Quick & Dirty 5-Ingredient Vegan Cheeze Sauce & Recipe Challenge



One of the things that has surprised me the most with vegan cuisine is how I’m able to create similar flavours and textures that I used to enjoy while eating animal products. The goal, for me, is not to aim for the vegan dish to taste exactly the same, but to try to bring out something about the non-vegan dish that I really enjoyed, like a rich sauce or a thick chocolaty pudding. This doesn’t apply to all foods however, I have no desire to create a dish that has the texture of meat because I just don’t crave that texture or taste anymore. It really just depends on the food!


[Butternut Squash Mac n Cheeze: Two Ways]

One of the things I’ve always loved about Mac ‘n Cheese is that it’s comforting and creamy. When I make a vegan version of Mac ‘n Cheese, I’m not trying to create a carbon copy, but a dish that gives me that same type of comforting feeling when I eat it.


Over the past couple years, I’ve found that I can create dishes that satisfy my cravings without having to sacrifice. I crave the new dishes that I make, instead of the dishes I used to eat. Now that I’m used to this lifestyle I rarely feel like I’m missing out. The only time I feel left out is when I am eating at a non-vegan friendly restaurant, otherwise I have so many choices the hardest part is trying to decide what I will eat!


One thing I don’t always enjoy about vegan cooking and baking is the often long ingredient list that is required to make some recipes. The recipes tend to involve more creativity, more spices & seasonings, and other ingredients to achieve that outcome that I’m looking for. It’s not necessarily a bad thing per say, but sometimes I just want a quick and dirty recipe that I know I can whip up within a minute’s notice.

This 5-ingredient cheeze sauce is one of those quick and dirty recipes that I know I will keep coming back to again and again! It’s hands down the easiest cheeze sauce I’ve made and it doesn’t require a food processor or other special kitchen tool. Just a stove top and a whisk…gotta love that!



Just 5 ingredients and just as delicious as the other sauces I’ve made!


I first made this sauce a couple weeks ago and we’ve been enjoying it a lot! I’ve poured it into pasta, on vegetables, sandwiches, etc. It’s so silky and delicious, you really have to try this. You could also get creative and add some herbs or spices to it to change it up quite easily.

Yesterday, I also made a fantastic lunch with it…


more on that recipe tomorrow!


The Quick & Dirty 7-Ingredient or Less Challenge

Speaking of short ingredient lists, I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to create more vegan recipes with as few ingredients as possible. Quick & Dirty recipes if you will!

My goal is to create more recipes with 7 ingredients or less that don’t require a lot of time or even special kitchen tools. It’s going to be tough, but I’m really excited for the challenge!

I’m curious, what’s your biggest cooking or baking hurdle? Long ingredient lists, hard to find ingredients, special kitchen tools, not enough time?

Leave me a comment below if you have any recipes in mind that you’d like ‘condensed’…no pun intended!

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{ 249 comments… read them below or add one }

Lexi @ A Spoonful of Sunshine August 19, 2011

Expensive ingredients!!

I love chia seeds, nutritional yeast, larabars, etc, but they can pretty unfriendly to the ‘ole wallet. Worth it, but still :)


michelle August 19, 2011

I’m making this sauce tonight! I tend to shy away from recipes that have too many steps. I know lasagna is easy to make but I find it a pain in the butt.


Jen August 20, 2011

My trouble spot always comes with asian dishes – LOVE them, but so many steps!


julie August 20, 2011

I just made this and I AM DYING! this is better than even IKEA mac and cheese!
I used:
-arrowroot for the flour
-powdered soy milk and water for the milk (i think gave even more creamy consistency)
-olive oil for the earth balance
-and smothered some gluten free pasta with it!
Turned out incredibly and so easy! I’ll definitely be making this again soon!


Sydney August 20, 2011

I just made this and its the best cheezy sauce I’ve had yet, thank you thank you thank you!


brenda ware jones August 21, 2011

Utterly divine. Thank you!


Sarah August 21, 2011

OH.MY.GOODNESS. SO amazing!!! I am seriously spooning it out of the pot!


Angela (Oh She Glows) August 21, 2011

haha I did too! :)


Jess August 22, 2011

Your 5 ingredient sauce was amazing! I made it for Mac and Cheese today and my 3 year old had two bowls!!! LOVED IT! Thank you for not only sharing amazing recipes, but also easy and super yummy recipes!!


Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) August 24, 2011

I am so glad you posted this quick and easy cheeze sauce recipe. I have been looking for easy recipes to make when I am busy with full-time work and school this fall, and this has just been added to the list :-)


Gypsy August 29, 2011

I finally bought nutritional yeast and am ready to make that cheeze sauce!! :)


Max@flavortogofast September 1, 2011

tempting to try with coconut flour…


Alex S September 3, 2011

My biggest cooking/baking hurdle is kind of tied between not knowing how. I can read a recipe but sometimes I can’t follow it because I’ve never really learned to cook so I don’t know what a lot of the words mean (and if I ask my sister what more than four or so means she takes over and does it for me).
That’s tied with hard to find ingredients. Except my hard to find ingredients are not so hard to find for a lot of people. I live in a small town that is really tough on vegetarians, let alone vegans. We have small health food store that sells some of the stuff (but only in really small amounts, like they seriously only seem to get Vegannaise in three jars a time) and the international aisle at the local Walmart that has stuff like miso but other than that you’re mostly out of luck. Actually there is a Trader Joes in another town near here. Near, that is, if you define near as two and half hours by highway away.


KT @ VegBergers September 7, 2011

I finally made this sauce, and paired it with macaroni noodles (garnished with fresh ground pepper, paprika, and the last of my summer tomatoes on top) !! It was so delicious. Vegan mac and cheese is my favorite comfort food, and having this easy go-to sauce means I will be eating it all the time now! Thank you so much!


Kathryn October 10, 2011

I made this sauce for the first time last night and used it with penne rice noodles, steamed collards, sauteed onion and smoked tempeh all put into a bowl with the cheeze sauce on top. FANTASTIC!! The BF loved it. I’ll be making it A LOT in the future!


Fiona May 13, 2012

This recipe rocks! I added 1/4 tsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and put it over black beans and diced zucchini and red pepper. Repeat worthy! Thank you!


Hannah June 24, 2012

I can’t wait to make this! i only have sweetened almond milk so I hope it turns out alright! :D


Hannah June 24, 2012

I didn’t have onion or garlic powder to hand so used a veg stock cube instead, came out perfect!!! Thanks so much! So quick and easy! :)


Becca C July 4, 2012

Hi! Do you think soy milk would work in place of the almond milk? I have nut allergies.


Angela (Oh She Glows) July 4, 2012

I cant see why not :)


Becca C July 11, 2012

The Soy milk was a success. This sauce is really yummy!


Sheena August 13, 2012

I am gonna make this in a few weeks. I have not made any sauce with cashews and was dread the idea of doing it. I want something easy and this sounds perfect. I am new to vegan so I am looking stuff up like crazy. If the didn’t have vegan dairy stuff i am not sure what i would have done.


Sheena August 15, 2012

Can I make this in the mirowave or do I have to do it in a pot on the stove? I bought all the stuff today and am gona make it either way I was just wondering and I am excited thats its simple and no food processer and I plan on putting it on spagetti squash. Please get back to me soon. I will then follow up with what I think after I eat it.


Tania September 11, 2012

Just made the ‘cheese’ sauce, used olive oil instead of the “butter” was really yummy. Thank you!


Natasha October 7, 2012

This sauce is delicious. My biggest cooking hurdle is not being able to find special ingredients. I live in South Africa in a smallish town. So some ingredients I can’t find at all and some I can only find in speciality shops in bigger towns. But there are more and more things available and more shops selling health food online.


Malorie October 17, 2012

MMMMMmmmmm!!! I just made this on a whim and it is delicious I am eating it right now on top of a huge bowl of white rice and broccoli! :)


Radhika Sarohia October 23, 2012

Yea this is awesome sauce, very cheezy!:)
Made it today for my low-carb vegan lunch dish (spaghetti squash masquerading as angel hair pasta hehe)


Annabelle October 30, 2012

Oh my god! This recipe is just amazing, truly delicious. I have one little question though… Would it work if I replace the butter by olive oil? Thanks!


Chelsea November 7, 2012

I replaced the almond milk and flour with almond milk yogurt and used this sauce for vegan scalloped potatoes. I’m pretty pleased with the result. Thanks for the recipe!


Mary November 12, 2012

Love the idea of the cheese sauce. I’m making the transition to vegan, not because of a philosophy, but because I’m a cancer survivor and want to eat a wholefood plant-based diet. Giving up meat and most dairy for wonderful vegetables, fruit, grains, etc….no problem, but cheese is really a hard one. I lived in the UK for 15 years and used to eat the full fat French cheese, some so strong, they would make your eyes water…ha, ha. So using things like this cheese sauce in dishes; also the vegan Parm cheese recipes look interesting, combining nutritional yeast with nuts in the food processor. I used to use a lot of Parm cheese. Any dieas?


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 12, 2012

Hi Mary, I just posted a almond parm recipe on a b’nut squash recipe. Here it is if you’d like to check it out: http://ohsheglows.com/2012/09/24/roasted-butternut-squash-with-kale-and-almond-pecan-parmesan/


Mary November 12, 2012

Thanks Angela. Sounds really great. I just happen to have most of these ingredients, so will try this tonight. Talk to you again soon.


Tim January 5, 2013

What is the shelf life of the cheese sauce. How long will it stay in the Fridge….can it be frozen for later?


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 5, 2013

it should last a few days in the fridge (make sure you whisk it well when reheating as it can clump). I dont know if it can be frozen. Goodluck!


Amy Brouillette January 23, 2013

This recipe is awesome, simple and cheap! The kitchen smells delicious when I make it. It is now a regular staple here: we use it on these nuggets (joythebaker.com/2012/10/broccoli-potato-nuggets/) and on pasta. I’ll have to try it on pizza too.


veganinthemiddleofnowhere February 2, 2013

Oh my goodness, this cheezy sauce is A-MAZ-ING! I modified the recipe some based on my likings and subbed extra virgin coconut oil for the Earth Balance. I added in some more garlic powder (I like garlic!), mild chili powder, a few dashes of low sodium soy sauce and a few sprinkles of smoked paprika. I made a double batch for a bake with green peas, salad savoy and brussels sprouts and it was yummy. Thanks for the great recipes all things vegan and all things cheezy!


Bri February 17, 2013

Love this! Just made gf vegan Mac and cheeze. I kindof improvised on the crunchy topping and baked it. Thanks!


Judy March 2, 2013

Hummmm tonight.. over cauliflower, or penne noodles..?? decisions, decisions.


SurlyCat March 29, 2013

This cheeze sauce has helped to curb my dairy cravings, and is so easy to make! Thank you for this recipe, it’s amazing. Bookmarked it for regular use.


Jenn May 17, 2013

So I just learned that I’m allergic to milk, eggs, wheat, and yeast. My absolute favorite meal has always been macaroni and cheese but with my newly found allergies, I cannot have this. I was so excited when I found that you could make an “uncheesy cheese” sauce but it seems that every recipe has yeast in it. Can you come up with a cheesy recipe with no cheese and no yeast? I would be forever grateful to get a version of my favorite meal!


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 18, 2013

Hi Jenn, Have you tried a cashew cheese sauce? They are quite cheesy tasting and you can often do without the nutritional yeast.


Macy May 21, 2013

This is really tasty and easy! The only thing is that both times I made it, it’s been very mustardy. I don’t know if the Dijon I’m using is really strong or if it’s supposed to be this way.


Sara June 4, 2013

Would arrowroot be ok instead of the flour?


Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2013

Hi Sara, Im sorry I didn’t have great results when using arrowroot (it was a bit slimy in texture), but feel free to try it out if you’d like!


Kate July 20, 2013

I am just getting back into a healthy lifestyle after having my little one (1 1/2 yrs ago). I was looking for a “mac n cheese” alternative. I didn’t expect to have a cheesy taste but at least that thick, warm dish that my LO may be enticed to eat (over the awful mac n cheese sold in stores)

…perhaps I bought bad nutritional yeast as this just wasn’t palatable & smelled bad. Is there a different with flakes ( It’s all they offered at our little, local health food store)?


Stephanie July 23, 2013

So a bechamel sauce done backwards making it needlessly complicated? It’s easier to incorporate flour to soy/almond milk when flour mixture is hot.

So let butter melt in pot. Add flour and whisk it into the butter letting it bubble for a minute. Then pour in the milk, whisking and letting it thicken. And then add the rest of the ingredients (the flavorings for the bechamel).


Sharol July 24, 2013

This was a go! I added taco seasoning to it was a delicious sauce for my nachos. Thanks and be blessed!


Vero August 1, 2013

I made this sauce today, and found it was FABULOUS. I do eat cheese, but lately have fallen in love with nutritional yeast. I decided to experiment more with nutritional yeast recipes and came across this one. The texture was great, and the flavor was perfect. I added some paprika, which was about all it needed. Thanks for putting the recipe up!


Spirit Wolf August 5, 2013

Hi. This comment is also about nutritional yeast. In my case, I not only don’t use it, I don’t even *try* to find it. This is because I am allergic to ALL yeasts, including nutritional yeast. I search a wide variet of online source including books offline and advice from friends via email and so on; and as a result, I cannot credit this to the proper source. But my search produced a wonderful substitute for nutritional yeast that I make right here at home in my own little kitchen: dehydrated carrot flakes. I slice up a whole bunch of carrots trying to keep the slices an uniform thickness (hit and miss at best!), dehydrate them, and when they are *completely* dry, I grind them into powder or flakes (both are fine with me) in my trusty Magic Bullet, bottle, and store them in the spice cupboard with the rest of my seasonings. So far I’ve used them in making an almond cheddar cheese recipe and am VERY satisfied with the results. It tastes great! Give it a try, and I hope you will have as much success with it as I have. :)


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