I’ve been on a cashew cheese kick lately, enjoying the fact that I can finally once again eat some of the foods I had to give up when I found out I have a lactose allergy.
Cashew cheese is delicious, and I love it, and cashews are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and important nutrients such as protein, fiber, and iron. But there are a few downsides to eating a lot of cashews, or eating a lot of cashew cheese:
- With over double the calories of carbohydrates or protein, all those extra calories can secretly sabotage your healthy eating, if you don’t balance them out.
- Cashew cheese is really filling.
- Raw cashews are a bit pricey.
As much as I love Cashew Cheese, and the delicious, Spicy Nacho Cashew Cheese Sauce, I made recently, I wanted to find another cheese option, one that is lighter and less filling, and cheaper too.
After doing some searching online, I found the recipe for Life Changing Vegan Cheese Sauce at Eat Healthy Eat Happy, which was adapted from the Cheese-Less Cheeze Sauce from Oatmeal With A Fork. I’ll admit it. When I saw that this cheese sauce was made from potatoes and carrots, I was a bit skeptical, but then I saw the photos. The cheese sauce looked so good, that I had to try it.
Plus, I already had everything I needed, which earns this Vegan Cheese Sauce recipe major points, because making cashew cheese always means a special trip to the grocery store for raw cashews.
Natalie and Brian were a bit skeptical too. They both watched as I made this recipe and roasted the broccoli, curious to see how on Earth I could make a cheese sauce that tastes like real cheddar cheese out of potatoes and carrots. It sounds crazy.
Making Vegan Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Making the Vegan Cheddar Cheese Sauce was super easy.
I first peeled and cubed the potatoes and peeled and sliced the carrots, combining them in a medium saucepan, and covering them with water. I brought the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduced the head to medium and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
I doubled the amount of carrot used in the original recipe I found, from 1 carrot to 2 carrots, for no reason other than wanting more veggies incorporated.
While the potatoes and carrots were simmering, I added all of the remaining ingredients to my Vitamix (you can use a food processor). Then when the potatoes and carrots were done simmering, I added them to the Vitamix and blended everything together for about 2-3 minutes, or until it was completely smooth.
I used the soup setting on the Vitamix to heat the Vegan Cheese Sauce at the same time. I wanted it piping hot, so I could drizzle it over the broccoli I had roasting in the oven.
To roast the broccoli: I cut 2 heads of broccoli into small pieces, tossed them in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, arranged them on a baking sheet so none of the pieces touched, and baked them for 20 minutes in the oven preheated to 400 degrees.
Quick Tip: You can easily make this a nut-free Vegan Cheese Sauce recipe simply by substituting 1/3 cup water for the Almond Milk.
Taste Test Results
Then it was time for a taste test. Does dairy-free Vegan Cheese Sauce actually taste like real cheese? Would this fake cheese sauce deliver all the yummy goodness of real melted, gooey, cheddar cheese?
OMG! YES! It is sooooo good!
While not an exact duplicate for cheddar cheese, it is close, very close. We couldn’t even taste the potato or the carrot, and Natalie at first thought there was real cheese in it!
The taste and texture of this dairy-free cheese sauce reminded me of the cheese fondue made with Velveeta cheese that I ate when I was a kid. It most closely resembles and tastes like the cheap cheese sauce poured over paper trays of tortilla chips to make snack bar nachos, gas station nachos, or school lunch nachos.
Eating this Vegan Cheese Sauce made us feel like we had ordered some type of fair food or carnival food covered in cheese.
Cooking With Vegan Cheddar Cheese
While I’m not going to give up my cashew cheese, I do seriously love it, I am thrilled to have another dairy-free cheese option. The tastes and textures are very different, and work great in different types of recipes and meals.
- This dairy-free cheese sauce would be amazing for nachos.
- It is delicious drizzled over roasted broccoli and roasted cauliflower.
- It is a fantastic starting point for a light, dairy-free Bacon Macaroni And Cheese.
- The cheese sauce tastes amazing poured over a baked potato and tater tots, and it makes a fantastic dairy-free cheese dipping sauce for hot pretzels.
- It’s the perfect cheese sauce for Chili Cheese Dogs — well, we make turkey chili and cheese vegetarian dogs, but you get the idea.
- And, this cheese sauce recipe can be adapted to make a scrumptious, dairy-free, creamy, Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
When I tried this Vegan Cheese Sauce recipe, I never believed that potatoes and carrots could replace cheese, but it is totally possible, and totally delicious. Even the dairy eaters in my house loved it and said they’d be willing to skip the regular cheddar cheese sauce for this lighter, healthier cheese sauce.
Creamy Vegan Cheddar Cheese Sauce
This light and delicious dairy-free cheese sauce tastes just like the liquid cheese poured over chips to make snack bar nachos!
- 2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 4 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos if doing Whole30)
- Combine potato and carrot in a medium saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Transfer to a food processor.
- Add all other ingredients to the food processor and process for about 2 minutes, or until completely smooth.
- Serve over veggies, potatoes, or pasta, or drizzle over chips for nachos.
I used my Vitamix to make this Vegan Cheese Sauce, blending the ingredients on the soup setting to get the sauce nice and piping hot.
Make this nut-free by substituting 1/3 cup water for the Almond Milk.