The other day I was making Red Lentil Hummus and I got an idea. I added a little too much water to my lentils when I was cooking them, but when I transferred them to the food processor with my seasonings and blended it, it came out with a cheesy flavor and the consistency of a sauce. I’ve been wanting a super easy vegan cheese recipe, because the one I usually make consists of too many steps and too many ingredients. My Delicious Vegan Cheese Sauce recipe only has six ingredients, is full of fiber and other nutrients, and is super filling and yummy.
I decided to make this cheese sauce with yellow lentils to give it more of a traditional cheese color, but red lentils work too. You should be able to find lentils pretty easily at any health food store or Indian market. I love lentils. They are so versatile, and one of the healthiest foods out there. They are full of fiber and protein, and are definitely a staple for vegans and vegetarians.
For one serving of cheese sauce, measure out 1/2 a cup of yellow lentils and rinse them thoroughly.
Then start with a 1:3 ratio of lentils and water. Bring 1 and a 1/2 cups of water to boil. Add the rinsed lentils and turn the heat down to a low setting. Let the lentils simmer for 30-45 mins.
You don’t want your lentils to look like this:
These lentils are soft, but have absorbed all of the water. This won’t give you the sauce consistency you’re looking for.
If needed, add a little bit more water, maybe 1/3 cup or 1/2 cup. You want them to look like this:
These look way creamier, but without being watery. Now it’s time to transfer your lentils to the food processor. Add 1 clove of garlic, salt & pepper to taste, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast.
Blend ingredients in the food processor until smooth.
At this point, your mixture should look like this:
If you’re interested in yellow lentil hummus, then stop right here! Grab some carrot sticks and go to town. This recipe is awesome because it’s like two recipes in one! You can make hummus, or go one step further and have vegan cheese sauce. If your heart is set on cheese sauce, then continue blending the ingredients, adjusting the seasonings to taste. If you want your sauce to be extra cheesy, add more nutritional yeast. If you want a thinner sauce, add more water. You can experiment with other seasonings like paprika, tumeric, or cumin. Or you could try cooking your lentils with a few slices of white onion for some extra flavor. Here’s my finished sauce:
I had a bunch of cauliflower in the fridge when I made my cheese sauce, so I decided to steam some and top off it with the sauce. Boy, was that a good idea! The cauliflower and the yellow lentil cheese sauce were a great combination. I highly recommend it. I think this sauce would be great over rice and steamed veggies, on a veggie burger, or as a dipping sauce. My next experiment will be to make vegan mac & cheese with it!
This is a really tasty, quick & easy recipe that is packed full of nutrition. You can make a large quantity and store it in the fridge to use throughout the week. I haven’t tried it yet, but I feel like this would freeze well if you don’t plan on using it all right away.
- 1/2 cup yellow lentils
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- S&P to taste
- Rinse lentils thoroughly.
- Add lentils to boiling water and turn heat down to low. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, adding more liquid if necessary, until lentils are soft and take on a creamy texture.
- Transfer lentils to food processor. Add the garlic clove, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and S&P to taste.
- Blend ingredients together until you have the sauce consistency you want, which could take anywhere from 2-5 minutes. Add more water for a thinner texture, or more nutritional yeast for a cheesier flavor. Should keep in fridge for 3-5 days.