This insane dairy-free nacho "cheese" sauce may truly blow your mind. It's nutz! Yes, actually nuts! It's amazing how creamy cashews can make a sauce like this. It's hard to believe there's no dairy! This is an excellent sauce to serve to guests who are new to plant-based eating or to prepare for yourself when you're craving the flavor of cheese.
I'd also like to give a nod to Vitamix as this sauce recipe was inspired by their "Not-so cheese sauce" recipe. After first trying the Vitamix recipe many years ago, this sauce has evolved into this new "Insane Nacho Cheeze ('Cheese') Sauce" recipe which has been a family favorite for years.
Prepare your mise en place
To prepare your mise en place (everything in its place) before beginning this recipe, be sure you have all ingredients on hand. You can measure out each ingredient into separate bowls if you like or simply add all ingredients to the blender right from the start. OR, see the prep ahead trick below ⬇️
Prep ahead trick
If you don't need to have this cheese sauce ready for a while, a great prep-ahead trick is to place all of the liquid ingredients in one 16 oz jar and all of the dry ingredients into another 16 oz jar. This way, all you'll have to do to have this Insane Nacho Cheeze ('Cheese') sauce ready to serve is pour the contents of both jars into the blender and blend until creamy smooth and steamy hot!
|Liquid Ingredients Jar||Dry Ingredients Jar|
|1 cup water||1 & ⅓ cup cashews|
|¼ cup lemon juice||½ cup nutritional yeast flakes|
|1 four-ounce jar pimientos||2 & ½ tsp onion powder|
|1 Tbsp white miso paste||¾ tsp flake sea salt|
|1 tsp hot sauce|
I've found this prep-ahead trick especially helpful when I'm preparing several menu items at once or when I want to make things easier to quickly prepare when I'm visiting with guests.
Simply blend all of the wet and dry ingredients in a high-speed blender for about 3-4 minutes until the cheeze sauce is super smooth, creamy, and steamy hot!
Use a high-speed blender to reheat
Once blended and steamy hot, this sauce is ready to enjoy right away. It's also easy to pour or lightly drizzle over so many wonderful plant foods such as broccoli, oil-free corn tortilla chips, baked potatoes, or even whole grain pasta. This delectable sauce can take all sorts of foods up several notches! 😁
Whenever I make this sauce for my family of five, it never lasts long at all. It's gobbled right up! If you do have any of this sauce leftover 😉, store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator. When this sauce has cooled down, it thickens a bit and works well as a dip. It's enjoyable to eat cool as well as hot. If reheating, be sure to see the note below.
NOTE: Be sure to use a high-speed blender to reheat this sauce. Simply re-blend at high speed for a few minutes. I don't recommend heating it in other ways because it will clump up if exposed to prolonged heat. This sauce would not do well microwaved or served in a crockpot for several hours, for instance.
Insane Nacho Cheeze ('Cheese') Sauce!
- high-speed blender
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 4 oz jar of pimientos no need to drain
- 1 Tbsp white miso paste
- 1 tsp vinegar based hot sauce I used Franks Red Hot
- 1 & ⅓ cup cashews pre-soaked optional
- ½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 ½ tsp onion powder
- ¾ tsp sea salt or to taste
- Simply place all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Start on low speed and gradually increase to high. Blend on high-speed for about 3-4 minutes, until super smooth, creamy, and steamy hot.
- When enjoyed right away, this dairy-free cheese sauce pours easily and is easy to drizzle over anything you'd like. As it cools, the sauce will thicken somewhat, and will work well as a dip. To warm the sauce and shift it back to its thinner texture, simply place it back into the high-speed blender & blend for just a few minutes. Please note: do not microwave or heat excessively as this sauce will begin to clump.
When you want to blend it up again, can you use an immersion type blender? Or does it have to go back again into the big blender ?
Green Circle Kitchen
Thank you for your question, Sherry! I typically use a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix or Blendtec) to make this sauce super creamy & steamy hot. When re-blending, I use a high-speed blender to essentially re-heat the sauce. I haven't tried using an immersion blender (or regular blender) for re-heating because I don't think it would generate the heat I'm looking for. If you are wanting to loosen up the texture without heating the sauce an immersion blender might be worth a try.
If you are using a regular (non-high-speed) blender to make the sauce in the first place, I'd recommend soaking the cashews for at least 1/2 hour in boiling water or several hours (or overnight) in any temperature water to help make the sauce turn out more creamy.