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Close up of Vegan quesadilla with vegan cheese, black beans, spinach and roasted red peppers

Vegan Melty Cheddar Cheese Sauce

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Melty, gooey, stretchy cheddar cheese sauce perfect for quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, pasta, and more! Nut-free, gluten-free, AND oil-free! The best part is it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and keeps well in the fridge, too.

Vegan, Oil-free, Nut-free, Gluten-free, Sugar-free


  • 1 16-ounce block firm tofu (about 396 grams), drained (see note 1)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 tbsp tapioca starch or tapioca flour (see note 2)
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp each turmeric, garlic powder, & onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water


  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth in a blender or food processor. Taste and adjust if needed.
  2. Pour into a small saucepan and heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly.
  3. The cheese will be a relatively thin sauce at first, then will start to curdle and clump–this is normal. After a few minutes it will come together as a gooey, stretchy, melty cheese that can be used in any way you like.
  4. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To reheat it, I recommend the stove for optimal consistency, but the microwave has worked for me, too. If needed, add a little nondairy milk to thin it out, but I haven't run into any issues.  


  • Note 1: I use firm tofu for this. Medium should work as well, just lightly press out some of the water. Extra firm might be too much and soft or silken tofu might not hold. I haven't tested them. If you test them, let me know in the comments below!
  • Note 2: Tapioca starch or flour are the same thing. However, if you see cassava flour, that may be a different product. Don't use that.
  • Prep Time: 4 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Category: Cheese, Ingredient
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan, Oil-free, Nut-free, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, vegan cheese