Vegan cheese sauce
Recipes

Six Vegan Sauces You NEED in Your Life (GF, DF, Zero waste)

People always ask me if it is hard to be vegan? I always reply that it is easy! But when I think about it, It wouldn’t be easy if I didn’t have these sauces in my life. I am not one to compromise health for flavour. I LOVE favoursome, creamy sauces and when they’re healthy, well what else could you ask for.

Transitioning to a plant based life style for me was all about finding good swaps for foods that I used to love. These sauces make pulling vegan meals together SO easy! I have listed the various uses for each sauce above each recipe. They are all simple and quick. Don’t be afraid to adapt them for different recipes to your liking! 

For other simple, seasonal recipes that can easily be made waste free, check my recipe archives here

Remember to take photos of any recipes you make and tag @sustainable.simply! I’d love to see your creations!

 

1. Five Ingredient 5 Minute Vegan Cheese Sauce

Uses:

  • Add 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/8 tsp ground chilli and 1/4 tsp smoked paprika to make a cheesey Mexican quesso sauce. Try it out in my Plant Powered Burrito Bowl
  • Omit the flour and simply blend ingredients and serve raw over zucchini noodles for a raw zoodle alfredo!
  • Cook until a thick consistency is reached and drizzle over cooked pizza!
5 Ingredient 5 Minute Vegan Cheese Sauce
Serves 4
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
7 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
7 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup unsweetened, unflavoured almond milk (or more as needed to thin out)
  2. 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
  3. 1 tbsp corn or arrowroot flour
  4. 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  5. 1 tsp minced garlic
  6. Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth
  2. Transfer to a small saucepan over low-medium heat
  3. Cook, stirring with a whisk consistently until desired consistency is reached
  4. Serve immediately or store in a jar or airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days
Adapted from Oh She Glows
Adapted from Oh She Glows
sustainable.simply https://sustainablesimply.com/

2. Roast Garlic Vegan Aoili

Uses:

  • Dipping sauce e.g. for roast sweet potato chips or vegan arancini balls
  • Variations – Blend in:
    • basil, dill or tarragon for a herbed aoli
    • 1/4 cup kalamatta olives 
    • 2 Tbsp Tamari or Soy Sauce, 1 Tbsp Miso Paste (dissolved in 2 Tbsp of boiled water first) for a Japanese Mayo. This is SO good over Japenese rice salad with pickled ginger, avocado and wasabi peas
Roast Garlic Vegan Aoili
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 heaped c raw cashews, plus water for soaking
  2. 6 garlic cloves, skins on
  3. 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  4. 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  5. 2 tsp dijon mustard
  6. 1/4 c olive oil
  7. 1/4 c water, or more/less as needed
  8. 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak cashews in boiled water for at least 15 minutes or in cold water for 4 hours
  2. Wrap 4 garlic cloves in foil and roast under grill (broiler) 15 mins. Open foil pouch and roast 5 mins, turning regularly as the skins darken. Wrap again in foil to cool then peel. Peel remaining 2 raw cloves.
  3. Blend soaked cashews with raw and roasted garlic until very finely chopped. Add vinegar, juice and mustard and blend until mixture begins to form a paste. Blend in oil until smooth. Blend in water to achieve desired consistency. Blend in salt to taste.
  4. Use as is or flavour as desired…
Notes
  1. Keep in airtight container or jar in fridge for 5-7 days!
Adapted from 84th and 3rd
Adapted from 84th and 3rd
sustainable.simply https://sustainablesimply.com/

3. Protein Packed Green Pea and Basil Pesto

Uses:

  • Pesto pasta
  • Pesto pasta salad with roast brussels sprouts, avocado and rocket 
  • Dip and crackers
Protein Packed Green Pea Basil Pesto
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
6 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
6 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups (95 g), packed basil
  2. 1/2 cup (30 g), packed parsley
  3. 1 cup (126 g) green peas (if frozen, thawed) (use canned green peas if you want to avoid plastic packaging)
  4. 4 cloves garlic (2 Tbsp minced)
  5. 1/4 cup (33 g) cashews or toasted pine nuts if you are fancy
  6. 1 lemon, juiced (~2 Tbsp or 30 ml)
  7. 1/4 cup (20 g) vegan parmesan cheese (blend 3/4C cashews with 3 Tbs nutritional yeast)
  8. Pinch sea salt, plus more to taste
  9. 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processors
Notes
  1. Keep in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for 5-7 days!
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
sustainable.simply https://sustainablesimply.com/

4. Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Uses:

  • Alfredo pasta with optional add ins – sundried tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms
  • White sauce for vegan roast vegetable stack or vegetable lasagne 
  • Vegetable bake – saute mushrooms in a pan, add 1/2 cup crushed cashews, stir in sauce and spinach and cook for 3 minutes. Add in between layers of roast vegetables in a casserole dish and bake!
Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 heaping cups cauliflower florets (1 small/medium cauliflower)
  2. 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 2 med/lg cloves)
  4. 1/2 cup unsweetened and unflavoured almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
  5. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  6. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  7. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  8. 1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  9. 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  10. 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. add the oil into a large pot and saute the minced garlic over low heat for 4-5 minutes until softened and fragrant, but not browned.
  2. Meanwhile, boil a full kettle of water if you have one. Once garlic is cooked add it to a blender or food processor.
  3. Add cauliflower florets in the same large pot and cover with water. Bring to a low boil. Once boiling, cook for another 3-7 minutes until fork tender. Drain.
  4. Add the cooked and drained cauliflower, sauteed garlic, milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to a high speed blender or food processor. Blend until a super smooth sauce forms.
  5. Serve with fresh chopped parsley and black pepper.
Adapted from Oh She Glows
Adapted from Oh She Glows
sustainable.simply https://sustainablesimply.com/

5. Butternut Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese Sauce

Uses:

  • Vegan macaroni and cheese
  • Vegan macaroni and cheese bake 
  • Optional toppings – red chill flakes, chopped parsley
Butternut Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese Sauce
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups butternut pumpkin (peeled and chopped into cubes)
  2. 1/2 large onion (peeled and chopped)
  3. 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid (from the pumpkin)
  4. 1/4 cup raw cashews (soaked in boiled water for 15 minutes)
  5. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 1 tsp dijon mustard
  8. 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  9. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  10. 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
  11. 1/8 tsp turmeric
Instructions
  1. Add butternut squash and onion to a pot and cover with water by at least an inch or two. Bring to a boil, turn down heat to medium and simmer until vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes or so).
  2. When squash and onions are tender, drain (reserving 1/4 cup liquid), and add them to a high speed blender with the drained cashews, lemon juice, salt, dijon, garlic powder, black pepper, smoked paprika, turmeric and reserved cooking liquid.
  3. Blend until completely smooth.
Adapted from Veggie Inspired
Adapted from Veggie Inspired
sustainable.simply https://sustainablesimply.com/

6. Nutritional Yeast Free Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese Sauce 

This might seem similar to the last sauce but I felt it was necessary to include both! This sauce doesn’t have nutritional yeast and can be made so easily with vegetables you probably already have on hand. It is so creamy and delicious I could quite literally drink it. 

Uses:

  • Vegan macaroni and cheese
  • Vegan macaroni and cheese bake 
  • Nacho cheese sauce
  • Optional toppings – red chill flakes, chopped parsley
Nutritional Yeast Free Sweet Potato Macaroni and Cheese Sauce
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. ¼ teaspoon paprika
  2. 2 Tablespoons chopped shallots
  3. 1 cup (about 7 ounces) chopped sweet potatoes (you can leave the peel on)
  4. ¼ cup chopped carrots (about 1 small carrot)
  5. ⅓ cup chopped onion
  6. 1 cup water
  7. ¼ cup raw cashews (soaked for 15 minutes in boiled water)
  8. 2 teaspoons sea salt (use 1 ¾ teaspoons if using Earth Balance)
  9. ¼ teaspoon garlic, minced (about 1 medium clove)
  10. ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  11. 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
  12. ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  13. pinch of cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, add the shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion and water and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
  2. Place the cashews, salt, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne in a blender or food processor. Add the softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender or food processor and process until perfectly smooth.
Adapted from Pamela Salzman
Adapted from Pamela Salzman
sustainable.simply https://sustainablesimply.com/

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