not-so-traditional yummy cheese sauce (GF + dairy-free)
I am a vegan cheese sauce connoisseur. I’m made a few different types of cheese sauces in my vegan chef days (as in… vegan chef to my husband and daughter), but this one had to be shared immediately. Why, you ask? Because what you also might not know is prior to being vegan, I used to make homemade cheese sauces like it was my biz-nazz, too.
You know the type… whisk, flour, milk, shredded cheese. (Legit cheese sauce status.)
And I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me to do the very same thing now… but with vegan ingredients. So, I did it.
I got out that whisk. I got out that gluten-free flour (because who still eats all the gluten these days?!) I got out that dairy-free milk. I got out that nifty cheesey replacement called, nutritional yeast ;)
And, created a delicious masterpiece.
So, when you’re ready to ditch tradition and make some vegan cheese sauce, look no further than below!
not-so-traditional vegan cheese sauce
Makes: ~1.5 cups // serves 3-4
3 tbsp earth balance or coconut oil*
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
3/4-1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond cashew)
1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1-2 tbsp tamari
salt and pepper, to taste
Alright - do you have your strong whisking hand ready?? Because you’re going to need it!
In a small pot over medium heat, melt your earth balance or butter.
Once melted, add in flour and whisk to combine.
Next, reduce heat slightly (between low and medium) and add in your nutritional yeast and whisk to combine (at this point it may become a little clumpy, so you might need help getting it out of the whisk).
Next, start slowly adding in little amounts of milk and keep whisking together. (Do this about 5-7 times - add a little, whisk until all incorporated).
Once sauce is starting to thin out and resemble runny (thicker) cheese sauce, add in your apple cider vinegar, tamari, Dijon mustard, and spices. Adjust seasonings to your liking**
Once the sauce is the right thickness for you (which could be a completely different milk amount than I recommend above!), make sure it’s heated through (bubbles rising throughout will indicate this) before serving.
Season with salt and pepper. We also love adding on red chili flakes for some heat!
* if using coconut oil, it WILL make your concoction definitely have a coconutty taste, so if you don’t dig that then don’t use it; I tried making it both ways & I thought both were good—in their own ways!
**for more “tang” add more apple cider vinegar and/or Dijon mustard; for more “salty” add more tamari and/or salt
Enjoy this cheesy sauce heaven sans dairy and gluten. I’ll be patiently waiting for my invite over for dinner ;)