There are a ton and a half vegan cheese sauces out there and this is my version. Not much different than most but the twist I like is the roasted bell peppers instead of pimentos that most call for. The roasting of the bell peppers gives it a little of that smoked flavor which I think is a more cheesy flavor. I have tried it with smoked paprika as well and that gives it a bit more smokey flavor so experiment with your flavors and see what you like best.
I have tried it without the salt and oh boy it is just NOT the same so if you are low sodium I suggest trying miso or low sodium soy sauce instead so you can keep that salty flavor. Another fun way to play with this is by adding chipotle spices or chili powder to make it nacho flavored. I also sometimes grind up a little bit of raw cashews along with some nutritional yeast to a nice slightly chunky powder and mix that in by hand for little tiny chunks but if you want it silky smooth just stick with the recipe below.
I use this to make a mean mac and cheese, nacho sauce for well… nachos and I make a YUMMY nacho baked potato salad that I will post next week. I am also thinking of adding some to my already good lasagna and I love it on steamed cauliflower and broccoli but I’m sure the possibilities are as endless as regular cheese sauce!
By now from all my previous posts you can see how much I LOVE cashews as my dairy sub and this is yet another showing of how versatile these wonderful nuts are.
Vegan Cheese Sauce
Makes approximately 3+ cups
1 cup raw cashews
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 heaping teaspoon paprika
1 heaping teaspoon onion powder
1 heaping teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup roasted bell peppers including the juice if using jarred (chop them up small enough to fit in the cup if needed)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1-1 1/2 cups of water (depending on how thick you want the sauce-start with 1 cup and work up)
If you do not have a vita-mix like blender soak the nuts for a couple of hours to soften and rinse well.
Pour all the ingredients into the blender (starting with only 1 cup of water) and blend until perfectly smooth. Add more water if a thinner consistency is desired). If you are using a high powered blender you can blend until warm otherwise transfer to a pan and heat until warm and pour over whatever you desire and ENJOY!