This vegan nacho cheese sauce is spicy, tangy and tastes just like the real thing. Inspired by the wildly popular recipe by Hotforfood.
Despite being a HUGE hotforfood fan, I did have to make some changes to the recipe to fit my personal taste and since there were quite a few changes I thought it might be worth sharing. I will say that this was the first vegan nacho cheese recipe I’ve tried with so much potential to taste just like the real thing, and I think that has something to do with Lauren’s ingenious idea of using the jalapeno brine to give this sauce a tangy, nacho cheese-like flavor.
Feel free to swap out the white beans I’ve used with potatoes (found in most vegan nacho cheese recipes) or cauliflower. I used white beans to bump up the nutritional value of this recipe but I would have used cauliflower if it was more affordable than potatoes or beans during this time of year in my region. The white beans and carrots don’t lend their taste to this recipe, they’re simply included for color and texture, so feel free to experiment and make substitutions with what you’ve got on hand. Sweet potatoes or bell peppers could be used in place of carrots but again, this could be a less affordable swap depending on the season and where you reside.
I used my vegan parmesan cheese in this recipe, but if you do not feel like making that ahead of time, feel free to use nutritional yeast instead. Just make sure to add some salt to this recipe. Always salt to taste. You can also use less nutritional yeast, if desired.
I skipped adding a few of the ingredients from the original recipe such as onion and garlic powder. This does make this nacho cheese sauce allium-free , but I genuinely believe that this sauce does not require either addition. I could not tell the difference between the two batches I made, one with garlic and onion powder and one without. I also skipped adding arrowroot flour, or adding any thickening starch for that matter. This sauce had the perfect consistency without this additional ingredient and that has a lot to do with the white beans and the tomato paste (sometimes used as a thickener in sauces). I also didn’t add any oil to this recipe and found that the consistency was still very similar to nacho cheese sauce.
I used a high-speed blender for this recipe, I would not suggest using a food processor instead. If your blender does not have a setting to heat up it’s contents or your sauce has cooled down, transfer your nacho cheese sauce to a pot and heat it up on your stove for a couple of minutes. It’s best served hot!
I’m absolutely certain that this recipe will not disappoint! It really does taste like the real thing.
- ½ cup white beans (navy or cannellini)
- ½ cup peeled, cubed, boiled carrot
- ½ cup pickled jalapeño slices
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk (I prefer to use cashew or almond milk) or water*
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp jalapeño pickling brine
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ¼ cup vegan parmesan cheese (link to recipe above) or nutritional yeast**
- Boil your peeled and cubed carrot for 10 minutes on high heat (remember to start root vegetables in cold water when boiling). Your carrots should be fork tender.
- Drain white beans from a can and rinse under cold water.
- Drain and transfer carrots to high-speed blender along with the rest of your ingredients and blend.
- Serve hot with nachos.
- Can be refrigerated for 1-2 weeks.
**If using nutritional yeast, you will need to add some salt to this recipe. Start with ½ tsp sea salt and then continue to salt to taste.