I did a happy dance twirl as I walked through the shiny double doors at the grocery store. I made a beeline for the bulk section, and marveled at all the options. Pounds of nutritional yeast, almonds, all types of brown rice pastas, delicious gluten free snacks, and of course, all sorts of chocolate!
We currently live in a very small town, and our grocery options can often be limited. Upon, arriving at an honest-to-goodness, full-sized, and fully-outfitted Winco, I was like a little kid in a candy store. For those that don’t have them in their area, Winco is a Western US-based grocery chain, and it’s one of my favorite places. I enjoyed a shopping extravaganza, and left with many awesome ingredients. To celebrate my new purchases, I decided to make vegan nacho cheese!
This nacho cheese sauce has an incredibly similar taste to a dairy-based nacho cheese sauce, only I think its better. I know that’s a tall order to fill. Dairy nacho cheese can be amazing, but this sauce…well..its decadent and simple. Nutritional yeast is the central ingredient adding much of the cheesy flavor to the sauce. Pairing that cheesy flavor with roasted red pepper and almonds makes an amazing replacement for traditional nacho cheese.
First, start by soaking your sliced almonds in 2 cups of water. The longer you let your almonds soak the better. If you’re impatient like me and only soak them for an hour, that’s okay too. Your sauce will just be a little chunkier.
After your almonds are done soaking, slice up half a red pepper and place it on a broiling pan. Turn your oven to broil and roast the red pepper for 2- 4 minutes on each side. In a blender, or NutriBullet, combine all of your ingredients plus an extra cup of water and the roasted red pepper. Blend for several minutes and your sauce will start to turn creamy.
Now that its all blended, place the sauce in a medium saucepan and simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Cooking on the stove top helps thicken your sauce. Stir constantly while on medium heat so that the bottom of your sauce doesn’t burn. I stirred with several chips so that I could taste test along with the cooking process Once your sauce is done on the stovetop let it cool for several minutes. Now its time to smother your tortilla chips with this smooth decadent cheese sauce!
- 2 cups sliced almonds
- 3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 red pepper, roasted
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Soak sliced almonds with 2 cups water for a few hours. (At least 1 hour.)
- Slice a red pepper in half, discard the membrane and seeds.
- Set face down on a broiler pan and broil in oven for 2 - 3 minutes. Flip and broil for another 2 - 3 minutes. You want the pepper to be roasted but not burn to a crisp.
- Put almonds and the water they are soaking in, into a blender.
- Add the remaining cup of water and the remaining ingredients including the red pepper.
- Blend for several minutes until "nacho cheese" is smooth and creamy.
- Heat the nacho cheese mixture in a saucepan over medium heat stirring constantly for 20 minutes or until the cheese has thickened.
- Serve with your favorite chips!