Dressings, Sauces + Dips

Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipe No Oil Vegan Cheese Dr Fuhrman 6 week Eat to Live plan menu recipe What the Health Dr Greger Daily Dozen No Soak Red Pepper Cheese Sauce Whole-Food Plant BasedCheese.

You’re going to miss it when you adopt Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live program.

Maybe you haven’t been able to go fully nutritarian because you think you can’t give it up.

It’s not your fault!   Because cheese is scientifically proven to be addictive.

It has large concentrations of an opiate called casein–it’s literally like a hit of morphine, giving a calming effect (meant for nursing infant cows).

So, next time you find yourself hovering around the cheese tray, just think of yourself fastened to a morphine drip.  Except, it’s also making you fatter.

Cheese is one of the absolute worse foods for our health.  It has ten times the saturated fat as meat.

It’s critical to stay away, folks.

So, what’s a cheese-avoiding- (but-missing-desperately-) nutritarian to do?  How about make an absolutely delicious plant-based cheese sauce instead?  Sound good?

I get it if you’re skeptical at first–I mean you are a cheese addict after all 🙂

Why don’t you check out this quick how-to video to get you jazzed up for all the cheese-sauce-goodness to come:

I hope you’re inspired to give this whole dairy-free-cheese-sauce-thing a try after that video!  Because this recipe is a serious game-changer when you’re just starting out in this lifestyle and something you’re going to want handy in your arsenal of hey!-this-actually-tastes-good nutritarian recipes!

Vegan Dairy Free Nacho Cheese Sauce Easy Vegan Meal Ideas Purple Potatoes Asparagus Dr Greger Dr McDougall Starch Solution High Carb Vegan Dr Goldhammer

Let’s Make All the Good Things Better

I’ve talked about this a lot before but it’s a point that begs to be re-emphasized at every turn:

Sauces and dressings will make or break your compliance to this lifestyle.

As a nutritarian we aim to eat 1 pound raw and 1 pound cooked veggies daily.  For the average person just starting out that going from likely very little veggie intake to a whole lot of veggies.  And to make that massively-good-for-you transition to a high-veg, high-nutrient lifestyle you have to have an arsenal of health-promoting sauces, dressings, dips and spreads.

That means condiments that don’t have refined oils, don’t have loads of added sodium and offer the flavor you need to eat BIG.

If you want to know the crowning jewel of nutritarian sauces in my life, it’s this cheese sauce right here.

Cashew-Cheese-Sauce-Ingredients-Dr Fuhrman Eat to Live program Recipe Vitamix Cheese Sauce7 Simple (and Unexpected) Ingredients

The simple ingredients above don’t look like they’re going to make anything even resembling cheese.  I know, I know…

Have a little faith.  I promise when you taste this sauce you’re going to be a plant-based-cheese-believer!

But let’s temper those cheese-spectations for a hot minute.

Because if you’re coming off a serious SAD (Standard American Diet) and used to having dairy cheese daily, this No-Soak Nutritarian Cheese Sauce isn’t going to hit those same buttons in your brain.

And that’s okay.

If it makes you mad to think of this as a “cheese” sauce, then just think of it as a really tasty “red pepper sauce” until you have so many cheese-less days stacked behind you that you really can love hard on what this cheese sauce (er, I mean red pepper sauce) brings to the table!

You’ll get there!

The Beauty of Not Having to Soak Your Nuts

This fact right here is what sets this vegan cheese sauce apart from others of its kind.  Because we don’t always have the time or the foresight to soak our cashews or almonds (yes, either can work in this recipe).  All you need to make this cheese sauce happen are a few pantry staples, some lemon juice and s few spices.

Vegan Nutritarian Recipe Blender No Oil No Soak Vegan Keto Cheese Sauce Dairy Free Nacho Cheese SauceYou’re going to need a high-speed blender.

It takes about 3 to 4 minutes of blending time, till the sauce is slightly heated and you can see light steam coming out of the top.  That’s the trade off for not pre-soaking your nuts–a longer blend time.

It ends up with this gorgeous bright orange color–from the roasted red peppers.  If you add more peppers, it gets more orange, and vice versa.

I happen to love the flavor from the roasted red peppers (I use these from Trader Joe’s), but if you’re not a fan, stick to the lower recommendation of 1/4th cup.

Simple Vegan Meal Bowl Ideas Dr Greger Daily Dozen How Not to Diet Whole Food Plant Based Cheese Sauce Oil Free Vegan Starch Solution Dr McDougall Chef AJ SOS-Free Vegan Meal Eat to LiveSome of the Infinite Ways to Love on This Nutritarian Cheese Sauce:


  • bean pasta (here are some of my favorite brands)
  • steamed colorful potatoes (learn more about potatoes here)
  • drizzled over steamed greens: kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, Brussels sprouts, chard (really any cooked veggie)
  • in this Cheesy Kale Casserole

And I can’t wait to learn all the ways you’re going to make this cheese sauce your own!

Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipe No Oil Vegan Cheese Dr Fuhrman 6 week Eat to Live plan menu recipe What the Health Dr Greger Daily Dozen No Soak Red Pepper Cheese Sauce Whole-Food Plant Based
4.9 from 19 votes

Nutritarian Cashew Cheese Sauce

Curb your cheese cravings while you're on Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live plan with this delicious plant-based, no oil, no-added-salt, vegan cheese sauce!

Course Sauce
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8 1/4 cup servings
Author Kristen Hong


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews or raw almonds (no soaking required)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


  1. Decide on your level of red peppers: Minimum recommendation is 1/4 cup. I personally like my sauce brighter with more red pepper flavor so I use 1/2 cup.  Make sure you drain and rinse the peppers well.

  2. Place all the ingredients in your high-speed blender and secure lid.  Make sure to use your hot soup lid that allows steam to escape.

  3. Start your blender and gradually (over 1 minute) increase the speed until you reach your highest setting. 

  4. Blend on high for another 2 to 3 minutes or until you see steam begin to rise in a steady stream out of the vent.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Makes just over 2 cups.

Stores for up to 10 days in a glass Mason jar in the fridge. 

There is no added salt in this cheese sauce.

There is salt in Trader Joe's roasted red peppers, so rinse the peppers well before adding.  If you can roast and skin your own peppers--all the better!

I can’t wait to hear what you think of this No-Soak Nutritarian Cheese Sauce recipe!  Please leave a rating and comment below!

xo, Kristen
Kristen Hong of Hello Nutritarian

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  • Christina Kis says:

    Thank you so much for doing this!

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Christina!

      So happy you liked the recipe and thank you for leaving a review1

      xo, Kristen

  • Shannon J says:

    Hello! I was just stumbling across your entire website and I preparing to start my nutritarian journey when I realized I had a couple questions. Are your recipes and prep adjusted for one person since you are the only person in your family following the lifestyle? If not, how can this be adjusted for a 1-2 person household. Also to follow-up on the 1-2 person household thing, will the recipes and prep still work with a Vitamix Standard (7 x 8.8 x 20in) blender? Thank you!

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Shannon!

      So lovely to meet you!

      My sample prep plan on The Eat to Live Food Prep Guide is for one person. This cheese recipe works for the week depending on what you’re using it for!

      If you want to prep for more people you can just double recipes–but most of them can serve two people–this would be if you wanted to batch cook for the week for 2 people.

      Any Vitamix will work–you just want to get those creamy sauces and smoothies!

      My best advice for batch prepping is to give it a trial run of a week to see how much you will both eat for the week so you can adjust accordingly–there’s a bit a trial and error involved before you get the system to work for your situation!

      xo, Kristen

  • Miriam says:

    Hi Kristen
    I love the cheese sauce !! Is it possible to freeze the left overs ?

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Miriam!

      Yes, you can definitely freeze it and just let it come to room temperature before using or heating!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to review the recipe too!

      xo, Kristen

  • Kira | A Better Life Lived says:

    Are the cashews soaked first? I’ve never seen a recipe for vegan cheese without them soaked but I noticed you didn’t mention it.

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Kira!

      Yes, this recipe does not require soaking first! You’re more than welcome to soak them if you prefer–I’ve done it both ways and it makes no difference taste or texture-wise, it’s really personal preference! The reason why not soaking works in this recipe is because the sauce is actually heated during the blending processed (it’s blended for so long that a stream of steam forms).

      I hope you give it a try!

      xo, Kristen

  • Karen Wessel says:

    You are such an encouragement! What you put out for all of us to see is beyond generous and is very much appreciated.

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Thank you so much, Karen, for such a sweet comment! I’m so very happy to hear that you’re finding the site helpful!

      xo, Kristen

  • Pam says:

    Can I ask why is this being blended to the point of steam coming off of it? I just have always blended until smooth and thickened up. Is it just so you can than serve it warm without heating it up?

  • Amy says:

    This is yummy! I added a Chipotle pepper to give it some heat! (Would be extra yummy with salt lol.)

  • Cecilia says:

    I started ETL many moons ago, fell off especially with sugar and now MUST get back into this lifestyle! Your blog/info is a lifesaver. Thank you and especially for the recipes.

  • Ronda says:

    Just made this cheese sauce ! Followed the recipe exactly but it was a bit thin…so added 2 heaping tsp of ground chia seed and blended for another few seconds. Simply divine-the flavor is fantastic ! Having Organic edamame and mung bean fettuccine with cheese sauce for lunch at work tomorrow ! So awesome!!

  • Sue says:

    O….M….G…!!! I fell in love with this sauce last night! What a fantastic flavor! Thank you so so much for making this transition so easy with delicious recipes that I can eat guilt-free! xoxoxoxo

    • Kristen | Hello Nutritarian says:

      Hi Sue!

      Oh that’s so, so wonderful to hear!!

      I love this sauce so much too, I make it almost weekly!!

      Thank you for taking the time to leave such a great comment and recipe review!

      xo, Kristen

  • Nicole says:

    I’ve just made this, after avoiding it for a year. I only have a cheap-o Oster blender, and I figured since it wasn’t powerful enough to make nice cream, it was going to be no match for cashews. I soaked the cashews for 72 hours in my fridge, and BAM! PERFECTION. I had to warm it up on lower setting before going full blast, and I used 3/4 c of cashews. Can’t wait for nachos tonight! Thanks for the great recipes!

    • Kristen Hong says:

      YAY!!! So excited you were able to make it work with your blender and thank you for sharing that it can be done!

      Oh get ready for all the good and cheese things now! So happy for you Nicole!

      xo, Kristen

  • GV says:

    I have had a bag of raw cashews in the freezer forever– yanked them out and made this– used boiling water just in case the frozen cashews would be in issue. It turned out so great– and all pantry staples and so quick!!! It was really yummy and will be a go-to — this over steamed vegetables = lifesaver 🙂

    • Kristen Hong says:

      SO, so happy to hear you love this cheese sauce as much as I do! And I agree, it’s such a huge lifesaver over veggies!

      xo, Kristen

  • Jean Myers says:

    HI, Kristen, Thanks for a nutritarian cheese sauce recipe! I used to make this all the time before being a nute but the recipe included salt, which I figured would be a necessity since dairy cheese is very salty. I will give this a try with no salt and see how it tastes. Thanks again!

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hope you absolutely love it Jean! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and can’t wait to find out what you think! xo, Kristen

  • Shauna says:

    This sauce looks so good. I can not eat peppers, any recommendations on a substitute?

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Shauna,

      Replacing the peppers will affect the taste, but I think you could substitute with cooked carrots or even butternut squash!

      xo, Kristen

  • Kathy says:

    This is fantastic. Yum. But…I just heard a lecture by Dr Furhman, and he was very negative about nooch. Sooo….what to do? He said it encourages breast cancer.

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Kathy,

      Yes, Dr. Furhman does not like specifically fortified nutritional yeast because it has added folic acid that can contribute to cancer. He sells an unfortified yeast on his site and you can see a link to an unfortified brand I recommend in this post: https://hellonutritarian.com/crispy-no-oil-baked-tofu-fingers/

      xo, Kristen

  • Deborah Ataide says:

    I have made it twice now
    I love it. Nachos , mac n cheese kale. It’s the best yet. Thank you

    • Kristen Hong says:

      So wonderful to hear that you’re loving it, Deborah!!

      xo, Kristen

  • Marina says:

    This looks sooo yummy Kristen!
    What brand of roasted red peppers do you use, or do you make your own? I haven’t found one without preservatives or oil. Thanks! Marina

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Marina!

      I use Trader Joe’s brand! It doesn’t have oil but it does have some salt. I rinse them off to get some of it off!

      xo, Kristen

  • Colleen says:

    This sauce is amazing. Thank you!

  • Lesa says:

    This is a yummy sauce, will help me get over cheese addiction. Thank you for sharing, I found I like the 1/2 cup of peppers too.

  • Stacy says:

    Hi! My apologies if I missed this; but how much of the sauces like this one can you use in a day?

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Stacy,

      It depends on which of the nutritarian plans you’re following (the aggressive plan will be less). But you want to do a bit of math to figure out how much raw nuts and seeds are in each portion to be sure!

  • Iris says:

    Fabulous recipe! Absolutely delicious over pasta, or vegetables. Thanks for all of your great recipes.👍😀

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Iris, I’m so happy to hear that you tried and loved this recipe and thanks so much for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed it!

  • Judi Barton says:

    This was surprisingly amazing! My daughter who is an incurable cheese lover even liked it. I didn’t have red peppers but used fresh onions and garlic and it was fabulous. This will be in my fridge weekly.

    • Kristen Hong says:

      So happy to hear it was a hit for you and your daughter!

      And I love that you improvised and were able to have a great result! So instead of red peppers you used fresh onion and garlic? Did you cook them first?


  • Tonya says:

    AH! MAZING! How much am I allowed to have at once? 🙂 This is a total staple now.

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Tonya, my portion size is usually 1/4 cup at a time. I need to update the recipe to give a more precise amount of nuts per portion.

  • Tonya Johnson says:

    Ummm….I never USED to lick my plate……. this makes everything on this plan of eating work. LOVE LOVE LOVE it 🙂

    • Kristen Hong says:

      SO, SO happy to hear that you’re loving this sauce recipe, Tonya!

  • Tricia says:

    WOW! Easiest and tastiest “cheese” sauce I’ve made with no oil, salt, etc. So simple and tasty. I left out the lemon because I don’t like it in my cheese sauces, and I used the full 1/2 cup of roasted peppers. Thanks so much. This is day 4 of my nutritarian eating switchover – I did it back in 2013 and lost over 60 lbs, then quit and gained it all back. It really is a mindset. I’m hoping I’m set now. This is even day 3 no caffeine, drinking hot lemon water. I haven’t let go of red wine completely yet, but reducing. Baby steps. Thanks again.

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Tricia,

      SO happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

      Huge congratulations on getting back on path with your nutritarian lifestyle! It’s all about winning each day and stacking them up in succession (and paying attention to guard rails so you don’t slide back so far).

      Wishing you all the best!


  • Marcy says:

    I made this this evening but I soaked my cashews to make for a shorter blending time. My family vacates the kitchen while I am using the Vitamix due to the noise level. It came out really watery. Should I have reduced the water with the cashews being soaked?

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Marcy,

      It’s a no-soak sauce so that could have certainly attributed to the watery consistency. But I will say that this sauce generally tightens up after being refrigerated. You could also “cook it down” a bit by placing in a pot over low heat with your oven exhaust fan on!

      xo, Kristen

  • Dondi Harney says:

    So I to do not have a powerful blender. I just used hot water . I also subbed raw sunflower seeds. It came out very good. My nachos were delicious! I’m curious about the serving size for this? I wasn’t sure how to assign this for my nut allowance.

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Dondi,

      I’m so happy to hear that it worked with a regular blender and that you could substitute the nuts for sunflower seeds!

      I usually do 1/4 cup portions for this sauce but I will need to run the numbers to see how much that cuts into the nut/seed allowance on the plan!

  • Jennifer says:

    This is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to slather it on everything!

    • Kristen Hong says:

      So happy to hear that, Jennifer! It’s one of my favorite!

  • Karin says:

    What is the serving size and nutrition information? Thank you.

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Karin,

      I don’t have nutritional information for my recipes since a big part of eating nutritarian is to move away from calorie counting, but I may add it in the future!

      For serving size I do 1/4 to 1/3 cup depending on my hunger!

      xo, Kristen

  • Jcb says:

    If I make this in my processor, it will not be heated. Should I then cook it or is it edible as is?

    • Kristen Hong says:

      That’s a great question. I don’t really advise making this sauce in the food processor because you’re not going to be able to get it as creamy as you need it to be. The consistency will be more “rustic.”

  • Inara Sera says:

    Yoooo…. Im not sure if you’ll see this but I had to get my butt on here and leave a comment. I have been lurking on your wonderful site now for a few weeks and have finally committed to the Eat To Live lifestyle and your corner of the internet is one of the most comprehensive.
    I was skeptical of this chess sauce but was curious. I followed the directions to the letter and at first I was underwhelmed BUT, I left it in my fridge for the next day and when it was time, I don’t know what shifted but I was blown away! This sauce is sooooo good! I drizzled it over my veggies for dinner and wolfed it down. Absolutely delicious! I just had to come on here and give you your flowers ma’am😊

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Inara! I’m so happy that you’ve been enjoying the website and decided to give this cheese sauce recipe a try!

      I actually agree with you that it tastes even better the day after and the consistency tightens up a bit too!

      Appreciate you taking the time to leave a recipe review and rating!

  • Melissa M. says:

    Hi Kristen, I’m 5’8′ and 240 pounds. I’ve never been so heavy in my life. My feet, knees, and hip hurt when I get up to walk. I’m only 41, but feel much older. Do you know how long it takes to begin to feel less pain on the nutritarian lifestyle?

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Melissa,

      I can relate so much to where you’re at right now. I am 6’1″ and at my heaviest I was 278 lbs. I was a decade younger when I was at that weight but it was already starting to take a toll on my knees because of my height.

      So, I began to notice the biggest difference when I had lost 20 pounds. It will be different for everyone but I think that a good milestone to look forward to–it might come sooner for you because you’re shorter, so let’s say 15 pounds.

      All I can say with certainty is that it’s worth the struggle to get there!

      Wishing you all the best!

  • Deb Wagler says:

    This looks like a great way to get healthy!

    • Kristen Hong says:

      It is a great cheese substitute!

  • Natalie says:

    Hi! My son has a tree nut allergy. Do you have recommendations for a cashew substitute? Can I use an equal amount of white beans instead?

    Thank you for all you have put on this blog. I have fallen out of the ETL lifestyle and I can see how it’s affecting my physical and emotional life. Hoping to jump back in, but attention y feeling defeated. I’m thinking cheese sauce could be the catalyst 🙂

    • Kristen Hong says:

      Hi Natalie,

      I think white beans would work well but you may need to add in some kind of fat too like tahini or sunflower butter maybe just 1/2 Tbsp.

      I’m SO happy to hear that you’re finding the website helpful and inspiring. When I started out eating this way I had many times where I had to “start over” or jump back in–to me it all get easier with practice!

      Wishing you all the best on your journey,