Man do I love me some big, soft, warm jumbo pretzels. You know, the kind you'd get from the concession stand during a local football game? Yes, those. Baked potato? No thanks. Chili fries? I'd really rather not. Hot dog? Yea...I'll definitely pass on that one. But when it comes to those soft pretzels, there's no resisting. Well, last Friday night I commented, "Wouldn't it be great to have some soft pretzels to go along with our movie tonight?" Todd, taking every remote junk food related comment completely seriously...decided that we simply must go to the store to get some of these soft pretzels and that, "Our home movie experience would just not be the same without them." I, shamefully, concurred. So, Captain Vegan Junk Food Man and myself set out to go get us some of those jumbo soft pretzels. However, before we set off to conquer the pretzels, I had the insight to realize that now, as vegans, the jarred nacho cheese sauce that Todd loves so much just wasn't going to happen. Quickly thinking back to the mac and "cheese" recipes I've made, I knew there had to be some kind of vegan "nacho" cheese that I could make. One cannot have a soft pretzel without nacho cheese. It's not right. So, I came up with a recipe and knowing that the cashews needed to soak in water for a couple hours, I put them in the fridge before we left.

We traveled to our version of "Costco", only to discover that they had just closed. Since I had already changed out of my scrubs and into pajamas then back into regular people clothes, we decided that we should just drive the 10 minutes to the regular grocery store rather than abandoning our mission. I knew they had soft pretzels there, but, they weren't the jumbo ones! Oh the travesty! They would just have to do...

Though these pretzels may have been little, they were just as delicious and this vegan nacho cheese sauce was perfect with them! Not to mention, this cheese recipe is fool-proof, it's also absurdly easy and quite quick. It only takes a few minutes to whip up and minimal planning ahead to soak the nuts. If you're in a super time crunch, use boiling water and soak them for 10 minutes but it's really better to do the longer soak if you have the time. Use this sauce anywhere you'd use conventional nacho cheese sauce! Have it over fries, nachos, tacos, pretzels, burritos or just eat it straight. Who says you have to lose weight on a plant-based diet? They obviously don't eat "cheese" sauce made from cashews. Sure, it's definitely better than processed nacho cheese sauce but it probably isn't lower in calories.

Produce On Parade - Healthy Homemade Nacho "Cheese" Sauce

This is an easy, quick and downright tasty sauce. Nacho cheese sauce doesn't have to be unhealthy. It can be nutritious and delicious!

Healthy Homemade Nacho "Cheese" Sauce

Inspired by Enjolinfam

Makes a little over 1 cup

  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice (half of one small lemon)
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • extra water as needed

First, soak the cashews in a generous amount of cold water, ensuring that they are completely submerged. Cover them and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to soak.

Once the cashews are done soaking, drain them and then add 'em to a blender with all of the remaining ingredients. Add in the 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. of water. Do not use the soaking water. Blend on high until creamy and completely smooth.

Produce On Parade - Healthy Homemade Nacho "Cheese" Sauce

In a small saucepan, add the cheese sauce and stir on low for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens to the desired consistency.

Produce On Parade - Healthy Homemade Nacho "Cheese" Sauce

If you allow it, it will really thicken up! If it's gotten too thick, just add in a little extra water as needed. Serve it over anything and everything you want!

Produce On Parade - Healthy Homemade Nacho "Cheese" Sauce

Healthy Homemade Nacho "Cheese" Sauce
Recipe Type: Snacks
Author: Katie - Produce On Parade
Serves: 4
An easy, quick and downright tasty homemade nacho "cheese" sauce. Who says cheese sauce has to be unhealthy? It can be nutritious and delicious!
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice (half of one small lemon)
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • extra water as needed
Instructions
  1. First, soak the cashews in a generous amount of water. Ensure they are completely submerged. Cover and place in fridge for at least 2 hours.
  2. Once done soaking, add them to a blender with all of the remaining ingredients including the water. Blend on high until creamy and completely smooth.
  3. In a small saucepan add the sauce and stir on low for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens to the desired consistency.
  4. If you allow it, it will really thicken up! If you got it too thick just add in a little extra water as needed.
  5. Serve it over anything and everything you want!