Have you given up dairy, or at least are trying to, but just can’t because you miss some of those yummy cheesy foods? Did you know that you can find some cheesy options that are dairy free to fill your plate again?
Our newest family favorite is a “cheese” sauce. Yes, I said cheese sauce! We use this for taco night, to mix in a quick meal with broccoli, and to use as a dip for burger bites. I often double the recipe thinking I can freeze some for another meal, but then both jars are empty before it even makes it to the freezer.
I have tried many different approaches to making a homemade “cheese” sauce. I started a couple of years ago with cashews, but not everyone in our family can tolerate cashews. And the consistency just wasn’t as creamy as I would have liked. Then I ran across a recipe that was actually NOT a cheese sauce at all. After much tweaking, I was able to make a recipe that I felt I could actually serve my guests as well as my family. It was simply divine!
So what are the secret ingredients that make it so amazing? Nutritional yeast, sea salt, arrowroot starch, and a good chicken stock are the four ingredients that make this all work.
Whether you use this sauce for nacho cheese, on vegetables, or with a main dish, it will fill your table with cheese flavors again. And yes, it’s 100% dairy free! Happy cheesy goodness!
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 12 oz coconut milk (make sure no additives) or other non-dairy milk*
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin or mashed sweet potato (for color)*
- Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add arrowroot starch and whisk until creamy.
- Maintaining medium-low heat and add remaining ingredients (chicken stock through sea salt).
- Stir continually until desired consistency is reached.**
- Store in a jar or other airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.
*Coconut milk is great here because it is so creamy. If you don’t have coconut milk, the next best option is cashew milk or Ripple milk.
*If sauce doesn’t thicken to your desired consistency, adding more arrowroot starch will thicken it further (add 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch to 1 tablespoon chicken stock). Once blended, add to saucepan and incorporate into sauce. Repeat as desired.
***Adding pumpkin or sweet potato is for color only.
NACHO “CHEESE” SAUCE
- Cheese sauce recipe (above)
- 1–2 Tablespoons dry taco seasoning