Cheesy pasta is one of my absolute favorites, but it’s not the healthiest option so I tend not to make it very often. Then I discovered nutritional yeast cheese sauce. Nutritional yeast is powdered tiny yellow flakes that you can buy in most health food stores, I get mine from Kensington Market in Toronto. I’m sure you can also find them online, you can buy pretty much anything online right?
I’m not a vegan or vegetarian but I do try to eat meat free one or two days per week. It’s healthy, good for the environment and forces me to try recipes I never have before. (Besides, how much actual “cheese” do you think is in processed cheese foods anyways?)
This sauce is so much better than I assumed it would be before trying it, and I now make it pretty often. Healthy points: nutritional yeast is a nutrient dense source of protein (apparently it has more protein than meat) and it’s a source of vitamin B. Then there’s the fact that it just tastes really, really good.
There are a lot of recipes online but after tweaking mine quite a few times here is (in my opinion) the best way to make nutritional yeast cheese sauce.
- ½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt (I like to use coarse sea salt)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (if you like garlic, you can use two like I do)
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder (or the prepared kind if that’s what you have on hand)
- Chili powder to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 2 cups of water
- ½ cup margarine
What you do:
Mix all dry ingredients in a saucepan until blended.
Turn stove on medium, slowly whisk in water. Use a whisk, honestly, it helps prevent clumping. (Yes, I know I didn’t use a whisk. It would have been much easier if I had.)
Continue stirring as the sauce begins to bubble and thicken. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more water until it thins out to your desired consistency.
Serve over pasta noodles. I used wagon wheels because that’s what we had, and I like funny shaped pasta.
I like a bit of spice so I sprinkled chili powder on top of the pasta before I served. You can also use the sauce to make a vegan/vegetarian nacho dip with a bit of diced jalapeno in it, again, it tastes really good.
Hope you like it!