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Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Cashew Cream

This vegan pumpkin pie is creamy, smooth, and bursting with the traditional pumpkin pie flavor.  It’s easy to make because you can use a prepared (vegan compliant) pie crust and canned pumpkin.  This pie has a fancy addition though: a second layer made of  cinnamon cashew cream.

Discloser:  This post contains affiliate links.  Clicking on these links and purchasing may earn Veggie Fun Kitchen compensation at no additional cost to you. 

I remember my first vegan Thanksgiving.  I made it my goal to make all the yummy  traditional sides and desserts my way – the vegan way. (Aren’t the sides and desserts the best part anyway?!?) I was so excited to prove that we could still have a traditional seasonal meal and still eat vegan. Most were a success – except for the Watergate Salad (still working on that one), and the pumpkin pie. In fact, I remember my disappointment when I excitedly cut into my soupy goopy vegan pumpkin pie mess- because some things just NEED eggs to help set up! Or do they?I tried the flax “egg” and the aquafaba “egg”; but both were abject failures.

Enter cashews!  That’s right – raw, soaked, and ground cashews (affiliate link) can be a great thickener and stabilizer for many dishes in which eggs are traditionally used.  I first discovered this when developing my Puff Pastry Apple Cranberry Strudel.  As it turns out, cashews work great for thickening vegan pumpkin pie too!  I took it a step further and topped my pie with with  thick vegan cinnamon cashew cream.  Yes, there is vegan whipped topping somewhere out there on the market.  Unfortunately though, vegan whipped topping is usually full of oil; and may not available to those of us living in a small one-grocery-store town…

The cinnamon cashew cream used in this recipe is not a “light and fluffy” type of topping but more of a second layer to the pie.  It adds a subtle nutty flavor and is the perfect topping for this pie.

PLEASE! YOU MUST DISCLOSE TO ANYONE EATING THIS PIE THAT IT CONTAINS NUTS!  Nuts are not a common ingredient found in pumpkin pie. A person with allergies might not be aware if you do not fully disclose. Never try to pass vegan cooking off as non-vegan  – especially if the item contains potential allergens. 

Start by preheating your oven to 375° and soaking the raw cashews (affiliate link) for about 30 minutes.  If you can only find roasted cashews then you will need to add hours to your soaking time and rinse well to remove the added salt.

I use a prepared pie crust.  Feel free to make your own. There are many recipes for a more “plant-based” crust – but for a special seasonal meal, I prefer the traditional type of crust.  Just read the vegan pumpkin pieingredients to ensure the crust fits in with your way of eating.

Set the crust, if frozen,  on the counter to thaw while you are preparing the filling.

One trick I learned from my mamma to make your store bought crust appear more homemade, is to pinch or flute the thawed edges like you would if you made the crust yourself. Tricky tricky.

vegan pumpkin pie
Gently pinch to give a fluted edge.

vegan pumpkin pieMake sure to drain the water off from the soaked cashews.  Add to a high speed blender  (affiliate link) along with the other pie ingredients and mix on high for 3-5 minutes or until cashews are thoroughly blended and mixture is smooth.  Make sure to buy SOLID pumpkin NOT the pumpkin pie mix.  That has other ingredients in it and your recipe will not turn out the same.

vegan pumpkin pie
Brown sugar and real maple syrup are used for the sweeteners.

 

Pour and scrape the pumpkin pie mixture into two prepared unbaked crusts. Spread evenly with a spatula.  I used an eight inch deep dish shell for my pies.  Depending on the size of the pie shell, the pie mixture may not come to the top.  Remember, you will put a second layer of cinnamon cashew cream on top after it’s baked and cooled.

vegan pumpkin pie

While the pies are baking, begin making the cashew cream.  Start, of course, by soaking the cashews for about 30 minutes.  While they are soaking you can wash your high speed blender. You know the trick for that right? If not, then enjoy this quick little video from Raw Blend.

Drain the cashews and add to your clean blender along with the other ingredients.  Pour into a jar or container and put in the refrigerator or just set aside while the pies are finishing cooking and cooling.

After 50-55 minutes the pies should be done.  The traditional “knife test” is not going to work for this vegan pumpkin pierecipe.  The top will be darker and there might be some cracks on top. When you give it a gentle wiggle, it will be mostly firm-ish. The pies will firm a little more as they are cooling. Set on a cooling rack to cool. When you can handle touching the pans, you can put into the refrigerator.

vegan pumpkin pie

Should these pies be served cold or warm?  I’m a cold-pie gal so for me there is no question.  I did a little survey on my Facebook page and was surprised to learn that more people than I would have guessed liked pumpkin pie warm. Eww. Especially as these pies do set up better when they are cold, I suggest serving cold. If you are a die-hard warm pie person, then go ahead and serve warm but be aware the pies will not be as firm.  I would not, however reheat the pies with the cashew cream on top.  Personal preference I guess…

Once the pies have cooled sufficiently, pour the cashew cream on top and carefully spread.  Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and sparkly sugar if desired.

vegan pumpkin pie          vegan pumpkin pie

vegan pumpkin pie
If you cover with plastic, use toothpicks to keep the plastic off of the cashew cream.

These are some items I used when making this recipe (affiliate links):

vegan pumpkin pie

Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Cashew Cream

This vegan pumpkin pie is made smooth and creamy using raw cashews. It is topped with a cinnamon cashew cream layer for a seasonal, slightly nutty, pumpkin pie flavor
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cashew cream, vegan pumpkin pie
Prep Time: 10 minutes
cashew soak time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 16
Calories: 311kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey

Ingredients

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

  • 2 pie shells prepared
  • 3/4 cup cashews raw
  • 1/2 cup cashew milk can sub another plant milk
  • 1 29 ounce can pumpkin use solid pack
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup use real syrup only
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder can sub cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cinnamon Cashew Cream

  • 1 1/2 cup cashews raw
  • 1 cup cashew milk can sub another plant milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice unsweetened
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed

Instructions

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • Soak raw cashews for about 30 minutes.  Discard water after soaking. If you use roasted cashews, you will need to add hours onto the soaking time and then throughly rinse salt off before using in recipe.
  • After cashews are soaked and drained, put into a high speed blender along with all other pie ingredients: cashew milk, spices, brown sugar and real maple syrup, arrowroot powder (or cornstarch), vanilla, salt, and solid pumpkin. (Do not use pumpkin pie mix in a can which will already have seasonings mixed in.  Your recipe will not turn out the same.)

Blend in a high speed blender until smooth.

  • Pour/scrape into two uncooked pie shells.  Smooth the tops.
  • Cook in a 375° oven for 50-55 minutes or until crusts are browned, top of pies are darker, and cracks may appear.  The clean knife test will not work for this recipe. 
  • Take out of oven and set on a cooking rack to cool.

Cinnamon Cashew Cream

  • While pies are cooking and cooling, soak raw cashews for about 30 minutes.  If you use roasted cashews, your soak time will increase by hours and you must rinse thoroughly to remove salt. 
  • After cashews are soaked, drain water off.
  • Place soaked and drained cashews into clean high speed blender along with cashew milk (or other plant milk), lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, and brown sugar.  Blend at high speed until smooth and creamy.
  • Set aside until pies are cooled -or if you have finished extra early, pour into a jar and refrigerate. 
  • Once pies have cooled, pour evenly on top.  Top with additional cinnamon and perhaps some sparkly gold sugar. 
  • In my humble opinion, this is best served cold. The cashew cream will firm up with refrigeration.  If you like your pie warm though...to each his own.

Notes

You must disclose to anyone who may eat  this pie that the recipe contains nuts.  Pumpkin pie typically does not contain nuts so this is especially important. 

Nutrition

Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 181mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 0.1% | Vitamin C: 0.5% | Calcium: 3.4% | Iron: 11.2%

Puff Pastry Apple Cranberry Strudel

This rustic Apple Cranberry Strudel is vegan, easy and delicious! It is filled with apples, cranberries, pecans, and a secret ingredient: a homemade cashew cream! Once you make the apple-cranberry filling and cashew creme, it’s easy to throw together using purchased frozen puff pastry sheets.

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Clicking on those links and making a purchase may provide Veggie Fun Kitchen with compensation at no additional cost to you. 

Tip and Tricks to Make the Puff Pastry Apple Strudel Recipe:

  • Start with a box of frozen puff pastry sheets.  This recipe will make two long strudels, but you can eat one now and freeze the second one for later!
  • Set the pastry sheets out to thaw according to package directions.  These puff pastry sheets take about 40 minutes to thaw on the counter.  This should be plenty of time to prepare the apple-cranberry mixture as well as the cashew cream
  • Put the raw cashews in water to soak for about 30 minutes.  If you don’t have raw cashews, you will need to start soaking hours before. (Note – if you only have roasted and salted cashews then rinse well and taste before adding salt.
  • This recipe calls for three apples.  Using three different types of apples gives it an interesting, undefined, apple flavor. Peel, core, and slice your apples.

 

  • Honestly, this apple peeler (affiliate link) is the way to go.  It’s so easy that even kids can do it (with supervision of course)

  • After I peel core and slice with the peeler, I can easily cut the apples again into quarters and get just the right size.
  • Add the apples to a deep sauté pan along with the sugar,  seasonings, and arrowroot powder.  I also add orange juice concentrate for an added flavor zip.  I always keep a jar of frozen orange juice concentrate in the freezer so that I can dig in and get a little orange flavor whenever I need it.  Stirring constantly so that the sugar doesn’t stick, cook for about 3-5 minutes until the apples have softened.  Turn off heat and add cranberries and chopped pecans.Puff Pastry Apple Cranberry Strudel
  • Next, start working on the cashew creme. Make sure you drain the cashews.  Add to a high-speed blender (affiliate line) along with the other ingredients and blend for several minutes until smooth.
  • This is just about the right time for the puff pastry to be thawed.  On a floured surface, gently open one and then roll out into a 10×12 rectangle.  Make sure the folds are going horizontally.  This way when you complete your strudel and fold over, there will be less chance of breakage.
Puff Pastry Apple Cranberry Strudel
Roll your rectangle out so that the folds are horizontal.

Pour half of the cashew creme down the center and then carefully place half of the apple cranberry mixture on top.

Puff Pastry Apple Cranberry Strudel
Center the Cashew Cream and apple cranberry mix right down the middle.

Fold over one third, covering the mixture, and then the fold over the other side so that you have a long tube.  Gently tuck each end under.  Carefully place onto parchment paper and then cut diagonal slices through the top of each strudel – about one inch apart.Puff Pastry Apple Cranberry Strudel

  • Brush the tops with some sugared cashew milk. Bake on the center rack at 375° for 15 minutes.  Take out of the oven and sprinkle each with cinnamon sugar. Return to the oven and continue baking for about 15 more minutes or until the pastry is puffed and lightly browned.
Puff Pastry Apple Cranberry Strudel
Brush with a plant milk/sugar mixture.
  • Allow to cool slightly before carefully slicing.  Serve warm or cooled with your favorite hot beverage.  You can wrap one of the strudels up and freeze until you are ready to eat.

Puff Pastry Apple Cranberry Strudel

Pin Now to Save for Later:Puff Pastry Apple Cranberry Strudel

  • If you freeze one and want to eat it later, wrap it tightly in foil.  Later you can reheat – still in the foil – at 350° for about 30 minutes.

Items I Found Helpful:

These are some items I found helpful in making this Puff Pastry Apple Cranberry Strudel.  All are Amazon Affiliate links.  Clicking on and purchasing may earn Veggie Fun Kitchen compensation at no additional cost to you.

Foodie Extravaganza Party Links:

This post is part of the Foodie Extravaganza Party!  Every month a group of food bloggers gets together to bring you theme-related food from around the WWW.  They may not all be vegan dishes, but perhaps can be modified.  I’m thrilled to be a part of this group – I think it helps to get the message out that vegan food can be fabulous!  Please see below for links and please visit the recipes that might interest you.

Puff Pastry Apple Cranberry Strudel

Puff Pastry Apple Cranberry Strudel

This puff pastry apple cranberry strudel is vegan, easy to make and perfect for a cool crisp afternoon.  It uses a homemade cashew cream, apples, and dried cranberries.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Puff Pastry Apple Cranberry
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Thaw Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10
Calories: 512kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey

Ingredients

  • 1 Box Puff Pastry (2 sheets)

Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup raw cashews soaked
  • 1/2 cup cashew milk or other plant milk
  • 1/2 Tablespoon arrowroot powder can sub cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

Apple Cranberry Mixture

  • 3 apples peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice concentrate
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon arrowroot powder can sub cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries such as Craisons
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Finishing Touches

  • 1/2 cup cashew milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon sugar

Instructions

  • Set pastry sheets on counter to thaw.  Thaw according to package directions.  My package directs 40 minutes.

Cashew Cream

  • Set raw cashews into water to soak for about 30 minutes. While cashews are soaking, you may make the apple cranberry mixture. (If you are using roasted cashews, you will need to soak for hours/overnight to soften.)
  • Drain all water from cashews.  Add to a high speed blender along with cashew milk, lemon, arrowroot powder (or cornstarch), salt, and brown sugar.
  • Blend on high speed till smooth. About 5 minutes.

Apple Cranberry Mixture

  • While cashews are soaking, you can make your apple cranberry mixture.
  • Peel, core, and slice three apples.  I like to use different varieties. 
  • Put prepared apples into a sauté pan along with brown sugar, orange juice concentrate, cinnamon, arrowroot powder (or cornstarch), and salt.
  • Cook, stirring constantly to keep sugar from sticking,  till apples have softened - about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in dried cranberries and chopped pecans.

Putting It All Together

  • Working with one pastry sheet at a time, gently unfold pastry onto a floured surface and with a floured rolling pin, gently cool into a a rectangle - about 10x12.  Make sure the "folds" are going across horizontally (the short way).
  • Pour 1/2 the cashew mixture down the center of the pastry sheet, being careful to leave 1 1/2 inches on the top and bottom of the rectangle. 
  • Carefully spoon 1/2 apple cranberry mixture on top of the cashew cream.
  • Carefully fold one side of the pastry sheet over, covering the mixture and then the opposite side. Tuck under the edges on the top and bottom to fully close the "tube".
  • Carefully transfer to a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Cut diagonal slits about 1 inch apart across the top. 
  • Repeat with other pastry sheet.  When you place the second filled tube  onto the pastry sheet, make sure you space a couple of inches apart.
  • Make a little sugar milk and brush on the top of each pastry tube.
  • Bake at 375° for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on the tops of each.
  • Return to oven and continue baking for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned and puffed. Let cool slightly before cutting.
  • To freeze unused portions, wrap tightly in foil.  Allow to thaw naturally and then warm in a low oven (about 300°) for 15 minutes to reheat.

Notes

You must disclose this recipe contains nuts if you serve to others.

Nutrition

Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 0.7% | Vitamin C: 5.8% | Calcium: 3.7% | Iron: 14%

Jalapeño Ranch Dressing – Vegan and Oil Free

This Jalapeño Ranch Dressing is vegan, plant-based,  and oil free.  It’s made with cashews and creamy delicious!  You can drizzle this dressing on salad,  potatoes, or my awesome vegan chili.  Use it as a dip for vegetables, chips or pizza. (This post may contain affiliate links.  Clicking on these links may earn Veggie Fun Kitchen compensation at no additional cost to you.)

What if I told you that you didn’t have to give up the creamy texture of dairy and oil-based salad dressings and dips just because you are eating plant-based?  This creamy jalapeño ranch was created from my Oil-Free Vegan Ranch Sauce when I was looking for a spicier version to top my plant-based chili. This version uses the same basic ingredients such as soaked cashews, unsweetened plant milk, and vinegar; but changes it up with a switch to lime juice, a few different seasonings…and the star of the show: Jalapeños!

HOW TO:

Start with raw cashews and soak in water for about 20 minutes.  jalapeno Ranch Dressing, Vegan and Oil-FreeIf you happen to only have roasted cashews on hand, then you will need to soak for 2-3 hours to get the rich creaminess that this jalapeño ranch dressing deserves.  Make sure to use unsalted nuts or your dressing will be way too salty.  If salted nuts are all you have, then rinse well.   The Radiant Life Blog has a great article all about soaking and using nuts.  Make sure to drain and dump the water before putting the soaked cashews into your blender.

Simply throw in the rest of your ingredients, along with the cashews into your blender –  except for the dried cilantro.  You’ll be adding that at the end.  If you add it and then blend with a high speed blender, it will turn your dressing greenish…which is fine if that’s what you like! I do like creamy white though.

Jalapeno Ranch Dressing, Vegan and Oil-Free

 

And now for the star of the show: Jalapeños!  And here is my little secret…I keep a jar of pickled jalapeños handy in my fridge.  No running out at 10pm just because I’m have a craving for a little something to spice up my palate!  And here is another little secret of mine: because my family’s taste run more to the mild side, I use the tamed jalapeños instead.  Feel free to use full strength if you prefer.

 

 

 

I definitely use and love my Vitamix High Speed Blender!  I’ve had it for years and it just keeps going.  (Clicking on and purchasing through this affiliate link may provide Veggie Fun Kitchen with affiliate income.)

Jalapeno Ranch Dressing, Vegan and Oil-Free

Just throw everything in (except for the dried cilantro), and blend on high speed for about 2-3 minutes.  When creamy and smooth, add the cilantro and blend slowly to mix it.

This dressing works great for meal prep too when you’d like a little extra zip.  These little 2 ounce containers are the perfect size.  I use them for various dressings and sauces almost every day.

Jalapeno Ranch Dressing, Vegan and Oil-Free

Use this on salads, over Mexican food, pizza, or my fabulous plant-based chili!Jalapeno Ranch Dressing, Vegan and Oil-Free

Honestly – I would just double this if I were you.  It’s that good!

Jalapeno Ranch Dressing, Vegan and Oil-Free

Jalapeno Ranch Dressing - Vegan and Oil-Free

This Jalapeño Ranch Dressing is made with cashews for a creamy smooth texture.  It is vegan, plant-based, and oil free.  
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad, Sauce, Topping
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Soak Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 84kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup cashews raw
  • 3/4 cup plant milk unsweetened
  • 10 slices jalapeno pickled (I use mild)
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro dried

Instructions

  • Soak the raw cashews for about 30 minutes.  Drain and discard water.
  • Add all ingredients (except for dried cilantro) along with the soaked cashews to a high speed blender.
  • Blend for 2-3 minutes or until creamy and smooth 
  • Add cilantro and slowly blend,  until just  incorporated.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  Will thicken upon standing. 

Notes

You MUST disclose that this recipe includes tree nuts if you serve to others.  One wouldn't normally expect to find nuts in a ranch-type of dressing. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tablespoon | Calories: 84kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 287mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 19.4% | Vitamin C: 130.6% | Calcium: 3.8% | Iron: 4.8%

Oil-Free Vegan Ranch Sauce

This oil-free vegan ranch sauce is made with cashews.  It is vegan and plant-based.  Serve as a salad dressing, use as a dip with vegetables or pizza, or as a baked potato topping.

One of the food items that I missed when I started eating vegan, was the creamy tangy flavor of ranch dressing.  Luckily I learned I could easily make my own at home!  This one is oil-free and uses only whole food items and so it also qualifies as plant-based as well.  Now if only restaurants would start offering something like this oil-free vegan ranch…because it would just be weird to carry your own…right? (Which I may or may not have done -shhhh!)

Soak the raw cashews for about 30 minutes.  If your cashews are roasted, then you will need to soak for 2 hours.  Drain the cashews and throw out the water!Oil-Free Vegan Ranch Cashews Soaking

Add to a blender along with  a non-sweetened plant milk of your choice. Add in all  other ingredients. The vinegar and lemon juice give the oil-free vegan ranch that tangy flavor you expect from a ranch sauce.  If you are using a whole garlic clove then don’t stress on chopping your garlic as it will be blended in the high speed blender.  If you use a regular blender, then chop some. I just use an already minced jarred garlic. It’s fine…

I use a high speed blender for this recipe (because that’s what I have and that’s what I use!) As long as your cashews are raw and soaked, a regular blender will do fine. Just test it after a couple of minutes and make sure your sauce is creamy and smooth.Oil-Free Vegan Ranch Dressing

Clicking on this affiliate link will potentially earn Veggie Fun Kitchen affiliate income.

But honestly I LOVE my Vitamix!

Blend together for about 2-3 minutes.

Store the oil-free vegan ranch sauce  airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  If you serve to others, you must disclose that this oil-free vegan ranch sauce contains nuts!

Oil-Free Vegan Ranch Dressing

For a spicier version, try my Jalapeño Ranch Dressing!  It’s also vegan and oil-free!

Oil-Free Vegan Ranch Dressing

Oil-Free Vegan Ranch Sauce

This oil-free vegan ranch sauce is plant-based and uses cashews to make it thick and creamy.  It can be used as a dressing or as a dip.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cashew Soaking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 58kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup cashews raw, soaked
  • 3/4 cup plant milk unsweetened
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dill weed

Instructions

  • Soak the raw cashews for 30 minutes. Drain and throw out the water.
  • Add all ingredients except dill to a high speed blender.
  • Blend for 2-3 minutes or until creamy and smooth.  
  • Add dill at the end and then stir or blend on low speed just until incorporated. 
  • Store in an airtight contained in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Will thicken upon standing 

Notes

You must disclose that this ranch sauce contains nuts if you serve to others. Nuts normally aren't found in ranch sauce.  If you send this to school with your child as a dipping sauce, you must inform them  of the dangers of sharing their food and forbid it.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tablespoons | Calories: 58kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 63mg | Vitamin C: 1.5% | Calcium: 2.7% | Iron: 3.6%

Smoky Tomato Tahini Sauce

This smoky tomato tahini sauce is the bomb! Use it as a dip for veggies or chips,  a topping for veggie burgers, or  drizzle it over potatoes (like my Breakfast Potato Hash). The smoky tomato tahini sauce is vegan, plant-based, sugar free and oil free. The magical ingredients that give this sauce it’s rich robust texture and flavor are a combination of tahini, cashews,  smoked paprika…and some other “stuff”.

(This post contains affiliate links.  Clicking on the links may earn Veggie Fun Kitchen compensation at no additional cost to you.)

Medjool Dates

While this sauce doesn’t use sugar as an ingredient, it does need a little “sweet”.  Medjool dates are Mother Nature’s miracle sugar free and natural sweetener.  Take the seeds out (very important – see below!) and soak the dates in very hot water for about 10 minutes or until softened.  If the dates are very fresh and soft already, they won’t need any more time than that. If they have dried out a little then they might need an extra couple of minutes. To save washing a dish, I soak my raw cashews and dates together for this recipe.  I normally don’t soak my cashews in very hot water – room temperature is fine.  But in this case, it won’t hurt them  – and that’s one less dish to wash!Cashews and Dates Soaking

It is important to use raw cashews for a really creamy texture.  It you happen to use roasted cashews, you’ll need to soak longer. After soaking, drain your water. You’ll be using water as one of the ingredients when you mix it all together in the high speed blender; but do use fresh water for that.

While your cashews and dates are soaking, you can become familiar with Ume Plum Vinegar and give it a little taste – seriously though, just a tiny drop on the tongue or you will be sad.  It has a very distinct taste that is not really like vinegar but more of a salty brine taste. Ume Plum Vinegar

Ume Plum Vinegar is made from pickling umeboshi plums and is a great addition in plant-based cooking because it adds a little salty-tart flavor and is used in some dishes to give it the barest hint of the sea. I put off buying some for the longest time and substituted a combo of soy sauce and red wine vinegar – which you can do if you haven’t yet sourced the Ume Plum Vinegar.  Do try to find some though.  You only ever use a small amount, so it should last a good amount of time.

Another important ingredient is tahini. Tahini is made of ground sesame seeds and gives plant-based cooking a rich depth of flavor and texture. When we don’t use oil, our recipes sometimes lack the “mouth-feel” oil gives and tahini does the trick! Tahini isn’t always easy to find. I buy this one on Amazon – it really is a nice one.  Creamy and easy to stir (affiliate link).

Smoky Tomato Tahini Sauce VitamixPut all ingredients, including the soaked and drained cashews and dates into a high speed blender or food processor and blend/process on high for about 3 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Important note:  Do make sure that all of your dates have actually been de-seeded!  (What a horrible noise…and a recipe I just couldn’t recover…sad!)

This is also a time for deciding if you want your sauce a little more tomato-y than the recipe calls for.  You are only using about half of the little can of tomato paste.  So give it a taste and if you’d like more, go ahead and add it, 1/2 Tablespoon at a time.  Otherwise, portion out the leftover tomato paste and freeze for another time. Leftover Tomato Paste

 

Look at this beautiful, thick and creamy sauce!  Now tell the truth – don’t you sometimes swipe a taste from the Vitamix plunger too? lol!Tahini Sauce on Plunger

 

 

 

 

Things I used to make this recipe (affiliate links):


Pin now to save for later:

 

Smoky Tomato Tahini Sauce

Smoky Tomato Tahini Sauce

This versatile Smoky Tomato Tahini Sauce is plant-based, vegan, oil and sugar free. Use a a dip for chips or a sauce for vegetables. Try as a topping on my Breakfast Potato Hash.  You can even thin out a little and use as a salad dressing.
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Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Plant-based, vegan
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 114kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews raw and unsalted
  • 4 each Medjool dates take out seeds
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ume Plum Vinegar substitute with red wine vinegar or soy sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons tomato paste or more to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Take the seeds out of the dates and soak along with the raw cashews in very hot water for 10-15 minutes or until softened.
  • Drain and discard water.  You will be using water when you been ingredients - please use fresh water.
  • Put soaked and drained deseeded dates and cashews into a high speed blender or food processor along with all other ingredients and blend on high for 3-5 minutes until creamy and smooth.
  • Give it a taste and if you would like your sauce a little more tomato-y, go ahead and add 1/2 Tablespoon at a time. 
  • Pour into a jar or container.  Cover tightly and refrigerate.  It will thicken with refrigeration.  Thin a little if necessary with water.

Notes

If is very important that you disclose to anyone you are serving that this recipe contains cashews.  A sauce does not typically contain nuts and someone with an allergy might accidentally ingest. 

Nutrition

Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 288mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3.4% | Vitamin C: 2% | Calcium: 1.7% | Iron: 7.5%

Stuffed Shells with (Vegan) Ricotta Cheese

When I first started eating plant-based, I thought I was going to have to say good-bye to some of my favorites… like “cheesy” pastas.  This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Tofu, eggplant, and nutritional yeast make for a  convincing creamy ricotta “cheese”.  These Stuffed Shells with (Vegan) Ricotta Cheese are of course vegan, oil free, plant-based, and can be gluten-free if you are able to source gluten-free shells.

Ricotta and Shells in Pan

I first tried these stuffed shells when a (non-vegan) work friend was so excited to have found this recipe that she made it and brought it in to work for me to try out!  I’m sure you can understand how touched I was by her thoughtfulness.  When we are vegan, it is easy to feel like we are missing out on so many of the food-sharing social activities at work and with friends.  It really meant a lot that she cared enough to want to share a dish with me that I could enjoy.  She was inspired by this recipe on Minimalist Baker.  If you haven’t checked out their website you really should as a great recipe resource!  My friend massaged that recipe and gave it to me and then I massaged it further.

This is a recipe that I consider a little crazy complicated with multiple steps.  I’ve made it so many times though that I think I’ve perfected how to do it from start to finish.  Follow the steps in the recipe card and (hopefully) it will go easy enough for you too!

Eggplant ScoredStart with your eggplant.  I’ve never been a fan of eggplant because I never really understood how to cook it correctly.  It was always a little slimy-textured to me.  If you salt it well and then squeeze out the extra moisture before cooking, you won’t have the texture problem.  You can see that I’ve scored  and salted it well.  Let sit salted for about 30 minutes and squeeze out the extra moisture before cooking it face down on a silicone baking sheet.

After it’s cooked in a 400° oven for 40 minutes it will be done. The eggplant will be a little shriveled and softened enough so that you can easily scoop out the creamy insides.  Toss the skin, you won’t be using it in this recipe.Eggplant Cooked

 

 

While all that is going on, drain and press your tofu.  I use a tofu press.

Tofu in the Press

You will also need to soak your cashews. Make sure to drain water before using in the recipe. Use raw cashews because you will get a creamier texture than if you used dry roasted cashews.  Cashew Nuts SoakingRaw Cashews in Package

 

You normally can’t find raw cashews in the grocery store unless it is a health or specialty store.  I usually source mine online.

 

After the tofu is pressed, roughly break it into chunks and reserve 1/2 cup.  You’ll be stirring that in later to give your ricotta “cheese” a little texture.

Tofu in Half Cup

This is also a good time to cook your baby kale. Just put in a sauté  pan along the with the garlic. Line your pan with vegetable broth to prevent the kale from sticking. It’s done when it’s wilted and about 1/3 of the size. Crazy huh?!?

Baby Arugula         Baby Arugula Cooked

 

If you are unable to find baby kale then substitute with baby arugula or baby spinach.

Sometime during all this, you’ll need to bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the jumbo shells until just al dente as they will be cooking longer in the oven once stuffed and covered in sauce.  If you overcook then they will be mushy and fall apart when stuffing. Make sure you use the jumbo shells.  Here’s a photo next to a dime for size comparison.Jumbo Shells with Dime

When they are cooked, drain and set aside.  The shells will need to be mostly dried of the extra bits of water or your dish will be runny – but not too dried or they won’t be flexible enough to stuff.  This cooking thing can be  a bit of a dance!

Make your creamy “cheese” sauce by putting the tofu (except for the 1/2 cup reserved), drained cashews, and plant milk in a high speed blender.  You can use any type of plant milk you like (soy, almond, cashew, etc.) BUT make sure it is unsweetened.Vegan Ricotta in Blender Close Up

 

 

 

Process till smooth then scrape into a large bowl along with the cooked and skinned eggplant, cooked kale, and seasonings.

Vegan Ricotta in Bowl Ready for Mixing

Nutritional yeast is an important ingredient that can’t be left out or it won’t have that cheesy flavor. Nutritional yeast is different from brewer’s yeast and baker’s yeast.  It really is a staple of a vegan kitchen.  It’s not always easy to find in the grocery store but sometimes can be found near the “health food” section, or area near gluten-free foods, or the section with the specialty grains. I usually just order mine online.

Take a mixer – I like an immersion blender – and throughly blend together. You’ll know it’s done when the kale is in little pieces and is  well incorporated.Vegan Ricotta Immersion Blender

 

 

 

It is at this point that you add in the reserved tofu. Only mix enough  so that it’s a little chunky and the texture somewhat resembles ricotta cheese.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER! Finally!

Line a large baking dish with a pasta sauce of your choice.  For this I usually find a large jar of sauce that makes me happy because honestly, this recipe is hella work already without having to make your own sauce.  If you want to be ambitious and make your own, try my Pasta Sauce.  It’s oil-free, plant-based, and vegan. I make it with canned crushed tomatoes so the the process does go a little more quickly.

Vegan Ricotta Shells Lined up in PanCarefully stuff each shell with the ricotta mixture and set in the dish.  You will get 18-20 shells – probably depending on the size of your eggplant and how fully you stuff them.  Spoon more sauce over of each shell and then sprinkle some  vegan parmesan cheese on top.  If you use mine, I make it with cashews.  You MUST disclose to anyone you serve that it contains nuts as people won’t be expecting  nuts in a cheese sprinkle.

Bake uncovered in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. I always sprinkle more vegan cashew cheese on top because  honestly, it’s the bomb!

Stuffed Shells with Vegan Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta and Shells in Pan

Stuffed Shells with (Vegan) Ricotta Cheese

These stuffed shells are vegan, oil-free, and plant-based.  Tofu, raw cashews, and eggplant give the ricotta "cheese" a creamy texture.  
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Plant-based, vegan
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
resting time (eggplant): 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 219kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant sliced in half and scored
  • 1 16 ounce block tofu extra firm
  • 20 jumbo shells
  • 3/4 cup cashews, raw soaked
  • 5 ounces baby kale
  • 2 cloves mined garlic
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or more to keep pan from sticking
  • 1/2 cup plant milk of choice unsweetened
  • 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 25 ounce jar pasta sauce
  • 1 recipe vegan cashew parmasean cheese optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°. 
  • Slice eggplant in half lengthwise, score the flesh side and sprinkle generously with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes.  When finished, squeeze out excess moisture. Place cut-side down on a silicone lined baking pan and cook for 40 minutes.  
  • After you take the eggplant out, turn oven down to 350°.  Let the eggplant cool enough to handle and then scrape out the insides into a dish. Set aside. You can discard skins.
  • While the eggplant is sitting and cooking do the following:
    1. Drain and press Tofu,
    2. Soak cashews,
    3. Boil water for shells,
    4. Sauté baby kale.
    5. Blend/process pressed tofu (except 1/2 cup), soaked cashews, and  plant milk. 
    (Specific directions are in steps below.)
  • Drain and press Tofu until most moisture is squeezed out. After tofu is drained and presses, break into small chunks and divide - setting aside 1/2 cup in a separate bowl.
  • Cook jumbo shells according to package direction for al dente.  Drain and set aside to cook.
  • Soak raw cashews in water for 30 minutes. After cashews have soaked for 30 minutes, drain water and toss it out.  Set aside cashews to blend later.
  • Line a large sauté  pan with vegetable broth. Sauté baby kale along with garlic until wilted and tender.  Set aside. 
  • Put soaked drained cashews, unsweetened plant milk, and all but 1/2 cup of pressed tofu into a high-speed blender or food processor.  Process until smooth.  Pour/scrape into a large mixing bowl . 
  • Add the cooked baby kale, cooked and scooped eggplant and all other seasonings and ingredients (except for pasta sauce, shells, and vegan parmesan cheese) to the bowl with the ricotta mixture.  With an immersion blender, agressively  blend until smooth.  
  • At the last minute, add the reserved 1/2 cup tofu.  Continue to lightly blend until mixture resembles  the consistency of a ricotta cheese mixture.
  • Line the bottom of a large lasagna-type of pan with a thin layer of pasta sauce.  
  • Carefully stuff the shells with the cheese mixture and place in a single layer on top of the pasta sauce.
  • Spoon remaining pasta sauce on the top of the stuffed shells. Sprinkle generously with vegan parmesan cheese. 
  • Bake uncovered at 350° for 30 minutes until heated through. 

Notes

If you serve this recipe to others you MUST disclose that this recipe contains nuts.  One normally wouldn't expect to find nuts in thy type of recipe so it is especially important.
Recipe for Vegan Cashew Parmesan Cheese
Recipe for Homemade Pasta Sauce

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 467mg | Potassium: 356mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 47.6% | Vitamin C: 34.4% | Calcium: 7.5% | Iron: 11.4%

 

 

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce (Stovetop)

This Chili Cheese Sauce is vegan!  It’s dairy free, oil free, and gluten-free.

Who doesn’t love a good chili cheese sauce?  This recipe is for the stove top version of my Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce (Instant Pot).  I honestly prefer the cheese sauce prepared in a pressure cooker over the stove top. They take close to the same amount of time from start to finish, but the flavor and texture in the instant pot is just a little different – even using the same ingredients.  No matter!  Not everyone has jumped onboard the pressure cooker craze! It’s still creamy cheesy plant-based deliciousness prepared on the stove top!

If you look at the ingredients, there is only goodness – vegetables, raw cashews…and some other “vegan” stuff.

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce Ingredients

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce Rough Cut Vegetables

 

The directions call for “rough-cutting” your vegetables. This is because it’s not necessary to cut them smaller as they will be cooked and blended.  Just make sure they are somewhat uniform.  I wash but don’t peel my carrot or potatoes.  Again, it isn’t necessary.

 

 

 

Put all the vegetables and cashews into a boiling pot of water, using enough water to cover.  After about 15 minutes, when the potatoes and carrots are tender, it’s done and you can drain the water. You just make sure to reserve 1 cup of water to add to the blender.  Transfer all vegetables to the blender along with 1 cup of water and the other ingredients except for the chili beans and optional items.  You’ll add those later to your personal taste.

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce in Blender

 

Blend until smooth.  Pour into a bowl and add chili beans with sauce, and hot sauce to taste.

Deliciou Nacho Cheese

I have a secret ingredient that really bumps the cheesy flavor up a notch.  If you can get your hands on it, go ahead an add a tablespoon.  This is Deliciou Nacho Cheese flavoring.  It is vegan and can be ordered through this link.  If you can’t get ahold of it, your cheese sauce will still be fabulous!

 

 

 

 

Serve with chips if you want or make nachos. I have a great nacho plate I put together as well as a potato nacho dish.  Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce with Chip

 

To go all out plant-based, my favorite way to serve this Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce is with a scrumptious plate of vegetables!

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce with Vegetable Plate

This Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce is as good as it looks!  Enjoy!Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce with Carrot

Pin now to save for later!Chili Cheese Sauce vegan and oil free

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce with Vegetable Plate

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce (Stove Top)

This Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce is dairy free, oil free, and gluten-free.  This version is made on the stove top and is cheesy delicious!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Plant-based, vegan, Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 73kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic no need to chop
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, large roughly chopped, no need to peel
  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, medium roughly chopped, no need to peel
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon white miso
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon Mexican/taco seasoning
  • 1 15.5 ounce can black chili beans in sauce undrained
  • 1 Tablespoon hot sauce (I use Frank's) optional, to taste
  • 1 4 ounce can green chilis optional
  • 1 Tablespoon Deliciou Nacho Cheese Seasoning optional, to taste

Instructions

  • Wash and rough- cut your vegetables - no need to peel the carrot or potatoes.
  • Add along with the garlic and raw cashews to a  boiling pot of salted water. Boil for about 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Drain reserving 1 cup of water from the pot.
  • Add to a high speed blender along with all other ingredients except for the chili beans in sauce, hot sauce, and other optional items. Blend until smooth.  Only if necessary, add some unsweetened plant milk - one Tablespoon at a time.  You shouldn't need more than one or two Tablespoons.
  • Pour into a large serving bowl. Add chili beans in sauce, hot sauce and other optional items to taste. 

Notes

Contains nuts! Safety first.  You must disclose to anyone you serve this to that this recipe includes nuts as nuts aren't normally found in cheese sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 275mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 24.1% | Vitamin C: 16.1% | Calcium: 1.8% | Iron: 10.8%

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce – (Instant Pot)

 

 

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce – Dairy Free, Oil Free, and Gluten Free!

Who doesn’t love a good chili cheese sauce!  Chili cheese sauce can be used as a dip for chips or veggies.  You can slather it on nachos or baked potatoes. It  can even be used as a topping for chili itself!  This one is vegan!  It’s dairy free, oil free, and gluten-free.  Tell me, is there anything in these ingredients that is really “bad” for you?

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce Ingredients

This Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce is made using the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker and a high-speed blender.  You can make it on the stove top too – click here for the stove top version.  Both recipes take about the same amount of time from start to finish – but honestly, I like the end results when made in a pressure cooker better. The flavors just blend better.

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce Rough Cut Vegetables

 

The directions call for “rough-cutting” your vegetables.  This is because it’s not necessary to cut them smaller as they will be blended after they are cooked.  Just make sure they are somewhat uniform and small enough to manage.  I wash but don’t peel my carrot or potatoes.  Again, it isn’t necessary.

 

 

When everything is cut, put in a pressure cooker along with the garlic, raw cashews and one cup of water.

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce Ingredients in Instant Pot

 

 

 

Set your pressure cooker on high for five minutes. This is the “old” Instant Pot Pressure Cooker I’ve used and loved. It seems like every year they come up with fancier features too!  The 6 quart version (affiliate link) works best for my family but my college-age son uses the 3 quart.

Instant Pot Five Minutes Quick Release Instant PotAfter the five minutes is up, do a quick release.  I use a measuring cup to protect myself from the steam.

 

Put everything, including the water from the pot and the other ingredients in the blender and whirl for a few minutes until everything is smooth.  If you need to add a little extra moisture, use an unsweetened plant milk and only add 1 tablespoon at a time.

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce in Blender

Pour into a medium-sized bowl and add the chili beans and hot sauce to taste. You don’t want to drain your chili beans because the sauce will add to the flavor.

If you like things a little spicier you can add diced jalapeños or green chiles.Hatch Chiles

Deliciou Nacho Cheese

 

I have a secret ingredient that really bumps the cheesy flavor up a notch.  If you can get your hands on it, go ahead an add a tablespoon.  This is Deliciou Nacho Cheese flavoring.  It is vegan and can be found online.  If you don’t have this on hand, your cheese sauce will still be fabulous!

 

 

Serve with vegetables or chips. If  you want to get fancy and make nachos. I have a great nacho plate I put together as well as a potato nacho dish.  Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce with Chip

 

To go all out plant-based, my favorite way to serve this Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce is with a scrumptious plate of vegetables!

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce with Vegetable Plate

This Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce is as good as it looks!  Enjoy!Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce with Carrot

 

Pin it to save for later:Chili Cheese Sauces Instant Pot

 

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce with Vegetable Plate Close Up

Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce (Instant Pot)

This Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce is diary free, oil free and gluten-free.  It's made with vegetables and cashews - all the good stuff!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Vegan Chili Cheese Sauce
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 98kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey

Ingredients

  • 1/2 orange bell pepper seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, medium roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, large roughly chopped - no need to peel
  • 4 yukon gold potatoes, medium roughly chopped - no need to peel
  • 1 clove garlic no need to chop
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon white miso paste
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast This is different than baker's or brewer's yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon Mexican/taco seasoning
  • 1 15.5 ounce can black chili beans (in sauce) un-drained
  • 1-2 Tablespoon unsweetened plant milk to thin cheese if necessary
  • 1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce to taste
  • 1 4 ounce can green chilis optional
  • 1 Tablespoon Deliciou Nacho Cheese Flavor optional

Instructions

  • Wash and rough-cut all vegetables. No need to chop garlic clove.
  • Add all vegetables, cashews, and water to pressure cooker. 
  • Set pressure cooker to high for 5 minutes. After it comes to pressure it will cook for 5 minutes. When done do a quick release.
  • Cool slightly and transfer entire contents, including liquid, from pot to blender.
  • Add remaining ingredients except for chili beans and optional items (hot sauce, green chilis, and nacho cheese flavor).
  • Blend on high speed until sauce is smooth.  Only if necessary, add a little unsweetened plant milk to get the right consistency. (If you need it, you will not use more than 1 or 2 Tablespoons.)
  • Pour into a large bowl. Don't drain chili beans. Stir in.  Add other optional ingredients to your desired taste.
  • Serve warm on Mexican dishes, baked potatoes, nachos, or chili. Use as a dip for chips or vegetables. 

Notes

Contains Nuts! Safety first. You must disclose that this recipe contains nuts if you serve to anyone as cheese sauce typically does not contain nuts. 

Nutrition

Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 456mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 24.1% | Vitamin C: 23.2% | Calcium: 3.1% | Iron: 18.5%

 

Parmesan Cheese with Cashews (Vegan)

Vegan parmesan cheese?  Say what? The one thing a lot of non-vegans say holds them back is the cheese.  Some things you just eventually realize you don’t need – you “get over” it.  Other food items you don’t want to get over.  A particular food might  hold an important memory, taste or texture that you truly don’t want to live without.  For me, parmesan cheese was one of these!  What is Italian food without parmesan cheese?  The pasta? Pizza? The Lasagna?

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Fortunately for plant-based eaters, there are parmesan cheese options that don’t use dairy or oil.  It is so easy to whip up a vegan parmesan cheese made with cashews, a little garlic and salt, and the secret ingredient: nutritional yeast! (Nutritional yeast is not the same as brewer’s or baker’s yeast and can often be found in the health food section of grocery stores. You can also get it on Amazon.)

Ingredients for cashew parmesan vegan cheese

 

There are many recipes for vegan parmesan cheese on the internet.  Some use other nuts such as walnuts.  I like cashews because the flavor of the cashew lends blends perfectly with the flavor of the nutritional yeast to give that cheesey flavor.  It’s important to use raw cashews to get the right texture. I have used roasted cashews before and it is a little coarser.  If you do use roasted cashews, try to find unsalted  – or don’t add the salt to the recipe; otherwise you will have an overly salty product.

It’s very important to start with a very dry blender!  If any moisture gets into the blending process,   your cashew parmesan cheese will end up more like a savory nut butter…and while I tried to like this particular flavor…it was nope for me!  (Yes, I speak from sad experience.)

Vegan Parmesan Cheese in Vitamix

 

 

Put all your ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and pulse a few times till you get the texture you like.  If you pulse too long you’ll get too fine a powder.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese in the Blender

 

I like to put mine in a fancy shaker!  This is delicious sprinkled on any Italian dish!  (To be honest, I’ve been know to just shake it in my mouth…really…)

Vegan Parmesan Cheese Next to Pizza

Vegan parmesan cheese with cashews is the perfect topping for pizza!  I use this vegan parmesan cheese to top:

Italian Potatoes, The Little Potato Company potatoes, Pasta Salad, Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats, Stuffed Shells, and more!

Vegan Parmesan Cheese Shaken on Pizza

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Vegan Parmesan Cheese Shaken on Pizza

Parmesan Cheese with Cashews (Vegan)

This easy to make vegan parmesan cheese has a big bold cheesy flavor but is made with cashews and nutritional yeast.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Keyword: Plant-based, vegan, Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 37kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashew nuts raw
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • Put all ingredients in a dry high-speed blender.
  • In short bursts, blend or process a few times until mixture resembles a slightly chunky parmesan cheese.  
  • Put in sealed container to store.  

Notes

This recipe contains nuts.  Safety first! If you serve to others you must disclose that this recipe contains nuts as parmesan cheese typically does not contain nuts.  

Nutrition

Calories: 37kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 117mg | Potassium: 53mg | Calcium: 0.2% | Iron: 2.6%