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!
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.
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)
- 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
This cheesy sauce would go great poured over pasta, this Southwestern 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!
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Smoky Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce
- ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
- ¼ cup carrots, chopped
- ⅓ cup onions, chopped
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 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.