Cinco De Mayo Recipe: Nacho Cheese Sauce (Dairy-Free)

I grew up in my dad’s restaurant, which served latin and mexican cuisine. Although my dad never said anything outright, when I went through my raw-vegan food phase, he'd often look at me like I had a carrot sticking out of my nose. "Cheese made from nuts? Are you nuts???"

While I'm no longer in my raw-vegan phase, it did help me develop an appreciation for alternative cheeses. I realized that with less dairy in my diet,  I felt lighter and more energized.

Dairy is one of those foods that is controversial in the nutrition world. While it can be a good source of protein and fat, it has also been shown to trigger digestive issues, which leads to a host of other health problems including acne, endometriosis, PMS, uterine fibroids, menopausal discomfort, sinus problems, earaches, and possibly cancer among them.

The nut cheese recipe below is my favorite. It works well as a nacho cheese substitute, baked in casseroles such as lasagna and mexican pies, or as a cheese dip for fresh veggies. It's a palate pleaser, even for cheese lovers.

Dairy-free nacho cheese recipe


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup clean, raw cashews
  • 4 oz jar pimientos
  • 2 Tb lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea or Himalayan salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion or 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 small clove of garlic or 1/4 tsp garlic powder


Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

If you want a thicker cheese sauce, put it in the refrigerator for an hour or heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.

You can also freeze this cheese and then grate as you would other cheeses!

If storing in the fridge or freezer, it may become too thick for use as a cheese sauce upon removal. Simply add water, mix, and heat up if necessary.

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