I love finding someone else’s recipe and trying it out. The process of trying to figure out another chef’s creation and customizing the recipe to my preferences (something I hope you do when you try out my recipes) is fun for me.
That’s exactly what I did when I tested Lauren Toyota’s Nacho Cheese Sauce from the Hot For Food blog.
This recipe is so tasty as it is, honestly!
The only thing I wasn’t crazy about is that it calls for 1/4 cup of oil. While I haven’t given up sautéing onions with a bit of oil or Earth Balance, I really do avoid adding it to recipes. When I made the recipe without the oil, it just isn’t as good! The oil is key to getting that extra smooth, creamy sauce.
When I wanted to try this Cheese Sauce out for chili cheese fries, I knew I wanted it to be more creamy and rich than the original Hot For Food recipe sans oil. This is how cashews and mellow miso got included in my version. The cashews add richness and the miso adds that umami flavor that is so satisfying.
I love this cheese in quesadillas. It gets melty and sticky similar to dairy cheese. I also used a batch of this in a broccoli and cheese casserole that was delicious. The recipes for both will be coming soon.
As always, if you try this or any of my recipes, please tag me on Instagram @confessionsofaveganmeathead
Plant Based Cheese Sauce
Spicy, creamy, rich plant based cheese sauce.
Author: Brianna Wright
1 C peeled, cubed, cooked potato (red potatoes work best in this recipe)
1/2 C peeled, cubed, cooked carrot
1/2 C soaked cashews
1/2 C non-dairy milk
2 tsp lemon juice
6 pickled jalapeño slices (add more or fewer depending on spice desired)
3 tbsp jalapeño pickling liquid (from the jar of pickled jalapeños)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp mellow miso paste (optional)
4 tbsp tapioca flour/starch
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
- Soak cashews for at least 4 hours or overnight if not using a high powered blender.
- Peel and diced potato and carrot into uniform size.
- Add potato and carrot to a pot of salted water and turn to high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, cook for about 7-9 minutes until potato and carrot are just fork tender.*
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high speed 3-5 minutes until smooth and creamy. *
- Pour sauce into a saucepan and heat cheese sauce over low heat. Stir constantly for 10 minutes. The sauce will thicken some as you stir.
*It’s important to not overcook the potato and carrot. If you do, the sauce becomes gritty.
*Add more cashew milk or water as needed to get things moving in the blender if necessary.
*If you do not have pickled jalapeños, you can use the Tabasco brand jalapeño hot sauce instead. Start with 1-2 teaspoons and add more if you think it could use more jalapeño flavor.
**If you make this ahead of time and reheat it, it’s best to do so on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until warmed through. I do not recommend reheat this in the microwave.