Vegetarian/Vegan Cheese Sauce

Updated on January 14, 2018
Maya Shedd Temple profile image

Vegetarian most of my life, I love the creativity of veggie cooking—as well as creating & curating poems!

A Word About Sauce

The basic ingredients for any sauce or gravy are butter, flour, salt & pepper, and milk. You can use all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or a combination of the two, which is my favorite use. Other ingredients may be added for special dishes, depending on desired flavor. Adding onion enhances flavor to dinner meals; nutritional yeast adds a nutty flavor while helping to thicken as well as add some key healthful nutrients.

Adding hot sauce, soy sauce, fresh herbs such as basil and rosemary, or dried, ground spices can also add special flavors that will enhance any dish.

Everyone knows that gravy and sauce make many dishes taste great. Corn becomes creamed corn, broccoli, or any green vegetable, along with a light gravy makes an appealing dish even to the most battled-scarred veggie hater.

The French term for such a sauce is "béchamel," which was named for the marquis de Nointel, Louis de Béchamel, (1630-1703), who was a warrior but also a farmer. He became very influential as well as quite wealthy as an advisor and then treasurer to King Louis XIV of France. While the fame of his biography has not kept up with the fame of his name, the sauce or some form of it has traveled far and wide and most nations have some version of this tasty sauce.

Indian, Italian, Mexican as well as the American South's plain old gravy—all have an equivalents of the French béchamel. Indian curry sauce, Italian spaghetti sauce, and Mexican enchilada sauce are just a few examples of the versatility of the uses that can be made of the basic béchamel.

And whether you call it sauce or gravy, it always adds a delicious flavor in addition to a comforting texture to foods, including pasta, vegetables, breads, and chips.

Mushrooms also add a depth of flavor to any basic béchamel recipe, as mushroom gravy enhances the flavor of veggie burgers, turning those already delicious burgers into Swiss-stake-like creations.

Cheese Sauce

Naturally, cheese sauce is also based on the simple ingredients of the basic béchamel—butter, flour, salt & pepper, and milk. The only other necessary ingredient is, of course, cheese. And the amount of cheese you use depends completely upon your own taste. The thicker you like your sauce the more cheese you add.

However, you also might want to consider the type of dish for which the sauce is intended. For mac & cheese, you might like to keep the sauce thinner than the version you will use for nachos. But again, ultimately, it just depends on individual taste. So use the amount that you decide reflects your taste.

In addition to mac & cheese, you can use the vegan or vegetarian cheese sauces for potatoes, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, or any vegetable you like. You can also use these sauces over any variety of pasta. I especially like penne pasta with these cheese sauces.

Both basic gravy and cheese sauce are very versatile additions to any meal. From breakfast's biscuits & gravy to dinner's mac & cheese to snack's and supper's nachos, both vegetarians and vegans can enjoy the yummy, comfort-food texture of these amazing sauces.

Vegetarian Cheese Sauce

Source

Vegetarian Cheese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce (optional)
  • 8-12 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in large saucier over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in flour, salt & pepper, & blend to a paste.
  3. Whisk in milk until well incorporated.
  4. Stir until sauce begins to thicken, about 4 minutes.
  5. Whisk in nutritional yeast and hot sauce.
  6. Whisk in cheese until well blended.

Vegan Cheese Sauce

Source

Vegan Cheese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 stick vegan butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 4 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce (optional)
  • 8-12 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in large saucier over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in flour, salt & pepper, & blend to a paste.
  3. Whisk in milk until well incorporated.
  4. Stir until sauce begins to thicken, about 4 minutes.
  5. Whisk in nutritional yeast and hot sauce.
  6. Whisk in cheese until well blended.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Linda Sue Grimes

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