cheese sauce

Easy Vegan All Purpose Cheese Sauce

Vegan cheese sauce dripping from a spoon into a copper pot

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.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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:

Cashew Queso

“Meaty” Cheddar Queso

Spicy Vegan Queso, Nut Free

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.

Easy all purpose cashew based vegan cheese sauce. Perfect for vegan pizza, pasta, or sandwiches!

Vegan Gorgonzola and Balsamic Glazed Chips

As much as I love french fires, my love for loaded chips is probably just as equal. Lets be real, offer me a fried potato of any kind and I will eat it. That being said, this recipe is my all time favorite chip recipe. A local restaurant we used to frequent served a non vegan version of these chips, and I was obsessed. It took me a while to get a convincing vegan gorgonzola sauce, but once I did, it was game on. These chips are salty, tangy, sweet, and perfect. You can top them with chives, but we like to chop up cilantro stems and sprinkle on top for a bright, fresh contrast! I promise you, these will be one of your new favorite chips, too!

As much as I love french fires, my love for loaded chips is probably just as equal. Lets be real, offer me a fried potato of any kind and I will eat it. That being said, this recipe is my all time favorite chip recipe. A local restaurant we used to frequent served a non vegan version of these chips, and I was obsessed. It took me a while to get a convincing vegan gorgonzola sauce, but once I did, it was game on. These chips are salty, tangy, sweet, and perfect. You can top them with chives, but we like to chop up cilantro stems and sprinkle on top for a bright, fresh contrast! I promise you, these will be one of your new favorite chips, too!

Ingredients:

  • 4 - 6 russet potatoes

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1 - 2 tablespoons agave

  • oil for frying (air fryer instructions also given)

  • optional: chives or chopped cilantro for garnish

Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

  • 1/2 cups cashews

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 2 tablespoons tapioca or corn starch

  • juice from 1 lemon

  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon light miso paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup plant based milk

  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter

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Instructions:

  1. Wash Potatoes but do not peel. Using a kitchen mandoline, slice the potatoes on the thinnest setting. You can also use your food processor with the slice attachment, or use the side of box grater that has one horizontal blade. Whatever you use, you want a super thin slice.

  2. IF USING AN AIR FRYER: Toss the potatoes in a teaspoon of oil and a few shakes of some salt, then add them in batches to your basket. Cook on 360 degrees for 15 minutes. Half way through cooking, move the chips around in the basket; they like to stick together so you may have to peel some apart. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes or until all of the slices are crisp like a chip.

  3. IF PAN FRYING: Fill a large skillet with a few inches of your preferred oil for frying. Heat the pan on medium heat until the oil is sizzling. Begin adding chips in batches and allow to cook for several minutes until they are browning and crisp. Place finished chips on a wire cooling rack that you have placed on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Lightly salt the chips.

  4. Add balsamic and agave to small sauce pan. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. You can start with 1 tablespoon of agave and if the glaze is not sweet enough for you, add more. It will thicken some as it sits, so if it is too thick and sticky when you are ready to use it, add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar back in and whisk.

  5. To prepare the cheese sauce, drain the cashews and add them along with remaining cheese sauce ingredients, minus the milk and butter, to a high speed blender or food processor. Blend on high until mixture is completely smooth.

  6. Transfer mixture to a sauce pan and heat on med/low heat. Whisk the sauce as it is cooking. Once the sauce begins to thicken, add in the milk and butter, and cook for one more minute. If the sauce gets too thick, you can always add a little more milk to thin it out.

  7. To serve, pile chips on a plate. Drizzle with cheese sauce, balsamic glaze, and sprinkle with diced chives or cilantro.

serves 4-6