Preparing a Vegan Cheese Sauce

The vegan cheese sauce is the ideal way to show off culinary talent using a combination of ingredients that can be adjusted to suit tastes. Most vegan cheese sauces are used to flavour other vegetables but they are also great when thick enough as vegan dips for nachos or as a sauce base for pizzas and for lasagnes including non-vegetarian types.

Unlike the vegan white sauces, there seems to be a great variety of vegan cheese sauce recipes out there. The first recipe is a development from the vegan white sauce that preferably uses olive oil. We will include a second recipe that relies on coconut milk as an alternative with different types of flour.

The ‘cheese’ flavour comes mainly from nutritional yeast flakes. It is an absolute requirement and the amount to use is very much down to taste. The amount here is used in proportion to the size of the sauce volume. I found using at least one of the optional three spices helps to bring out the umami flavour of the yeast.  The paprika should not be over used otherwise it becomes a chilli cheese sauce.

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Vegan Cheese Sauce Based on Soy Milk and Olive Oil

Preparation time: 8 minutes; Cooking time: 15 minutes; Total time: 23 minutes. The amount is roughly  just under 500ml (approx. 2 cups).



  1. To a heavy bottomed saucepan, add oil.
  2. Heat oil on a medium setting so  that it is suitably hot for the flour to be added.
  3. Add flour in small portions and vigorously stir with a wooden spoon or whisk to form the roux. Do not allow to brown throughout cooking! Takes a couple of minutes.
  4. Add all the soy milk and continue to  stir vigorously. A whisk will also help. The sauce should begin to thicken. The whole process takes around 2 or 3 minutes.
  5. Allow the sauce to reach a gentle boil but then reduce to simmering heat and keep at this for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add more flour if there is a sense that it has not changed in consistency and if it is too thick, add a small amount of soy milk.
  7. Add the yeast flakes and just mix in thoroughly along with any of the other optional ingredients – a minute is enough.
  8. Take off the heat and add any salt and pepper – taste to check. Add more yeast flakes if the flavour is not developed enough. This sauce can be reheated if it needs another round of adjustment.
  9. The sauce will thicken with cooling.
  10. Use immediately or as a base for other dishes.
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1 Comment

  1. I prefer the dairy version of this sauce. It has a very different flavour to proper cheese. Is it the soy that’s the issue here? I noticed none of the comments on the vegan sites ever say what is properly wrong with some of the recipes. Just not transparent enough.

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