Orange Bell Pepper Sauce | Vegan Huancaina Sauce

Updated: May 26

This is a unique spin on a traditional Peruvian appetizer that's number one on any Peruvian restaurant menu, and there's a good reason for that. Also known as Salsa Huancaina, this creamy orange bell pepper sauce is the most versatile sauce you’ll ever make. Try it as a pasta sauce, a salad dressing, a sandwich spread, a rice bowl topping, or as it was originally intended, as a creamy potato sauce or Papa a la Huancaina.

Growing up, this dish was always part of family meals. It was often followed by green rice and a refreshing purple corn beverage, also known as chicha morada.

The original recipe calls for a particular type of yellow chili pepper that’s hard to find in local grocery stores in the U.S, but that doesn’t mean it can't be recreated with the same texture and taste! The first time I turned this traditional Peruvian dish into a vegan Peruvian recipe, I was in awe of how similar it tasted to the original recipe. It brought me back to simpler times. That’s just the power of food!

Now, you, of course, don’t need to have memories attached to this healthy bell pepper sauce to enjoy it. It’s summer, which means it's time to fire up the grill and roast some veggies!

Bring this creamy and delicious roasted orange bell pepper sauce to your next potluck or barbecue. I promise everyone will be amazed!


Details:


Yield: 5 cups

Prep time: 10 min

Cooking time: 25 min

Total time: 35 min


Ingredients:


14 oz firm tofu (1 package)

½ red onion

2 orange bell peppers

1 clove garlic

7 soda crackers

1 cup cashew milk

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil


Directions:


1. Wash the orange bell peppers.

2. Chop the orange bell peppers and onion into medium pieces.

3. Heat a pan. Once it’s hot, add olive oil, bell peppers, and onion with a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors. Roast them until they become a bit brown and make sure to flip them to roast each side. Aromas should be strong at this stage.

4. Add the roasted vegetables, tofu, garlic, soda crackers, cashew milk, and 1 tsp of salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed.

5. Serving options: Pour on a bed of boiled potatoes with some olives, on pasta, or in a sandwich. The possibilities are endless!


Notes:


- Cashew milk can be substituted with almond milk, however, I recommend using cashew milk since it's usually creamier than almond milk.

- If you use unsalted soda crackers, you may need to add a bit more salt. For this recipe, I used salted ones.

- Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.


Approximate Cost:


$7.50. This takes into account the measurements listed in the ingredients section and for the main ingredients only. Does not include seasoning.



Nutrition:


*Tofu is a food made of condensed soy milk that is pressed into solid white blocks in a process quite similar to cheesemaking.

It’s high in protein and contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs. It provides fats, carbs, and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.

Whole soy foods like tofu can improve several markers of heart health. This may lead to a reduced risk of heart disease.


*Orange bell peppers provide high amounts of micronutrients, including vitamins A and C. Vitamin A helps to maintain healthy teeth, skin, bones and eye health while vitamin C promotes growth and repair of body tissues. Bell peppers are mainly made up of water, carbs, and fiber.


*Onions have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and have been linked to lower blood sugar levels and improve bone health. They consist mostly of water, carbs, and fiber, which can feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, though they may cause digestive problems in some people. Onions also contain decent amounts of vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, and potassium. They’re also rich in plant compounds and antioxidants, especially quercetin and sulfur-containing compounds. Colorful varieties, such as yellow or red ones, pack more antioxidants than white ones.

Did you try this vegan Huancaina sauce recipe? Let me know in the comments below and/or tag your creation on Instagram #everyhealthybite. More vegan Peruvian recipes to come so stay tuned!

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