This blogpost is also available in German (auf Deutsch)
Do you miss cheese in the vegan diet the most, or maybe creamy sauces?
I’ve been eating plant based for almost 7 years and found out very quickly how to make vegan cheesy sauces myself. But lately I have noticed on Instagram that this knowledge is not yet widespread 🙂 I get several questions a week about my food stories on Instagram, where I regularly show pasta with cream sauce or lasagna or the like.
I have a total of 4 basic recipes for cheese sauce with which one can play around with and vary a lot. Today we start with one of my favorite versions: vegan cashew cheese sauce.
I’ll show you the basic recipe first, and then below, the many uses for the sauce, as well as additional ingredients to help you make the sauce lighter or heavier. For me it is very important to emphasize that you can/should really play around with the basic recipe. I like the standard version a lot, but many people like it spicier, thicker or even much thinner than me. Get creative yourself and play around with the extra ingredients. Because after trying the sauce, you will not just cook it once.
But now, finally, to the basic recipe:
1 Cup Cashews
1 Cup vegan Milk
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
+ of course Salt and Pepper
1. If you do not have a strong blender, then you need to soak the nuts for a few hours. My blender manages it without having to soak them. Blend the ingredients together until the sauce is creamy and no cashews are left.
2. Now you have a very viscous sauce, which you can put right on hot noodles or vegetables as is. If you want to continue cooking, you will need to add water gradually, otherwise it will get too thick. Or you use from the beginning only 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup cashews. Then you have a much thinner sauce. It depends on your recipe. The sauce is enough for about 4 people or 2-3 very hungry people 🙂 It depends 🙂
Other optional ingredients:
- 1 Garlic (this is a must for me)
- 1 small teaspoon mustard (this is also a standard ingredient for me, but not everyone likes it)
- 1/2 teaspoon tumeric (creates the nice yellow color)
- 1 pinch of paprika (makes it a bit specier)
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (makes the sauce a bit fresher and lighter)
- 1 teaspoon Tahini (makes it “stronger”)
- 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon soy sauce (makes it a bit “stronger”)
I really like the version with the basic recipe plus mustard and garlic. Here I also added turmeric for the beautiful color.
The sauce is suitable for:
- Pasta, as a simple pasta sauce
- Mac’n Cheeze – just spice it up a bit and put it in the oven with some cooked macaroni
- For vegan spaghetti carbonara, simply add to the crushed onions and smoked tofu
- Lasagna – for baking, but only add a little later, so about 10 minutes before the end of the baking time
- For creamy vegetable sauce, just add to the roasted vegetables and cook, but do not forget to gradually add water, as the sauce thickens very quickly
- For creamy mushroom sauce, just leave the turmeric out, then the sauce is much brighter
- As a sauce over baked vegetables from the oven
- Even as a spread, if you use less liquid when mixing, the whole thing is then more of a spread than a sauce. Do not forget the lemon and garlic and leave out the soy sauce and paprika powder.
- And much more !!
Disclaimer: Yes, cashews are generally very expensive. But the recipe is enough for 4 people, that’s about 1 Euro per person for organic nuts, and you can also reduce the amount of cashews by half and even by one third if you cook the sauce anyway. The rest of the ingredients are relatively cheap. Nutritional yeast can be found in the health food store. Just ask!
Also I usually don’t use cashew butter, somehow it tastes better for me when I make it fresh, but you can just try that yourself!
If cashews are still too expensive for you, I will soon have a cheaper version for you. As I said, I have a total of 4 basic recipes. Let me know by commenting, if you want to know the other three recipes! Then I will prepare them for you soon!
Have fun cooking and enjoy your meal!
Get creative and play around a bit. I love to add some mustard and garlic. Turmeric, paprika, tahini, lemon and soy sauce are also suitable.
This is the version without turmeric.
This is the version with turmeric.