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Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce

Delicious Vegan Cheese Sauce is a versatile and tasty sauce you can put on anything. It’s perfect for roasted veggies, pasta, and nachos.

Before we get down a rabbit hole of vegan eats, you need to know I love dairy and other animal products.  If the items come from sustainable and humane sources, I have zero problems consuming those ingredients.

I own a shirt that says “better with bacon”.

But when Jack was little, he had a raging dairy allergy, and as his source of food, I couldn’t consume dairy.  I was sad.  I also learned that there is an incredible dairy-free range of products out there.  Some of them are sub-par, and some of them are even better than their dairy counterparts.

When my friend Elaina had to go on an elimination diet (dairy, soy, corn, sugar, and gluten) to figure out some health stuff, I vowed to her that I would find an alternative to her beloved nacho cheese sauce.

My previous hatred of broccoli was well known.  My in-laws used to watch Jack every Thursday while I was at work, and most Thursdays they would invite Jack and me to stay for dinner.  Thursdays were one of my favorite nights of the week! My mother-in-law has a dry erase board in her kitchen and at the top she has “Sarah’s Hit List” of things I don’t like, and broccoli was at the top of the list. In case you are curious, cauliflower, mushrooms, curry, and peppers are also on the list. Blech.

I have flashbacks to my Nanna pouring Cheez Whiz over boiled broccoli while I wiped snot and tears off of my face and held my nose gagging it down. But I decided to face that “trauma” head on and not only make myself like broccoli but create a vegan cheese sauce for my friend.

My version of the ‘Whiz is full of protein, has a crazy amount of vitamin B-12, is dairy-free, and is a cinch to make. It is also versatile – have it on pasta (GF if necessary) as a faux alfredo, add some chili powder and use it as a nacho sauce, or even use it as the base for homemade vegan mac and cheese.

vegan cheese sauce

 

Vegan Cheese Sauce

Delicious Vegan Cheese Sauce is a versatile and tasty sauce you can put on anything. It’s perfect for roasted veggies, pasta, and nachos.
1 cup of raw cashews, preferably salt-free
4 3/4 cup water, divided
1/2 tsp good quality sea salt
2 tbsp white cooking wine
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1) In a deep vessel, cover cashews with 4 cups of water. Let soak for 2-12 hours. If you are using a food processor or conventional blender, 12 hours is best.

 

2) Drain the cashews, and place them in a food processor or high-powered blender along with 3/4 cup of water, the sea salt, cooking wine, garlic, and nutritional yeast.  If you are using a food processor, you’ll want to make sure the 3/4 cup of water is boiling hot.

 

3) Blend, blend and blend until everything is incorporated and silky smooth.  A food processor will likely take about 5 minutes and require a lot of pauses to scrape down the sides. A Vitamix still needed almost 2 minutes, and I scraped the side down once.

That’s it!  No need to heat, as the friction of the processing/blending will heat everything up enough to serve as is. The sauce is ready to be used on anything, like Oven Roasted Broccoli.

Oven Roasted Broccoli with “Cheddar” Cheese Sauce
1 head of broccoli, preferably organic
2 tblsp olive oil
2 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning (I understand the irony of using steak seasoning for a vegan recipe, but it’s just spices)

1) Preheat your oven to 435 degrees.  Place a well-seasoned cast iron skillet in the oven while it preheats.

2) When the oven is ready, drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil around the bottom of the skillet to coat the surface.  Add the broccoli, the rest of the olive oil, and the steak seasoning.

Give it a quick stir with a spatula, and put it in the oven.  Cook for 15 minutes, stir and then cook until it reaches your desired “doneness”.  I prefer crispy roasted veggies, so I cooked these for a total of 28 minutes.

If you’re like me and love cast iron because you don’t have to wash additional dishes when you cook with it (oh yeah and it cooks things beautifully), knock yourself out with a second skillet full of chipotle sweet potatoes.  You’re already heating your oven to 435 degrees…you might as well get two side dishes out of it!

Plate, and drizzle with cheese sauce, and serve immediately.  Pause for applause, praise, and weeping from your friend who has so missed cheese.

vegan cheese sauce

If you’ve ever had real cheese sauce, never for one second will you say “wow, no one would ever know this is dairy-free” because that would make you a damn liar. But this rich and healthy sauce will hit the spot if you can’t, or choose not to consume dairy.

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3 comments on “Creamy Vegan Cheese Sauce”

  1. I’m toying with the idea of doing a cleanse/Whole 30 deal soon so thanks for sharing the recipe! Also, I think I need to try cooking some veggies like you do your broccoli. I love crispy roasted veggies and haven’t really thought of cooking them in my cast iron in the oven.

    Thanks!

  2. I am allergic to nuts and not vegan but will have to share this with a newly vegan friend! Thanks for sharing.