Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce


I used to have a teacher who loved Cheese Wiz so much, he kept a tube at his desk. I’m pretty sure there’s no actual cheese in Cheese Wiz, just like there’s no actual cheese in this recipe. But I promise you this is a much healthier way to get a cheesy fix.

I didn’t like sunflower seed butter the first couple of times I tried it. I think most people feel the same way if you try to enjoy it like peanut butter or almond butter or even cashew butter; it’s oddly savory and unenjoyable. But once I tried it in savory ways it grew on me.


Sunflower seed butter makes a better “cheese” sauce than any other nuts I’ve tried. It gives the sauce a rich and velvety texture, and the nutritional yeast and seasonings create a flavor that doesn’t taste exactly like the real thing but delicious nonetheless. 

Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 3/4 cup sauce):

  • 6 Tablespoons sunflower seed butter
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt



  1. Mix all of the ingredients together.
  2. Store in an sealed container in the refrigerator. As it cools, the sauce will get thicker. Either bring it to room temperature before using or mix in a little extra water until it gets to the desired consistency.


There are plenty of ways that this would taste good. I made cheesy vegan burritos with corn flour tortillas, scrambled tofu, and steamed kale.

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14 Responses to Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce
  1. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    February 6, 2012 | 10:04 am

    Maybe that’s what I need to do with it b/c I can’t get my self to like sunflower seed butter for the life of me.

  2. Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama
    February 6, 2012 | 10:28 am

    What a great way to use sunflower butter! Can’t wait to try it.

  3. Juice
    February 6, 2012 | 10:52 am

    I am going to give this a try, but I think it doesn’t look that good. I am an adventurous soul, so here goes.

  4. Amber K
    February 6, 2012 | 2:38 pm

    I never would have thought to use it in a savory meal. Great idea!

  5. Anna @ On Anna's Plate
    February 6, 2012 | 2:43 pm

    I would never think to use sunflower butter to make a “cheese” sauce– cashews are always my go to. I’ll have to try this!

  6. BroccoliHut
    February 6, 2012 | 8:56 pm

    Excellent! I just happened to have stocked up on sunflower butter last weekend–can’t wait to try this!

  7. Hannah
    February 7, 2012 | 4:45 am

    Oh, not me! I fell so deeply in love with sunflower seed butter the first time I tried it that I’ve actually had to ban myself from having it in the house, as I kept eating entire jars in two days with a spoon (and, let’s be honest, my fingers).

    I don’t really know what Cheese Whiz is but I do know this recipe has all things that I love in it. Woot.

  8. The Candid RD (Gina)
    February 7, 2012 | 7:57 am

    I love all of your fun vegan recipes! I’m doing a vegan/vegetarian store tour on Sunday and I will HAVE to mention this recipe!!

  9. holly
    February 18, 2012 | 12:23 pm

    you know i love you…but this vegan cheese sauce looks like someone sharted on your food.

    • Wannabe Chef
      February 18, 2012 | 1:52 pm

      LOL. And that’s why I love you.

      April 12, 2013 | 8:20 am

      I agree – it looks absolutely disgusting!!

  10. MK Luifa
    October 20, 2012 | 3:52 pm

    So I tried this with a few additions people may find helpful. I like sunbutter in recipes but I hate eating it in sandwiches or when its flavor is too potent, so that’s what inspired my modifications.

    Instead of 6 tbsp of sunbutter I used 5 tbsps plus 1 tbsp of tahini (same calorie content, interestingly enough). And I subbed miso for the salt (adds 5 cals but also delicious).

    I also omitted the onion powder (did have any!) and added a dash mustard powder and a dash malt vinegar (though im thinking of using H&R next time).

    And for those of you who want a less shatacular color, add a little turmeric and annatto. Then it looks more like mustardy colored.

    I’m thinking next time I will add a dash chipotle. Maybe even substitute light coconut cream for one of the tbsps of sunbutter. And I may be forgetting something I added this time. But overall it was really tasty with a great texture. And roughly the same calories as real cheese, ounce per ounce. Very good base recipe to modify to compliment the flavor profile of whatever dish you are using it with. I used this batch for little mini tomato and basil pizzas and also ate some with peppered mock meat slices. Also, very cheap as it uses sunbutter, which I can oftentimes find for a dollar at grocery outlet.

    So thanks so much for the great recipe!

  11. iggy
    November 21, 2012 | 11:15 am

    Funny–I had a driver’s ed teacher who used to eat Cheez Wiz and crackers in the car while you were driving. But seriously, this looks delicious; can’t wait to try it over broccoli!

  12. Alex
    July 16, 2015 | 9:22 am

    All of you are absolutely mental if you think this looks edible or enjoyable to eat! I’ve seen cat poo that looks nicer to eat than this…