Thursday night is taco night at our house! I make my Black Bean Chilli, Fresh Coriander, Green Chilli and Lime Sauce, corn salsa, chopped salad, tortillas and corn chips at the ready and everyone helps themselves! But there has been a glaring omission from our table. Cheese. This amazing creamy, stretchy and melty Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce has come to our rescue! It is so tasty, versatile and easy to prepare it will become a regular on your table, I promise!
It is likely you will have most of these ingredients on hand to prepare this tasty sauce. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my Guide to Whole Plant-Based Pantry Essentials.
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I tried a few cheesy recipes and they all lacked little something. The texture would be great, but the flavour lacking, or the flavour would be ok and the texture just weird.
So after much experimenting, I have found a versatile cheese sauce that is flavoursome, stretchy, melty and gooey. It’s very much like a bechamel, but a little more elastic thanks to the tapioca starch.
Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce
You will need
- 1/2 cup Cashews, raw
- 1 cup water (plus extra to thin to your desired consistency.)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp of white miso paste
- 3 Tbsp tapioca starch
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Process your cashews and salt in your food processor or blender until very finely ground. I find the salt helps with the process.
Add all the remaining ingredients and process until you get a fine milky mix.
You may wish to strain the mix into a saucepan, (I don’t bother!) and stir constantly over low heat.
As you stir it will start forming clumps, and frankly, it begins to look like a disaster! A whisk is great to help scramble out the lumps.
It comes together after about 5-7 minutes of stirring and becomes firm, stretchy and melty. Serve hot.
Any remaining cheese sauce can be stored covered in the fridge for a few days. I reheat in the microwave for 20-second intervals, with a few tablespoons of boiled water on hand to help thin the sauce to a dollopable consistency.
For a spicy kick, add a tablespoon of finely chopped pickled jalapenos or adobo sauce and serve with corn chips at your next fiesta!
Of course, you can use this cashew cheese sauce in so many ways!
Spoon it over steamed cauliflower or broccoli. It is fantastic layered in a lasagne or vegan moussaka.
Add a 1/4 cup of water and stir through cooked macaroni for an instant macaroni cheese. Just add Vegan Parmesan Cheese on top and grill for a crispy top. Comfort food heaven!
It’s incredible in quesadillas! I even spread it in toasted sandwiches for a melty, cheesy hit.
Do you have a favourite non-dairy cheesy recipe? I would love to hear it! Leave a comment below.