Updated: Dec 18, 2020
It can be pretty tricky to imitate cheese if you are trying to recreate that texture and flavor as a new vegan. I slowly weened away from it, and I'll admit, I had more slip ups than I wanted to while transitioning. But the less I ate it, the less I craved it. Once you get into the kitchen and start getting creative, you won't even miss it.
Quick Facts About Nutritional Yeast:
Found in most grocery stores
Complete protein - provides all 9 essential amino acids
Good source of B vitamins and may be fortified with B12
Nutty, cheese-like flavor makes it a good substitute
I've been playing with this nutritional yeast nacho cheese style sauce, and it's been a great addition to everything from tacos to roasted veggies. The base is nutritional yeast flakes, flour, water, seasoning, and vegan butter. For extra flavor, add hot sauce and mustard.
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp vegan butter
1/2 cup water (use plant milk for a creamier sauce)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tbsp mustard
1/2 tbsp hot sauce (optional)
Prep & Steps:
I like to get all the ingredients ready before I begin because it is a very quick cooking process, and you don't want to burn anything while futzing around measuring. Throw your spices into a dish, and have the dry and wet ingredients ready to go.
In a saucepan over low heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter.
Add in your spices and whisk.
Add the flour and whisk. It will be clumpy like in the 3rd photo below.
Add in the nutritional yeast. It will be very flaky and crumbly, but that's ok.
Add the water and whisk. Just like magic, your cheez sauce will appear before your eyes.
Add mustard and hot sauce (optional) or add /sub your favorite spices instead.
The final result is a nice creamy and flavorful sauce with a slight kick. You can add more water if you want a thinner sauce, or a little more flour for a thicker sauce. Experiment with the spices. Skip the hot sauce if you don't want a kick to it. Use right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge. I've kept it in the fridge for up to 4 days. When ready to use, warm it in the microwave or just drizzle right on your dish. I've added it to tacos, veggie burgers, roasted veggies, and rice for that cheesy taste and texture.