A thick, creamy, tangy, gooey vegan nacho sauce made with supermarket staples. Perfect for dipping or topping nachos, baked potatoes, veggie burgers, or macaroni and cheese.
Note: For the best, smoothest results, use a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix or Blendtec) and press mixture through a chinois.
The Best Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
About This Recipe
|Yield:||Makes about 2 cups|
|Active time:||25 minutes|
|Total time:||25 minutes|
|Special equipment:||High-powered blender and chinois (see note above)|
|This recipe appears in:||The Food Lab: Vegan Nacho Sauce That's as Good as the Real Thing|
- 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening or palm oil
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 chipotle pepper packed in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
- 4 ounces russet potato (about 1/2 medium), peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 ounces roasted cashews (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Frank's)
- 2 teaspoons pickling liquid from a can of pickled jalapeño peppers (plus peppers, to taste)
- Kosher salt to taste
Melt shortening in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeños and cook, stirring, until completely softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and chipotle (with sauce). Cook, stirring, until fragrant and mixture starts to sizzle, about 1 minute.
Add potatoes and cashews and cook, stirring, until cashews are lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add water and almond milk. Bring to a boil, reduce to a bare simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, until potatoes are fully tender, about 10 minutes.
Transfer mixture to the jar of a high-powered blender (see note above). Add hot sauce, jalapeño pickling liquid, and a pinch of salt. Start on low speed and slowly increase speed to high. Blend on high speed until completely smooth, about 2 minutes, adding water a few drops at a time as necessary to thin to desired consistency. Season to taste with more salt.
Press mixture through a chinois (see note above), using the bottom of a ladle to get it through. Cheese sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 1 week. To reheat, microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, or reheat in a small pan on the stovetop, stirring constantly, and adding extra water to loosen sauce as necessary.