I have been sharing this cheese sauce for about 6 years now. I always make it when we are having Tex-Mex food or having a pot-luck type dinner with friends. Everyone is always amazed at how great it tastes. Pairs wonderfully with crunchy tortilla chips. I don’t miss cheese at all. (Side note: I quit cheese about 8 years ago and haven’t had a cold, the flu or even seasonal allergies ever since then. Loving it!)
The original recipe (and also, the name I believe) comes from Vitamix, but I’ve made a few adjustments. I have tried recipes that use steamed potatoes (in place of potato starch) and carrots and even onions, but this one is my favorite. Here is my go-to recipe.
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ TBS lemon juice
- ¼ cup pimentos , canned or jar OR use 1 roasted red pepper, peeled (of course, you can roast a red pepper over an open flame or broil in the oven)
- ½ cup raw cashews (or almonds)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 ½ cups boiling water
- 2 TBS potato starch (or tapioca starch) mixed with 1/4 cup cold water
Optional Add-ins: Taco seasoning, salsa, jalapenos, etc.
Notes prior to getting started:
1 – I suggest soaking the cashews and definitely the almonds if you do not think that your blender can thoroughly blend the nuts without leaving crunchy bits in the mixture. I always remove the brown hull/skin when using almonds, or I buy them already removed (blanched almonds).
2 – As an alternative to raw cashews and raw almonds, you could try raw nut nutters. ( I haven’t personally tried this option, just a suggestion.
3 – I have been successful with substituting almond flour in place of using almonds and substituting cashew flour in place of cashews – in both instances, I was satisfied with the outcome.
4 – I sometimes substitute green chiles for pimentos. This allows the cheese sauce to appear more creamy white instead of being tinted red by the pimentos.
- Place all the ingredients except for the boiling water and potato starch mixture into the Vitamix.
- Set machine to 1, turn on quickly increasing speed to 10, and then to High.
- Blend for 3 – 7 minutes until steam forms and you can see it coming from the lid’s vent.
- Meanwhile, boil water on the stove-top
- Reduce speed to 7, remove plastic plug from the lid and add boiling water and potato starch mixture.
- Continue to blend until thickened, usually no longer than 1 minute.
Blender Plus Stove-top Directions:
- Place all the ingredients except for the boiling water and potato starch mixture into the blender.
- Meanwhile, boil water on the stove-top in a saucepan
- Once you have a well-blended “cheese” mixture, add it to the saucepan along with the boiling water, bring back to almost boiling temperature.
- Reduce the heat under the saucepan and slowly pour in the potato starch mixture while continuing to stir until thickened.
I also invite you to try this “cheeze” sauce which uses oats instead of cashews.