Easy Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce is made with soaked, raw cashews, blended with water, nutritional yeast and spices; and warmed on the stove until it reaches nacho cheese perfection! Optional but good: Add Sriracha to taste or keep it mild for kids with sensitive palates. Serve nacho cheese sauce with chips, or even drizzle on steamed broccoli or baked potatoes!
3 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 large lemon)
3.5 cups water, divided, plus more as needed to thin
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 jalapeno *optional
1 tablespoon of green chilis *optional
1/4 teaspoon turmeric *optional
Soak the cashews: You can either do a quick soak, or soak the cashews for several hours or overnight. To quick soak, simply boil water in a tea kettle or on the stovetop, cover the cashews with the boiling water and set aside for 10-15 minutes. Drain.
Blend: In a blender (high powered preferred, a food processor will also work), add the cashews, lemon juice, 3 cups of the water, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, jalapeno, green chillies, tumeric and the salt.
Warm: In a medium saucepan, add the cheese sauce from the blender. Using a whisk, warm over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble and thicken. Add the last cup of water, depending on how thick or thin you want the sauce to be.
Add salt to taste, and Sriracha if using, depending on your spice preference. If the cheese sauce sits for a while, or you refrigerate the leftovers, it will thicken. Simply warm it again on the stove, adding water as needed to thin.