Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipe

 This cheese sauce is used for EVERYTHING in our family.  We make vegan quesadillas, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches and we top all casseroles and even pizza with this vegan cheese sauce.  It is very versatile, healthy, unprocessed and tastes delicious!
1 small yukon gold or russet potato
1/2 c. carrots
1/2 yellow onion
Fill a pan with about 1/2 inch of water, bring to a boil, put veggies in water, cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer until veggies are soft. 15 minutes.

When veggies are soft, drain the water but reserve it, pour them into a blender and add:
3 Tb. water
1/4 c. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 c. cashews
Blend until creamy, You may need to use the reserved water to get the blender going, usually about 1/2 c. is enoough.  set aside to use with whatever you like!

30 comments:

Troy & Emily said...

We LOVE this cheesy sauce. As a cheese addict it was hard for me to not put cheese on these recipes as I made them, but this sauce is a healthy yummy version of Velveta and can be used on anything! We make it up and keep it in the fridge for any last minute "cheese emergencies".

BeckyD02 said...

Looks Tasty, but I have two questions that appear to be gaps in the recipe and instructions.
(1) There is not a measurement on the Garlic Power, it only says 1/2 Garlic Powder (I assume it's 1/2 teaspoon?)

(2) When it says "When veggies are soft pour them into a blender.." My question is, when you 'pour', are you pouring in that 1/2 inch of water in the pan win the veggies, or just the softened veggies themselves and omitting the water in the pan?

BeckyD02 said...

Also, Are you chopping the Potato into small pieces, or throwing them in whole? (I'm assuming chopped up)
And are salted roasted cashews fine? Or do you use soaked raw cashews (which I've seen in other vegan cheese recipes)?

Sorry for all the questions, but thanks!

Miniveg said...

Becky,

I have changed the recipe to reflect your questions. Yes, it is 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder. As far as the water is concerned you may or may not need to use it depending on your blender and how think you want the cheese to be.
I generally reserve about 1/2 c. and slowly pour it in while blending until I get the consistency I like. Hopefully that helps.

Do NOT use roasted salted cashews, it will not work well. You don't need to soak the cashews but you do need to use raw unsalted. As far as chopping the potato it isn't really critical how much you chop it. If your blender can handle bigger chunks that's great, if not chop it small.

Barb said...

I did not hold much hope for this but made it anyway just so I could say "I told you so"...wrong wrong! Super delish! This is wonderful..used it on top of my eggplant/lentil dish..wow..then made some cauliflower and put it on top..double wow. This is amazing, easy and looks just like the "real" thing..but saves my health! I plan to eat it on everything but cereal in the morning! (kidding) Thank you!!!!

Tandi said...

Barb, Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe! It seems odd but it is very yummy!

Stephen said...

Can't thank you enough for this recipe! It's amazing as the comments indicate. We use it on everything too. As a new vegan it's helped me so much with staying away from some of the less healthy (and tasty) cheese alternatives.

Tandi said...

Stephen- thank you for letting me know how much you enjoyed the recipe. I'm so glad it has helped you in your transition to healthier eating.

Elizabeth said...

This is a really good recipe! Thank you so much. I was wondering though, what is the recipe for the picture posted? It looks delicious!

Tandi said...

Elizabeth, the recipe pictured is the broccoli sunburger divan recipe: http://thepeacefulkitchen.blogspot.com/2011/03/sunburger-broccoli-divan-enchilada.html


The sunburger recipe that goes in that recipe is under the kitchen must haves tab on the blog. Thanks.

Jen said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. I am also just starting a Vegan healthy lifestyle. I have missed cheese and this was wonderful. I never realized how much you really do use cheese, eggs, milk in cooking day to day. Recipes such as this makes the transition much easier. Thank you, again!

Tandi said...

Jen-I am so glad you enjoyed the cheese sauce and thank you for posting and letting me know how much you liked it.

Kelly @LeafyNotBeefy said...

Tandi - I ADORE this cheese sauce. I just used it to make a taco layer lip to take to some friends tonight. I could eat the cheese off the spoon. And everyone who has tried it (nonvegans/plant-based) has loved it and couldn't believe when I told them what it had in it. I share your site and this recipe with a lot of people because you really do come up with amazing recipes!

Tandi said...

Kelly- you are so sweet!! Thank you so much for the wonderful comment. I LOVE to hear when people enjoy my recipes and thank you for referring people to my site!

Anonymous said...

I am allergic to potatoes, do you recommend a good alternative for this recipe? I can have yams, but would that not taste right? Thanks so much.

Tandi said...

If you cannot have potatoes, steamed cauliflower works wonderfully in this recipes as well. Enjoy!

donna said...

Do you make it thicker for grilled cheese and if you mix it into hot pasta does it melt nicely? I dont know if i need to make different consistencies for different recipes....

thanks!!

Tandi said...

Donna- the great thing about this sauce is that cashews thicken as they are heated and when you grill the sandwich it will naturally thicken and it works beautifully! The sauce doesn't 'melt' however, it thickens to a consistency of melted cheese when mixed with hot pasta. You really don't need to make different consistencies for the sauce. It can be used cold as a dip for crackers, if heated it will thicken and if used on top of casseroles or pizza it will brown nicely and thicken up so the same recipe works for many things.

dinaduckie said...

My hubby is allergic to tree nuts. Is there any possible substitution for the cashews? I am only just beginning my vegan journey and am hoping to entice him as well! This sounds particularly wonderful.

Tandi said...

The cashews will give the most authentic flavor however you could try a combination of seeds such as hemp, sunflower and sesame seeds. I would probably use 3 Tb. hemp, 3 Tb. sesame and a couple tablespoons of sunflower seeds. Let me know how it tastes.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this! This is my new go-to veg cheese sauce. I'm not vegetarian, not vegan, but I'm starting to prefer this to actual dairy cheese. I really appreciate your sharing this :0)

Unknown said...

about how long will this keep in the fridge? thanks :)

Tandi Hartle said...

This will keep about a week in the fridge, you'll know when it starts to go bad as it will get a 'fermented' smell.

Anonymous said...

We had the cheese sauce tonight over veggies and loved it. Thanks for sharing !

Tandi Hartle said...

So glad you enjoyed the cheese sauce...thank you for taking the time to let me know.

Melanie said...

I am so happy to have found this recipe. I have tried a ton of different variations and I really like this one. My daughter is allergic to cashews so I used sunflower seeds instead and it turned out great. My question is I felt it lacked the zing flavor that cheese has. What other seasonings could I add. I hate to add more salt.

Tandi Hartle said...

Melanie- the 'zing' flavor in cheese is from the fermentation process. I do have fermented cheese recipes but they are a lot more work. You may consider adding a little miso or lemon juice and see if that does the trick.

Melanie said...

Thanks so much for getting back to me. I actually ended up adding a bit of Herbamare and it was awesome!

CLEvegan said...

Do you peel the potato?

Tandi Hartle said...

I don't peel the potato but you can if you would like to, it would probably be best to peel the potato if you don't have a high speed blender, but if you have a vitamix or Blendtec it should be just fine if you don't peel it, in that case it is really up to personal preference.