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So, to be completely honest, I hate when food bloggers write these long ongoing preambles to recipes. I feel like I’ve started to do that, so I’m going to stop since I don’t enjoy reading them and writing them isn’t the most fun either (at least for me). As such, I shall keep the introductions short and sweet from now on!
I’ve always been a fan of cheese. Isn’t everyone? I was diagnosed as lactose intolerant in middle school; however, never really cared to cut dairy out of my diet. However, I came across a vegan cheese sauce on a blog a few years ago and was impressed with how it had a slight cheesy flavor from an ingredient new to me—nutritional yeast! What is this magic! While I don’t remember what blog the original recipe came from, over the years I’ve added ingredients as I’ve understood more about flavor and how to replicate that umami cheese flavor in a vegan cheese sauce. I’ve found that white miso is the key! The first time I tried it I instantly thought of parmesan. It is a staple in our fridge. Make sure to buy gluten-free miso. I prefer Miso Master which I find at Whole Foods. They even make a chick pea one that is suitable if you can’t have soy! The most recent change to the recipe was adding a cup of butternut squash to the base, adding vibrant color and a great taste.
This is a great base cheese sauce. Feel free to eat it plain with chips, add salsa, rotel, or pickled jalapeños with brine for a nacho cheese sauce, or do as I did and toss with your favorite pasta for a healthier mac and cheese. My personal favorite way to enjoy this cheese sauce is as a dip for my gluten-free bread sticks (recipe coming soon!). Please note, while this is a vegan recipe, there are some high sodium ingredients that some may want to omit.
UGH I wrote too much, sorry! Please enjoy the recipe!
These veggies are ready to be a delicious cheese sauce!
Pop all ingredients into a blender once vegetables are soft, blend, and you have cheese sauce!
Eat with tortilla chips, tossed with pasta, or however you please! I choose to pair with Banza chickpea rotini and broccoli for dinner.
It is such a creamy and dreamy sauce. As Lorelai Gilmore once said, “I would take a bath in that sauce!”
Cashew-Free Vegan Butternut Squash Cheese Sauce
- 2 cups russet potatoes chopped (about 1 large potato)
- 1 cup carrots chopped (about 2 large carrots)
- 1 cup butternut squash diced (can use fresh or frozen)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp white miso gluten-free (Miso Master is my favorite brand)
- 2 tsp gluten free soy sauce/tamari
- 2 tsp dijon mustard optional
- pinch of cayenne pepper optional
- 1/2 - 2 tsp salt to taste
- Peel and roughly chop the potatoes, carrots, and squash. Boil the vegetables in a pot until soft, about 7-10 minutes. Reserve the water (I remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon) and place the vegetables in a blender with 1/2 cup of the water.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except for the salt. Blend on high until sauce is extremely smooth and all ingredients have been incorporated, adding additional water by the tablespoon as needed.
- Taste the sauce. Add salt as needed. I tend to add the full 2 tsp, but start with 1/2 tsp and work up until it taste irresistible. Add additional lemon or apple cider vinegar as needed to increase the acidity (though I don't find this is necessary)