You can’t have a creamy, rich, and cheesy sauce without dairy… said no one after they made this recipe. Seriously, this zesty jalapeño nacho cheese sauce is going to change your life forever.
That’s Nach-yo Cheese
For many people who are transitioning to a vegan diet, lactose intolerant, or just wanting to reduce animal consumption, cheese is typically the hardest food to give up.
Those of you who fit in the above categories, this sauce is for you! We’ve tried tons of recipes online claiming theirs is the best. But, each time we made them, they came out unflavorful and boring.
Not exactly what you want in a cheese sauce. But, behold our zesty jalapeño nacho cheese sauce. It’s got tang. It’s got cheesiness. It’s got spice. Perfect for a wide variety of uses!
We love it for dipping chips in, topping stuffed potatoes, as a dip for our tofu sticks, or as a buddha bowl sauce. The options are endless.
Key Ingredients for Zesty Jalapeño Nacho Cheese Sauce
- Cashews: these are the ultimate ingredient for a velvety smooth sauce. When we want to create a thick, creamy, and dairy-free dip, we always reach for these little guys. Although they are a little on the pricier side, it’s next to impossible to recreate their buttery smooth texture (okay, our mouthes are watering now). As an added bonus, there is 5g of protein in just 3 tbsp of cashews along with whopping doses of magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. Your heart, bones, and muscles are going to thank you!
- Nutritional yeast: known to many vegans as “nooch,” nutritional yeast has the savoury, nutty flavor that’s vital to plant-based cheeses. This ingredient also comes with a host of health benefits in each serving. In 1 tbsp, there’s 2g of protein and 30-180% of your daily vitamin B needs. Insane, right?!
- Lime: since it’s so high in vitamin C and antioxidants, you can see why we like adding a little citrus to our meals. You also can’t have a zesty cheese sauce without a little tang from some lime!
- Jalapeño: we love heat (maybe a little too much). It’s actually been somewhat challenging to create meals for other people because we have a heavy hand when it comes to our preferred spiciness. But, we’ve learned from our mistakes people. Now, we try to make recipes that appeal to a wide range of heat tolerances because you can always add more, right? For this reason, we added pickled jalapeño to this recipe since it gives some zest with a touch of heat. Best of both worlds!
How to Make Zesty Jalapeño Nacho Cheese Sauce
If you don’t have a high-speed blender, it’s best to soak the cashews overnight, or for at least an hour in boiling water before making this recipe. Soaking cashews causes them to soften up, so you’ll be less likely to have a grainy texture in the end.
Next, you have three options. 1, use fresh jalapeño and realize this is going to be an extremely spicy sauce. 2, do a quick 10-minute pickle, or 3, use store bought pickled jalapeños.
After you’ve got the hard part over with (hopefully you didn’t think that was hard), add the rest of the ingredients into your blender and mix on high until you achieve a smooth, creamy consistency.
How to Store Zesty Jalapeño Nacho Cheese Sauce
This cheese sauce stores well in a mason jar or container in the fridge for 7-10 days. For optimal freshness, we don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
Why You’ll Love This Zesty Jalapeño Nacho Cheese Sauce
This is the cheese sauce you’ve been missing in your life. It’s:
- Perfectly spiced
If you make this recipe, don’t forget to leave a comment, rate it, and tag us on Instagram with #brokebankvegan. Happy eating!
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35 servings per container
Serving Size1 servings
- Amount Per ServingCalories39
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 0.3g 2%
- Sodium 23mg 1%
- Potassium 96mg 3%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 1.1g 5%
- Sugars 0.5g
- Protein 2.0g 4%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Can I replace the cashews with anything?
We don’t recommend replacing cashews for anything in this recipe since they will create the creamiest consistency. If you’re really in a pinch, you can try sunflower seeds with varied results.
Do I have to use pickled jalapeños?
No, You don’t have to use pickled jalapeños. But, just be aware that fresh jalapeños will add quite a lot more spice. Additionally, the pickled jalapeños add more zest to this sauce.
Can I use less nutritional yeast?
This recipe was designed to use a 1/2 cup of nooch. We understand this is an expensive ingredient, and you can use less if you want to save more money. Just know that the taste will be altered.