Blended cashew nuts make a perfect creamy sauce that’s just right to serve with pasta – or to make a vegan mac and cheese. My cashew cheese sauce recipe is quick and easy and takes just minutes to make.
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I really love cashew cheese sauce – it’s become one of my go-to recipes for a quick weekend lunch. Soak and blend the nuts, whizz them up and hey presto – it’s lunch time. If you want to up the veggies you’re eating then this goes perfectly with a large green salad or you could add some jalapeños or roasted cherry tomatoes to the pasta. Both are so good.
Is this sauce good for vegan mac n cheese?
The short answer is – yes! This sauce makes amazing cashew macaroni cheese. If you’re in a hurry stir it through the pasta and serve immediately. Alternatively you can smother your pasta in the sauce and bake it in the oven topped with breadcrumbs to make it into a cashew mac n cheese. If you do this remember that the sauce will thicken up as it bakes.
There are so many recipes online for vegan mac and cheese, or macaroni cheese as we prefer to call it here in the UK, that it can be hard to know where to start.
I love to make dairy free macaroni cheese with this sauce but I also love my butternut squash mac and cheese. The latter makes a more orangey sauce that tastes amazing – plus contains a healthy portion of veggies.
How else can you use this vegan cheese sauce?
I’ve used a similar cashew nut sauce to make my vegan cauliflower cheese. You could also use it in lasagne, dolloped on pizza, broccoli cheese, with potatoes or failing that you could freeze it to use at a later date if you make too much.
Do you need to soak the cashew nuts before blending?
What I love about this particular cashew cheese sauce recipe is that it is so quick and easy to make. You do really need to soak the cashews but 20 minutes in hot water will do and then it’s just a case of blending them with the other ingredients and warming through the cooked pasta.
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How to make quick and easy cashew cheese sauce
You will need a blender* to make this recipe.
Vegan cashew cheese sauce
Blended cashew nuts make a perfect creamy sauce that's just right to serve with pasta - or to make a vegan mac and cheese. My cashew cheese sauce recipe is quick and easy and takes just minutes to make.
- 100 g cashew nuts
- 250 ml dairy free milk increase to 400ml if baking in the oven*
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic granules or onion powder optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- parsley chopped, to serve
- 300 g pasta
Put 100g cashew nuts in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside and leave for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook 300g pasta according to the packet instructions.
Drain the cashew nuts and place in the blender with 250ml* milk and 2 tbsp nutritional yeast. Add 1 tsp onion powder or garlic granules if using. Blend until the sauce is smooth.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Stir the sauce into the pasta, sprinkle over some chopped parsley and serve immediately.
*If you want to make this sauce for baked macaroni cheese increase the milk quantity to 400ml - it will thicken in the oven as it bakes. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of the pasta and sauce and bake for 20 minutes in a hot oven.
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