Monday, November 10, 2014

Grillin' cheese sauce

November 2, 2014

Last weekend we had some friends over for a vegan pizza party. I made a quadruple batch of my favourite pizza dough, we grabbed a few fresh veges and cured olives from the market, and we invited our friends to bring their favourite pizza toppings too. Michael collated a range of grated and gratable vegan cheeses and I had a go at making my own.

This pizza cheese recipe from Live Blissful resembles any number of cheesy vegan sauce recipes out there, based on mock-milk and ground cashews with nooch, lemon juice and garlic for flavour. But the way it bubbled and coloured and crusted in the oven took me by surprise - it definitely brings the golden-gooey look to an otherwise cheeseless pizza.

Tastewise, it was pretty mild. I used a little onion powder instead of garlic due to our guests' dietary requirements and will revert to a generous shake of garlic powder in other circumstances. (It probably wouldn't hurt to increase the nooch and lemon juice quantities either.) This formulation works well in tandem with grated commercial vegan cheese like Cheezly or Daiya; they've got flavour and a bit of stretch but can dry into miserly strings in the oven and this sauce lends body and creaminess.

This cheese sauce still has something to offer on its own, and we grilled up a good portion of it on plain toast too.

Grillin' cheese sauce 
(from Live Blissful)

1/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons arrowroot
1 teaspoon garlic or onion powder
1 tablespoon olive oil

Cover the cashews in water and soak them for at least an hour. Drain the cashews and blend them with the rest of the ingredients until the sauce is as smooth as possible. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan and heat it, stirring constantly. Take it off the heat once it's thickened, around 5 minutes.

Use the sauce on pizza, toast or inside grilled cheese sandwiches.


  1. I always accidentally put in more nooch ;)

    1. Hi Veganopoulous! Nice one. I was just remaking an old recipe the other day that used half a teaspoon of nooch and I was all "Really? Sure that's not meant to me half a cup?!"

  2. I love a good cheeze sauce - I often add a little smoked paprika for some extra flavour. Would love to try daiya - but I highly recommend biocheese for pizza!

    1. Hi Johanna - smoked paprika is an excellent idea. I've had some biocheese toasted sandwiches - I'm impressed with its melty texture but found the flavour a bit bland. Maybe it needs some smoked paprika too. ;-)