The recipe for chia cheddar sauce is proof that you don’t need soy to make a yummy vegan cheese sauce — all you need is plants. It’s made from a combination of potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, cashews, nutritional yeast, and spices. Chia seeds help give it a smooth, velvety texture that’s perfect for serving over broccoli, use it as a nacho cheese, or pour it over noodles to make the best mac and cheese you’ve ever had.
Creamy Chia Cheddar Sauce [Vegan]
- 2 medium-sized yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon olive oil or water as needed
- A sprinkle of ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked for a few hours and drained
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds, ground
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- A dash of cayenne pepper
- A dash of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Pour the oil into a 9x9-inch baking pan and add the potatoes, carrot, bell pepper, garlic cloves, and pepper, and toss to coat. Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until veggies are soft and beginning to brown. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Grind the chia seeds and mustard seeds in the spice grinder. In a high-speed blender, add the water, cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, chia and mustard seeds, spices, and salt. Scrape in the roasted vegetables and process the mixture until very smooth. Add water a little at a time to keep the mixture moving. You will need to scrape down the sides a few times during blending.
- When the cheese is very smooth, scrape it into container for storage in the refrigerator — or use immediately (it will be the perfect temperature for dipping). This cheese will last for about 1 week and will firm up slightly as it cools.