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Bowl of cashew cheese sauce with two tortilla chips dug into the side and 2 slices of jalapeno.

Nacho Cashew Cheese Sauce

  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups sauce 1x
  • Category: Condiments
  • Method: Blending
  • Cuisine: American


This nacho cashew cheese sauce is velvety smooth and full of rich umami flavor that you will want to put on everything.


  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 4 oz can of green chilies
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapenos
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened plant based milk, I used almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste


  1. Place your cashews in a bowl and cover with water for at least 6-8 hours or overnight before using. For a short cut, cover the raw cashews with boiling water for 20-30 minutes to soften them.
  2. Discard the water of the cashews and place in a high speed blender cup along with the remaining ingredients. Blend all the ingredients on high, scraping down the sides as needed until the sauce is velvety smooth.
  3. Because of the nature of the sauce ingredients, I recommend tasting the sauce after blending and seeing if you need more salt. Add small amounts at time then blend and taste again until the sauce is how you like it. You may need between 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp salt, but I always start out with less and add more based on my preference.


For a nut-free version replace the cashews for pepitas or sunflower seeds and the plant-based milk with a nut-free option like soy milk.

Storing leftover sauce. Pour the sauce into an airtight container and place in the fridge for up to 7 days.

You can freeze leftover sauce. Make sure when storing that you place it in a freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge then mix really well before using. You may lose some taste, but I just recommend adding a little salt to help bring it back to life.

Keywords: cashew cheese sauce, nacho cashew cheese sauce