One of the most popular recipes around here is my easy, AIP Dairy Free Cheese Sauce. It’s rich, creamy, packs an umami-punch of flavor and can be used to make everything from cheeseburgers and dip to nachos and taco salads. It’s a lifesaver when it comes to jazzing up simple roasted vegetables, too: we especially love to roast broccoli until it’s flecked with crispy bits, then drizzle it with cheese sauce. It’s a great way to upgrade your weeknight meals without much effort and although it tastes decadent, it’s made from simple, real ingredients. No weird flours, starches or emulsifiers here! Because food > flour.
Last week I kicked off my new blog post series showcasing my favorite AIP and allergy friendly seasoning blends and how to use them. The first post in this series showed you how to make my nightshade and seed spice free Taco Seasoning. My goal with this series is to have each seasoning blend post accompanied by a second weekly post where I show you an example of an easy recipe that uses the seasoning.
Since I was already talking taco seasoning, it made sense to whip up a quick batch of taco meat. And what with it being Cinco de Mayo, I figured I’d really go all out by using that taco meat in a fun, playful recipe for Ultimate Loaded Nachos. Because who doesn’t like nachos?
But then I ran into a snag. I wanted to drizzle my nachos with plenty of my Dairy Free Cheese Sauce for an over the top plate of goodness. I had my taco meat, I had my toppings, I even had a choice of sweet potato chips or plantain chips as a base ready to go. But what I didn’t have was all the ingredients for the cheese sauce. Because I was flat out of coconut milk.
I don’t exactly live in coconut milk country. Around these parts, it’s hard to find a coconut milk in stores that isn’t full of unnecessary crappery in there. So I figured, what the heck. Let’s see if I can make this stuff without it. Because (a) I’m not driving an hour each way to get to the store and (b) sometimes a girl really needs cheese sauce.
All it actually took was a little tweaking of ratios to whip up this coconut free version of my Dairy Free Cheese Sauce. Phew! I adapted my original recipe so that you still get a dreamy, silky cheese sauce, except this time it’s coconut free, because I increased the amount of fat and broth used. This helped to compensate for the loss of the liquid and fat that the coconut milk used to provide.
Somewhat ironically, even though this batch ends up being higher in carbs because of the increased amount of white sweet potato, overall the texture is a little thinner than my original recipe. I actually liked that as it made for the perfect texture as a topping for my nachos recipe. However, if you’re looking for a thicker, more gooey texture that is closer to my original, I suggest adding 1 cup / 240 ml of the chicken broth at first, blending and then adding additional liquid if you think it’s required.
This Dairy Free Cheese Sauce v2 will keep in the fridge for a week or so and actually freezes and thaws really well. I like to freeze about a cup or so at a time so that it’s easy to whip up taco salads, nachos or cheeseburgers whenever the mood strikes!
(Mr Meatified really didn’t enjoy his hand modeling gig. “Keep your hand still!”, I said. “THEY ARE BLOODY STILL!”, he replied. Yeah, not his favorite thing in the world, apparently!)
This post was included in the AIP Recipe Roundtable.Print
Dairy Free Cheese Sauce v2 (coconut free)
- Yield: 3 cups / 720 ml 1x
- 2 cups / 480 g cooked and cooled white sweet potato
- 1 1/2 cups / 360 ml chicken broth (see notes)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp / 90 ml avocado oil
- 1/4 cup / 16 g nutritional yeast flakes (non fortified version here)
- 1 tsp / 5 g fine sea salt
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- BLEND: Add all the ingredients to a blender (my inexpensive Ninja does this just fine!) and blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides a few times if necessary.
- WARM: Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and heat gently until warmed through before serving as a dip, on top of nachos, as a burger topper or more!
- STORE: Keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week and freezes / thaws nicely. Just don’t leave it in the freezer for months and forget about it!
Overall the texture of this sauce is a little thinner than my original recipe. I actually liked that as it made for the perfect texture as a topping for my nachos recipe. However, if you’re looking for a thicker, more gooey texture that is closer to the original, I suggest adding 1 cup / 240 ml of the chicken broth at first, blending and then adding additional liquid if you think it’s required.
How do you think it would work to sub olive and/or coconut oil for the avocado oil?
I picked avocado just because it’s so mild and neutral. This recipe has higher amounts of added oil to make up for the lack of fat from the original recipe’s coconut milk, so I’d say you’d want to stick to a lighter olive oil over extra virgin or even a refined coconut oil. There’s less chance of the oil flavor accidentally overpowering everything else that way. Hope that helps! 🙂
If you use olive oil, avoid the extra virgin, because it has a strong flavor.
Yup, you definitely want a lighter, more neutral variety here, like I mentioned above. Otherwise you run the risk of overpowering the “cheese” flavor.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I can only eat low FODMAP and the last cheese sauce recipe had me feeling sorry for myself. Cauliflower does not agree with me at all. You’re amazing!
Aw, you’re welcome – enjoy it! 🙂
I also have a suggestion for those wanting to thicken the sauce. Gelatin works fantastic for this. I use it in salad dressings sometimes. Just start with a very small amount and add as needed.
Just bear in mind that you’ll want to be gentle about heating the sauce if you use gelatin; too hot and it will lose it’s thickening properties 🙂
Thank you so much for this coconut free version! I am going to try it! It’s hard enough having to go AIP and not being able to eat some foods that should be ok…not being able to have coconut is devastating and cuts AIP recipe prospects down considerably. Other bloggers have told me to “just find recipes without coconut in them”. Do you know how hard that is most of the time? It’s all depressing enough without that statement. THANK YOU SO MUCH for this option.
Yay, you’re so welcome! 🙂 I do try to avoid coconut products here and in my book unless they’re really absolutely necessary, because I know a lot of people have issues with them and they do seem to be in SO MANY THINGS! Even then, I try to come up with substitutions like this where I can, so I’m always happy to hear that people are finding that useful 🙂
Having a hard time finding white sweet potatoes. Any suggestions? Can one use normal sweet potatoes (obviously the colors will be not a natural cheese dip )
From a texture perspective, the normal orange sweets should work fine, though I’d be worried that the extra sweetness might throw off the flavors. You may find you’ll need to increase the seasoning and / or nutritional yeast with that substitution. You could also try using something a little less sweet, perhaps butternut squash? I haven’t tried that out myself yet, but I think it could work well. Hope that helps a little!
This sauce made me a happy girl! So delicious and just the right consistency for nachos 🙂 I subbed just a regular sweet potato for the white sweet potato and EVOO for the avocado oil… It’s what I had on hand and it turned out great. The color was very close to the nacho sauce you might get at concession stand at your local ball park… My daughter loved it as well! Thanks for sharing
Thank you for leaving this comment — when I tested it back in the day, I assumed the normal sweets would be too, well, sweet but I’ve made it since with normal sweets and know it works just fine. Your comment reminded me to add that to the recipe notes, so thank you! So happy your daughter enjoyed it, isn’t that the best feeling? 🙂
I love this (and am so happy you made a coconut free version- thanks!) BUT I got a headache after eating it, I think I was reacting to the nutritional yeast (yes, it was the no additive one…). Do you think it would be worth trying without it? I know that’s pretty much where the cheesy flavor is coming from… 🙁
It’s worth giving it a shot without, but it will definitely be more creamy than “cheesy”. I’d try adding some extra garlic and herbs to give it a little oomph in the flavor department 🙂
I’ve made this a few times and I just LOOOOOOOOVE it. Thank you. Just like Peggy, I can’t eat coconut which is very limiting on AIP. This hits the spot and is leading to an addiction, ha, ha.
Hahaha, I hear you! This sauce was my gateway to getting my husband to enjoy roasted veggies!