This quick and easy Vegan Nacho Cheese is the ultimate comfort food made in just a few minutes! What makes this recipe stand out is not it’s simple cashew-base but a few simple add-ins like Miso-paste and Apple Cider Vinegar that tweak the flavor to something undeniably cheese-like!
I love to have this cheese on hand whenever I have a crowd over. Birthday parties, game-day snacks, baby showers, whatever! LOL. Yes, I love Mexican food! It’s been my go-to base nacho cheese sauce for a LONG time, but recently I’ve tweaked it just a bit (so if you’ve seen my basic recipe on here before, check out the changes!), and I’m loving the response I’ve been getting. ” Is this VEGAN?” “What’s in THIS?!”
Here’s what’s in my new Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce:
- Cashews – I only use 1/4 c. in this recipe because I don’t want you to taste the cashews! A big part of not ‘tasting’ them is making sure that they are WELL rinsed. You can either do this under HOT running water, or boil a small amount of water and then let them soak in it for 5 minutes, following with a quick rinse.
- Seasoned Salt – it definitely makes a difference whether you use plain or seasoned salt. I use Johnny’s but whatever you are comfortable with or prefer the flavor of here.
- Garlic and Onion Powder – again a flavor boost
- Nutritional Yeast Flakes – get that cheesy butteriness goin’
- Cornstarch or Tapioca Flour – These two thickeners act totally differently. Tapioca flour will result in a cheese that will not continue to thicken much after cooling. Cornstarch tends to have a creamier texture but will thicken more as it cools.
- Vegan Butter/Margarine – I’m totally addicted to Earth Balance but use your fave to add that slightly fatty/buttery texture vegan cheese is often missing.
- Miso Paste – it’s the hidden agent! Don’t use dark Miso paste, it’ll over-power. Stick with light or white Miso and you’ll be amazed!
- Apple Cider Vinegar – I know it seems weird. It’s not. Just try it. You won’t taste it, it just gives the right tang.
- Pimentos – My original recipe called for more pimentos, but I’ve found that scaling back on these still lends the right flavor and color without being over-powering.
How do you make this Vegan Cheese Sauce??
First you rinse your cashews, or soak them as mentioned above (Photo 1)
Then put the rest of the ingredients plus just one cup of the water in your blender and process until VERY smooth! (Photo 2)
(If you are using a high powered blender such as a Vitamin, you can just go ahead and add both cups of water at once, without difficulty.)
Add your second cup of water (if you hadn’t already done so!) and being whisking blender cheese mixture over medium heat until it becomes bubbly and thickened! (Photos 3 & 4)
This vegan Cheese Sauce is ultimately extremely flexible and is great drizzled over:
- steamed broccoli and baked potatoes
- deluxe vegan burgers
- oven-roasted cauliflower
- almost any cheesy way you can think of!
How to Re-Heat this Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce:
You can re-warm it on the stove, or microwave it!!
I’m excited for you to try my favorite Vegan Nacho Cheese!
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If you’ve tried this Vegan Nacho Cheese recipe or any other recipe on my blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I LOVE hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what this blueberry farm girl is keepin’ busy doing!!!
Vegan Nacho Cheese
- 2 C Water divided
- 1/4 C Cashews
- 1 2 oz. Jar Pimientos or 1/4 C.
- 1/4 C Nutritional Yeast Flakes
- 3 Tbsp Cornstarch may also use Tapioca Flour/Starch but increase amount by 1 Tbsp.
- 2 Tbsp. Vegan Butter I use Earth Balance
- 1 Tbsp White or Light Miso Paste
- 1.5 tsp Seasoned Salt
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- Pinch Cayenne Pepper
- Rinse Cashews under hot running water for several minutes or soak in HOT water for 5 minutes and then rinse.
- Place rinsed cashews in blender. Add 1 cup of the water and all other remaining ingredients and blend on high until completely smooth.
- Add second cup of water and pour mixture into a med size pot.
- Whisk over med heat until thickened!
- (Watch it closely…when you are quite sure it’s never going to get there, it thickens and bubbles all at once! ???? )
- Voila! Dip chips, serve as a side for baked potatoes, drizzle over maxi-bowls etc!