This luscious vegan cashew cheese sauce makes fresh vegetables even more appealing for those who love them. It might just be the trick to tempt fussy eaters to eat their veggies!
This recipe, which contains no packaged vegan cheese, makes about 2 cups. It’s based on raw cashews, baby carrots, nutritional yeast, and a short list of additional ingredients that add up to big flavor.
Two easy ways to make it: If you have a high-speed blender, simply toss all the ingredients into it and let it spin until the container is a bit warm. If you have a regular blender or food processor, you’ll be cooking the baby carrots and cashews briefly to soften them before combining with the rest of the ingredients.
With its gorgeous golden-orange color, this delectable sauce is a great way to embellish an array of colorful vegetables, and has lots more uses as well, which you’ll see listed just below:
How to use Smoky Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce
- Vegetables galore! You’ll love this sauce served with your favorite vegetables, simply steamed or roasted. The vegetables that are most compatible with it are broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and/or carrots. Other vegetables to try: green beans, sweet or purple potatoes, parsnips, and kale. Dollop the sauce over each serving of vegetables, or use it as a dip.
- Dollop onto baked or microwaved potatoes.
- Serve with bite-sized chunks of toasted bread (sourdough is especially good) as a fondue-like appetizer.
- Stir in fresh (roasted, seeded, and minced) or canned green chili peppers to make an amazing queso dip for tortilla chips.
- This a delicious sauce for vegan mac and cheese and is enough to generously coat 10 to 12 ounces of cooked pasta.
Ingredients for this recipe
- Raw cashews
- Baby carrots
- Unsweetened plant-base milk
- Vegan mayonnaise, sour cream, or yogurt
- Nutritional yeast flakes
- Lemon juice (from 1 fresh lemon, or bottled)
- Yellow mustard
- Barbecue seasoning, such as mesquite or smoky maple (see more about this, below)
- Sweet paprika
- Turmeric or curry powder (for color)
- Dried hot red pepper flakes or gochugaru, optional
About barbecue seasoning: What gives this preparation its special kick is barbecue seasoning blend, which you can find in the spice section of any well-stocked supermarket. McCormick Grill Mates® is one of the popular brands; other brands can be found in specialty stores or online.
These seasoning blends are fantastic flavor-boosters for plant proteins. Flavors include smokehouse maple, mesquite, chipotle, and there are lots of others. They’re all good; choose your favorite!
This sauce is also delicious for making vegan mac and cheese!
Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
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- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 1 cup unsweetened plant-base milk, or a little more, as needed
- 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise, sour cream, or yogurt
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
- 2 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon barbecue seasoning such as mesquite or smoky maple (see note)
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of turmeric or curry powder (for color)
- Pinch of dried hot red pepper flakes or gochugaru, optional
- To make in a high-speed blender: Simply combine all the ingredients in the blender. Blend until the container feels warm. If the mixture seems to be too thick at any point, add a little more plant-based milk to keep it moving.
- To make in a food processor or regular blender: Combine the cashews, carrots, and plant-based milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a rapid simmer, then cover and simmer gently for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the carrots are a bit more than of tender-crisp.
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor or regular blender along with the remaining ingredients and process until very smooth. It takes a good few minutes to make it smooth.
- No matter which machine used, scrape the mixture out to a serving container with the aid of a rubber spatula. Serve at once as suggested above the recipe box.
Find lots more delectable sauces and dressings.