Do you know that nacho cheese you get at hockey arenas? Well, this dairy free nacho cheese is way better. Like NOT even comparable. Think warm, slightly spicy, creamy and subtle richness. This vegan dip is truly hard not to eat in one sitting. It is perfect for Hockey Night in Canada as an appetizer or as any delicious addition to a Friday night. I’ll add right here, that this is one of the Picky Husband’s FAVOURITES. He requests it at least once a month.
When I first made this healthy nacho cheese sauce, I couldn’t stop eating it. It is addicting, I’m warning you. But Adam is a whole other level of OBSESSED. He once got movie theatre popcorn and added nacho cheese sauce on top of it. That was probably one of the messiest, and grossest things I have witnessed. And he forgot to bring napkins into the theatre, so his hands were nasty and cheese covered until he finished the popcoirn and then went and got napkins. Needless to say, he hasn’t done that since. He now just enjoys the cheese with nacho chips, as normal humans do. And my homemade vegan cheese sauce is one that he requests regularly.
This vegan dip was one of those recipes that I got on the first try. What you guys don’t see is the struggle I go through while experimenting with recipes. So when I get a recipe on the first try, I basically want to cry. I still tested it a few more times just to make sure it actually was that good. And it is.
Looking for more vegan dips? Try these:
How to make vegan nacho cheese
You may be wondering what makes this cheese sauce so creamy and delectable? And how can nacho cheese possibly be vegan. The beautiful combination of potatoes, carrots and cashews are what makes this vegan dip creamy. I use cashews in a lot of dishes because of their killer creamy factor.
Basically, with this dairy free nacho cheese, the cashews need to soak overnight or for 30 minutes in boiling water. The potatoes and carrot need to be chopped and then boiled until soft. Then you simply add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) and blend everything until it is smooth. If you don’t have a great blender, you might just have to scrape down the sides constantly while blending. But that is why it’s important to soak the cashews because even with not the best blender because the cashews have been soaking, they are easy to break down. Add your desired amount of jalapeno seeds. But I would suggest starting small and then adding more once you’ve taste-tested.
here are a few reasons why I love this dairy free nacho cheese, so listen up!
- It takes 30 minutes to make. That is it. 30 minutes until you have this vegan dip within your grasp. The ingredients for this vegan cheese sauce are quite minimal. If you are already plant-based you most likely have all these ingredients in your pantry!
- This healthy nacho cheese reheats perfectly. Store this sauce in the fridge if you don’t eat it all right away or if you’re saving it for later. Then just reheat it over low heat on the stove. The texture will still be amazing and the taste will blow your mind. My favourite way to enjoy this dairy free nacho cheese is of course with Que Paso tortilla chips. No need to get too fancy with the pairing of this vegan cheese sauce. All it needs are some crispy chips and you are golden.
- Here’s the dealio on the spice. Nacho cheese is supposed to be a little spicy. Not mouth-on-fire spicy, but it needs to have a little kick. By adding a few jalapeno seeds in, that spice is there. I would recommend starting with adding just a few of the jalapeno seeds if you have a low spice tolerance. Then taste-test the sauce and decide if you want to add a few more to make it spicier.
Without sounding too cheesy, this is some of the best vegan cheese sauce I’ve ever had. This creamy goodness takes no time to make and it is the perfect dip to entertain friends with. This vegan dip is amazing with tortilla chips but not so much as a popcorn topper (hopefully Adam has learned his lesson). Let’s just stick to the sea salt and nutritional yeast for the popcorn.
Vegan Nacho Cheese
- 1 cup russet potato (peeled, roughly 1 small potato)
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot (roughly 2 small carrots)
- 1/4 cup raw cashews (soaked in hot water for the same amount of time the potatoes and carrots are boiling for)
- 1 jalepeno (seeds removed, option to leave a few in for added spice)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp avocado oil/ olive oil
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/4 tsp arrowroot powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Peel and chop the potato into cubes, measure 1 cup. Chop the carrots, measure out 1/2 cup. Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot of boiling water. At the same time, scoop out a little bit of the boiling water and place in a bowl with the cashews to cover. Set aside. Boil the veg for roughly ten minutes or until tender with the poke of a fork. Drain the water and add them to a high-speed blender.
- Drain the water from the cashews and add the cashews to the blender. If you don’t have a high-speed blender I would suggest soaking the cashews in the boiling water for 30 minutes total, otherwise, the ten minutes should suffice.
- Add the oil, lemon juice and vegetable broth to the blender. Then the rest of the ingredients. Blend for the first time, until smooth.
- The nacho sauce should still be somewhat warm to enjoy right away. Or you have the option to reheat in a saucepan over low heat.
- Store covered in the fridge. Re-blend and reheat before eating.