The “Nooch” Sauce
You will find many odd things in my pantry on any given week. Sometimes it’s stuff that I rarely use. But for the last year or two, one thing that has had a consistent spot in my pantry is nutritional yeast. To be honest, mostly I use it for popcorn, but I’m finding it more versatile than that.
Last year I tackled these crackers which were very delicious and this year I set out to nail down a good sauce that is vegan, savory, and stays relatively creamy. Say hello to my “Nooch” sauce!
It’s delicious stuff that you can basically use on anything you would traditionally use a cheese sauce or a butter based sauce like hollandaise. Unlike those sauces, it actually doesn’t turn into a solid block if you let it sit for a bit, which is a nice bonus.
The sauce really grew on me over the days as I experimented with it. I found myself using it for all sorts of things. Ironically, the one thing it doesn’t work with is popcorn. Keep the raw stuff for that!
- Add coconut oil to a medium pot over medium heat. Once melted, add shallot and garlic and cook for two minutes until fragrant.
- Add flour to the pot with paprika and stir to combine. Let cook for a minute to cook out any flour taste.
- Add cashews, water, and almond milk and bring to a simmer. Stir in nutritional yeast and turn heat down to low. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until cashews soften slightly.
- Let mixture cool slightly until it isn’t steaming hot and transfer mixture to a blender. Blend until very smooth. If it seems very thick, add more almond milk or water in 2 tablespoon batches.
- Once blended and smooth, return to pot and keep warm until serving over low heat. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Sauce will stay liquid as it cools, but will solidify a bit. If you want to thin it out again, reheat it gently over low heat and add a tablespoon or two of liquid back to it.
This sauce is really easy to toss together. I think you could argue that it might actually be easier than some traditional sauces because there’s no chance that it’ll break on you or anything. Heat it up, blend it up, eat it up!
I start the sauce with a base of garlic and shallot and cook those in coconut oil. You could use butter if you aren’t keeping it vegan.
Then you need this business!
Once your aromatics have cooked for a few minutes, add the paprika and flour and let that cook. Then add the cashews, water, almond milk (unsweetened) and the Nooch!
Bring the mixture to a slight simmer and let it cook for 8-10 minutes to soften the cashews. It’ll already start getting creamy and thick.
If it gets TOO thick (gloopy) then feel free to add more water or almond milk to keep it saucy.
Then just blend it up! Really go to town on it in the blender and if it isn’t blending well, add a little water to it to thin it out. Also, be sure to let it cool slightly before blending so it doesn’t splatter.
I let mine blend for a good two minutes to make it really creamy and smooth.
You can use it right away at this point or return it to the pot and keep it warm over very low heat until you need it.
If it does cool, it’ll stay liquid but will thicken a bit. You can bring it back to life by gently heating it with a little water.
My favorite use: VEGGIE BURGERS.
Vegan cheese burgers anybody??
I had a lot of fun with this sauce and it was a really delicious topper for a ton of stuff.
If you’re vegetarian, or vegan, or you just like easy fun sauces, this guy should be on your list!