Easy Vegan Cheddar Cheese (Spread & Sauce!)

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Slice of sourdough bread next to bowls of our easy vegan cheddar cheese recipe

If you’re dairy-free, vegan, or just trying to cut back on dairy cheese, this is the recipe for you! In our quest to find a quick and easy cheese to make vegan grilled cheese, we crafted this simple, delicious, vegan cheddar cheese spread made with 8 wholesome ingredients.

The best part? It looks and tastes like cheddar cheese! Okay, maybe it doesn’t melt exactly like cheddar cheese, but the flavor and color are there! And it does provide that melty, stringy factor when heated. Perfect for storing in the fridge to make quick vegan grilled cheese sandwiches, vegan mac ‘n’ cheese, and more! Let us show you how it’s done.

Nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, water, spices, cashews, and carrots

It starts with soaking cashews and sliced carrots in very hot water. This helps them soften, which later yields a creamy consistency.

Once soaked and drained, they’re added to a blender along with tapioca starch for thickening and stringy texture, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, apple cider vinegar for a tangy/fermented element, and sea salt, garlic powder, and ground mustard for flavor. Optionally, if you’re going for a yellow cheddar appearance, you can add a little bit of turmeric.

The creamy mixture is then gently cooked in a saucepan where it transforms into a thick and spreadable paste. And that’s it — so easy!

Blender with carrots, cashews, nutritional yeast, tapioca starch, apple cider vinegar, and spices

We hope you LOVE this vegan cheddar cheese! It’s:

Quick & easy
& Delicious!

The uses for this vegan cheddar are endless, but it’s especially perfect for making grilled cheese sandwiches and vegan mac ‘n’ cheese. It would also be delicious on baked potatoes or in casseroles, scalloped potatoes, enchiladas, and beyond!

Blended mixture for making homemade vegan cheddar cheese

More Vegan Cheese Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Stirring a pan of homemade vegan cheddar cheese

Easy Vegan Cheddar Cheese (Spread & Sauce!)

Easy, melty, spreadable vegan cheese that looks and tastes like cheddar! Perfect for adding to grilled cheese, mac ‘n’ cheese, and more! Just 8 simple ingredients required.
Author Minimalist Baker
Spoon in a bowl of vegan cheddar cheese
4.80 from 62 votes
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Servings 10 (~2-Tbsp servings)
Course Condiment
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1 Week



  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced (peeled) carrots
  • Hot water for soaking


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric (optional // for color)


  • In a mixing bowl or liquid measuring cup, soak cashews and carrots in very hot water for 30 minutes (uncovered). Then drain and add to a high-speed blender with 1 cup water, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, garlic powder, and dry mustard (turmeric is optional for deeper color). Blend on high until the mixture is smooth.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more apple cider vinegar for acidity, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, garlic powder for depth of flavor, or salt to taste.
  • Transfer to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook, while whisking, for 1-2 minutes or until thickened to a spreadable consistency (see photo). It should resemble the texture of soft cooked polenta.
  • The cheese spread is now ready to use on things like grilled cheese sandwiches, or to add to cooked shells for quick vegan mac ‘n’ cheese.
  • Store sauce covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 1 month (let thaw in the refrigerator before use). In the fridge, it will thicken into a paste/spread as it chills.



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.
*Recipe as written makes ~1 ¼ cup.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 (2-tablespoon serving) Calories: 72 Carbohydrates: 7.1 g Protein: 3 g Fat: 4 g Saturated Fat: 0.7 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 124 mg Potassium: 134 mg Fiber: 1.1 g Sugar: 0.9 g Vitamin A: 1294 IU Vitamin C: 0.5 mg Calcium: 8.7 mg Iron: 0.7 mg

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  1. Dobrinka says

    I don’t have a blender and never grew up with one. Is there any way to mix this manually? Maybe cook the cashews and the carrots till soft?