The Best Vegan Swiss Cheese Fondue recipe – This dairy-free cheese sauce is quick and easy to make, yet incredibly delicious, healthy, low in fat and makes a great cheese alternative as a dip for bread, vegetables, and more! Perfect for New Year’s Eve, a cozy dinner with the family, or any other occasion.
What is a cheese fondue?
Classic Swiss cheese fondue (French ‘fondue au fromage’ or Italian ‘fonduta al formaggio’) is a popular dish of melted cheese traditionally served in a ceramic pot “caquelon” over a réchaud dish.
In addition to cheese, the basic classic cheese fondue recipe often contains cornstarch, white wine, sometimes cherry brandy, and some spices. While the starch makes the cheese mixture more viscous, the wine is used to thin it. It also provides more flavor and aroma due to the acidity, but you can also make cheese fondue with beer or without alcohol.
Since cheese fondue can be prepared in different ways, today I wanted to share my vegan version made with plant-based ingredients and no dairy cheese!
Vegan Cheese Fondue – The Best Recipe!
I just love this easy vegan cheese sauce – and the best part is that it’s so versatile! You can leave the basic recipe as it is or you can modify it to your preferences and serve it with any sides you like. Not only with pasta as vegan mac and cheese but also as a dip for finger food snacks – this plant-based cheese sauce is perfect for so many recipes!
For this vegan cheese fondue recipe, I just thinned out my classic vegan cheese sauce with some white wine and then thickened it with tapioca starch. This gives the sauce a more stretchy consistency as you may know it from real melted cheese or fondue. It works really well – so if you haven’t tried it yet, it’s about time to go for it!
Where can I find tapioca starch? Is there a substitute?
You can find tapioca starch at an organic store or online or at an Asian store (where it’s often sold pretty cheap). But if you’ve ever tried my vegan mozzarella, you may already have this ingredient at home.
You can also thicken the vegan cheese mixture with cornstarch or arrowroot starch, but please consider that you won’t achieve that stretchy cheesy consistency. Therefore, there is, unfortunately, no adequate substitute for tapioca starch that provides the same result. But since the cheese sauce tastes totally delicious anyway, feel free to skip the optional step at all by omitting the tapioca starch and wine.
Ingredients and variations
I prefer to use a combination of potatoes, carrots, and cashews to make vegan cheese. However, there are other variations you could try. Just keep in mind that any change to the recipe will also change the result. Here are some options:
- Potatoes & Carrots: you could use sweet potatoes, squash, cauliflower, white beans, or a mixture of those instead.
- Cashews: you could also use macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, or hulled hemp seeds. Another option is to use creamy canned coconut milk or a half and half mixture of plant milk and plant cream instead of cashews + water.
- Tapioca starch: this thickens the cheese sauce to a stretchy consistency that comes very close to real cheese. You could thicken the sauce a bit by using another starch instead or omit the thickener altogether and just use a little less wine/water like in my vegan mac and cheese recipe.
How to make vegan cheese fondue
Note: I recommend watching the recipe video for visual instructions! Then you can find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
- First, put the potatoes, carrots, cashews, and water in a pot and cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes.
- In the meantime, sauté the onion and garlic in a pan with a little olive oil.
- Once the vegetables are done, transfer the whole mixture (+ cashews and cooking water) to a blender. Add the sautéd onions, garlic, nutritional yeast flakes, mustard, and salt and blend until creamy.
- Then pour the vegan cheese sauce into a large, deep pan or saucepan. Whisk in white wine and tapioca starch and bring to a boil briefly until it thickens and gets creamy.
- Serve the sauce in a fondue pot or straight from the pan!
What to dip in cheese fondue?
Bread, potatoes, and vegetables go very well with cheese fondue. I like to serve it with freshly baked baguette bread, small baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, carrots, and pickled cucumbers. Basically, there are no limits here! Also, mushrooms, cauliflower, tomatoes, garlic bread – anything is fine! You can even dip pasta into the vegan cheese sauce and make a mac and cheese fondue! 😀
Can you freeze the vegan cheese sauce?
Just like leftovers from classic cheese fondue, this vegan cheese sauce can be frozen, too. When ready to serve, simply let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then you can use it for casseroles, vegan grilled cheese sandwiches, tortillas, or pizza.
This vegan cheese fondue recipe is:
- Inspired by my favorite basic vegan cheese sauce recipe!
- Quick and easy to make
- Dairy-free (lactose-free)
- Low in fat
- Made with wholesome plant-based ingredients
- The perfect dinner for the holidays!
More vegan recipes for cozy evenings:
Looking for more recipes to brighten up your family gatherings or holiday dinners? Here are a few suggestions:
If you try this vegan cheese fondue, please leave a comment and a rating on how you’ve liked this easy recipe! And if you take a photo of your dish and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your creations! Wishing you a very happy holiday season! 🙂
Easy Vegan Cheese FondueAuthor:
Vegan cheese sauce
- 2 potatoes 10.6 oz, peeled and diced
- 1 carrot 3.5 oz, peeled and diced
- ⅔ cups raw cashews *see notes for a nut-free version
- 1 ½ cups water or more to desired consistency
- 1 tbsp olive oil or canola oil
- 1 large onion chopped, or 2-3 tsp onion powder
- 3-4 cloves garlic chopped or 1 tsp garlic powder
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tsp mustard or white miso paste
- 1 ⅓ tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1 cup white wine or vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp tapioca starch
To serve (optional)
- vegetables e.g. broccoli, carrots, pickles
*Note: I recommend watching the recipe video for visual instructions!
- Put the potatoes, carrots, cashews, and water in a pot. Cover the pot and bring everything to a boil. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft enough to blend.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté for another minute until fragrant.
- Once the potatoes and carrots are done cooking, transfer the while mixture (+ cashews and cooking water) to a blender. Add cooked onions, garlic, nutritional yeast flakes, mustard, and salt and blend until creamy.
- Then pour the sauce into a large, deep pan or pot. Whisk in the white wine and tapioca starch and bring to a boil. Simmer briefly until it thickens and gets creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Serve the sauce in a fondue pot or straight from the pan with bread, potatoes, vegetables, or any side dishes you like.
- Potatoes & Carrots: This is my favorite combo when making vegan cheese, but you can also use sweet potatoes, squash, cauliflower, white beans, or a mixture of those instead.
- Cashews: you can also use macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, or hulled hemp seeds instead. Another option is to use creamy canned coconut milk or a half and half mixture of plant milk and plant cream instead of cashews + water.
- Tapioca starch: this will thicken the cheese sauce to a stretchy consistency that comes pretty close to real melted cheese. You could also thicken the sauce with another starch instead but this will change the result (see blog post for details), or omit the thickener altogether and just use a little less wine/water like in my vegan mac and cheese recipe.
- For more information and helpful tips, be sure to read the blog post above!
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