Cheesy Cashew Nut Sauce or Dip – Vegan and Gluten Free
Oh I do love my Froothie blender. It makes such beautifully smooth sauces and has encouraged me to be so much more adventurous than I used to be. Vegan cheese sauce has been on my radar for a couple of years now. Last month, I finally got around to making some. This cheesy cashew nut sauce really is a revelation and I’ll be making it a regular part of my repertoire.
Sceptical as ever, I doubted the many claims I’ve heard that you can make a vegan cheese sauce that actually tastes like cheese sauce. How wrong I was. Even CT was fooled. Nutritional yeast is a key ingredient and it gives that savoury umami note that is essential in a good hard cheese. Until I attended the vegan cookery course at The Vegetarian Society last year, I’d never really come across nutritional yeast before. It has many benefits such as a high Vitamin B12 content and it’s a complete protein to boot.
As usual I’ve tried to make this cheesy cashew nut sauce as nutritious as possible. I’ve seen some vegan versions where potato forms the base of the sauce, but I wanted my version to be protein rich. Cashew nuts seemed like the obvious answer. In addition to the nuts and nutritional yeast, I added an onion, garlic and a carrot for extra nutrients as well as colour.
Ultra Smooth Sauce
The sauce is super simple to make, though a little planning is needed. It’s best to soak the cashew nuts for at least two hours before blending and the vegetables need cooking in order to make the stock. I used a little vinegar to replicate the acidity of cheese. I think I achieved that cheesy cheddar tang I was after. The small jug of my Optimum G2.3 induction blender* came into its own and was used to whizz the ingredients together to produce an ultra smooth sauce. It has an ingenious lid with blades that you can rotate by hand whilst the mixture is blending. This puts an end to ingredients getting stuck and refusing to budge – something that used to frustrate me hugely.
If you’d like to order any Froothie appliance* including the G2.3 blender, I can offer Tin and Thyme readers free P&P. Just add 2483 free ambassador delivery to the comment box when ordering. Delivery will be credited back onto your card. As I go to press all orders over £200 come with a free nutriforce extractor.
Cheesy Cashew Nut Sauce
I’m rather pleased with what I’ve come up with. The beauty of this cheesy cashew nut sauce is that it really does taste like cheese sauce. It can, however, be enjoyed by pretty much anyone. Anyone except those with a nut allergy of course. As well as being dairy free and vegan, it’s also gluten free.
My cheesy cashew nut sauce works equally well as a sauce or a dip. It can be used to make lasagne type dishes, poured over a baked potato or steamed veg. In fact it can be treated in any other way you’d use a traditional cheese sauce. We enjoyed this as a dip one day, spread over bread another day and poured over a baked potato and steamed broccoli on the third day. Not bad, eh?
Cheesy Cashew Nut Sauce – The Recipe
- 100 g cashew nuts - soaked & rinsed
- 50-100 ml vegetable stock - depending on how thick or runny you want the sauce
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar I used kombucha vinegar
- 1 tsp English mustard
- ½ tsp tamari
- 1 medium carrot - scrubbed
- 1 small onion - peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic - peeled
- 3 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 parsley stalk
- pinch sea salt
- Soak the cashew nuts in water for at least 2 hours then rinse and drain.
- Make the stock by throwing the veg, herbs, pepper and salt in a pot and covering with water. Cover and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Drain the stock and remove the bay leaf and parsley stalk from the veg.
Place the veg into a power blender with the remaining ingredients and 50ml of the liquid stock. Blitz until the sauce is smooth. This will give a good dipping consistency. To make a pourable sauce, add more stock until the required consistency is achieved.
The longer you can soak the cashew nuts the better - best soaked overnight or for 8 hours if possible.
Keeps covered in the fridge for up to a week.
I’m sharing my recipe for cheesy cashew nut sauce with Searching for Spice for Cook Once Eat Twice.
Other recipes for vegan sauces you might like
- Barbecue sauce via Tin and Thyme
- Chilli sauce via Tin and Thyme
- Cranberry sauce via Tin and Thyme
- Duck sauce (it’s vegan honest) via Strength and Sunshine
- Garlic pineapple sauce via A Virtual Vegan
- Oil free gravy via Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen
- Quick tomato sauce with seaweed via Tin and Thyme
- Red wine gravy via Tin and Thyme
- Tahini sauce with clementines and smoked paprika via Tin and Thyme
For even more sauce recipe inspiration, head over to my saucy sauces board on Pinterest.
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Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this cheesy cashew nut sauce, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
Cheesy Cashew Nut Sauce. PIN IT.
I use a Froothie Optimum power blender* for smoothies, spreads, sauces and even chocolate making. This post contains affiliate links. Buying through a link will not cost you any more, but I will get a small commission. I was not expected to write a positive review and all opinions are, as always, my own. Thanks to my readers for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blythe and blogging.