Vegan Butternut Squash Cashew Cheese Sauce.
Here’s the thing. It doesn’t taste like the familiar sauce from the mac & cheese box you grew up eating.
Or the thick, bright orange sauce they pour over your nachos at the baseball game.
You shouldn’t want it to though. That shit’s gross. Made from chemicals and who knows what else. Prolly not real cheese anyways. Which brings me to my “cheese sauce”, of the butternut variety.
Roasted butternut squash creates a “cheese” like sauce full of flavor with the creamy texture you need from a cheese sauce. The color is pretty spot on as well.
I know you hard core cheese lovers may not find this a suitable cheese substitute. I understand nothing could ever replace your beloved cheese. It’s a much healthier alternative though, and pretty satisfying. Perfect for us crazy vegan types who don’t eat the cheese.
Vegan Butternut Squash Cashew Cheese Sauce
Cashews give this sauce a richness along with that extra creamy texture.
Nutritional yeast and miso help impart that ‘cheesy” flavor. They give it umami, that savory taste.
Nutritional yeast. May not sound too appealing? It’s a magical ingredient for vegans though. I use it often, in many different dishes. Its flavor is really quite unique and delicious. It has a cheesy, nutty, umami quality. It’s a staple ingredient in vegan cheese sauce and crucial for vegan parmesan. It’s a delicious topping for popcorn and quite necessary for a good tofu scramble.
Check out my post + recipe for the Best Ever Oil Free Pesto to learn a little more about nutritional yeast and for another great recipe to use it in.
Miso. If you don’t have it in your fridge, you need it. A traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans. Miso soup, enough said. Also, a great ingredient for sauces or roasted veggies. Buy some and get to experimenting.
The issue with butternut squash cheese? It can become a little too sweet, not enough savory. Salsa verde. Problem solved. Gives it that perfect amount of savory with a little heat.
I hope you’ll try my Vegan Butternut Squash Cashew Cheese Sauce. It’s perfect for any Mexican dish: tacos, burritos, nachos. Simply eat it as a dip for your tortilla chips. Steamed broccoli and cheese sauce perhaps? Roasted cauliflower topped with some bread crumbs? Also, mac & cheese people! Ditch the box.
Leave a comment, ask a question, and tag any of your cheese sauce dishes on instagram @thefoodienurse ! Cheeeeeseeeee please.
- 2 cups roasted butternut squash, mashed ( 1 medium sized squash)
- 1 cup raw cashews*
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 TBS white or yellow miso
- 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup salsa verde
- 1 cup water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Cut butternut squash in half, place cut side down on parchment paper lined baking dish
- Roast for 40 min or until soft and mushy, scoop out seeds and discard
- Scoop out butternut squash from skin and reserve 2 cups
- Place squash and all other ingredients into blender
- Blend until smooth
- Add more water if needed to thin out sauce