Vegan Nacho Cheese Recipe from Guy’s Grocery Games!

I’m so excited to share with you my Guy’s Grocery Games winning recipe for vegan nacho cheese! Using a couple simple vegetables, cashews and nutritional yeast, you’ll create a creamy, spicy sauce perfect for game day!

Cayla Atha Guys Grocery Games Winner

WOW did I have the absolute best time competing on Guy’s Grocery Games twice during their “food fanatics” (aka home chefs!) championship! One of the most requested recipes from my two episodes is my vegan cheese sauce — which Rocco DiSpirito called “the best he’s ever had”!!!!! I mean, he knocked my socks off with that compliment. But it really is that damn good!

I know what you’re thinking… HOW could vegan, non dairy cheese taste as good as the real creamy thing?! There’s no way! I promise you, this blend of veggies, cashews, nutritional yeast and spices transforms into the most insanely delicious, creamy, gooey cheese sauce that you could fool even the most anti-vegan palate with 🙂

Not only can you use this cheese sauce for nachos, but it makes for an absurdly good vegan mac and cheese. Just tone down the cayenne and voila! You have a vegan mac and cheese that you can feel good about inhaling!

Here’s how you’ll make Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring a pot of water to a boil then add carrots and potato. Boil until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, soak 1 cup of raw cashews in hot water.
  3. In a blender, add boiled veggies, soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice and seasonings.
  4. Blend until smooth!

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! Be sure to explore other dairy free recipes here on the blog or on my Instagram @thesavvyspoon!

Thank you for being an amazing reader of The Savvy Spoon! If you loved this post, I would so appreciate you rating it below and/or leaving a comment! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more recipes, twin mom and healthy lifestyle content!

Vegan Nacho Cheese from Guy’s Grocery Games

Using a couple simple vegetables, cashews and nutritional yeast, you'll create a creamy, spicy sauce perfect for game day!
4.40 from 46 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Sauce, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups


  • 2 carrots peeled and cut into thirds
  • 1 small yukon gold potato quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup reserved boiling water


  • Place cashews in a bowl and cover them with hot water to soak. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, add carrot & potato and bring to a boil. Let cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Once vegetables have tenderized, use a slotted spoon to add them to the bowl of a blender. Add minced garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, cayenne, salt, pepper and 1 cup of the water used to boil the vegetables. Drain the cashews from their bowl and add them to the blender.
  • Place kitchen towel over blender top and hold down while blending until smooth and creamy. Taste for seasonings, adjusting salt if needed. Enjoy immediately.
Keyword cheese, nachos, non dairy, sauce, snack, vegan
Tried this recipe?Share with others how it was!


  1. Was wondering if this cheese sauce would be good mixed with elbow pasta to make Mac n cheese??

    1. absolutely!! I use the very same recipe in this vegan mac & cheese recipe here:

  2. It looked like you used a can on Planters Cashews on the show. Is that the same as raw cashews?

    1. Hi Cindy! I might have used salted cashews on the show because that’s what I could find quickly! This recipe has the addition of kosher salt instead. Hope this helps!

  3. Hi Cayla,
    I just saw you on the show, found your site and realized I’ve been following you for a while 🙂
    I’m currently on the GAPS diet and can’t have potatoes. As far as I was able to tell in the show, it looked like you only used carrots? Will this work without the potato? It looks so good!!

    1. Hi Megan! Thank you for reaching out! You’re right, I forgot to use potato on the show (that’s the pressure for ya!) but it turned out great because I ended up using extra cashews. I wish I had the ratios written down for the non-potato version but I would start by adding 1 1/2 cups of the soaked raw cashews and see if you like that consistency. Thanks so much for trying!

      1. Wow! This turned out amazing!! Thank you so much for the fast reply, I made it the next night and it was a hit all around!
        Going “GAPS” with it, I fermented the cashews in salt water for 6 hours, used 1.5c and omitted the potato. Blended in my bosch mixer blender and added about a tablespoon of red miso to the recipe. I’ll be making this A LOT!!

        1. AMAZING! I’m so happy you enjoyed!!

  4. Good morning. I was trying to find the entire recipe you used on the show.

    1. Hi Nick! For the nachos on the show, I simply cooked some ground beef with bacon (that’s how it was packaged) and drained it before layering on the corn chips. Then I added the cheese sauce, then topped with the avocado mash — just avocados, chopped jalapeno and salt/pepper!

  5. 5 stars
    Recently went non-dairy and this is my first cheesy replacement attempt. What a truly delightful surprise! I had no potatoes, so doubled carrots and kept the rest the same. Nice viscosity, smooth texture and yummy flavor. Definitely going to use some for Mac and cheese. Thanks so much for this fabulous recipe. I’m looking forward to more.

    1. Thank you so much, Debby!! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe! I use it for Mac and Cheese all the time — it’s addicting!

  6. I’m so excited to try this recipe. I just watched the show and immediately searched for the recipe.

    1. You’re the sweetest!! Can’t wait to hear what you think!! xx

  7. 3 stars
    I was excited when I watched the responses to this vegan nacho cheese recipe on the show. However, I can only guess my taste buds don’t register the same flavors, as all I got out of this was the cayenne….there was no “there” there of any flavor at all. I was so disappointed! If nobody cares, or their taste buds are different than mine, it is a sauce that can be put over nachos and has a bit of kick….

  8. 5 stars
    I used my food processor bc my blender isn’t all that powerful. The texture of the “cheese” was grainy. Why is that?

    1. It sounds like maybe the cashews didn’t soak in hot water long enough! I’m sorry you had that experience. How was the flavor?

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