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This recipe uses a combination of cashews plus veggies and spices to make this sauce both delicious and healthy. Try this recipe the next time you want a cheesy dip. It’s perfect on nachos, as a dipping sauce, or even on pasta!

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I had been on the hunt for the perfect cheese replacement after going vegan. It’s hard enough giving up cheese, but then tasting oily or cardboard flavored mock cheese from the supermarket was not helping.

To be fair, there are some really good tasting mock cheeses on the market now, but 4 years there were significantly less options. Not to mention these options weren’t exactly the healthiest. Especially when I had decided to make the switch initially for health reasons. Oily mock cheeses full of saturated fat weren’t much better than dairy cheese full of saturated fat.

This lead me to research how to make my own “cheese” at home. Low and behold, it was possible! Lots of people were making cheesy sauces with potatoes and carrots or nuts and seeds.

I’ve made my fair share of vegan cheeses and this one does not disappoint. I use a combination of veggies and cashews to make this sauce.

This particular recipe is what I like to call my “all-purpose” cheesy sauce because you can serve it in so many different ways! It’s great as a dip, is absolutely delicious drizzled over any nourish bowl or plate of vegetables like potato nachos (see below picture), and can even be used to make a cheesy pasta.

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Ingredients Needed

This recipe uses a combination of cashews plus veggies and spices to make this sauce both delicious and healthy.

Here’s what you need:

  • raw cashews
  • carrots (gives a nice orange color to the sauce)
  • onions
  • low-sodium vegetable broth
  • corn starch (to thicken)
  • nutritional yeast (optional but ups the cheesy flavor)
  • lemon juice
  • low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari/liquid aminos)
  • yellow mustard
  • smoked paprika (this ingredient is essential for the smoky flavor)

What Equipment Do You Need?

In order to make this sauce as smooth as possible you’re going to want to have a strong blender. I use this Ninja blender which works well enough. Otherwise a food processor should work too.

Soaking the cashews will also help in guaranteeing a smooth result. Use hot, near boiling, water to cover the cashews for at least 15 minutes.

How Long Will it Keep?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze this sauce for several months.

Why This is My Repeat Vegan Cheese Recipe

I always go back to this recipe because it’s:

  • ready in less than 30 minutes
  • made with 10 ingredients or less
  • satisfies the cheese desire
  • delicious served hot or cold
  • versatile for many occasions
  • made with smoked paprika for extra flavor
Look no further! TWO vegan cheese sauces - endless options! You'll never need another vegan cheese dip recipe again ;) #vegancheese #vegancheesedip #vegancheesesauce #dairyfree #nondairy #glutenfree #oilfree #nutfree #plantbased #plantbasedcheese #veganrecipe

Serving Suggestions

This cheesy sauce would go great poured over pasta, this Vegetable Breakfast Hash or on top of my famous Three-Bean Chili. Better yet, dip these Baked Zucchini Chips into it for a satisfying snack. Or simply use your favorite chip or vegetable and dig in! The possibilities are endless!

If you’re looking for more vegan cheese recipes, you’ll also love this Vegan Nacho Cheese and this Cashew Ricotta.

If you enjoyed this recipe please leave a comment below and give it 5 stars! Or on Pinterest (don’t forget to follow me!) you can now add pictures into reviews, too, and be sure to help me share on facebook!

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Smoky Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce

5 from 2 votes
Author: Rachel
Try this recipe the next time you want a cheesy dip. It's perfect on nachos, as a dipping sauce, or even on pasta!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8

Method

  • Blender
  • Stovetop

Ingredients  

  • ¾ cup raw cashews soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
  • ¼ cup carrots chopped
  • cup onions chopped
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tsps corn starch
  • 3 tbsps nutritional yeast optional
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsps low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika

Instructions 

  • Add the chopped onion and carrots to a nonstick pan over medium heat and sauté with a bit of water until soft.
  • In a blender, add the onion and carrots along with the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Enjoy cold or heat up on the stove to thicken it a bit and warm it up.

Notes

Serving Suggestions: Use as a dip with veggies or tortilla chips or serve over pasta, quinoa, or baked potatoes.
Want more flavor? Add more spices, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast, or even a jalapeño to give it a kick.
Smoked paprika is necessary for the flavor profile of this recipe. If you cannot find smoked paprika, try adding some liquid smoke, or use more nutritional yeast to up the cheesy flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 168mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 731IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer, Sauces & Dressings, Snack
Cuisine: American
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