Home RecipesSide Dishes Dairy-Free ‘Cheese’ Sauce

Dairy-Free ‘Cheese’ Sauce

by Tansy Boggon

A simple dairy-free ‘cheese’ sauce ideal for vegan mac and cheese or cauliflower gratin. Try it drizzled over baked or steamed vegetables. Or in a pasta bake. Enjoy.

Dairy-Free ‘Cheese’ Sauce

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free
Author: Tansy Boggon


  • 2 cups soy or almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour or try chickpea (besan) flour (more if required)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon hot English mustard or mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic granules or powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder or salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Place all ingredients in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  • Whisk mixture until no lumps remain.
  • Place saucepan over medium heat.
  • Bring mixture to boil, whisking continuously to prevent lumps or sticking to bottom of pan.
  • Continue whisking until the sauce begins to thicken, usually a few minutes after sauce has reached the boil.
  • Turn down heat and continue whisking a further minute or so.
  • Taste test and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Serve drizzled over baked vegetables or combine into a potato, pasta, cauliflower or broccoli bake.


Storage & Sauce Thickness
If you require the sauce to be thicker, combine additional flour into a little milk to remove lumps. Then add to the sauce while on the heat.
The sauce can be used immediately or stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days. It will thicken further on cooling and may develop a 'milk' skin. Simply whisk to combine.
To reheat, warm the sauce on a low heat without bringing it to the boil. If the consistency is too thick add a tablespoon of water at a time to achieve desired consistency.

Chickpea Flour

Chickpea flour, also known as besan flour, is made from ground chickpeas and can generally be found in the health food aisle in the supermarket. It is a great thickener alternative in this ‘cheese’ sauce recipe for those who eat gluten-free. It can also be used as an egg substitute for vegans.


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