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vegan queso in a bowl

Tofu Nacho Cheese Sauce

This creamy nacho cheese sauce is a crowd pleaser! It’s so delicious and satisfying that no one will know it’s actually dairy-free, vegan, and nut-free.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword Dip, sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Author Plantily


  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 Shallot (~1/2 cup minced)
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeños
  • 1/2 cup canned fire roasted tomatoes (drained)

Blender ingredients

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 300 g package silken tofu (~1 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (sweet, not spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeño brine
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  1. Finely mince a shallot and sauté with 1 tbsp of avocado oil and a pinch of salt in a pot, over medium heat until softened. Deglaze the pot with a splash of water as necessary.

  2. Mince 2 tbsp of pickled jalapeños and ½ cup of fire roasted tomatoes (with the liquid drained).

  3. Combine all blender ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Add the blended mixture and the minced jalapeños and tomatoes to the pot with the cooked shallots.

  4. Heat the mixture over a medium heat until it starts to bubble. Before it begins to bubble, stir frequently, after it begins to bubble, stir constantly to prevent the bubbles from spitting hot nacho cheese sauce. The mixture should take 5-10 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and serve warm with some tortilla chips or drizzle it over a burrito bowl.

Recipe Notes

*Shallots can be substituted with any other onion - use ½ cup minced.
*Pickled jalapeños can be substituted for fresh, just adjust to your preferred spice level and replace the brine with 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar.
*Fire roasted tomatoes can be substituted with ⅓ cup of salsa.
*Corn starch is VERY necessary to thicken the sauce. You should be able to sub arrowroot starch, but I haven’t tried and the texture may be a little different.
*If you want it to be less spicy, use less jalapeños or swap for green pepper.