Why Vegan Welsh Rarebit?! Well, I am a huge fan of bread. I am a huge fan of cheese. And I am a huge fan of butternut squash. So why not join the three together in this cheese-on-toast situation – Vegan Welsh Rarebit with Butternut Squash “Cheese” Sauce?!

Vegan Welsh Rarebit - toast with butternut squash "cheese" sauce

First of all – what is Welsh Rarebit?! It’s something I had all the time growing up in the U.S., but we never called it Welsh Rarebit. It was just a delicious cheese sauce on toast! Welsh Rarebit originated in the U.K., and consists of a roux-based cheese sauce enriched with a splash of dark beer, smothered on crusty toast, and broiled until golden and bubbly. Delicious, right? But if you’re not eating dairy, not quite so easy to make.

I don’t even know how I thought this one up, except that I had some crusty bread and some butternut squash scraps. Somehow I eyed one and then the other and then thought, hmm. Perhaps a vegan Welsh Rarebit situation? Cooked butternut squash, some cashews for extra uber creaminess, some delicious cheesy flavors? So I went to work.

Cubes of butternut squash and cashews - the beginning of Vegan Welsh Rarebit with Butternut Squash "Cheese" Sauce

I love when a recipe idea works flawlessly the very first time I try it! I cooked the butternut squash and soaked the cashews simultaneously, then blended them both with a few cheese-ifying flavors until smooth, rich, and creamy. And within 15 minutes I was enjoying an incredibly cheesy experience as I noshed on this Vegan Butternut Welsh Rarebit.

Butternut Squash "Cheese" Sauce in the blender
Vegan butternut cheese sauce for Vegan Welsh Rarebit
Pouring the cheese sauce on Vegan Welsh Rarebit - toast with butternut squash "cheese" sauce

While this vegan Welsh rarebit couldn’t be farther from the original if it tried, I feel like I would be remiss to leave out the fact that this doesn’t have beer in it like classic Welsh rarebit recipes do. I felt like it was just perfect without adding another ingredient. I wholly recommend serving up the beer on the side, though.

Vegan Welsh Rarebit - toast with butternut squash "cheese" sauce

Oh, and I also tried putting this under the broiler, hoping that the butternut squash would magically bubble and brown, but no go. But also kind of, no need. It’s pretty dang delicious as-is.

Vegan Welsh Rarebit - toast with butternut squash "cheese" sauce
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Vegan Welsh Rarebit (Butternut Squash “Cheese” Sauce on Toast)

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Yield: 8
Butternut squash and cashews form the simple creamy base of this surprisingly cheesy "cheese" sauce. Spooned over toasted crusty bread, it's the ultimate comfort food. No actual cheese required!


Butternut "cheese" sauce

  • 2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1/2 small squash, seeds removed)
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about one small lemon)
  • 1 medium clove garlic (roughly diced)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon stone-ground brown mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (+ more to taste)

For the toasts

  • 8 slices crusty bread (can sub gluten-free bread)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • fresh snipped chives (optional)


  • Place squash and cashews into a medium pot. Cover with water. Place on stove and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the squash is fork-tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, toast the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and brown under your oven's broiler. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • Drain squash and cashews and add them to the pitcher of a high-powered blender. Add 1/4 cup water, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, worcestershire, brown mustard, dry mustard, onion powder, white pepper, smoked paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth, adding more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a thick sauce forms. Taste and add additional salt if desired.
  • Place each toast on a plate and pour "cheese" sauce over the top. Garnish with chives if desired and serve.
  • Leftover sauce can be refrigerated; it stays good for 3-4 days. It can thicken as it sits; simply thin with a bit of water when heating it back up.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1toast, Calories: 157kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 297mg, Potassium: 216mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 3738IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 57mg, Iron: 2mg
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