Smoky, spicy chipotles in adobo sauce make this vegan chipotle sauce perfect for topping tacos, enchiladas, and nachos. Really, you can use it anywhere you'd want a melty cheese sauce.
Cashew cream sauce is a magical thing. You can dress it up as a sweet topping for desserts with some maple syrup and vanilla or make it into a rich, savory sauce. It's the velvety base for this smoky vegan chipotle sauce.
Choosing your cashews
The key to a good cashew cream sauce is soaking your cashews. You can use raw or roasted cashews, as long as you soak. I know that a lot of recipes specify raw cashews, but I've discovered that a good soak in hot water softens up roasted cashews just fine.
Your cashews really do need to soak for at least 10 to 15 minutes in hot water. Alternately, you can soak for four to eight hours in the fridge.
Once they're soaked, drain off and discard that soaking liquid, and you're ready to make your vegan chipotle sauce.
What kind of blender do I need?
You can make this sauce in a regular or in a high speed blender. The only real difference is time.
A high speed blender will get you creamy results in about 45 seconds to a minute of blending.
If you're using a regular blender, you'll need to blend for much longer. Just don't give up! Blend for around 45 seconds at a time, then stop and scrape down the sides, to get everything back down by the blades.
Stopping the blender does more than allow you to scrape. It also gives you blender's motor a rest. I do not recommend blending for an extended time without stopping. This can burn out your blender's motor, and then you won't have a blender!
This recipe is very simple! Just add your soaked cashews, fresh water garlic, nutritional yeast, chipotles in adobo sauce, lime juice, and salt to the blender.
You'll find chipotles in adobo sauce in small cans at almost any grocery store. At stores here, it's usually stocked near jarred salsas or in the canned vegetables aisle. These smoky, flavorful chilis give this sauce its distinct flavor, so I do not recommend substituting other chilis.
Puree all of the ingredients to yield a completely smooth vegan chipotle sauce.
Depending on your blender, your cashews, and how long you soak, you might need more water to get a completely smooth mix. That's okay! Just stop and add a tablespoon of water a time, blending in between additions, until your chipotle sauce is totally smooth and creamy.
How to serve and store it
There are so many delicious ways to serve vegan chipotle sauce!
- Drizzle it over tacos.
- Use it in place of cheese in your next burrito.
- Slather it over a pan of black bean enchiladas.
- Use it as dressing on your next taco salad.
Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container. It will keep for three to five days in the refrigerator.
Vegan chipotle sauce recipe
- 1 cup cashews - soaked 10-15 minutes in hot water, then drained
- ½ cup water - NOT the soaking water
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1-2 chipotles in adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Combine all of your ingredients in your blender, and puree until smooth. If you're using a regular blender, you will need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times during the blending process. A high speed blender should yield a smooth mix in one to two rounds of 45 seconds.
- Taste, and add the second chipotle, if the sauce isn't hot enough for you. If your cashew cream sauce is feeling too thick, you can add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the sauce thins enough to puree evenly.