Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Healthy Swaps

Dairy Free 'Cheese' Sauce

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE mac and cheese - ever since I was a child, it has been my comfort food of choice. The only issue is most cheese sauce recipes are made from all sorts of unhealthy, artery-clogging ingredients, ewww! As soon as I became a qualified Natural Foods Chef, I set about transforming my favourite cheesy sauce so you, me - WE can all have our mac and cheese whenever we want minus the guilty feelings afterwards!

Dairy Free 'Cheese' Sauce

  • Servings: 1 cup


  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 & ½ teaspoons agar powder (also known as 'agar agar' powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Heat milk in saucepan over a medium heat until you see slight bubbling.
  2. Turn heat to low and add agar powder - immediately whisking well to combine. Keep heat on low-medium flame/setting so there is no bubbling.
  3. After about one minute the mix should begin to thicken slightly. If, at this stage you would like it to be thicker, you may add up to another teaspoon of agar powder, though ensure you add ½ teaspoon at a time, as agar powder is strong!
  4. Once you're happy with consistency, add in vinegar, lemon juice and salt and combine well.
  5. Serve mixed with pasta/vegetables/chosen grains OR gravy- style for everyone to add themselves
  6. To re-warm, simply place sauce in the microwave for a couple of minutes or re-melt in a saucepan on a low heat.

Recipe Tags

This recipe is really simple and fun to make. I like to use it for a lot of different meals - for example, it works really well as cheese sauce in lasagne, it's fantastic as THE cheese in mac and cheese, and I also use serve it as a side sauce for big family feasts.

Agar agar powder is a great, natural vegan substitute for gelatin that's made from seaweed. It helps to naturally thicken all sorts of things, so if you've never tried it, now is the perfect time! I love to use agar powder in a variety of creations, from sweet to savoury it really is incredibly versatile. You can see what it looks like here.

This post comes from the TODAY Food Club community, where anyone can write posts, ask questions and share advice. Learn more and join us!