about this recipe. If you are making this recipe for several people and you are cooking an entire 340g box of pasta will this be enough sauce for all of that or should I double the recipe?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Christina! Yes, I think this should be plenty. I looked at my pasta packages and one of them is 397 g and this cheese sauce is plenty for that, so I think you should be good. It makes about 2 cups of cheese sauce I think. Can’t wait to hear!!

  80. […] recept voor de kaassaus komt oorspronkelijk van thevegan8.com. Je vindt op haar pagina nog meer tips om de saus perfect te maken. Ik paste het iets aan en maakte […]

  81. I am seriously in love with this recipe. I made this for myself and several other non vegans and it was a huge hit. People commented that they liked it better than traditional mac n cheese and everyone said they felt good after eating heaps of this stuff, unlike the way they feel when they eat heaps of traditional mac n cheese. They loved how they didn’t feel gross after eating this. And everybody said they want me to cook for them again. πŸ™‚ Which made me really happy. It is crazy that this has no fat yet it had such an amazing creamy and dreamy texture. I don’t miss cheese or remember what it taste like but I still loved this recipe. So I think this recipe is good for everyone, people who miss cheese, people who eat cheese and people who don’t like cheese. The smoked paprika for me was the perfect touch. Yumm this is so good. I can’t stop thinking about it since I had it. It is definitely going to be a repeat recipe in my house. πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so so much Christina for such amazing feedback! I’m beyond thrilled that you and your family members all loved it so much!! You are such a lovely host for all of them. Thank you so much again for making it and leaving such kind feedback and sharing it on Instagram! πŸ™‚

  82. I can’t even count how many times I’ve made and enjoyed this. Just now getting around to leaving feedback. This is the perfect mac and cheese if you don’t want to feel gross and sluggish afterwards! I made it for my dairy-loving parents and they loved it too. Going to use the cheese to top roasted potatoes tonight!
    Thanks for making the perfect dairy-free cheese sauce!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Oh wow Megan, I’m SO happy to hear that!! Even better that your dairy-loving parents love it! Thanks so much for the feedback! Sounds so yummy on potatoes too…total comfort food!

  83. I love your posts, but this did not turn out well for me. There’s a reason potatoes are meant to be hand-mashed, not placed in a blender. Wallpaper paste is not appetizing. I will stick with cauli-power cheez sauce.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Wallpaper paste?? Are you sure you added enough water? Otherwise, it will be too thick. What type of potato did you use? Different potatoes can yield a different result, but it’s likely because you didn’t add enough water. I always use a full cup. You also need to make sure to use the exact weight amount of potatoes, because if you use too much, then you can definitely get too much starch in the sauce. I’ve had over 70 reviews on this cheese sauce and they have all been positive (as you can see above), so I’m not sure what went wrong on your end, but the sauce should be smooth and creamy, nothing like “wallpaper paste”. Many recipes (including mine) use potatoes for soups and sauces and they all turn out amazing. Sorry yours didn’t work out.

  84. Jim

    When I saw this I was so excited to try it. I made it exactly as your recipe instructed, but sorry to say, something did not work right. The color was a little redder/darker than your photos (maybe cut back on the smoked paprika), but that is not a problem. The problem was that it had an almost chemical smell to it and hardly had a cheese taste.

    I measured very carefully, but wonder if it is the liquid aminos or the nutritional yeast caused the problem. Could this come from too much paprika – I used 3/4 tsp.

    It blended up very smoothly in my Vitamix and had the consistency of queso dip – but definitely not the taste.

    Any idea where I might have gone wrong? I want to try again and get the results you are talking about.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Jim, it definitely sounds like the smoked paprika or nutritional yeast was too strong for your water amount used, which would also explain why yours was more red, how much water did you use? I always use a full cup of water each time I make the cheese sauce, so that much liquid balances out the smoked paprika. I just noted that I use a full cup. Have you ever tried nutritional yeast before? Some people hate it and some people love it, so I would definitely suggest you use the full cup of water next time, because each time I serve this to others and dozens of reviews that have come in on this have been fantastic. You can then reheat it over the stove with some pasta and it will thicken back up if you think 1 cup water is too thin for your taste. Or you could always just use less paprika and nutritional yeast and just add to taste if you want to use less water. Let me know!

      • Jim

        It was the water then. I only used 1/4 cup and it never seemed like it needed more. I’ll try it again with a little less paprika and definitely more water.

        I have used NY before without any problem.

        • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

          Oh wow, ok that totally makes sense then! 1/4 cup water isn’t nearly enough in balance with the other listed ingredients, so I can definitely see why the smoked paprika would ruin the taste πŸ™‚ I would definitely add at least 3/4 cup of water and blend and then try it. It is not supposed to be as thick as queso exactly, but still dip-able, but works amazing as a mac-n-cheese, which is what the majority of my readers use it for. If you want it thicker (after adding the 3/4 cup water) then just add it to the stove and heat it up a bit until it thickens. Let me know how it works out the next time, thanks Jim! πŸ™‚

          • Jim

            OK, I tried it again, this time with a full cup and the funky smell, though less this time was still there. Then I added some more water. Still smells strange, but the taste is kind of like cheese sauce.

            The only thing I can think of is perhaps the paprika that I am using McCormick Gourmet Collector Smoked Paprika is too strong.

            I am willing to give this one more shot, perhaps subbing in white paprika for the smoked variety.

            What is the paprika supposed to add to the mix and is there anything else I might try subbing in?

          • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

            Hi Jim. It sounds to me that you just simply do not like the flavor that smoked paprika gives, so honestly, I would just leave it out. I actually know of a few people who absolutely cannot stand it, so that certainly sounds like why it tastes too strong to you. Smoked paprika is VERY strong, and leaves a noticeable taste AND smell, which you’ve now seen. Just leave it out and use plain old regular paprika, much more mild. The smoked paprika I use simply because I love the smoky flavor it adds, but again, that is a personal taste. Just leave it out.

          • Jim

            I tried the recipe for the third time and I am getting closer, but still not there. This time I used regular paprika (not smoked) and cut the amount in half. Used about 3/4 cup of water and the resulting dip was not super thick, but not soupy either (it would stick to a cracker when I dipped it). A little of the smell remains, but this batch is definitely useable as an add-on to pasta, potatoes, etc.

            I wanted to ask one question though before trying again. I notice in your recipe, you indicate to blend in a vitamix for 2 minutes on high. When I have done this, using a vitamix, after a few seconds on high, the mixture is well blended and liquid-y – definitely not thick – so I turned it off after running only about 15-20 seconds. I wonder if leaving the blender on high for a full 2 minutes will have a different impact on the outcome. In other words, is there a ‘cooking’ effect that makes a difference in the recipe when it is left in the blender at high for the full time.

            Thanks and looking forward to getting this recipe perfected.

            Jim

          • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

            Hi Jim! Sounds like you just may have an aversion to nutritional yeast, I don’t really know what to say. This is such a favorite recipe among all my readers and I’ve never once heard about this chemical taste, but some nutritional yeast is not pleasant to people, so that is likely it. Also, if you prefer the texture by blending it less time, than definitely do it that way. It’s up to you and how you like it. Some like it thinner (myself) and some like it thicker, so it just boils down to preference πŸ™‚

  85. I was extremely happy when I heard that this Fat-Free Vegan “Cheese” Sauce and Mac-N-Cheese was rated as the most rated savoury sauces amongst the others!

    I’ve made both kinds, the zucchini first and roasted bell pepper second and both were proudly shared on my IG. As for my latest red bell pepper cheese sauce, I bumped it up by adding Artisana organic raw tahini and sriracha sauce. I usually make a big batch, packed them in containers and froze them. Even my son Ryza @theveganmumnson , uses this sauce on several of his dishes that he shared on IG and he said that this cheese sauce recipe is definitely a keeper.

    Thank you SO much Brandi for creating this awesome fat-free, nut-free, oil-free, bean-free, creamy, smooth, guilt-free cheese sauce. You have made me fall in love with Mac-n-Cheese! I’d rate this 10/10!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Nora for such wonderful feedback and sharing your pics on Instagram!! I love seeing them all the time! I love that you love this cheese sauce (and the red bell pepper sauce) so much, thank you so much for letting me know!

  86. Finally got a chance to try this tonight. At first I could not figure out why anyone thought this was such a wonderful creamy sauce and how it could possibly work so excitingly on pasta. The mouth feel was purely potato as much as I could grind it up in the food processor as much water and processing I could put it through it’s still just wasn’t quite right. Then I read through the rest of the comments again. And I realized that maybe it wasn’t the food processor that needed to be used but my blender. I’m One of those many people who can’t afford a Vitamix. Often when I see a recipe that uses it and I MoveOn. Most of the time a food processor will do the trick sometimes I use my blender it will depend on the recipe because of the potatoes and the zucchini I really thought the processor would be the best way to do it, and perhaps for me with my equipment that is the best way to start. I have to say that even with the texture, I still ate it with some chips, as the flavoring is quite tasty. I took what I had put in the fridge for later, scoop it all out into my BLENDER, added just a touch more water, and let it go on liquefy. NOW I understand why everybody was commenting on the wonderful texture! So, a small note, perhaps the few negative comments that you did receive four regarding texture because of proper processing in the proper so, a small note, perhaps the few negative comments that you did receive four regarding texture because equipment. THANK-YOU for a lovely recipe! Yummmmmmmmy!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I’m so happy you loved this Andrea! Thanks for the feedback and I agree, that it’s all about using the right amount of water and blender, which is what I have noted in the recipe. I have never made this sauce in the food processor. Out of 70+ reviews there have only been a couple negative as of this week which I found odd, haha! But both appear to be exactly because of not using enough water, as called for in the recipe.
      Anyways, glad you were able to make it correctly and love it, thanks so much!

      • And, this afternoon my vegetarian son (he’s 17, has been since age 6) was here and I made it on pasta for him. His main reason for not being vegan is CHEESE (whipped cream & eggs). He enjoyed it! Not sure he’d give up chees for it, but he gave it s big thumbs up! πŸ™‚

        • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

          Oh, that is wonderful! So happy your son loved this! People who eat and still love cheese are tough critics, so that is awesome to hear, thank you!

  87. How long can this keep when refrigerated? Or can/do frezze it?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      It should last about a week in the fridge. I have never froze it, but since it’s just veggies, I’m sure it would be just fine frozen and then reheated on low over the stove.

  88. […] 26. Fat Free Vegan Cheese Sauce – The Vegan 8 […]

  89. […] from Happy Herbivore // 4. Big Kahuna Carrot β€œhotdogs’ – also from Happy Herbivore // 5. Queso Cheese Sauce (made from Zucchini & potatoes!!!) from The Vegan 8 served with easy vegan burritos // 6. Black […]

  90. LIz

    I can’t remember if I commented on this before or not, but since I’ve made the recipe like 500 times, I figure it deserved another comment (and 5 stars!). I LOVE THIS RECIPE!!! I’ve used it mainly for mac-n-cheese, but have also made it for queso dip. Delicious, smooth, creamy, cheesy, and healthy! I ain’t gonna lie, sometimes I put some Earth Balance in it, but I try to stick to your healthy version! (by the way, I don’t know why this old photo of me, with hot pink hair, is still showing as my profile pic, I can’t locate where it’s coming from!)

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      500 times, haha awesome!! Thank you so much Liz! I’m ecstatic you love this recipe so much, your comment made my day! P.S. I love your hot pink hair!

  91. Tried this recipe for the first time today. It is delicious. I have tried a lot of vegan cheese sauces – But, I’m in love with this cheese recipe. Quick and simple. Soy free and fat free. I’m not avoiding soy. But if I can have my soy in yogurt, or YoFranks all the better.

    Since this recipe has no squash, sweet potatoes or carrots, it doesn’t have that undesirable, slightly sweet taste that some recipes have.

    This is a winner and my new staple. You have to add your own heat because there is no heat in the basic recipe. I just dropped in some toasted chilis that I had on hand. It added a little kick and a little smoke flavor.

    Try it out, I think you will love it.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I’m so happy to hear you loved it so much Billie, thank you so much for such a thoughtful and kind feedback! I’m really so grateful. I loved reading it, thank you so much for making it!! Great idea for the toasted chilis, yum!!

  92. As you know Brandi I absolutely love this recipe and I make it all the time. However the soy in it makes me not feel the best so sometimes I actually do make it with coconut aminos cause I don’t want to deal with the reaction. I know you say coconut aminos is a no no but I think it is still good with it. Not exactly the same but still good. But anyway I was wondering do you think dill pickle juice will work in this recipe in place of the tamari? I thought of it from your broccoli cheese soup recipe and it worked so well in that I thought maybe it would here too. But I don’t know cause I don’t have a good understanding of how different ingredients go together. But it would be cool to find an alternative to the soy that gives the same results as you originally wrote it. Although I still do enjoy it with the coconut aminos. Anyway, if you think the pickle juice would work would I keep it at 2 tsps?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Christina! So funny you mention that because I’ve been testing another cheese sauce already with pickle juice since it works so well in my cream cheese! And even funnier, because I have totally added pickle juice to this sauce as well, so it will definitely work. I don’t remember how much I added, but since it’s not as salty as soy sauce, then you may need up to 1 tbsp or more. I’d start with 2 teaspoons and just keep adding until you like the flavor! πŸ™‚

  93. I tried this with yam instead of potatoes and it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe ^_^

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Oh wonderful, so glad to hear you loved it Chelsea, thank you so much for the feedback!

  94. Love this! Does it melt? Thinking of making a vegan lasagne x

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Katie! It’s already in sauce form so it would work fine with a lasagna. I’ve seen readers make lasagna with it. It’s not a firm cheese that melts, it’s a sauce. Hope that helps!

  95. I just made this, and it is excellent. I’m glad I found your blog!! I love great food made with real ingredients. Thank you!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I’m so very happy to hear that Cat, thank you so much for the feedback! So glad you found me!

  96. I just made this recipe tonight & had to come write a review as soon as I got done eating! This recipe was DELICIOUS Brandi! πŸ™‚ I’m definitely going to be making this more and more down the line. I couldn’t even tell it wasn’t cheese (this is coming from a previous cheese fanatic). Thank you again Brandi for all of the hardwork you put into these recipes. πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Yay! I’m thrilled to hear that Kenya, so happy you loved this so much! Thank you so much for leaving feedback!

  97. I bookmarked this as “Best Cheese Sauce”. So creamy & delicious. You nailed it. Thank you for sharing!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Yay yay yay!! So happy to hear it! Thanks for the feedback!

  98. Do you know if it’s freezable?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Jane! I have never tried freezing it because we got through it so fast, but I would assume it would be fine. Just reheat it over the stove on low heat.

  99. Would it work to bake the mac and cheese off in the oven or will the sauce fall apart or dry out? Although I do like the idea of just stirring it together with the pasta and being able to serve. Trying this tonight.

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Debra! I have never tried baking it before, I just mix the sauce in with cooked pasta and heat it a bit to thicken it and that’s it.

  100. Brandy where do I find tapioca starch? I need it for your oatmeal raisin cookies Thank you

  101. […] I bambini amano i piatti di formaggio. Creare un’alternativa formaggio senza latte, con una salsa di formaggio vegan che utilizza le patate, zucchine, lievito alimentare, succo di limone, salsa di soia, aglio in polvere, cipolla in polvere, sale marino fine, paprika, e l’acqua. La salsa risultante Γ¨ denso, cremoso, e formaggio – perfetto per un rapido mac e formaggio o come una salsa di immersione. Prendi la ricetta completa, dalla Vegan 8 . […]

  102. […] Kids love cheesy dishes. Create a dairy-free cheese alternative with a vegan cheese sauce that uses potatoes, zucchini, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, fine sea salt, paprika, and water. The resulting sauce is thick, creamy, and cheesy–perfect for a quick mac and cheese or as a dipping sauce. Get the full recipe from the Vegan 8. […]

  103. Hi… I was excited to try this, but some members of our family are allergic to soy. We normally substitute coconut aminos for soy sauce, but I see in your directions you say it can’t be substituted. What CAN we use instead? Thanks!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Karen, unfortunately there is not a replacement for the soy sauce in this recipe. The coconut aminos doesn’t give even remotely the same cheesy flavor. Instead, I would make this cheese sauce recipe. It is one of my most popular recipes and tastes wonderful and cheesy.
      http://thevegan8.com/2016/01/18/easy-vegan-mexican-cheese-sauce/
      If you are needing the fat-free cheese, I guess you could try some miso instead of the soy sauce or more salt and nutritional yeast, but honestly I cannot vouch for any subs other than the soy sauce or results without it since that is what I found produced the best result.

  104. Doesn’t quite remind me of a cheese sauce but that’s more than ok! I would call this a southwestern dip as the spice really came through in my attempt. I also added a touch of hickory smoked salt to give an extra punch. Highly recommended!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      So glad you enjoyed it Kay, thank you!

  105. Another big hit for us, Brandi!! I had just “indulged” with your new Creamy Chili Sauce recipe using GF pasta, so I decided to pair this sauce with my favorite sauteed veggies on top of spaghetti squash. SO GOOD! My daughter smelled the sauce and began stealing some for her GF V pizza, carrot hot dogs, etc. Guess I’ll just need to make another batch! πŸ™‚
    Since I’m allergic to soy, I was so happy another reviewer asked about using pickle juice in place of the soy sauce b/c that’s exactly what I did. I wish more people would read the Q&As before repeating questions, but you are always SO gracious, Brandi. Thank you so much for taking the time to share these wonderful recipes with us, and for your patience! It is truly appreciated!!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Colleen, you are the best! I’m so happy you are loving the recipes so much and I genuinely look forward to reading each and every one of your feedbacks! Yes, I totally forgot about the pickle juice, it is what worked so well in my cream cheese and broccoli cheese soup and potato soup too, so yes, so glad to hear that worked here too in place of the soy sauce! Thank you Colleen!

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Thank you so much Colleen, you are the best! I’m so happy you are loving the recipes so much and I genuinely look forward to reading each and every one of your feedbacks! Yes, I totally forgot about the pickle juice, it is what worked so well in my cream cheese and broccoli cheese soup and potato soup too, so yes, so glad to hear that worked here too in place of the soy sauce! Thank you Colleen!

  106. Hi Brandi,
    Just printed out your recipe and want to go to Trader Joe’s and get my organic golds and zucchini soon. Love a good veggie cheeZ ! I can taste it now. And fat free ? Yippeee

    Can white beans and their juice replace the squash ?

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Nina! I have not tried white beans in this sauce, only the potato and zucchini, so I can’t say if it would work or not and I wouldn’t know how much to use. I can only vouch for what’s listed above, so that is what I would recommend for best results πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      Hi Nina! I have not tried white beans in this sauce, only the potato and zucchini, so I can’t say if it would work or not and I wouldn’t know how much to use. I can only vouch for what’s listed above, so that is what I would recommend for best results πŸ™‚

  107. Made this for my 3 grandchildren last weekend when they slept over. All 3 plates were thoroughly enjoyed & the eldest asked for seconds πŸ™‚

    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com

      I’m so happy to hear that Jane, thank you so much for the wonderful feedback!

  108. Brandi,

    I can’t remember if I have left a comment before or not. I made this once a while ago (and it was delish!) and then saw you post about it on your Facebook page today so I decided to try it again! This time I used almond milk instead of the water and omg YUM!!! I made it with pasta and broccoli. You’re a genius!! Your page is my favorite page to get vegan recipes! I also can’t wait to try your new pumpkin chili recipe! Thanks for doing all that you do!

Leave a comment