Perhaps the classiest crowd-pleasing classic is this exquisite gooey cheese fondue. It’s perfect for dipping your favorite vegetables, breads, vegan meats, and basically any other edible you could imagine. Make sure you use arborio rice and potatoes, as the starch found in both gives this dish the characteristic texture of traditional gooey cheese fondue. There is something irresistibly fun about dipping and twirling your favorite foods in hot, bubbling lava full of flavor. For a sophisticated experience, serve in a traditional fondue warming dish complete with serving forks.

Gooey Cheese Fondue [Vegan]

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups (1 L) water
  • 2 cups (500 mL) peeled and chopped white potatoes, such as russet
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) + 2 tablespoons (30 mL) dry white wine, such as Chardonnay, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) + 1 teaspoon (5 mL) unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped white onion
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) dried red lentils
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 mL) sea salt
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) vegan lactic acid powder (optional; see Tip)
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Preparation

  1. In a medium pot, combine the water, potatoes, nutritional yeast, 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the white wine, 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the apple cider vinegar, onion, rice, cashews, lentils, mustard, salt, and garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the rice is soft, 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, uncovered, about 10 minutes. 2. Position an oven rack so that the fondue will be close to the broiler but not touching it and preheat the broiler to high heat or the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  3. In a high-speed blender, fill the blender jar halfway with the potato mixture. Blend until completely smooth, with no lumps. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 mL) white wine, the remaining 1 teaspoon (5 mL) apple cider vinegar, and lactic acid, if using. Blend until smooth.
  4. Divide the fondue mixture evenly among medium oven-proof ramekins or castiron skillets.
  5. Broil or bake until the tops are golden brown and the mixture is bubbling, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately with toasted bread, broccoli florets, and snow peas for dipping.

Notes

Vegan lactic acid is great for making vegan cheeses and adding to other non-dairy recipes. Most animal-derived bacteria, like the ones found in cheese, give recipes an explosion of flavor in the mouth. Vegan lactic acid does the same thing and makes flavors stand out and pop! Although it is not as easy to find in traditional grocery stores, it is available online and in specialty stores.

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