Quick & Dirty 5-Ingredient Vegan Cheeze Sauce & Recipe Challenge

221 comments

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One of the things that has surprised me the most with vegan cuisine is how I’m able to create similar flavours and textures that I used to enjoy while eating animal products. The goal, for me, is not to aim for the vegan dish to taste exactly the same, but to try to bring out something about the non-vegan dish that I really enjoyed, like a rich sauce or a thick chocolaty pudding. This doesn’t apply to all foods however, I have no desire to create a dish that has the texture of meat because I just don’t crave that texture or taste anymore. It really just depends on the food!

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[Butternut Squash Mac n Cheeze: Two Ways]

One of the things I’ve always loved about Mac ‘n Cheese is that it’s comforting and creamy. When I make a vegan version of Mac ‘n Cheese, I’m not trying to create a carbon copy, but a dish that gives me that same type of comforting feeling when I eat it.

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Over the past couple years, I’ve found that I can create dishes that satisfy my cravings without having to sacrifice. I crave the new dishes that I make, instead of the dishes I used to eat. Now that I’m used to this lifestyle I rarely feel like I’m missing out. The only time I feel left out is when I am eating at a non-vegan friendly restaurant, otherwise I have so many choices the hardest part is trying to decide what I will eat!

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One thing I don’t always enjoy about vegan cooking and baking is the often long ingredient list that is required to make some recipes. The recipes tend to involve more creativity, more spices & seasonings, and other ingredients to achieve that outcome that I’m looking for. It’s not necessarily a bad thing per say, but sometimes I just want a quick and dirty recipe that I know I can whip up within a minute’s notice.

This 5-ingredient cheeze sauce is one of those quick and dirty recipes that I know I will keep coming back to again and again! It’s hands down the easiest cheeze sauce I’ve made and it doesn’t require a food processor or other special kitchen tool. Just a stove top and a whisk…gotta love that!

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Just 5 ingredients and just as delicious as the other sauces I’ve made!

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I first made this sauce a couple weeks ago and we’ve been enjoying it a lot! I’ve poured it into pasta, on vegetables, sandwiches, etc. It’s so silky and delicious, you really have to try this. You could also get creative and add some herbs or spices to it to change it up quite easily.

Yesterday, I also made a fantastic lunch with it…

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more on that recipe tomorrow!

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The Quick & Dirty 7-Ingredient or Less Challenge

Speaking of short ingredient lists, I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to create more vegan recipes with as few ingredients as possible. Quick & Dirty recipes if you will!

My goal is to create more recipes with 7 ingredients or less that don’t require a lot of time or even special kitchen tools. It’s going to be tough, but I’m really excited for the challenge!

I’m curious, what’s your biggest cooking or baking hurdle? Long ingredient lists, hard to find ingredients, special kitchen tools, not enough time?

Leave me a comment below if you have any recipes in mind that you’d like ‘condensed’…no pun intended!

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{ 221 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove August 18, 2011

Do you used the nutritional yeast with B12 or without? I’m not even sure if there’s a difference in taste, but I was just curious. This looks wonderful and I can’t wait to try it (those Amy macaroni & cheeses (okay, cheeze…) get expensive!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 18, 2011

I believe mine has b12 in it

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga August 18, 2011

“This is the Lexus of all the cheeze sauces I’ve made to date. It’s extremely smooth, buttery, and comforting!”–

Sounds perfect! I always love a good vegan cheeze sauce. And a good luxury automobile too :)

Recipes using less than 5 or 7 ingredients and vegan? That would be 95% of all the recipes on my blog. Well, some are vegetarian not vegan, but the ingredient list thing is a big deal for me b/c I am instantly turned off by recipes that have long lists.

Or have hard to source items.

Or use that do things like use ” a pinch of saffron” ..I mean I’m sure it’s lovely but I don’t want to buy a $20 jar of saffron to use one strand, one time, and then have $19 of it laying around.

My goal, and I wrote this in the guest post I did for you, is to cook for my family (and show readers) that you dont have to have complicated, long, labor-intensive recipes in order to make awesome tasting food.

Love that you’re doing this challenge!

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Jackie @ That Deep Breath August 18, 2011

You’ve definitely convinced me to try this. Yum!! I can’t wait to try this in baked mac & cheeze!

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Brenda Fisher August 18, 2011

My biggest hurdle is having the ingredients handy in the pantry. Right now the pantry is over flowing with all the kids mac n cheese and star pasta, it has been a slow process to turn them over to eating what I eat. I just ordered Peas and Thankyou and hope this helps. I am also looking forward to when you put out your own cookbook. :)

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Kim August 18, 2011

I made this sauce about 5 minutes after I read the recipe. It’s the easiest, tastiest sauce and the closest thing to real cheese I’ve tasted since I stopped dairy. I am over the moon. Thank you so much!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 18, 2011

Wow that’s amazing!!! Thank you so much for your feedback. It’s great to know that others enjoy it as much as I do (I never know!)

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Sarah @ Sarah's Modern Bites August 18, 2011

I am so glad you posted this because I JUST bought a bag of nutritional yeast yesterday with the intention of making some kind of ‘cheezy’ pasta tonight! I was nervous I was going to spend too much time sifting through recipes to find a tried and true easy one but this will do the trick I am sure! Your 15 minute avocado ‘cream’ sauce was a big hit at my place! :-D

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Running Betty August 18, 2011

My biggest challenge is a husband who doesn’t like fruit, or the texture of vegetables in his food, and a picky eating 13 year old. I don’t want to have to cook multiple dinners.

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Alysha @ She's on the Run August 18, 2011

Pie dough! Bread dough…actually most dough that you either have to roll out or add yeast to.

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Nicole @ PancakesandPilates August 18, 2011

As usual, these pictures are gorgeous. I’ve been trying to eat less pasta recently (because I’m pretty sedentary at work), but I have to try this. Maybe this Sunday for dinner if work cooperates :) I’m sure it will become a mainstay Sunday night dinner this fall. Just think of all the mix ins!

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Coco August 18, 2011

Oh I really want to eat some Mac n Cheez now. I do find it annoying when ingredient lists are too extensive, especially for cooking meals during the week. I also find it frustrating when I need to buy a random ingredient which I know I will not use again for ages and probably have to throw out. It feels such a waste!

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Moni'sMeals August 18, 2011

I think just about all of us will be making this sauce today! I know I will. I will just be adding some heat to it, I like it hot!

I think time is my biggest issue however I make it a priority to eat right and plan ahead so I make it work out some how.

How about a gorcery store that carries EVERYTHING you need in one, now that would be amazing. :)

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Leia August 18, 2011

Hard to find ingredients is my biggest problem, especially since I live in South Asia! I just ordered a tub of n yeast online so hopefully I’ll be able to try this soon. Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s pizza recipe!

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Emily August 18, 2011

I’m excited that you’re doing this challenge! Right now, I live in a tiny apartment with few kitchen tools and a tiny food processor–simple techniques, minimal gadgets, and few ingredients sound wonderful.

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Heather @ Get Haalthy with Heather August 18, 2011

The less ingredients usually means it’s going to be less expensive too! Now… If my cat hadnt found and ripped open my bag of nutritional yeast I’d be making this tonight. It’ll have to wait for the weekend :).

How about a 7 ingredient lasagna? I know you can do it!

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Laura Ann August 18, 2011

Do u think this would be good with rice milk? I just cant get into the taste of almond milk.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 18, 2011

i havent had rice milk much but I cant see why not!

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Jacqui August 18, 2011

You know one of my biggest hurdles with cooking? Cleaning up afterwards! I swear I can’t see an inch of my bench top after cooking some meals, so I like recipes that are one-bowl-wonders and the like :)
The sauce looks great by the way, I’ve made your other cheese sauce and thought that was great – now I’m pretty tempted to see how this compares!

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Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn August 18, 2011

Quick and dirty is mahhh middle name! In a non-dirty way of course. Wooo cheessy!

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DessertForTwo August 18, 2011

Do you store your nutritional yeast in the fridge or freezer? I have mine in a mason jar in the cabinet and I’m worried it’s gone bad. Help :/

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Ellie@fitforthesoul August 18, 2011

Hi! Hmm I believe you’re supposed to freeze it! It still remains the same, but it definitely keeps it good for a long long time.

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Paula August 18, 2011

I just saw you in GLOW magazine!!! I was sooo excited….I saw your picture and said to mayself, “hey I know her”….. I read your blog everyday I feel like I know you!!! Most of my recipes come from your blog! Thanks for making my life as a vegan so much easier and more exciting!! YAY!

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ps August 18, 2011

This recipe rocks I’ve been making this mock cheese sauce for years.

Try adding a clove crushed garlic to the “Earth balance” (I just use margarine or olive oil) and 1/4 of a teaspoon of mustard near the end. Sounds weird but it is delicious.

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Robin August 18, 2011

My biggest challenge is living with someone who doesn’t like vegetables! But I survive-more for me!

You can find some great short recipes on “The Vegan Stoner” blog. Plus the sketches are adorable!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 18, 2011

When I saw the title for this post I groaned because I figured it would have cashews in it. So I was super excited to see that it doesn’t! I will definitely be making this! :D

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Lee August 18, 2011

Something that takes forever to prepare always turns me off. I’d definitely like something that can be completely done in 15-20 minutes.

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Kristin August 18, 2011

I have two big challenges: One is that I currently live in an old apartment where the oven is, in a word, jankity. Since I love baking, the oven and I have had a lot of fights. The second is that I have trouble being as creative in my cooking as I am in my baking. Baking is such a fun science experiment for me! Cooking on the other hand is something that I have trouble deviating from tried and true recipes.

One thing that I am horrible at making is crepes! I’ve basically failed every time I’ve tried – but rest assured that never stops me! I would love to see a crepes recipe with the “Glow” twist that makes cooking delicious and enjoyable!

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Rach August 18, 2011

My biggest cooking hurdle is CLEAN UP! I have two small children, and after taking the time and energy to assemble ingredients, cook them up, and serve it all, it’s such a CHORE clean up everything!!

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Jennifer August 18, 2011

Hi Angela,

Tonight I discovered the absolutely best substitute for whipped cream – HANDS DOWN! I took a can of coconut milk and put it in the fridge for a while, then scooped the thick white cream that separates from the watery part into a dish, whipped it with an electric whisk! Fantastic consistency. My husband isn’t a fan of coconut flavour, even though it is VERY subtle, so I melted some dark chocolate and stirred it in to the whipped coconut cream. A huge dollop on top of rasberries and I was in heaven. I think it’s actually better than real whipped cream :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 18, 2011

Ive heard this and tried it once but I failed…I wonder what I did wrong? it melted on me…

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Jennifer in Newfoundland August 19, 2011

I think having kept the can in the fridge for a long while helped…and the melted chocolate is optional. I think it would be just fine without :)

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Jennifer in Newfoundland August 19, 2011

I also didn’t put much chocolate in it,which may have helped….and used full super-duper fat coconut milk….

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Victoria @ The Pursuit of Hippieness August 18, 2011

That pizza looks so good! Can’t wait for the recipe!!!

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Katie August 18, 2011

I’ve got a recipe I am posting tomorrow for a quick n dirty corn relish. Super fast, super easy, super tasty.

I’ve also found that zucchini works in place of butternut squash with nutritional yeast cheeze-type sauces. I have found lots of creative zucchini recipes since my garden is going OFF.

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Caz August 18, 2011

Mine is hard-to-find ingredients. I LOVE to cook. I also read a lot of food blogs, most of which are NA based. Alas, a lot of the products you have there, particularly on the health/natural/vegan/gluten-free etc side of things don’t exist here. Either we don’t import them, don’t produce them here, or have yet to realise there’s a market for them. Australia’s still a bit old-school-English in it’s meat and potatoes diet and things like whole wheat options in cafe’s etc. are never going to happen.

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Shara August 18, 2011

I just made this for dinner tonight – loved it! I’m not vegan, but I avoid dairy and have been looking for a solid cheeze recipe for mac n cheese. The texture was great! I served it over shells and some chunks of tofu with sauteed veggies on the side. I would definitely consider adding some spices (mustard powder or chili powder come to mind) to mix it up, but this will be entering our regular menu rotation.

My biggest cooking challenge is that I’m allergic to garlic (I know, it’s awful). I’ve gotten pretty good at tweaking recipes, but it’s a real obstacle for daily cooking. Thankfully, shallots and some creative spicing help.

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kaila@ Healthy Helper blog! August 18, 2011

Mmmmm diiiirty cheeeese! That sounds delicious!

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Rachel August 18, 2011

Made this for dinner and I loooved it. I didn’t have Earth Balance so I used 4 TB of Canola Oil and it tasted amazing. So creamy and delicious. A little nutty, I think I didn’t cook the flour enough or overcooked it, but whatever…it was amazing. Thank you, Angela! I have tried SO many mac and cheese recipes, all good, but this sauce is so realistic in texture and taste…and only FIVE ingredients. insane. I can see myself using this plain but also having fun adding other things like rotel to it.

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Kiah August 18, 2011

I was just taught a similar cheese sauce recipe, and use it all the time! YUM.

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Living, Learning, Eating August 19, 2011

Ingredients, tools, and courage are my biggest hurdles. I keep wanting to try Nooch recipes, though, and I’ve finally bought some Nooch. So I hope I get to it soon!

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Marianne August 19, 2011

I would say my current recipe hurdle is recipes that required either a blender or food processor, because I currently have neither, and being a student again means they just aren’t in the budget. I refuse to buy a cheap kitchen appliance that I will just have to replace again in a year or two, so instead I suffer not being able to even make smoothies anymore! Le sigh.

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes August 19, 2011

This looks delcious!

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Emily August 19, 2011

I have made this sauce before and really like it with a few drops of sesame oil. And after seeing that pizza I bet it would make an excellent pizza sauce maybe with some garlic in it! ohhh yummmm!

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Lorena August 19, 2011

My hurdle is the ingredients I’m not a vegan I just love helthy food. I do believe I may have a gluten issue but I have not confirm this I just try to eat healthy and I know this are awesome recepies. Which I can make all of them but there so many ingredients I have never heard of and,or I defanaly I do not have them in my cover. I which I can just get a few items and make diferent recepies and then just add one or two more items and so on.

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Ashley August 19, 2011

I just tried your quick alfreo and am in love. That is one dish I really miss but I actually liked your version better than the actual cheese alfredo! I am not sure if this counts as a quick and dirty recipe but I tried it for the first time the other day and am adding it to my favorites. Peaches and cream chia pudding, peaches are abundant right now so I wanted to take advantage of them! 3 Tbsp of chia seeds, 3/4 to 1 cup of almond milk and two drops of liquid stevia (optional). Let the chia seeds absorb the milk then I diced up half a peach and added it in. So delicious!

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Michaela August 19, 2011

I love this recipe and I will make it tomorrow.
Just one question, why do you not prepare this sauce like a regular roux?
I am sometimes put off by veggie burger recipes. Although I make them quite often myself, I never follow a recipe, as the mostly long ingredient lists just make me want to add to the dough whatever I have on hand!

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