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How to Make Creamy, Rich Sauces Without Dairy

I have been maintaining a plant-based diet for several years now. The taste of the cheesy, creamy vegetarian meals like mac n’ cheese and potato casserole are my favorite dishes. Today, I can get those tastes without dairy. Because of ingredients like cashew cream and nutritional yeast, I can still enjoy that creamy taste without milk, cheese, or butter. Thanks to some awesome vegan ingredients, it is possible to mimic that rich, dairy taste of creamy sauces. Here are six ingredients that star in vegan creamy sauce recipes. With these tricks, you can cook any type of sauce.

1. Use non-dairy milk as a base

Most vegan sauce recipes call for some sort of non-dairy milk. Some are specific to coconut milk for a sweeter taste, while others may call for soy or almond milk. Whichever type you use, non-dairy milk is an easy substitute for milk in any recipe. Non-dairy milk usually acts just like milk in cooking, so replacing cow’s milk with a cruelty-free alternative is simple since most grocery stores carry packaged nut milks. With nut milk, you can cook a delicious creamy sauce for a Broccoli Cheese Pasta Bake. Broccoli Cheese Bake

2. Mix in some olive oil

In some dairy sauces, especially gravy, animal fat is used for taste and consistency. Olive oil can be used as a replacement for the animal fat in a recipe. Also, when mixed with flour and non-dairy milk, it can help create a thick, rich texture like dairy sauces. Try using olive oil in this vegan Bechamel Cheese Sauce recipe.  Vegan Moussaka Burger with Bechamel Cheese Sauce

3. Toss in a pinch of nutritional yeast

As a general rule, you can use nutritional yeast flakes to substitute parmesan cheese in any recipe. It’s also used to give a thick consistency to non-dairy, creamy sauces. Instead of the dairy-packed macaroni and cheese, try a Cheesy Vegan Mac n’ Yeast. By having nutritional yeast always stocked in your pantry, you’ll be surprised how quickly and easily you can create delicious, creamy sauces like alfredo sauce Recipe: Spaghetti Squash with Alfredo Sauce

4. Blend some cashews for a cream-like consistency

Every vegan cook knows about the wonders of cashew cream, considering it is very easy to make and takes only one major ingredient: cashews! Soak cashews for four hours, then blend with water, and you’ve got a vegan choice to use for recipes in place of real cream. Try this recipe for a basic cashew cream and try using it to bake an Onion Tart with Greens and Cashew Cream. You can even use cashews to make a garlic spread that mimics a cheesy garlic sauce. Cashew Cream

5. Reach for a couple tablespoons of vegan butter substitute

Biting into rich, creamy pot pie is like eating a slice of heaven. By using Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread along with soy milk, vegetable broth, all-purpose flour, and various spices and vegetables, you’ll have a vegan rendition of the classic chicken pot pie. Vegan butter spread alternatives look and taste very similar to margarine or butter spreads. Try using it in Chicken-Less Pot Pie Soup  and for dessert in Butterscotch Sauce. chicken less pot pie soup

6. Fold in some Soya yogurt

Soy makes for great non-dairy milks, butter, and yogurt products. When you mix both Soya yogurt and soy milk together, they create a white, creamy sauce that’s perfect for pasta. With these ingredients, make a Pine Nut and Broccoli Cream Reginette with Chargrilled Peppers.  Recipe: Pine Nut and Broccoli Cream Reginette with Chargrilled Peppers Giving up dairy can be tough since so many favorite dishes in the American diet include milk, cheese, or butter. Luckily, making a choice to live a plant-based lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite dishes. Who needs cow’s milk and butter when almond milk and vegan butter spread work even better? Image Source: Roasted Vegetables with Lemon-Cannelini Sauce

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26 comments on “How to Make Creamy, Rich Sauces Without Dairy”

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Mallory Nicole
4 Months Ago

Kaela Campbell

Mary Jo Marks Aardsma
4 Months Ago

I have celiac disease so guar gum and xanthan gum are off limits. I like the idea of using boiled cauliflower in a cream sauce; I'm gong to try it. A bit of mashed potatoes also works. I make mashed potatoes with home-made veg broth (no onion or garlic but spice with poblano and ginger) and a bit of evoo...no fake earth bal not butter. I can't do nutritional yeast either. For me real is better than something that pretends to be something else.

Kim Bourland
4 Months Ago

I use The Vegg or guar gum, depending on what I am making.

Julia Jay Hatch
4 Months Ago

Steamed or boiled cauliflower makes a great cream sauce. Add some to a blender with unsweetened almond milk, garlic, pinch of nutmeg, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and you have an alfredo sauce that's yummy and actually healthy. You can also use it for a creamy base for salad dressings. :)

Johnnie Gurule
4 Months Ago

White kidney beans make for a great base too.

Mimi Grant
4 Months Ago

Julie Gagnon

Jessica Greene
4 Months Ago

Jessica Rother

David J Galbraith
4 Months Ago


Healthy Lifestyle
4 Months Ago

Awesome !

Gretchen Wigg
7 Months Ago



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