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Spoonful of shell pasta mixed with white cheese sauce over a bowl of pasta

Sharp White Cheese Sauce

Magic happens when whole foods come together to create this ultra sharp, ultra rich, ultra creamy vegan white cheese sauce, but without the actual dairy. Pure addiction in every bite!
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 7
Calories 93kcal
Author Sophia DeSantis


  • 2 cups cooked potato (about 3-4 potatoes, see note)
  • 2 tablespoons cooked yellow pepper (about 1/3 of a medium sized pepper)
  • 3 tablespoons cooked yellow carrots (about 4-5 yellow baby carrots or one medium sized)
  • 5 tablespoons cooked sweet or yellow onion (about 1/2 a small)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon roasted garlic (about 2-4 cloves, depending on size)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons mustard seed powder (use less or more according to how sharp you like the flavor)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons chickpea miso
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (can use less or more depending on taste preference)
  • Your favorite pasta if making Mac and Cheese


  • Roast the garlic by peeling and wrapping it in tin foil with a splash of veggie broth. Roast at 400 F (205 C), in a regular or toaster oven, while you cook the veggies.
  • Put potatoes (peel if you don't want specks of skin), yellow pepper, carrots, onion and cashews in a pot and cover with water. If you don't have a high speed blender and are grinding the cashews, then don't boil but grind them dry and place them in the blender.
  • Cook over high heat until water boils, about 15 minutes if uncovered. Turn heat to medium and boil another 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
  • When done, drain water (keeping some to thin out sauce if prefer a thinner sauce), separate veggies and put the cashews in the blender. I use a fork to fish out the veggies, then drain the cashews over a pasta strainer.
  • Measure out the needed amount of each veggie and place each in the blender. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Blend on high until you get a creamy gooey consistency. If you have a tamper tool use it to help mix the sauce as it blends. If you don’t have one, then you will need to stop and push down the ingredients every once in a while.
  • Taste and adjust ground mustard seed for a sharper flavor if desired.
  • If you want to thin it out, add some of the reserved cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency. Use it while it's nice and hot!

To use this sauce for a sharp flavored white Mac and Cheese:

  • Cook your pasta according to package directions.
  • Drain pasta reserving about 1 cup pasta water in case you want your mac and cheese a little thinner.
  • Add the pasta back into the pot and add desired amount of cheese sauce. Mix well. Try and add a touch more salt if needed.
  • Then add pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well in between additions, until you get the desired consistency for your Mac and Cheese. If your pasta is too starchy (as some gluten free pastas are) you can also use regular water or even non dairy milk to do this. Add salt if needed, it most likely will since the sauce is no longer as concentrated. Devour!


  • Makes 3 1/2 cups sauce. Serving size for nutrition info is 1/2 cup.
  • Nutrition info is for cheese sauce only.
  • I used red potatoes but any starchy potato will work, just don’t use sweet. It also won't work to substitute with something that is not an actual potato (such as another root vegetable). 
  • If you are not using a high speed blender, you can grind the dry cashews into a fine powder using a coffee grinder (do not boil them for this method). You can also soak them overnight prior to boiling with the veggies.
  • You can make this nut free by eliminating the nuts, however you will lose some of the thickness and creaminess. It will still be pretty good in taste, but just lacking some of those elements. You can also try subbing with another nut if you are allergic to cashews, I suggest walnuts or macadamias, however the flavor will be different. I did try it with multiple nuts and liked the taste of the cashews best.
  • If you don’t have chickpea miso, you can try using a white miso although it will be a little more mild in flavor so you may need more, especially if you want it nice and sharp tasting.
  • I did not add any liquid to this when I made it, but depending on what you use it for, you may want to thin it out with some water, water from the boiled veggies or pasta water if making mac and cheese.
  • You can reheat this in the microwave or in a pot with a splash of nondairy milk (I use cashew) and mix well. Add splashes of milk and mix until you have the right consistency. It may need more salt depending on how much milk you add.
  • You can also freeze leftovers in a freezer safe container as it freezes great. Defrost slowly when ready to eat. You may think it didn't freeze well, but as you heat it up the consistency comes back!
Tips to prep ahead:
  • Cook the veggies and roast the garlic. Store in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to use.
Baby/toddler food idea:
  • This can be mixed into any baby food or be used for a toddler as a dip. You could also just blend the veggies on their own for baby.
  • Cut the sharpness by reducing the mustard for younger kids.


Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 494mg | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1075IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg