Scrappy Vegan Cheese Sauce - Pantry Friendly!
To make this dairy-free cheese sauce, follow this loose formula. It offers lots of flexibility to use what you have and allows you to use those odds and ends in the fridge and pantry.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup your choice base*- combo of steamed veggies, or white beans, or soaked nuts such as cashews, or soaked raw sunflower seeds, or 1/2 cup almond flour
- 3 tablespoons your choice fat (nut butter or seed butter/tahini, mild olive oil, refined coconut oil)
- 2-3 tablespoons your choice acid- lemon juice, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, fermented pickle brine, sauerkraut, jalapeño brine
- 3 tablespoons your choice starch- tapioca starch or arrowroot starch. Can also use all purpose flour, cassava flour or even 1/2 cup cooked rice in a pinch
- 1-2 teaspoons your choice salt- sea salt, flake salt, tamari/soy sauce, miso
- 1-2 cloves raw or roasted garlic, optional but pretty great
Optional flavor boosts to make different sauces:
Big pinch- smoked paprika, mustard powder, white pepper, Italian herbs (for Alfredo sauce!)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or onion powder, or tomato paste
1 teaspoon mustard, yellow, Dijon, or whole grain
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, caramelized onions, pickled jalapeños
*Get creative with the 1 cup base - you can use red peppers, carrots and potato for a yellow sauce like the one in the photo. Or change it up with peeled summer squash, cauliflower and onion for a delicious Alfredo or fondue sauce. I've even used canned unsweetened pumpkin with chipotles in adobo for a cheesy enchilada sauce.
Add all ingredients to your blender and process until very smooth and creamy.
Taste and adjust flavors. Salt and tang make a big difference.
Simmer at medium heat until the sauce thickens lusciously. You can taste and adjust flavors again if you'd like.
Enjoy your sauce on anything from nachos, enchiladas, baked potatoes, roasted vegetables, macaroni, linguine, lasagna or just as a dipping sauce for baguette or blanched green beans.
Get creative with that pantry!