Vegan Cheez Whiz (Oil-free)

Vegan Cheez Whiz (Oil-free)

Yields 1

Vegan Cheez Whiz

An amazing, authentic cheese sauce that will win over even dairy lovers and just requires 5 minutes to throw together. No cooking or standing over the stove. This goes great with chips, burritos or even on broccoli!

5 minPrep Time

5 minTotal Time

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5 based on 1 review(s)


  • 1/2-3/4 cup water, as needed depending on how much nutritional yeast you use
  • 3-4 tablespoons raw runny tahini (I used 4) or I highly recommend cashew butter for the cheesiest flavor if not allergic to nuts!
  • 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dark red wine balsamic vinegar (add more for a stronger tang, to taste preference)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup nutritional yeast (this will depend on how strong you like the flavor to be, start out with a 1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Note
  • It is crucial to use a raw tahini here that is smooth, so the tahini isn't too thick or overpowering. The brand I use has a neutral flavor backdrop and is pour-able and very smooth. Too thick of tahini can make the flavor too strong. I highly recommend Rawguru brand because of these reasons. Otherwise you may need to decrease the amount of tahini used. If you don't like tahini, just sub with cashew butter!


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender (I used my Vitamix) or food processor and process until smooth and thick. 30 seconds should do it. If you don't have a blender or food processor, you can still make this, it just may not be 100% as smooth. Just add the ingredients to a bowl and whisk it really, really well until completely smooth and thick. Tomato paste is hard to mix, so a blender is best. Adjust seasonings if desired, although I didn't alter it one bit. This does not need to be heated up or is recommended, as it would probably get too thick or form skins. If you store yours in the fridge, it will thicken some and you just need to stir it through and let it come back to room temperature. Add in any extras you like such as jalapenos or chili powder to make it spicy or for a more nacho cheese flavor!


*nut-free, oil-free, dairy-free, soy-free, flour-free, gluten-free

*Nutrition per hefty 1/2 cup serving: 197.7 calories, 8.6 g fat, 14.6 g protein, 16.4 carbs


  1. I will be making this for our holiday weekend! Sounds delic!
      Yay! Let me know, please, how it turns out Kelly! Thanks!
    • I have made this 4 times. Tge first two I knew something was off and it was old tahini. I'm addicted and just out this on a lot of popcorn !!!!
        On popcorn, that's genious Bridget!!! Thanks so much, so glad you are addicted to it! And yes, old tahini or any nut/seed butter for that matter will leave things very bitter, so glad you got a better tahini :)
  2. Pass the chips, pleeeasseee!
      Chips, chips, chips!
  3. Oh wow! Adding this to my must-try list! Gorgeous photos, lady! And an amazing recipe, as always :) I'll try it ASAP and let you know how much I love it!
      Thank you so much Courtney!! Yay! Can't wait to hear what you think! You so rock for making so many of my recipes, thanks so much!
  4. You're a genius, Brandi! I'm so, so excited to try this! :D
      Aww thanks Meredith, I'm dying to know your thoughts on it! It's a good one!
  5. Looks and sounds fantastic!!
      Thank you Richa!
  6. Yum! Love having dips around even for a snack. This looks like a winner! Who would have thought those ingredients would come together so well
      Yeah-it really does taste like the stuff I used to buy at the store, for real...a cross between my mom's queso and cheez whiz!
  7. Wonderful cheesy sauce. Love how you can take just about anything make a vegan healthful version.
      Thanks Suzanne! It won over my hubby so it's a big deal, haha!
  8. Hi Brandi! Thanks for the note on the email subscription! I am all signed up! and so happy to see you are on Instagram too now!! OK, oh my goodness. . this "cheese" sauce looks amazing!!! and I need to look for that sprouted sesame tahini!!! this almost looks like a thinner hummus consistency. . LOVE!!!
      Yay! Thank you so much Alice!
  9. What a great name - Gee Whiz! That dip sauce looks and sounds appetizing, and yes, I prefer it spicier! I just got a Vitamix for my early birthday present (not even a month away), I want to make some dip sauces soon!
      Thank you Rika! Yeah-I was SO bummed when I just realized yesterday that somebody had already thought of that name for vegan cheese! Grrr....hahaha, oh well, at least my recipe is entirely different. It is super delicious and yes, can be made spicy, smokey, whatever you like :)
  10. Your creativity with vegan food always amazes me, this dip looks incredible :D Cheers Choc Chip Uru
      Thank you so much Uru! You are so kind!
  11. I just made your Gee Whiz! OMG it is so good! It really does taste like Cheese Whiz, but this is so much more healthier for you! I just recently found you, and have made the raw cinnamon cheesecake twice and that is wonderful, too! Keep the great recipes coming!
      That is so awesome Gale!! Thank you so much for letting me know AND tagging me on instagram! I love getting feedback :)
  12. STRAIGHT UP GENIUSSSSS!!!! And I am obsessed with tomato paste, I eat it out of the can with a spoon! ;)
      Awww thank you Gigi!! I'm pleased with how it turned out, no wait, I'm thrilled and loving the feedback from others on it too!
  13. I encourage everyone to stop what they are doing & go make this right now. It's much more than a dip. I've never been a fan of queso personally - it always freaked me out. But I LOVE brewers yeast & cheesy creamy textures. The texture of this Gee Whiz is perfection. It is super smooth & thick. After tasting it, I was immediately inspired to treat this more like a thick sauce. It will be absolutely PERFECT with quinoa pasta - like an elegant Mac-N-Cheese. Or over steamed veggies - broccoli? I added a few pinches of red pepper flakes & am going to let it rest in the fridge & make it into an adult macaroni & cheese later on. I might slightly overestimate on the garlic next time if I'm using this for pasta (using your garlic ranch-potato logic from your potato salad recipe!). This may be my new favorite recipe of yours - and that's saying a lot.
      You are so awesome Jennille! Thank you so very much for the awesome feedback! I agree on the variations too, I actually have a couple of recipes coming up using this yummy cheese sauce. Thanks again so much. So glad you loved it!
  14. This tasted absolutely fantastic, I have been looking for a good substitute to nacho cheese. This totally fills the void in my heart. lol
      Awesome Kelly! Thank you so much for the feedback and glad it filled your void, haha :)
  15. Wow, I must try this! I've never seen raw tahini before, but I'll be on the lookout. I would have no self control around healthy cheese whiz!
      Thanks Natasha! It really is one of the secret ingredients to this yummy stuff! I would think Whole Foods would carry raw, if not, you can always order it. I order mine at the link I provide in the recipe. I order from them monthly because it is SO GOOD :)
  16. [...] sold from Rawguru. It is so incredibly smooth and silky, and is also the tahini I used to make my 5 Minute Gee Whiz. By the way, thanks for all the awesome feedback you guys have left who have made the Gee Whiz, so [...]
  17. My husband and I had the privilege of being two of the taste testers for this recipe. We are neither vegan or dairy free and we both thought this cheese sauce was amazing! I am a cheese lover so I was interested to taste Brandi's Gee Whiz to find out how it compared to my favorite daily snack. Let me tell you, this recipe is delicious! It is creamy and has the same depth of flavor that I love in a cheese sauce. I added a little picante and used it as a dip for my tortilla chips for a delicious mid-day snack.
      Thank you so much Monica for being my family of non-vegan taste testers...which is necessary for me in testing my recipes! I'm super thrilled you all loved it so much and adding picante sauce to it sounds divine! Thanks again for your lending your tastebuds! :)
  18. [...] that amazing 5 Minute Gee Whiz sauce I posted last week? I promised a delicious recipe coming featuring it. Here it is, the classic [...]
  19. I've made other vegan cheese sauces before....and this one by far is the BEST! It looks like queso, has a smooth texture like queso....but most tastes like queso. Incredible!
      Woohoo!! That's awesome to hear! Thanks so much for the feedback Kacy! :)
  20. This cheese sauce is so good I cannot believe that it is a vegan dish. I am not a committed vegan myself, but with recipes such as this one I may do it! So simple to prepare, it tastes great and there is nothing unhealthy about it. What's not to like? Most people eat what tastes good to them, period. And if it's good for you too? Go for it!
      Thank you so much for leaving feedback Dad, I'm so glad you liked it so much!!
  21. This sauce is so good! Thank you for sharing your amazing recipes. After we ate some cheese sauce.. I made the rest into a spinach dip. Added spinach, diced can green Chile and, diced onion. It was so good!
      Thank you so much for the feedback! I'm so glad you enjoyed it so much!
  22. How happy am I to find a nut-free cheese! Can't wait to try!
      I hope you enjoy it Jessica! Let me know when you try it!
  23. This looks amazing! I can't wait to try it.
      Thank you so much Lauren! Let me know when you do!
  24. I made the gee whiz tonight and put it on my nachos and let me tell you..... It is fabulous!! I am not a fan of nutritional yeast but this recipe had the perfect amount where it wasn't overwhelming!!! Being vegan the hardest thing to leave behind was cheese but not anymore!!! Make this recipe, you won't be disappointed. Promise!!! Jenn
      Wow, I'm so happy to hear this! Thank you so much for the awesome feedback and for sharing your photo of nachos on Facebook as well, YUM!
  25. [...] This inventive vegan version of cheez whiz is easy to throw together and clean to boot! Grab it here. [...]
  26. [...] This inventive vegan version of cheez whiz is easy to throw together and clean to boot! Grab it here. [...]
  27. [...] 5 Minute Gee Whiz [...]
  28. This was a hit at my BBQ. Everyone enjoyed, even the kiddos! Great work Vegan 8!
      Thank you so much for the feedback, I'm so glad to hear that! :)
  29. Where can I find tahini? I looked all over Wal-Mart (I know, not the best place but I wanted this in the middle of the night!) But it was nowhere to be found. I don't even know what aisle it would possibly be in let alone what store to find Wal-Mart didn't have nutritional yeast. The workers had never even heard of it :/
      Hi Felicia! Unfortunately, Walmart doesn't carry certain ingredients and I know for a fact, they are one of the only grocery stores that doesn't carry nutritional yeast. I'm not sure where you are located, but any Kroger's, HEB or Whole Foods carries nutritional yeast. They are typically carried in the bulk section or in the health food section. Lastly, you can always order nutritional yeast online through amazon. As far as tahini, same thing, you can find raw tahini at Whole Foods and several local grocery stores these days. Just look down the isles where nut butters/condiments usually are.... they all carry versions. Hope that helps!
  30. [...] 5 Minute Gee Whiz   You have to have a nacho cheesy dip too, it’s a must. And one that takes just 5 minutes? Yeah! [...]
  31. Thank you thank you thank you, Brandi!!! I just made this to put on my lentil tacos and I was totally wowed! I can envision putting this on just about anything... I love it so much I may bathe in it! Ha! But seriously, I've tried a lot of the vegan "cheese" sauce recipes & have always wound up a bit disappointed... So, thank you again... this is a game changer!
      Yay!! Thank you Kristin! I'm so happy to hear you loved it so much!! We love it too and the fact that it's no cook and takes 5 mins makes it even better!
  32. Stumbled across this website this afternoon while at work. I cannot wait to go home in a hour and give this a try. We became vegan 4 months ago and my youngest is missing queso in a big way. I have tried several other versions using cashews, soy milk, etc and all have been gross. I'll come back after it's made and let you know what we think....good or bad....
      Oh no you have me nervous, hahaha! Well, the recipe has been a huge hit with readers, so I hope you enjoy it as well! Fingers crossed!
      • Didn't mean to make you nervous, I was just super excited to find this. So .... Yes I made it. I will be honest and say I didn't care for it BUT I think it was my tahini. It's a jar I bought at a Mediterranean grocery story and I use it in hummus. I think it was too strong for this recipe. I will try again with a raw tahini and use less. I don't care for tahini by itself so that plays a factor, but in recipes I don't mind. Unfortunately the dip tasted like cheesy nut butter...not a flavor that is appetizing. When I try again I'll come back and reply again.
          Haha! I was just kidding about that :) Sorry to hear that! Yes, I would definitely suggest trying a different tahini as it TOTALLY makes a difference. I only use raw tahini that I order from It has a VERY mild taste, where I have found most tahinis are so strong and overpowering. However, I think if you just decreased the amount of tahini to probably just 2 tablespoons, that would make it less strong tasting for you. Let me know if you try that, because all other readers have had great success and I want you to, as well. Thanks for trying it! :)
  33. So glad i came across this. I am definitely going to try it! I have a question, could this be used as a sauce for macaroni and cheese?? I tried a recipe that called for cashews, not realizing that cashews are tree nuts (i dont normally eat them) I had a horrible allergic reaction to it. It was actually a pretty good recipe though, but my family is new to vegan life. I'm always looking for inspiration from others, but I do plan to give your recipe a try though..
      Hi Krystal! I think it would be okay for a mac -n- cheese, but you will definitely need to thin it out some with some plant milk, as it is fairly thick and a strong taste, since it's supposed to resemble a dip. I would recommend maybe adding some plant milk and some lemon juice and taste it and then pour it over some pasta and I think that would be delicious! Let me know how it turns out!!
  34. I just made this to make "mac n cheese". Holy crap this was delicious! Definitely going to make again and it was so easy :)
      Yay!! Thank you so much for letting me know!! So happy to hear this worked as mac 'n' cheese too! Thank you for the feedback!
  35. I stumbled across this through Pinterest! I have never in my life used nutritional yeast (always wanted to, never did, though!), so thought this would be a nice first recipe since I have been missing cheese dip.. So delicious! Thank you so much for this recipe!
      Wonderful Nicole! I'm so happy to hear you loved this cheese so much! Thank you so much for making it and leaving me feedback!
  36. Made this and it was amazing ! I`m obsessed with smoked paprika so i bet it will put it over the moon. I will drizzle it over broccoli, rice and bean bowls, nachos, pretzels, in wraps and over every bite that passes my lips ! Tofu scramble tacos, crispy vegan tacos, ......if i drop some on my cat, i may even eat her too ! No wait, I`m vegan. Thank you times a million , this is heaven. :)
      Omg, I laughed sooo hard at this feedback!! Haha! So glad you loved it so much and thank you very much for leaving your feedback, I just loved it!
  37. Hi, I was just telling someone the other night that I miss cheese whiz. so for someone who is new to being vegan I'm very excited to try this. I have never had nutritional yeast before. I just looked online and it looks like it comes in flakes, is this the appropriate packaging I want? Thank you
      Hi Debra! This is a little different of course than the traditional cheez whiz, but it certainly fits the bill for a yummy cheesy dip. It's great on nachos and tacos, etc. Yes, I'd use the flakes and if you've never had it before, the taste can be a little different at first. So, I would just start out with the 1/4 cup and add as much as you like!
  38. Excellent!
      So glad you enjoyed it, thank you!
  39. Oh. My. Lord. Just made, eating now. I'm still extricating myself from cheese dependence, and honestly...this will help, no question. Better than Cheez Whiz...and I used to love Cheez Whiz. I added 4 drops of liquid smoke, just for fun. Delicious. Only one vexing issue: after tasting, I was ready to cry over what was left naturally in the blender. Did the best I could with my finger at the very end...too precious to see even a tiny smear wasted. :) I just found your blog and I love it. You make going vegan MUCH less intimidating.
      Yay! I'm so happy to hear you loved this so much! Thank you so much for such wonderful feedback and your kind words!
  40. Thank you very much for the inspiration! We haven't any tahini because we are doing Esselstyn's process, so I used 2 tbs PB2 plus more generous with water, 2 tbs of balsamic to counter peanut taste, much more garlic -a dessert spoon, a cup of nutritional yeast (we eat a lot of it) a teaspoon of Mrs Dash and 1/2 tsp of Nosalt. (Same amounts of tom paste and onion powder as your recipe). We had some lavash wraps that I cut into strips and baked in the was all delicious. I haven't tried making a dip quite like this so it will definitely be repeated! My husband says we could work on the flavors a little, definitely successful.
      Oh wow, pb2 and a whole cup of nutritional yeast, haha! That is unexpected and must taste a lot different than my version but glad you made it work!
  41. Hi. This looks really good! I am a bit concerned about using tahini because every recipe I have used it in wasn't good and turned out really bitter. If I can't find the brand you recommend is there any other brand you would suggest? I hate to buy a bottle and waste it. Thanks!
      Hi Cari! I would just use cashew butter then! That will work out even better! You can have cashews, correct?
  42. I couldn't find dark red wine balsamic vinegar anywhere 😪
      Use this recipe instead, it is my most popular and all I use now. No balsamic vinegar needed.
  43. Holy moly, this was awesome! I served it over vegan nachos, even my husband did a double-take when he tasted it! I used sherry vinegar as that was all I had on hand and it was still good, also added a pinch of turmeric powder for color. Thank you for this recipe!
      Yay! That makes me so happy to hear Linda, thank you for the review!
  44. Hi Brandi! I'm so excited to make this and while I feel a little silly asking as no one else did before me.. where it says 'dark red wine balsamic vinegar' you left out 'or' correct? Which do you recommend over the other as I have both, they seem to have such different flavors to me. Thanks so much!!! 💙
      Hi Stephanie! No, that just means that it is a dark balsamic vinegar made from red wine. Sorry for the confusion! Just use a good dark balsamic vinegar. It works much better than apple cider, for example. Also, this is a super old recipe, and while I like it. I don't like it as much a my newer cheese sauces. This one is better and much easier too. Obviously, you can make both but I thought I'd just mention it!
  45. WOW!! This is so delicious!! I used cashew butter and it is seriously phenomenal 😋💜 thank you so much for such an easy and yummy recipe. I can't wait to try your Mexican cheese sauce too! I'll take a pretty picture and tag you on IG soon, thanks again!!
      Thank you so much Stephanie!! So very happy you loved it so much!!
  46. This sauce is nothing short of AMAZING!! Super fast to put together and just perfect in a meatless crumble borito with black beans, avocado and green onion. This is for sure a staple in my house now!! Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for a while for the perfect cheese sauce. Search happily over!!! 😋
      Yay! Thank you so much Brenda for this amazing review! So happy you enjoyed it so much!

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