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The Best Dairy-Free Salsa Cheese Sauce

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Dairy-Free Salsa Cheese Sauce is an ooey-gooey, totally delicious alternative to traditional cheese sauce. Packed with veggies, and totally dairy-free, you’ve got to try this one to believe it!


  • 1 cup peeled and diced russet potatoes*
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided**
  • ¼ cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 tablespoons nutritional yeast or more to taste***
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove peeled
  • ¼ cup chunky salsa****


  • Place the potatoes, carrots, stock and ¼ teaspoon salt into a medium saucepan.
  • Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 20-30 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool slightly
  • Add the cashews to a blender. Blend on high until a fine flour forms, being careful not to overblend.
  • Add the nutritional yeast, olive oil, lemon juice, ¾ teaspoons salt, and garlic clove to the blender. Carefully pour in the vegetable and stock mixture.
  • Cover and blend until completely smooth, adding a splash more stock if necessary.
  • Pour into a bowl, add the salsa, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional salt, lemon juice, or nutritional yeast, if desired.

Instant Pot Variation

  • Place the potatoes, carrots, stock and ¼ teaspoon salt into a 6-quart electric pressure cooker.
  • Secure the lid, select the manual setting, and set it to high pressure for 5 minutes. When the pressure cooker timer is done, quick release the pressure.
  • Proceed with steps 3-6 above.

Slow Cooker Variation

  • Place the potatoes, carrots, stock and ¼ teaspoon salt into a 6-quart slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 4-5 hours, or until the vegetables are very tender.
  • Proceed with steps 3-6 above.


Serve this cheese sauce as a dip for chips, as a veggie-filled topping for nachos, poured over veggies, or mixed with cooked noodles for an awesome mac & cheese alternative.
*Peeled red or yellow potatoes will also work.
**This sauce has significantly less salt than the processed version. If you taste it and find it bland, add more salt, ¼ teaspoon at time, until you reach a flavor you enjoy.
***Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor without containing any dairy. Find it on the bulk aisle of your natural foods store, or in the baking section. It adds an essential "cheesy" flavor to the recipe, so I don’t recommend skipping it.
****A good quality jarred salsa works well.