This VEGAN Khachapuri uses a magical low-fat cheeseless ‘cheese’ sauce made with delicious and nutritious Idaho® potatoes.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by The Idaho Potato Commission. All opinions, as always, are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Love is in my tummy.
The first time I saw a Khachapuri was on social media – first, it was the name that drew me in – ‘Khachapuri’ sounded very Indian. Imagine my surprise, when I learn that it originated from the Southwest part of Georgia (the country, not the state!)!!
Food – never ceases to amaze!
For those who haven’t yet feasted your eyes (and/or your tastebuds) on the traditional version, an Adjarian Khachapuri is a boat-shaped bread, that’s filled with many kinds of cheese and baked, and before it’s removed from the oven, an egg is cracked open on top and allowed to finish cooking over the simmering cheeses to gooey perfection. Served piping hot (with a few final dollops of butter) and straight off the oven, you then tear pieces of the bread and dunk generously into the molten cheesy, eggy, buttery center, and slide into blissful oblivion.
A few years ago, that description alone would have had me looking into tickets to Georgia, or atleast had me running into the kitchen to bake a replica. But now, just typing it out gave me a mock arterial blockage. Aging can do that to the strongest eaters. Oh and the fact that I’m plant-based now, and can’t do the multitude of dairy and egg that the traditional Khachapuri demands.
So, when my friend Linda told me of an amazing low-carb ‘cheeseless’ cheese sauce she tried from a cookbook over the holidays, I knew it was time to revisit my Khachapuri obsession.
The magic sauce that forms the heart of this VEGAN Khachapuri is made with a combination of Idaho® potatoes, tinged that ‘cheesy’ color by the sneaky introduction of a tiny piece of carrot, nutritional yeast (which, besides tasting like cheese, also is extremely rich in B vitamins) and seasoned with sauteed onion, poblano, chipotle and garlic – because, why ever not?
Did you know that Idaho® potatoes have 30% Vitamin C, 620mg Potassium (that’s more potassium than you get from a banana) and 10% of Vitamin B6? Another reason to make sure you include these in your regular diet!
I adore that this sauce makes the khachapuri a lot less ‘fatty’ and a lot more nutritious than it traditionally is. Makes for a lot less guilt while enjoying its goopy, soppy deliciousness.
Because Khachapuris are best served straight out of the oven – when that bread is steamy soft and the sauce is molten and runny, and so, timing is everything!
Here’s how I personally like tackling it:
- Get the dough proofing in a warm spot.
- When the dough is about half hour away from proofed perfection, get started on the sauce. Peel and cook those potatoes and carrots, saute the onions, and blend it all away.
- While the sauce is resting in its blended state, shape the dough and once you’re done, preheat that oven.
- As the oven preheats, the shaped dough will have some time to rise and plump up a little.
- Once the oven is hot and ready to go, milk wash the dough, bake and enjoy hot and straight out of the oven!
For the filling
- 6 oz Idaho® Russet potato, chopped bite-sized
- ½ small carrot, chopped bite-sized
- Water, for boiling
- ¾ tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ¾ teaspoon vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons water (to preference)
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons onion, chopped finely
- 3 tablespoons poblano, chopped finely
- ½ garlic clove, diced finely
- ½ teaspoon chipotle in adobo sauce
- A pinch of ground cumin
For the dough
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk (I used oat milk)
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp olive oil + more for greasing and brushing
For the final assembly/garnish
- 2 teaspoons non-dairy milk
- 2-3 teaspoons bagel seasoning* (optional)
- ¼ cup non-dairy mozzarella (optional)
- 1 spring onion, sliced
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
Make the dough
- In a microwave-proof bowl, combine non-dairy milk and water, and heat for 30-45 seconds or until the temperature reads 105°F – 115°F (the temperature range to activate yeast).
- To this, add sugar and active dry yeast, stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast is activated and becomes frothy on the top.
- While the yeast is activating, in a bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a well in the center.
- Pour the activated yeast solution in the center and knead the dough. It will be sticky in the start, but as the gluten begins to develop, it’ll get less sticky and springier.
- Once the dough is soft, smooth and springs back when pressed, add 1 tsp olive oil and coat bowl and dough generously.
- Cover with a damp cloth and let proof in a warm spot for 1-1½ hours until doubled in size.
Make the ‘cheese’ sauce filling
- When the dough has been proofing for about an hour, bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil.
- Add the chopped Idaho® Russet potato, carrot and cook till tender. Drain and add to a blender along with the nutritional yeast, vinegar and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy adding 2-3 tablespoons of water till you get a nice pourable consistency. Set aside.
- In a small skillet, heat oil on medium heat and saute the chopped onion, poblano and garlic with a pinch of salt until it begins to soften and brown.
- Add the chipotle in adobo sauce, ground cumin. Adjust salt to taste. Remove from heat and stir into the blended potato sauce. Set aside.
- Shape the dough
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a medium baking tray with parchment paper
- Divide the proofed dough into two equal halves, kneading each until soft and smooth. Keep the other dough half covered as you’re working with the first one.
- Sprinkle a clean, dry work surface generously with flour and roll out one piece of dough into a circle about 10” in diameter.
- Roll the top and bottom edges of the circle, and shape like a boat, twisting the left and right ends to seal the edges. Here’s a tutorial to help.
- Repeat with the other dough. Transfer both ‘boats’ to the prepared baking tray.
- Brush each khachapuri edges with a little oil, and non-dairy milk and sprinkle generously with bagel seasoning.
- Let it sit and rise for another 10 minutes.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 450°F in the middle-rack for 8 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and fill both khachapuris with the ‘cheese’ sauce filling.
- Divide the ¼ cup vegan mozzarella (if using) between the two khachapuris.
- Continue baking for another 4 minutes or until the mozzarella is molten and the sauce is warm.
- Remove from heat, brush the edges with olive oil and garnish generously with chopped spring onion, red pepper flakes (to taste).
- Serve immediately. Tear off pieces of the bread and dunk into the cheese filling and enjoy!
- Instead of the bagel seasoning, you can sprinkle just sesame seeds, or minced garlic, or omit completely and keep it plain.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 650mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g