Vegan “Nacho Cheese” Sauce

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Step 1: Gather Ingredients 

Gather for vegan nacho cheese sauce:

  • ¼ cup cashews
  • 2 medium waxy potatoes (yellow or red)
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ medium onion
  • 5-6 whole mushrooms (optional)

Spices (to taste):

  • Sea salt
  • Turmeric
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Nutritional yeast

Step 2: Prep the Veggies for Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

Peel the potatoes and carrot, and cut them into chunks. Cut the onion in half and peel the outer layers off. Remove the stem and root portions. Set these aside along with the carrot peelings to make scrap veggie stock.

Step 3: Boil the Veggies

Put cut potatoes, carrot, onion and whole mushrooms into a pot filled with water, bring to a boil, and boil until a fork pierces the carrot easily. Turn off heat.

Vegetables boiling

Step 4: Prep the Blender for Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

Meanwhile, place cashews, sea salt, and spices into a blender. You can use any size blender as long as you do not overload it. If you’re working with a personal blender, process it in batches. You do not have to use all or any of the spices I use, they are not necessary to make the vegan nacho cheese sauce “work”. The garlic gives a more robust flavor and the paprika a hint of smokiness. I use the nutritional yeast for a stronger yellow color and nutritional boost (Vit B12). The turmeric is an acquired taste but paired with the black pepper to increase its bioavailability they add an anti-inflammatory kick to the sauce.

Cashews and spices in the base of a blender

Step 5: Add the Veggies

When the boiled vegetables have cooled enough to handle, add the vegetables to the blender and pour 1 ½ cups of the water they were boiled in into the blender. 

Step 6: Blend until Smooth

Blend on medium speed with the center of the lid off until the vegan nacho cheese sauce is smooth. It is important to leave the lid seal broken somehow, such as leaving the center of the lid out, because blending hot liquids creates a vacuum effect that can cause enough pressure for the blender to explode! This is another reason to make sure the vegetables have cooled enough to handle, to lessen this chance.

Vegan nacho cheese sauce in a blender

Step 7: Enjoy the Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce!

Use anywhere you would use a liquid cheese sauce! Great for Broccoli Cheese Soup, Broccoli Rice Casserole, Nachos, Chili con queso, Mac n Cheese, etc. 

Vegan nacho cheese sauce over macaroni

Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

Thie vegan nacho cheese is great on not only nachos, but also on macaroni, in broccoli cheddar soup, and more!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheese, Cheese Sauce
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 70kcal

Equipment

  • Knife and cutting board
  • Blender
  • Pot to boil in
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Vegetable peeler

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Cashews
  • 2 medium Waxy potatos red or yellow
  • 1 whole Carrot
  • ½ medium Onion
  • 5-6 whole Mushrooms (optional)
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Paprika to taste
  • Nutritional yeast to taste

Instructions

  • Peel the potatoes and carrot, and cut them into chunks.
  • Cut the onion in half, peel the outer layers off, and remove the stem and root portions.
  • Put cut potatoes, carrot, onion and whole mushrooms into a pot filled with water, bring to a boil, and boil until a fork pierces the carrot easily. 
  • Turn off heat and add cashews, sea salt, and spices to the blender.
  • Add the cooled veggies with 1 ½ c of the water they were boiled in to the blender.
  • Blend until smooth. You may have to process it in batches so as not to overload your blender.

Notes

The salt is necessary or this vegan nacho cheese sauce will not taste like cheese. Season to your palate but be generous. 
 
It will store in the fridge well for about 3 days if there is any leftover and reheats well on low heat on the stovetop.
 
If you decide to use a different nut or seed, be aware you need to soak them for 12 hours or more so they can be blended easily. They will also be more strongly flavored and adjustments will have to be made accordingly. 

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