I like to think that all of my recipes are pretty stinkin’ good, but every now and then I make something and REALLY hit it out of the park. Here’s how I know it’s awesome:
I eat the whole thing, by myself.
It happened with healthy peanut butter oatmeal cookies and with homemade cheez-it’s and it would have happened with chocolate avocado mousse if they weren’t already portioned into 8 oz cute little glass jars. (THANK GOODNESS for those jars!)
Well friends, it happened again. This time, with this vegan nacho cheese sauce recipe. And I’m NOT sorry!
Before you say it – I KNOW.
I’m not vegan, have never tried to be vegan and the mere idea that there’s such a thing as VEGAN CHEESE kind of creeps me out.
(no offense lovely vegan readers)
But I do like cashews.
And apparently you can take cashews and turn them into nacho cheese sauce.
Don’t believe me?
Check this out.
Guys. This ↑ ↑ becomes this ↓ ↓ in less than one minute.
That means you have ONE MINUTE to tell yourself that it’s perfectly okay to have a bite or two… or three… but that you will not, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, eat the entire batch of vegan nacho cheese sauce.
And I’ll tell you this. One minute isn’t NEARLY long enough.
Just give in. There’s no point in fighting it.
This vegan nacho cheese sauce recipe beats ANY real food cheese sauce I’ve ever had…
And it DEFINITELY beats that fake wanna-be cheese a.k.a. Velveeta.
Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce Recipe
If you’re not vegan (like me) and you’re wondering why in the world you should try making this vegan nacho cheese sauce recipe (like me), then let me clue you in:
- it’s BEYOND quick and easy. As in, I can’t believe that’s all it takes and WOW, that was fast.
- there’s a good chance you have everything you need in your pantry… HIGH FIVE!
- just 3 ingredients. Yep, that’s it. Just three.
- NO OVERNIGHT SOAKING. Apparently in the cashews-can-become-cheese world, soaking cashews overnight is nearly always a requirement. NOT THE CASE TODAY!
- one minute. Yes, I’ve said this already, but it bears repeating. IT’S READY IN ONE MINUTE!
- Whole30 approved. We’re not on the Whole30 anymore, but life would have been a MILLIONS times better if we did the Whole30 with this vegan cheese sauce recipe… on top on burrito bowls (made with cauliflower rice and Instant Pot Korean beef), for dipping the best burgers ever, for dipping raw veggies….
- dairy-free. A no-cheese cheese sauce for my dairy-free peeps! (YASSSS!)
- gluten-free. No flour and no other thickening agent, so even grain-free and gluten-free people can enjoy!
- NO COOKING… which means no reheating (unless you want it warm) and no trying to keep it warm in a slow cooker (and then accidentally burning it)!
Even if you don’t have the need to make a vegan nacho cheese sauce recipe, here’s what I’m thinking.
I’m thinking that one day, you’re going to be invited to a party and the host(ess) is going to ask you to bring something.
To which you say, “Sure! I’d love to!” and then promptly panic because
- A) you’re already pretty busy as it is and you don’t have the time to make something, and
- B) you don’t really want to make a special trip to the grocery store JUST for this party, and
- C) you really don’t want to spend any more grocery budget money just for this one dish.
Thaaat’s when you make this vegan nacho cheese sauce recipe (and pick up a bag of chips on the way over).
Or maybe you’re watching the Superbowl or the Stanley Cup or the World Series or the NBA Championship and you’re thinking that you need some party food to go with the game.
This is real life folks. You know you’re going to need this recipe. I suggest making a “trial batch” this week, just to make sure that there’s enough for you AND everyone else.
A few notes about this recipe…
I used salted cashews because that’s what I had on hand. If you use unsalted OR your taco seasoning is unsalted, add a pinch or two at the end to taste.
I have this Blendtec blender and it’s pretty awesome. It makes this vegan nacho cheese dip so incredibly smooth without having to soak the cashews. If you have a regular blender, you should be okay – you just might have to run the blender a few times. If you have a regular blender and you know for a fact that it absolutely will not turn raw cashews into a creamy dip on its own, then soak the cashews overnight. (I’ve included instructions in the recipe below).
As written, this recipe has enough heat to make you go, “Ooh, that’s got some kick to it… I like it!” If you want it hotter, you can add more cayenne OR use hot green chilies instead of medium.
- ¾ cup cashews
- (1) 4oz can diced green chilies NOT drained
- 2 tsp taco seasoning (I used my homemade taco seasoning)
- pinch of salt (if needed, if cashews or taco seasoning isn't salted)
- 2 Tbsp water
- ⅛ tsp cayenne, optional
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until the mixture is smooth. You might need to use a spatula to scrape down the sides. If you don't have a high powered blender, you might have to run the blender a few times.
- I found that 2 Tbsp of water created the perfect consistency for me, BUT you can make it thinner by adding more water, 1 Tbsp at a time. Another idea, is to substitute almond milk or cashew milk for the water to make the cheese sauce creamy, but I didn't think that was necessary.
Adapted from Pinch of Yum.