Yes, this is another favorite vegan cheese sauce – can we have too many? I cooked vegan recipes for a year before trying any cheese sauces. Once I did, though, I was hooked. I now have a favorite cheeze sauce, cheesy sauce (whatever you want to call it!) for pasta, rice and for vegetables. I love that all the sauces are interchangeable, too, and can be used on a large variety of foods.
This sauce originates with the Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole I found on I Heart Vegetables – a dinner staple in our house now, especially around the holidays. I found I wanted to be able to go to the cheese sauce recipes without reading through the entire recipe to which each was attached. Breaking them out into their own recipes is a great solution. I like doing this with salad dressings, sauces, gravies and other food accompaniment recipes, too. It makes a nice, functional, accessible recipe collection!
The thing I love the most about this recipe is that the “cheesy sauce” is made of vegetables! Softened almonds thicken the sauce, while garlic, Dijon mustard, and nutritional yeast add flavor, ticking all the cheesy sauce boxes. The sauce is super easy to make on the stove top and in the blender. I let the vegetables and cup of reserved water cool for about 15 minutes before adding them to the blender. You know your blender’s limitations, so judge accordingly when adding the hot (boiling) ingredients.
Remember to put your cashews in to soak for TWO HOURS before you start the recipe! I did not remember, and my other ingredients were sitting on hold for two hours while the cashews softened. With this recipe, it didn’t matter for me, but if you are meeting a meal deadline, it will matter! Maybe you are used to soaking cashews and won’t need as long a soaking time. I found that it did take the entire two hours for the cashews to reach the softness I wanted.
GLUTON FREE OPTION: Use gluten free Dijon mustard to make the entire dish gluten free.