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Close up overhead view of a plate of rotini noodles mixed with vegan cheese sauce and sprinkled with parsley.
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5 from 6 votes


Alisa says, "This is my go-to cheesy sauce base since it’s so darn easy to make, and it’s easily adaptable to taste. The carrots add a wonderful orange hue, a touch of body, and just the right amount of natural sweetness to brighten the flavors without overpowering. The smoked paprika adds a “barbecue” vibe as my husband puts it, and is completely optional."
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Entree, Pasta, Sauce
Cuisine: dairy free, gluten free, nut free, refined sugar free, soy free, vegan
Servings: 6
Calories: 220kcal


  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup chopped soft-cooked carrots
  • 6 tablespoons grapeseed oil (rice bran or other neutral-tasting oil will also work)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (or arrowroot starch or 1/3 cup all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (plus additional as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup unsweetened plain dairy-free milk beverage


  • Put the water, cooked carrots, oil, nutritional yeast, starch or flour, lemon juice, salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika (if using), and cayenne in your blender. Blend until all of the carrot bits have vanished and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • For the smoothest results, pour the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve (to remove any little carrot bits) into a medium saucepan.
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and whisk continuously until the sauce begins to thicken, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in the milk beverage as needed to reach your desired consistency.
  • Add more salt, to taste, if needed. I often add another 1/8 teaspoon.
  • This sauce is best used immediately, but it can be cooled completely and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Gently reheat the sauce when ready to use, but do not bring it to a boil. Whisk in water, if needed, to reach your desired consistency.


STOVETOP MAC & CHEEZE RECIPE: Cook 16 ounces dry macaroni (gluten free, if needed) according to the package directions. Stir the cooked pasta into the sauce while still warm. For a more complete meal that serves 4 to 6 people, stir in steamed cauliflower or broccoli florets and a favorite cooked protein.
~ Nutrition facts calculated for sauce only, no noodles. 


Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 76mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 550IU | Vitamin C: 3.3mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1.3mg