One of the most basic and useful recipes I have, is this one. This easy vegan all purpose cheese sauce is something I almost always have on hand. It is a very convincing, ooey, gooey, white cheese. You can use it for pizza, pastas, grilled cheese, seriously so many different things. The spice profile is pretty basic and can be changed up depending on what you are using it for. If you are allergic to nuts, check out our allergy friendly queso recipe. You can leave out the peppers and hot sauce and will be left with a basic nut free cheese sauce! Also check out our cashew queso recipe. It has a nice spicy kick and works well for quesadillas, and enchiladas, and tacos.
1 cup cashews
2 cups water, plus more for soaking cashews
1 teaspoon light miso paste
4 tablespoons tapioca or corn starch
3-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast (I tend to lean towards being more heavy handed with the nutritional yeast. Adjust to your taste)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Place cashews in a microwave safe container and cover in water. Microwave for 3 minutes. Drain water and rinse. If you do not have a microwave, you can boil them in a pot of water for 5 minutes or you can soak them for a few hours in hot water.
Add drained cashews and remaining ingredients to a high speed blender and process until the mixture is totally and completely smooth. This may take a minute or two of blending.
Transfer mixture to a medium sized pot over medium heat. Heat the mixture for a few minutes, stirring continuously with a whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. Once desired consistency, remove from heat. If it gets too thick, you can add a little more water to thin it back out.
Depending on what I am using the sauce for, depends on how thick I will allow it to get. If using it for pizza, then I will let it get pretty thick so I can dollop it on top of the pizza. If using it in a lasagna or in enchiladas, I will keep it at a thick pudding constancy so it’s easier to spread. You can use it as an alfredo sauce, just keep it on the thinner side. Feel free to add any extra spices depending on what you are using it for!
You can use this sauce for:
pizza, lasagna, enchiladas, as an alfredo sauce, stuffed shells, calzones, quesadillas, mac and cheese, cheese spread for sandwiches, grilled cheese, just to name a few
If you like this recipe, try these:
My favorite vegan cookbook is “Veganize It!” by Robin Robertson. I adapted and made some changes to her recipe for cashew pizza “cheese” to create this basic all purpose cheese sauce. If you are in the market for some great vegan cook books, be sure to check her’s out.