Vegan cheese sauce, crumbles, and sprinkles in white bowls

Ditch Processed Vegan Cheese for These 3 Homemade Vegan Cheesy Toppings

Looking for some cheesy satisfaction? These easy homemade vegan cheese toppings use whole-food ingredients to deliver a delicious cheesy flavor to your meals without relying on ultra-processed grocery store alternatives.

Whether you want something crunchy and savory as a soup topper, a velvety sauce to spoon over nachos, or a flavor-enhancer for roasted veggies, these mouthwatering recipes will take your vegan cooking skills to the next level.

Cheesy Nut Crumbles

10 minutes | Makes 1 cup

A crunchy, umami-rich topper, these vegan cheesy crumbles are perfect for lightly garnishing soups, stews, salads, and pastas.


  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt-free garlic and herb seasoning, such as Mrs. Dash
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup roasted unsalted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped


1. In a medium microwave-safe bowl combine nutritional yeast, garlic and herb seasoning, soy sauce, and 2½ tablespoons water. Stir into a thick paste. Stir in hazelnuts. Microwave on high 3 minutes or until nuts feel dry, stirring once or twice. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 7 days.

Velvety Cheese Sauce

45 minutes | Makes 2 cups

Try this rich vegan cheese sauce over baked tortilla chips or steamed veggies, or use as a base for mac and cheese. For a deeper cheddary hue, add a pinch of ground turmeric to the sauce before blending.


  • 1 cup grated peeled potato
  • ¾ cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk
  • ¼ cup grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped raw cashews
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. In a medium saucepan combine the first six ingredients (through mustard) and ¾ cup water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add nutritional yeast. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.

2. Heat sauce over medium 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in cornstarch and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Parmesan Sprinkles

5 minutes | Makes 1 cup

Add aged cheese-like flavor to casseroles, pastas, and roasted veggies with this homemade vegan parmesan topping.


  • 6 whole grain crispbreads, such as Wasa, broken into pieces
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar


1. In a food processor combine the first five ingredients (through salt); pulse into fine sprinkles. Add vinegar; pulse to combine. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

More Vegan Cheese Recipes

Looking for more healthy vegan cheese recipes? Check out these tasty ideas.

About the Author

Headshot of Mary Margaret Chappell

About the Author

Mary Margaret Chappell

When Mary Margaret Chappell first started out in the plant-based food world as a writer, editor, and recipe developer, she was a bacon-loving former pastry chef who didn’t think she could ever cook without butter. Fourteen years, four cookbooks, dozens of cooking classes, and hundreds of recipes later, her favorite thing in the world is sharing the tips, techniques, and recipes that show just how easy and delicious whole-food, plant-based cooking can be. The former food editor of Vegetarian Times magazine has done away with her dependency on butter and is honing her skills at baking with natural sweeteners. Chappell lives in France, where plant-based eating can often be a challenge, but the fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes available are simply amazing. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.
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