Vegan queso, a nacho cheese sauce that’s perfect for tacos, burritos, tostadas and nachos. Made from vegetables, nuts and nutritional yeast.
Growing up, queso/nacho cheese sauce wasn’t something we had. I knew nothing of it at all. However during a trip to the U.S, I had my first experience of queso, and I honestly loved it. It was creamy, cheesy and slightly tangy. I couldn’t help but to have more and more. I preferred the smooth queso over the chunky, and I knew I had to try and recreate this in a way that was perhaps not so indugent.
To match the flavour and profile, there were a few things that I knew I needed. Hence carrots were thrown in to provide the sweetness that we find in dairy, and potatoes for creaminess and starch. This helps with the overall mouth-feel. I added soaked cashews for additional creaminess, and brined jalapenos for that heat and acidity. Corn flour or tapicoa flour can help to thicken, and tapioca flour can provide a stringy element when used in a larger proportion. However, the most important ingredient overall is the nutritional yeast.
Nutritional yeast, which is commonly referred to as ‘nooch‘ is form of yeast that has been deactivated. It’s been dried out to change its appearance, flavour and texture. You would not be able to use nutritional yeast as a leavening agent of bread as you would with regular yeast. Similarly, you cannot use regular bakers yeast for this cheese sauce.
This is the nutritional yeast that I use, it comes as flakes and has added B12 (a common nutritional deficiency): https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/product/engevita-yeast-flakes-b12-60009142
It has an intense cheesy flavour with a slight nuttiness to it that is essential when it comes to flavouring the sauce. It also helps to provide the vibrant orange/yellow colour.
Honestly not a single person who I’ve made this for has realised it was a vegan cheese sauce. Everyone has been convinced it was the real deal.
Nut allergies info
For anyone with a nut allergy, you can omit the cashews, Instead, add a touch of vegan cream/cream cheese instead for a similar end result. It will still be an incredible vegan nacho cheese sauce!
Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
- 2 large carrots peeled
- 1 medium potato peeled
- 7 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp brine from a jar of jalapenos
- 1 tbsp cashews soaked in boiling water for 10 mins
- 1 tbsp corn flour
- 3-4 Jalapeno slices from a bottle optional
- 1.5 tsp salt
- Chop your potatoes and carrots into even pieces and steam/boil until knife tender
- Allow to cool enough for your blender, and blend alongside your nutritional yeast, olive oil, brine, cashews, cornflour and jalapenos (if desired). Add a splash of water to get your blender going – you can use the water you boiled your veg in
- Then simmer on low heat in a saucepan until your desired consistency, season with salt