Food & Home


Secret Sauce: 3 Cozy Vegan Dinners

If you can make a great sauce, you’re more than halfway to a great meal, whether you’re a full-on vegan, full-on carnivore, or full-on in between. Alison Cayne, the founder of the New York City cooking school Haven’s Kitchen and the author of the cookbook of the same name, helps people become confident in the kitchen by teaching them the foundations of good cooking. Sauce-making is a particularly helpful skill in that regard, she says. We agree: Once you’ve mastered sauces, it’s easy to whip up impressive, even restaurant-quality meals. (A tip, if you’re in NYC: Cayne also makes her own line of sauces that she sells out of Haven’s Kitchen.) These 3 versatile sauce recipes from Cayne are incredibly delicious, easy, and totally vegan. There’s a creamy cauliflower béchamel for mac ’n’ cheese; a rich, coconutty, curried Honeynut squash simmer sauce for roasted leeks and root veggies; and a tangy tomatillo salsa to swirl into a hearty black bean soup. And they are all so good, you’ll definitely want extra sauce on the side.

  • Vegan Mac ’n’ Cheese

    Vegan Mac ’n’ Cheese

    “I like to use a gluten-free pasta for this recipe, but if pasta’s not your jam, you can bake broccoli or cauliflower with the béchamel. You can also add cooked veggies for more nutrition and fiber.”


  • Curried Coconut Squash Sauce

    Curried Coconut Squash Sauce

    “This sauce is the perfect simmer for tofu or chicken. Play with it: I have been known to eat it like soup, dunk flatbread in it, and pour it over a sheet pan of roasted veggies (there are nights when plates feel unnecessary, no?).”


  • 3-Bean Tortilla Soup

    3-Bean Tortilla Soup

    “This Yucatan-inspired sauce uses the healthy fats of pumpkin seeds to create a base for a hearty yet super bright sauce. It’s a great dip for sure, but I also love to use it as a flavor base for a warming bean soup.”