Easy Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
After a week of particularly bad eating (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween… the usual suspects), I like to get back on track with a vegan week. Being vegan isn’t so bad: until you remember cheese. This definitely isn’t a vegan week– in fact, my grocery bill was probably 50% cheese this week (Hello, pound of gouda!), but this “cheese” sauce is so amazing and easier to make than a real cheese sauce. It’s my go to recipe to put on tacos, spread on sandwiches, or pour over Mexican stuffed peppers (recipe tomorrow ;-)).
The sauce’s not-so-secret ingredient is nutritional yeast. If you’ve never tried it, don’t be scared off by the name. It is NOT the same as baker’s yeast. I’ve read some pretty funny reviews of other recipes online from someone using the wrong kind of yeast (“nasty spackle” comes to mind!). I find mine in the bulk section of a local health store.
Nutritional yeast isn’t exactly like cheese– it has a little more of an earthy, mushroomy taste. The sauce is very delicious, but if you try it thinking you’ll have nacho cheese, you’ll be pretty turned off. I made that mistake the first few times I used nutritional yeast, and it took me a couple of tries before I really appreciated the taste.
- 2 tbsp whole wheat flour (or gluten free flour)
- ⅓ c nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tsp taco seasoning
- dash paprika
- dash turmeric (for color)
- 1 c unsweetened almond milk (or other milk)
- ¼ – ½ tsp liquid smoke
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Toast the whole wheat flour in a small, dry saucepan for a few minutes– I like to take the time with this step as it develops a deeper flavor.
- Whisk the nutritional yeast and seasonings into the four and add the milk.
- Bring to boil and reduce heat slightly. Stir occasionally until desired thickness.
- Add liquid smoke, salt, and pepper