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

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on August 18, 2011

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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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Low-Fat Vegan Cheeze Sauce (updated version)

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

Yield: 2/3 cup

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened, unflavoured almond milk (or more as needed to thin out)
  • 6 tbsp nutritional yeast (Bob’s Red Mill makes one in natural food section of most grocery stores or bulk food stores)
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance or other non-dairy buttery spread
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour (or other flour)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

 

1. In a skillet or pot, melt the Earth Balance over medium heat.

2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour and milk until all clumps are gone.

3. Add milk & flour mixture and nutritional yeast to pot and whisk well. Reduce heat to low-medium.

4. Add Dijon, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste and whisk frequently until the sauce thickens up, for about 5 minutes. If it’s still too thin you can add more flour to achieve the thickness you desire. To reheat: reheat in the microwave or on the stove-top (add a splash of milk if it’s too thick) and whisk well. Store in an air-tight container for up to 5-7 days.

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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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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

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craig November 6, 2017 at 3:50 am

Thanks. Before turning vegan my middle daughter and I enjoyed always our pizzas together. Maybe with this foundation I can come up with an accommodating cheesy flavored sauce to lightly line across the top. I’m thinking of trying several ideas using readily available ingredients to see what I can come up with. A couple thoughts I have is similac powder for the creamy milkiness, a dash of lemon or vinegar for sharpness and possibly corn starch as a thickening agent. GFS also carries an imitation buttery-cheesy “popcorn flavoring” in their spice section I want to experiment with. It’s a 100% dairy free, highly concentrated flavoring that actually smells a whole lot like the little cheese packets in a box of mac n cheese.

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Alexandra December 17, 2017 at 12:14 am

This sauce was definitely easy to make. The mustard was a bit overpowering though, I would cut the amount in half in order to allow the cheese taste to come through.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 17, 2017 at 8:27 am

Hey Alexandra, Thank you so much for your feedback! I haven’t made this one in ages, and will have to try it again soon.

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Christine January 24, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Oh thank goodness I found this again! My husband and I made it in 2016 for part of our first Valentine’s Day fondue dinner. It’s been a tradition since then to have fondue on that day! He printed It off and we couldn’t find it, and no bookmarks to be found, either. We didn’t have cheese sauce last year for this reason (only chocolate)! My Google-Fu was failing me and I only found one super complex recipe after another (mix this, blend that, soak overnight), blah blah! No way, those were not the recipes I remembered. I made it directly in the fondue pot. So easy! I wonder if the post was updated, would Google find it easier? Maybe mention this is so easy to make as fondue? Thank you so very much for this wonderful, delicious, easy recipe! I admire you as a food blogger and can only one day hope to become half as amazing!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 25, 2018 at 8:00 am

Hey Christine, Aww that’s so awesome you both still make this recipe after all these years! So sweet. I love your idea for giving this recipe an update too…it’s long overdue, haha. I’d love to know how you think this one compares with my all-purpose cheese sauce: http://ohsheglows.com/2017/11/08/all-purpose-vegan-cheese-sauce/

(I know you said you weren’t interested in soaking and blending but if you ever try it out let me know!) =)

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Laura Van Der Wende February 4, 2018 at 7:38 pm

Could I use plain hemp milk instead of almond milk for this recipe?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 5, 2018 at 9:04 am

Hey Laura, Hemp can have a much stronger flavour, so it depends whether you like it and mind that its flavour comes through in the cheese sauce. Totally your call! I’d love to hear how it goes :)

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Mary February 8, 2018 at 4:04 pm

Thanks! Intent to try the “ simple” cheese sauce recipe: trying to ease into vegan life-style.
Would love to try the pizza recipe as shown here…where can I find it?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 9, 2018 at 6:58 am

Hey Mary, You might be interested in my newest cheese sauce too (it’s my fave!): http://ohsheglows.com/2017/11/08/all-purpose-vegan-cheese-sauce/

I’m sorry I don’t have the pizza recipe and don’t think I ever posted it. Sorry about that!

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Sierra March 1, 2018 at 8:55 pm

This was so simple and delicious. I served it over gnocchi and broccoli for a quick meal. I omitted the dijon just for taste preference and It turned out wonderfully. Thanks for the recipe!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 2, 2018 at 7:34 am

I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

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Hol March 2, 2018 at 8:15 am

I keep making this over and over. Everyone I make it for is in love with it. I love that it’s so easy, and I don’t have to soak/blend cashews or any nonesense like that.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 2, 2018 at 9:33 am

That’s wonderful you make it so much! It sure is an easy one to whip up.

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nalani April 5, 2018 at 12:59 am

this has been my go to cheese sauce ever since i first made it in 2013 when i first became vegan, my boyfriend and I both have this recipe memorized because we use it so much <3 thank you!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 5, 2018 at 9:39 am

Aww that’s awesome to hear Nalani! Thanks for sharing :)

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Kate June 25, 2018 at 6:01 pm

I suppose it should be obvious from glancing at the recipe, but you must REALLY like the taste of nutritional yeast to like the taste of this. I thought maybe cooking and mixing it with the milk, Earth Balance, and spices would dial down the flavor a bit, but it did not.

I like nutritional yeast mixed in to certain recipes, like tofu scramble, but this was too strong for me. The texture was very nice though. I might make it again but use mushroom powder instead to make more like a gravy and put it on top of mock meats, potatoes, etc.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 26, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Hey Kate, You are right, it does have a pretty strong nooch flavour! I would suggest my All purpose cheese sauce: http://ohsheglows.com/2017/11/08/all-purpose-vegan-cheese-sauce/ It’s my fave of all time. :)

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