I’ve accumulated a few good fake cheese recipes over the years, some are nut based others are bean/potato based… all are really good! So good that I don’t even miss the real thing! My latest favorite recipe is from one of my favorite vegan food blogs, Healthy Happy Life (a.k.a. The LunchBox Bunch). Kathy, the lady who writes the blog, has a TON of really yummy recipes! Her Fake-Out Cheese Sauce is my daughter’s favorite! It’s a white bean (or cannellini bean) based “cheese” made with either sweet potato or instant mashed potato as a thickener – I prefer the sweet potato base myself. My hubby and I use this recipe when we have “Vegan Nacho Night”.
Fake-Out Cheese Sauce
vegan, makes 5 cups
3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 can cannellini beans, drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
2-3 Tbsp tamari (replaces added salt)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 Tbsp mustard powder
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp fine pepper
1 cup mashed sweet potato OR 1/2 cup instant mashed potato (unflavored) + 1/2 cup water – (I’ve used both and I like the sweet potato better!)
*see note below
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup vegan butter (Earth Balance) softened
1-2 Tbsp agave syrup
2 Tbsp tahini (adds a tang to the sauce – just as real cheese would)
Last step: thin out to desired thickness with soy milk, soy creamer or water
* The first go around I used dehydrated potato flakes as a thickener. The white potato flakes are quite bland so they act as a neutral base for the sauce. Silky sauce. Then the next few tries, I used my go-to sweet potato instead. I actually like the sweet potato version better because I gravitate towards sweet dishes. But my husband loved the white potato flake version better. Choose your potato as you wish. Or use a mix of the two.
1. Bake your sweet potato – if using that method.
2. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. I used my Vitamix. Blend on low and increase gradually until mixture becomes smooth.
3. You can do a taste test and adjust spices, sweetness. Lastly, thin out the sauce to your desired thickness using soy milk, soy creamer or water. I added in a splash of soy creamer.
4. If serving with pasta, add directly to hot, just drained pasta and the pasta will heat the sauce. Otherwise, you can simmer the sauce on your stove top until ready to be served or used in a recipe. Simmering the sauce is great if using for a cheesy dip or fondue.
I mix it with my homemade pesto and serve it over whole grain noodles for my daughter. She loves it!
I make my own pesto, the recipe is different every time I make it because I just eyeball the ingredients. I use avocado instead of cheese (to add healthy fats to my daughter’s diet) and pine nuts or walnuts depending on how expensive pine nuts are at the time. I’ve used almonds before, I just make sure and blanch them first.
We use pesto on sandwiches and pasta, my hubby is obsessed with veggie sandwiches and loves to slather on a thick layer of it.