What makes this THE BEST vegan cheese sauce?
Well for starters, it’s super creamy, extra cheesy, and tastes great drizzled on almost anything! And you can certainly feel good about serving it to your family because it’s made with all plant-based ingredients. And don’t forget, this cheese sauce is also DAIRY-FREE and GLUTEN-FREE!
Add a some southwest seasonings, and now you have a delicious, spicy cheese sauce for nachos. (See recipe below for serving suggestions.)
Pour the cheese sauce over hot cooked pasta and you have instant macaroni and cheese! (Toss with cooked brown rice pasta to make GLUTEN FREE macaroni and cheese!)
Put the sauce into a squeeze bottle and store in the refrigerator- then it’s aways ready to drizzle on top of enchiladas, or burrito bowls, etc. You can even make up a big batch of this cheese sauce, and FREEZE it to save for later use.
But for me, what truly makes this THE BEST Vegan Cheese Sauce Ever, is how quick and simple it is to make! Just throw all the ingredients into the INSTANT POT and in about 20 minutes you’ll have a hot, delicious plant-based CHEESE SAUCE! Now how easy is that!
The Best INSTANT POT Vegan Cheese Sauce
Throw all the ingredients into the INSTANT POT. 20 minutes later you have CHEESE SAUCE!
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 yellow or white onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1/2 cup raw cashews (optional, but recommended for maximum creaminess.)
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (Different from baking yeast)
- 2 Tablespoons mellow white miso
- 1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt (optional, but recommended to achieve a true cheese-like taste.)
- Place all ingredients in the Instant Pot in the order listed. (No need to soak the cashews- the Instant Pot will soften them.)
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot and twist it to the lock position. (Listen for the glissando indicating it’s locked.) Select MANUAL with HIGH pressure, then set the cook time to 5 MINUTES. (After 10 seconds, the Instant Pot will beep to let you know it has started.)
- While the cheese sauce is coming up to pressure and cooking in the Instant Pot, prepare the food you would like to serve with it, such as elbow macaroni, broccoli, baked potatoes, tortilla chips, etc. (See suggested serving ideas below.)
- When the Instant Pot has finished cooking, manually release the pressure and open the lid.
- Using hot pads and avoiding the steam, lift the stainless steel pot out of the cooker. Carefully pour the entire contents of the pot into a high speed blender. (such as a Blendtec, or Vitamix.) Puree using the whole juice setting, or use the highest speed setting for about 2 minutes, until sauce is super smooth, thick and creamy. (If sauce is too thick, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup plant milk and blend again to thin. Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools, so you may want to make it a little thinner to start.) Alternately, you can use a hand-held immersion blender directly in the Instant Pot to blend all ingredients together for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese sauce is super smooth, thinning with a little additional plant milk as needed.
- Serve hot cheese sauce immediately by pouring over cooked macaroni, steamed broccoli, baked potatoes, or stir in spices and serve over baked corn tortilla chips as nachos.
- If not serving right away, allow cheese sauce to cool completely and then store covered in the refrigerator for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to three months. (Sauce will thicken when chilled, so you may need to thin it down again before serving, by adding a bit of plant milk or water while re-heating)
- When ready to serve the previously refrigerated or frozen sauce, heat in the microwave till super hot, stirring every 2-3 minutes. Continue heating and stirring until all the cold clumps have melted, and the sauce once again has a super smooth consistency.) Alternately, you can heat the thawed sauce in a saucepan on the stovetop, stirring constantly, until very hot and no lumps remain, and thinning with a bit of plant milk as needed (The heating process will thicken the sauce, so you may need to add even more plant milk to thin it out again before serving.)
MACARONI AND CHEESE:
While your cheese sauce is cooking in the instant pot, cook one pound of macaroni (elbows or shells) or brown rice pasta, following the instructions on the package. Drain the pasta and place into a serving bowl. Pour the hot cheese sauce over the cooked macaroni and mix well. Serve immediately, and if desired, sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of this 2 Minute Vegan Parmesan and some dried parsley flakes for color; or blend with hot steamed broccoli florets. OPTIONAL: For EXTRA CREAMY macaroni and cheese, mix 1 cup of Cashew Sour Cream in with the finished cheese sauce and mix well into the hot macaroni.
Follow directions above for Macaroni and Cheese, then pour mixture into a 9×13 inch casserole dish, and top with 1/2 cup 2 Minute Vegan Parmesan and 2 Tablespoons dried or fresh chopped parsley. Broil under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, just until the top starts to brown. Serve immediately.
STEAMED BROCCOLI with CHEESE SAUCE:
Place one cup hot water into a pot fitted with a steamer basket inside. Pour raw (or frozen) broccoli florets into the steamer basket. Place the lid on the pot and turn the heat to HIGH. When the pot starts to boil (steams and makes noise) set a timer for one minute. After one minute, stick a fork into a broccoli floret to check for tenderness. (Broccoli should be bright green and the fork should slide easily into the broccoli.) If broccoli is too firm, then replace the pot lid and steam for an additional minute or two, until the broccoli reaches desired firmness. (Don’t over cook) Using hot pads and avoiding the steam, carefully lift the steamer basket out of the pot and dump the broccoli into a serving bowl. Drizzle hot cheese sauce over the broccoli, and if desired, top with 1-2 Tablespoons 2 Minute Vegan Parmesan. Serve Immediately.
Note: Cheese sauce is also delicious served over hot baked potatoes, or used as a dipping sauce for baked, oil-free fries.
To the cheese sauce, add 1 Tablespoon chili powder, and 1-3 pinches of ground cayenne pepper. Blend well. Pour sauce over homemade baked corn tortilla chips, (see recipe below) and top with additional toppings, such as fat free refried beans, (heated and thinned with a little water) salsa, sliced green onions, chopped red pepper, guacamole, sliced black olives, Cashew Sour Cream, and chopped cilantro.
HOMEMADE BAKED CORN TORTILLA CHIPS: Using a misting spray bottle, lightly spray corn tortillas with water, then sprinkle with a little sea salt. (optional) Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges using a chef’s knife or a pizza cutter. Place tortilla wedges onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes, or until tortillas begin to curl and edges begin to brown slightly. (Don’t over bake.) Remove baking sheet from oven and allow to chips to cool slightly. (chips will continue to crisp as they cool.)
Use freezer safe, and microwavable containers. Fill the containers with cooked macaroni on one side, frozen vegetables in the middle, and cheese sauce on the other side. (Separating it like this helps keep the macaroni from getting soggy) Cover the containers tightly, and freeze until solid. (Frozen meal will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.) When ready to use, place the frozen meal in the microwave oven and vent the lid. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Stir contents all together, then heat an additional 1-2 minutes until heated through. (You may wish to add 1-2 tablespoons additional water to the meal to thin, as the sauce tends to thicken when frozen and re-heated.)
Find this recipe and other great plant-based recipes at http://www.LittleBluePlates.com