One of our favorite meals, these healthy and delicious yum yum bowls are quick to throw together, and that secret Yumm sauce takes the whole glorious, messy rice bowl way over the top!

Healthy Yum Yum Bowls with Secret Yum Yum Sauce

Before I start in on these amazing Yum Yum bowls, I just have to say that sending out the weekly newsletters (that started in December) has become one of my most favorite parts of the blogging week!

It’s encouraging and fun and hilarious and enlightening reading your responses to them; thank you! So far, I’ve been including some kitchen/cooking tips, reader spotlights, exclusive recipes (yessss!), recap of the weeks’ posted recipes, and a few personal glimpses into my every day life (not always picture perfect, let’s just say that). I hope the newsletters are helpful and fun – that is my goal, and I have some exciting new features coming soon (think: menu plans!). If you haven’t signed up to receive them yet, you can do so by clicking here.

Now. Let’s talk Yum Yum bowls. 

If you live near a Cafe Yumm restaurant, you might be familiar with these glorious little rice and vegetable bowls. I, pour soul that I am, do not live by a Cafe Yumm, but thankfully, my in-laws do. And when we went to visit them last month, one of the first meals they made us was their version of these delicious, healthy rice bowls.

We love them! (My in-laws and these Yum Yum bowls) So customizable, my kids were in heaven carefully curating their bowl to reflect their own personality (I’m looking at you, my wee bean-hater of a son), while Brian and I piled on every topping in sight.

What makes these every day rice and bean and vegetable bowls different from every other rice and bean and vegetable bowl I’ve ever made is the secret knockoff Yumm sauce.

That sauce alone is worth today’s post.

My in-laws had the real deal Yumm sauce in a jar they bought from Cafe Yumm for us to use on our Yum Yum bowls.. It was delicious, of course. But after taking a quick glance at the back of the jar, I knew it wouldn’t be difficult to replicate a knockoff recipe at home.

An essential task, since I knew I’d be leaving Cafe Yumm Sauce far behind after our vacation was over.

Completely unique from any other sauce I’ve ever made, Yumm sauce is creamy (without any milk or dairy) with a kick of lemon and garlic. There’s a bunch of good stuff going on in this sauce: almonds, white beans, coconut milk and curry powder. And…nutritional yeast. Have you ever used it before?

I try to stay away from recipes calling for super specific, unusual ingredients that might be hard to find, but in our house, nutritional yeast is a staple. We always have it in our pantry so we can sprinkle it on our air-popped popcorn (a tasty tip we learned while living in Minnesota a few years ago).

Nutritional yeast has a delightfully nutty, salty, cheesy flavor with a dry, flaky texture. My local grocery store (Winco) carries it in the bulk bins, but I usually buy it online and have used the Bragg’s, Bob’s Red Mill, and Hoosier Hill Farms brands with great success.

If you absolutely can’t find it or want to try a substitution, you could add a handful of salted, roasted cashews and see how that goes (or increase the salt in the recipe). You’ll miss the punch of flavor the nutritional yeast gives, but I’m a big fan of working with and around recipes, so don’t be afraid to experiment if you need to.

And, as I mention below in the recipe notes, my father-in-law usually nixes the Yumm sauce altogether and pours on the ranch dressing while the rest of us eagerly use up his Yumm sauce portion. Do what you will! No judging here.

Healthy Yum Yum Bowls with Secret Yum Yum Sauce

That Yumm sauce should not be reserved for Yum Yum bowls alone, just so you know. It is terrific for a fresh vegetable dip, spreading on flatbread, or spooning over salads (try dipping these Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps in the Yumm sauce and watch your life be changed forever). The recipe below makes a lot of sauce (about 4 cups); you could easily halve the ingredients or use the leftover sauce all month long on every food in sight.

Its name says it all: Yum-Yum-Yummy (sorry, couldn’t help myself).

With such a delicious flavor explosion happening, you won’t even miss the meat in these Yum Yum bowls. But if you have to have a little meat in your meal, I won’t fire you if you add grilled chicken, cooked shrimp or thinly sliced steak.

Speaking of meatless, many of you have asked lately for a list of my meatless recipes. Here’s the link to all my meatless main dishes (and I’ve also included it as a category in the Recipe Index for easy access).

And with that, I think I’m officially done talking your ear off! Now the only thing left to do is make these Yum Yum bowls happen in your kitchen ASAP!

Healthy Yum Yum Bowls with Secret Yum Yum Sauce

There’s a lot happening in these bowls; you could easily serve them as a stand-alone meal, but if you are looking for a couple side dish options, I’d suggest:
Fresh, seasonal fruit
Pao de queijo or my favorite cornbread

One Year Ago: Browned Butter Vanilla Rice Krispie Treats
Two Years Ago: Amazing Romaine Salad with Light Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
Three Years Ago: Roasted Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Yum Yum Rice Bowls with Knockoff Yumm Sauce Recipe

Yield: Serves as many as you want (sauce makes about 4 cups)

Yum Yum Rice Bowls with Knockoff Yumm Sauce Recipe

You'll notice I didn't give amounts for the ingredients listed in the Yum Yum bowl section because this recipe is SO customizable and dependent on how many you are serving. Plus, you can add or take away some of the ingredients based on preference/allergies.

You could sub in spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles (i.e. zoodles) for the rice or quinoa. The options really are endless.

As always, my favorite curry powder in all the world is the Sweet Curry Powder from Penzey's Spices (no affiliation; I just love it very much and it's the only curry powder I use).

I haven't ever subbed anything in for the nutritional yeast in the Yumm sauce recipe, mostly because it's an ingredient we keep on hand (as we sprinkle it on our air-popped popcorn all the time). I've bought Bragg's, Bob's Red Mill and Hoosier Hill farm brands; all are great. I've also seen it in the bulk bins at my grocery store (Winco).

If you're wondering about a sub for the nutritional yeast, it has a salty, cheesy, nutty flavor with a powdery/flaky consistency, so if you leave it out, try increasing the salt and/or using a handful of roasted/salted cashews.

The sauce recipe, as written, makes about 4 cups, which is more than we use in one sit-down meal of Yum Yum Bowls. You can halve the ingredients or store the leftovers in the refrigerator to use for dipping fresh vegetables and spreading on sandwiches (among many other things; it's delicious).

Having said all of that, my father-in-law always nixes the Yum Yum Sauce completely and uses ranch. So there is always that option.


    Yum Yum Bowls:
  • Warm, cooked brown or white rice, quinoa, or other "base" (see note above)
  • Canned black beans, rinsed and drained (warmed lightly, if desired, or for extra yumminess, you could use this black beans recipe)
  • Chopped olives
  • Chopped red, green, yellow or orange peppers
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped or shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Chopped avocados
  • Chopped, fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Yumm Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup avocado, canola, or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup canned Great Northern or Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk (from a can)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 large lemons)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse, kosher salt
  • Pinch of coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (see note above)


  1. For the Yumm sauce, add the oil, almonds, beans and water to a blender. Process until very smooth, 1-2 minutes (or as long as needed).
  2. Add the coconut milk, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, curry powder, oregano, cilantro and nutritional yeast. Process again until creamy and smooth. Add additional water to thin out the sauce, if needed. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve (this tastes best after it's had time to rest - even several days - but you can also use it right away).
  3. For the Yum Yum Bowls, layer rice or quinoa in the bottom of a bowl. Add black beans and a healthy dollop of Yum Yum sauce and salsa. Follow it with all the toppings your little heart desires (peppers, olives, cheese, tomatoes, avocados, fresh cilantro, sour cream, and more salsa and yum yum sauce, if desired).
  4. Dig in!

Recipe Source: introduced to us by my mother- and father-in-law after they ate at Cafe Yumm in the Portland, Oregon, area and decided to recreate the bowls at home and serve them to us; the sauce (knockoff Yumm sauce inspired by this recipe)

Disclaimer: this post contains Amazon affiliate links for products I’ve bought there; feel free to shop around for the best deal.

155 Responses to Yum Yum Bowls with Knockoff Cafe Yumm Sauce

  1. Jamie Jarvis says:

    It appears that I live within an hour of about 8 Cafe Yumm, and yet never heard of it until yesterday. So then I went hunting around the Internet and discovered the Yumm bowl is the coveted thing on the menu.
    Then what pops up when I Google for a copycat recipe? Mel!! No need to even look any further. Mel never lets me down.
    Mel, I’m so glad you have family in Oregon. I am also glad that labels are required to list ingredients. The only time that is frustrating is when it lists “spices” but not what the spices are!
    I haven’t tried this yet, but I plan on serving it similar how I do Hawaiian Haystacks and let everyone bring an ingredient they might like and let everyone build their own plate to personal perfection. I think it would be excellent with corn, especially fresh corn just off the cob.
    I also plan on some chicken, some edamame, and some green onions.

    I put the recipe on my FB without trying it first. That’s how much I trust that this will be excellent!!

  2. Katie says:

    I’m wondering why mine is so thin, maybe I’ll put the rest of the can of Northern Beans in it? Maybe I’ll also try refrigerating it to thicken the coconut milk? Any suggestions?

    • Mel says:

      Adding more beans may do the trick – not sure why it was on the thinner side! If anything, mine is usually too thick. It might depend on the different brand of ingredients we are each using.

  3. John Springer says:

    Wow. I love Yumm Cafe in Portland, and I’ve wanted for so long to get Yumm sauce for when I’m NOT in Portland. Excited to try this out.

  4. Pam says:

    Trader Joe’s now carries Nutritional Yeast! Yay!!

  5. Jennifer says:

    We served this for a crowd during a bridal shower and it was a hit! I love it with the Himalayan blend of rice/quinoa from Costco. The sauce also freezes well. Thanks for another great recipe!

  6. Katie says:

    These sound delicious! I have never been to a cafe Yum before. If I wanted to add chicken what kind would go good with the Yum sauce flavoring?!

    • Mel says:

      I’ve found a simple lemon and garlic grilled chicken goes well, but the recipe is really adaptable, I’m sure you could try a lot of other flavors (even a simple rotisserie chicken).

  7. Jacelyn says:

    I didn’t read all the comments so someone may have already mentioned this, but we made this over a month ago and froze the leftover sauce. I thawed the sauce (in a bowl with warm water ) tonight and we had yum yum bowls for dinner. Seemed to freeze ok! The sauce was a bit thinner than when originally made, but it still tasted great. Possibly a tad more lemony tasting but not 100% sure since this was my only my second time eating these 🙂 in any case, still tasted delicious so anyone wondering if it’s freezable, I’d say yes!

  8. Mollie Payne says:

    Made these last week and they were a hit! Just found the Yumm sauce hiding the the fridge, and since we were out of the tikka sauce we used on the tikka pizzas from last night, I used some Yumm sauce to make one for lunch today. Maybe sounds strange, but it was YUMM!

  9. Meagan says:

    A healthy meal my kids will eat. Thank you!

  10. Sarah says:

    This was a hit! Super easy dinner. I used the Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice to simplify even more- and I will make this on repeat! Also today I made a wrap using the sauce- it was tasty! Whole wheat wrap, turkey, spinach, carrots, feta and the Yum Yum sauce. Thanks for a great recipe!

  11. Dani B says:

    I’ve been wanting to try these since the recipe first posted, and just made them tonight. These bowls completely live up to their name without a doubt. I’ve never used nutritional yeast in cooking before, so this was a first. Even my picky teenager loved them! Thank you for another winner, Mel!

  12. Carla says:

    Hoping someone will have a good suggestion for a pork (hopefully in the crockpot) recipe that will go with this. I made the sauce today and hoped the flavor would give me a guide but I’m not feeling what will go well. I’m feeding 6 missionaries this tomorrow night! The tomatillo pork? Something more basic? Live the sauce just can’t come up with a complimentary pork flavor profile on my head!

  13. Julianne Green says:

    My vote is that your recipe tastes so much better than the real Cafe Yumm dressing! Thanks for the knock-off recipe. I live in Indiana now, so has to give it a go to feed the addiction! FYI I used regular coconut milk and the dressing thickened after refrigeration and it has a green hue from the cilantro, hit not a big deal to me. Again, thanks so much! You’re a genius to recreate this from just reading the jar ingredients!

    How about a Brianna’s copycat recipe for Poppyseed dressing? I’ve tried and failed.

    • Mel says:

      That’s high praise, Julianne – thank you! I’ve tried multiple recipes for that poppyseed dressing. I’ve come close…but not quite there.

  14. K8 says:

    Avocado isn’t included in directions. Is that why it’s thin and beige? Is avocado in sauce or a topping? It’s in ingredient list. Sounds yum yum! Can’t wait to try it.

    Would Parmesan sub for nutritional yeast (less amount)? I think yeast is the sub for parm in vegan cooking.

    • Mel says:

      Avocado is just a topping (not in the sauce). You could probably sub Parm, but if I were out of nutritional yeast or didn’t want to use it, I’d leave it out and just up the salt/nut amounts slightly.

    • Mollie Payne says:

      I was confused for a moment, but it’s avocado OIL in the sauce. The green color comes from the cilantro – don’t leave that out!

  15. Melanie says:

    Just made the sauce for dinner tonight. Do you serve it cold over the rice?

  16. Judy says:

    This dressing is great! We just made our second batch of the sauce since we devoured the first batch in no time flat. I was too lazy to go to the store so we used walnuts instead of almonds and it was fantastic.

    The sauce really does freeze nicely. We froze half of the first batch and once it thawed, the texture and taste were exactly the same as if it hadn’t been frozen. This time around we multiplied all of the ingredients by 1 1/2 times so that I could use the entire can of beans and can of coconut milk. Worked perfectly and now we have some jars in the freezer and some in the fridge waiting for tonight’s dinner.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Stephanie W says:

    This was so good! Thanks for a great meatless meal option!

  18. Jes says:

    I am a devoted fan of yours and was so excited to try this recipe. When I opened my bag of bob’s mill nutritional yeast from amazon I took a whiff and thought, that smells weird. I went ahead and dumped in a third a cup. And the sauce was awful! It tasted like feet. The yeast was absolutely overwhelming. So my question is, despite how much everyone loves nutritional yeast are there some people who hate it? Is it possible that the yeast was bad? Can that happen? I’m so sad! I wanted to love this recipe like I love everything else you do. What do you think happened?

    • Mel says:

      Hmmm…well, nutritional yeast definitely has a unique smell but I’ve never thought it was overpowering or gross (having said that, we’ve eaten it a lot over the years so maybe I’m just accustomed to it?). I’m sad that you didn’t love it, but maybe it’s just a matter of taste preference. You can always try the sauce again and leave out the nutritional yeast (maybe up the salt just a bit).

      • Jes says:

        Thanks for the reply! I think I will try the sauce without the yeast — all the other ingredients are so yummy!

        • Mary says:

          I also thought the nutritional yeast was over powering in the sauce. I guess I’m one of the few who doesn’t care for the strong flavor. I will however make the sauce again and will only use a tablespoon or two. Besides the yeast flavor I think the sauce is terrific!

    • Brianna says:

      I also thought the yeast smelled funky, and I checked it out at three different stores to make sure it wasn’t just an off batch. I tried the roasted, salted cashews substitute and needed to add more salt. I still didn’t love the sauce, the lemon flavor was a little overpowering, but when it mixes with salsa in the bowl it tastes more balanced. This recipe reminded me how good rice and bean bowls are, but the sauce didn’t add that much.

      • Mel says:

        Hmmm, sounds like nutritional yeast might not be for everyone! Thanks for adding your experience for others! Maybe some of us are born with taste buds that love nutritional yeast and others aren’t. 🙂

  19. Jill says:

    I made this the other night and we loved it. I made your Quinoa Patties today and put the Yum sauce on them…delicious! Thanks for all the great recipes.

  20. Meg says:

    I’m really excited to try this recipe. It looks like it will make more than my family will use in one meal. Do you know how long it will stay good for?

    • Mel says:

      The yum sauce? Probably a week or so in the fridge (can definitely try freezing, too).

    • Julianne Green says:

      I made my yum dressing 2 weeks ago and I just ate it again last night and it tasted even better. I bet it would last at least 4-6 weeks with the amount of lemon juice it has in it. I bet you could freeze it until your next meal with great success too if you’re a food-spoiling-worrier.

  21. Allyson says:

    I have some family members who detest cilantro and can detect it in the tiniest quantities. In many of your recipes I simply leave it out. Do you think that would be ok here, or do you recommend a substitution?

  22. Christine says:

    I’m kind of confused! I just made the sauce and it is tan colored, not green like yours, and it is quite thin. I looked over the recipe several times and am wondering if I did something wrong?

  23. Monica says:

    This was AMAZING. We are in the middle of a HUGE kitchen remodel where we are doing the majority of the work ourselves (translation: it’s going to take FOREVER). Right now, I have no sink, dishwasher, stove, countertops. I DO have a rice cooker and a microwave. This recipe was perfectly delicious, filling, and healthy compared to all the *crap* we’ve been eating over the past few weeks. I loved it so much that I blogged about it on our family website. You can check it out here: I tweaked the sauce a bit, admittedly, but it was such a wonderful meal. I’ve been a big fan of yours for a long time! Thank you!

  24. Stacey says:

    Do you think using peanuts instead of almonds would make me sad?

  25. Jayme Young says:

    Loved this!!! I LOVE your recipes and have been eating a lot less meat recently so this is perfect. Thank you!

  26. allie says:

    Oh this may be my new favorite dinner!!!! Mel! These are amazing! I want to live in a vat of this sauce!!! Once again, you made me look like a rock star and I wish we were neighbors!

  27. Sunny says:

    My family of 7 all ate it! It was a dinner miracle! Thank you for posting so many great recipes. I have your website marked as a favorite right next to Amazon for quick access.

  28. Melissa says:

    I made this for dinner tonight, it was delicious! My husband thought the name was kind of silly but after eating it was won over. Thank you so much for all the recipes you post. You have helped me branch out more in the types of food I make and my whole family (immediate and extended) think I’m an amazing cook because of you.

  29. Jen says:

    Loved this! The sauce is unique and addicting.

  30. Carlie says:

    Does it have to be light coconut milk?

  31. Catherine says:

    Are Penzeys spices available in most local grocery stores? Or is it online only? I live in Northern Virginia. Do you think I can find them in stores near me?

  32. Robyn says:

    Hi! I’m going to order the curry from Penzeys…but I want free shipping ($20) so what other spices do you love from them?

  33. Carrie says:

    Tried this tonight and the flavor is awesome. Our sauce came out MUCH thinner than the pictures show though. I’ve double checked the measurements and they all are correct. Just wondering if anyone has any idea what may be causing the difference or has any experience with this one.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Carrie – not sure why your sauce would be that much thinner – what brand of nutritional yeast did you use?

      • Carrie says:

        I just bought it in the bulk section of my Smith’s grocery store. It was the consistency of large flakes, similar to potato flakes only bigger. My husband and I triple checked our measurements, but all I could think of is there might be a difference in the canned beans. I’ve made hummus a lot and garbanzos make great thick hummus. For the yum sauce I used drained, white beans, but ended up adding the whole can in the end to make it as thick as I could. I may omit the water next time and add oil to the consistency I like. Do you think the oil type matters? I think we may have used grapeseed. I will say, they were awesome regardless of the sauce consistency. My kids devoured them and we’ve had leftovers for two days. Yum indeed!

        • Mel says:

          Hmmm, I suppose oil type might matter. I’m making this sauce later this week and I’ll use grapeseed just to check it out and see.

      • Em says:

        Mine also came out much runnier. The only thing I did differently was use garbanzo beans and I ended up using sliced almonds rather than slivered. Don’t know if that would make such a big difference though…any suggestions? (I used Red Mill yeast.) thanks for the recipe though! Can’t wait to serve tomorrow.

        • Mel says:

          Hey Em, it must be a result of the little changes (or maybe just the brands of ingredients I’m using – coconut milk can vary widely in consistency). I’d say if you make it again with that same lineup of ingredients, omit the water and see how that goes.

    • Lauren says:

      Just wanted to chime in and say mine also turned out very runny, though I followed recipe exactly (used Bob’s Red Mill nutritional yeast). Will try omitting the water and adding the whole can of white beans next time too!

  34. Ellen says:

    confession: I live quite close to a Cafe Yumm ( once I come down off my mountain) but I’d never even considered trying it. I didn’t know a thing about it until now! Did purchase myself some nutritional yeast, so I’ll give this recipe a go first:) Thanks Mel!

  35. Allegra says:

    Haha, literally made Yumm bowls for dinner last night. We <3 Yumm sauce. It's awesome on cucumber slices, scrambled eggs, fish sticks. I make "yummlettes", omelets with black beans and topped with sauce, salsa, avocado, whatever I have left over.

    One bowl variation we do a lot (inspired by Cafe Yumm) is shelled edamame, white rice, salsa, cucumber, avocado, and nori. We are addicted to Trader Joe's wasabi nori.

  36. Lynn says:

    Yumm!!! This was seriously delicious. I wasn’t too sure about the sauce when I first made it. The ingredients seemed a bit random and it felt a little gritty when I first tasted it. Three hours later the grittiness was totally gone, the flavours had melded and it was so so good. We ate it as suggested but added shredded carrot and edamame and left off the sour cream and olives. You could really dump this stuff on pretty much anything and it would be delicious. My husband was eating it by the spoonful. Thanks for a lot for a unique and really tasty recipe. Will definitely make this one again!

  37. Natalie C says:

    Had these last night. Mmmmm! I was so certain that my husband would turn up his nose at a meal that has curry powder in it AND is meatless, but alas he loved it and had double servings. I won’t tell you how many servings I had.

  38. Annalisa says:

    SO GOOD!!! We had these tonight and I’m already dreaming of the leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. Thanks, Mel!

  39. Carlie says:

    Harmons sells nutritional yeast!! I am so excited to go grab some and make these!! I love meatless dinners!!

  40. Kim T says:

    Mel- although we have yet to meet, it was past time for me to comment as our 5 kids all “know” you by name. 🙂 Yesterday after adding graduations for our oldest daughter to our June calendar, I checked your website as I planned our menu for the week. Something about all those beautiful colors and textures made me instantly know I “needed” to make these that very night. Seeing Yum Bowls pop up on the family calendar grabbed peoples curiosity and everyone loved them! As a bonus, we already had nutritional yeast in the cupboard as a dear friend had introduced us to the magic that happens when combined with popcorn, we get ours at our local Fred Meyer in the bulk food section.

  41. Rachel says:

    We made this last night and had the leftovers for breakfast and loved!! It. Thank you for the recipe!

  42. Hilary Jorgensen says:

    Thanks for creating the “Meatless” category in your Recipe Index. I’m wondering if I could be a major pain and request a “Vegan” category as well.

    • Mel says:

      🙂 I’m not sure if I’ll add a vegan category mostly because I think I only have 1-2 recipes that are truly vegan (since I use chicken broth and other non-vegan ingredients even in “meatless” main dishes). I’m not sure I’m the best resource for true vegan recipes!

      • Nicole Miller says:

        I will say, Mel that I have been on a 21 day vegan fast/diet and I used several of your recipes for inspiration and direction. Sad at times to forgo the cheese but I used vegetable broth/stock with great results. The best I think was the black bean/sweet potato burritos.

  43. Jane says:

    We are a small family. I will halve the sauce recipe, but how long will it keep? it seems the only really perishable ingredient is the garbanzo beans. Could I/should I freeze it until the next use?

  44. Alyssa says:

    Good morning Mel. I enjoy so many of your recipes on a weekly basis. This looks amazing. My one question is why the canned coconut milk? Can I use the kind that comes in a box ?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Alyssa – you can certainly try! I only ever have canned coconut milk on hand so it’s what I use. The flavor of coconut milk in the carton is a bit different so just be aware it might change the consistency/flavor of the sauce a bit.

  45. Holly says:

    Do you recommend warning the rice and beans before building the bowl?

  46. Kylie says:

    So for those who have a Winco by them nutritional yeast is sold in the bulk foods section!! I am so excited to try this as I have been dairy free for over a year and have missed sauces for a LONG time. Thanks for sharing!!

  47. Rikki says:

    First time commenter! 🙂 Thanks for this recipe! Looks amazing. For the canned coconut milk – do you shake up the can first? Or use the solid stuff? Or the clearish liquid?

    • Mel says:

      Good question, Rikki – I usually use light coconut milk which doesn’t separate quite as much, but if I’m using full fat that has that thick layer of coconut cream, I try to mix it up and get equal parts cream and clear liquid. Does that help?

  48. Angela says:

    Thank you so much! My roommate used to work for Cafe Yumm, and we’d go there at least once a week. It’s been 8 years since I moved away, and I miss Yumm sauce SO much! I’m so excited for this recipe. My favorite bowl was always will brown rice and edamame. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  49. Kim says:

    Thanks for this post! I’ve been experimenting with meatless (and cheese and egg free recipes) the last few weeks so I was SUPER excited to see this post today. I’m going to try it out this week. Thanks also for meatless section. Awesome!!!

  50. Jina says:

    Mel, I love you and can’t wait to try this. Do you know if the sauce can be frozen?

  51. Stephenie says:

    So so so excited for menu plans!!!!!! I have recently noticed them on the bottom of your posts and have been taking screen shots each week. You seriously made my day!!!

  52. Robin says:

    Mel, I’m so happy you posted this recipe. My daughter is away at college and really misses Yumm sauce. I sent her this post so she can make it herself. Thanks

  53. Kim says:

    Thank you! This is such an Yummy looking recipe, I can’t wait to try! I have used nutritional yeast before and enjoyed it so I will be getting some for this recipe. I’m looking for more vegetarian options and appreciate your making a seperate link.

    • Liz says:

      Nutritional Yeast is used in a lot of vegetarian/vegan recipes because it is a source of Vitamin B-12. Omnivore eating folks get B-12 from meat. I eat omnivore but the B vitamins and particularly B-12 are good-good-good for us!

  54. Brianna Craig says:

    Can’t believe I’ve never even hear of cafe yum! Silly question, but since I’m new to cafe yum, maybe not…do you eat the sauce cold? Or warmed? Room temperature?

  55. TerriSue says:

    These look so good. We discovered nutritional yeast in 1982. Found out about it in The Farm Cookbook. It has been a staple in our kitchen ever since and I keep it in a canister. My husband has a shaker bottle of it for his popcorn.
    My son came over yesterday to take me shopping, my husband hates to grocery shop, we went to Costco and Whole Foods. At Whole Foods my son spotted a Vegan Parmesan Alternative called Parma. The second ingredient was nutritional yeast. Basically it was ground sunflower seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and herbs with salt and nutritional yeast. I went ahead and got a jar for my husband to see if he liked it on his pop corn for a change thinking I could make it myself if he did. My son and I both agreed it probably does not taste like Parmesan cheese. lol
    Mel have you ever made Rice by boiling it like pasta? I had bought some Basmati rice at H-Mart earlier this month and while my son was waiting for me to get ready he decided to make some for him and his dad. They both like plain rice. Reading the directions it talked about the ways we normally prepare rice and then said the traditional way is to boil it. My son decided to give it a try. He made 2 cups of rice and ended up with a large amount of rice. Much more than you would end up with if you were to steam it. The grains were separate and perfect like you find in Indian restaurants. If you are interested I will give you the directions.
    Thank you dear Mel for all the work you do in putting together your posts with your recipes. I realize it just doesn’t happen and I appreciate the work you put into it.

  56. Michelle says:

    This sounds awesome, and I’m super excited to try nutritional yeast. Do you have any recommendations for an almond substitute in the sauce? We have nut allergies in our house.

    • Mel says:

      Hmmm, good question, Michelle. I’d probably just make up the lack of almonds by adding in a bit more nutritional yeast and more beans, maybe? You could also try subbing in a seed, like sunflower seeds.

  57. Jodi says:

    These look delicious Mel! Can’t wait to try them.

  58. Paige says:

    These bowls look delicious! I need to make these next week!

    Paige Flamm
    The Happy Flammily

  59. Jackie Gonzales says:

    Hi Mel!!! These look awesome…but beans do not agree with me. I’m trying to think of a good substitute for them…wondering if you think cashews would work? I don’t know how critical the beans are for the flavor. Thanks so much!!

    Btw…the cashew chicken lettuce wraps? One of my new faves!!

  60. Erica says:

    I’m excited to make these!! Also, we use nutritional yeast + garlic salt on our popcorn and love it! Well, my husband doesn’t. He usually fakes gagging sounds until I scoot away from him on the couch.

  61. Michelle says:

    I live in Portland and we adore Cafe Yumm (but don’t eat out all that often). I bought the sauce on our last visit and we did love having it at home (though I burnt myself out a little when I put it on everything until it was gone). You cracked me up when you mentioned your industrious response to the ingredients list; my response was “guess I’ll have to buy this because I have no idea what nutritional yeast is!” 😉 Luckily we shop at Winco too and I’m sure it’s there–can’t wait to try it. Thank you, as always. You are my food guru and I am so thankful you!!

  62. Sandy says:

    Thank you!!! I had wanted to get some Yumm sauce while visiting our daughters in Oregon at Christmastime, but it just didn’t work out! This is fantastic! 🙂

  63. Janet says:

    This sounds wonderful. I’ve never been to a Cafe Yumm, but I don’t get out much! Both situations need to be changed I think.

  64. Amy says:

    I am SOOOO beyond happy to see this recipe on here!! Living in the PNW/Oregon, I quickly came to love these filling, delicious, and nutritious yumm bowls. But the bottles cost like $13 and I can never eat it quick enough to have it on hand at all times and justify that price. So you better believe I am making this asap!!

  65. Mindy says:

    Bless you, Mel! Cafe Yumm is my all-time favorite restaurant, and I haven’t lived near one for ten years. I miss my Yumm Bowls! Can’t wait to make them at home. Thank you for sharing!

  66. Judy P says:

    Why do I get a HUGE yellow happy face in the middle of my printable copy?

  67. Sharon says:

    I tried Cafe Yum for the first time this Fall when visiting Portland for the TOFW. It was yummy and so is the sauce. I can’t wait to add another meatless recipe to my collection! Thanks.

  68. Jessica says:

    Looks like a greatly versatile family pleaser!

    The sauce made me think of a easy concoction I threw together the other day – not nearly as complex as the Yum Yum Sauce, but it really turned out well. Great for dipping chips, veggies, topping off salads or bowls like the one you posted.

    Mashed up 1 avocado, added a few tablespoons of sour cream and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder. I’m sure you could add some other great seasonings too, but this basic combo let the flavors come through, kinda clean and fresh tasting.

    Thanks for sharing all your great ideas and experiences 🙂

  69. Holly says:

    I want to try this asap! Looks delicious! Does it really matter if you use slivered or sliced almonds since they are blended up?

  70. Trisha says:

    Oh hooray! I’m so excited to try these! We eat Hawaiian Haystacks regularly (with your awesome sauce of course). We love them because they are healthy and customizable – I am certain I will love these yum yum bowls for the same reasons. Thank you!

  71. Rebecca says:

    Hi, Mel! Do you know if I could use whole raw almonds instead of the slivered ones? We lived close to a Cafe Yumm for a few months but we never made it over there to try it before we moved – I’m so excited to try the copycat recipe!

    • Mel says:

      Hey Rebecca – I’m sure you could. The advantage to using the slivered almonds is that they blend up a little better in the sauce for a smoother consistency. If you have time, you might try soaking the whole almonds and draining well before using. Or…just toss them in and see how it goes. I had the best luck with slivered almonds.

      • Connie says:

        Instead of a regular blender, I have a VitaMix blender. I’m sure that the whole almonds would work in a VitaMix if you have one. A VitaMix is a workhorse that will blend anything!

  72. Jen says:

    Looks amazing! I’m making it tonight!

  73. Sarah says:

    These look like the perfect solution for Sunday night dinner at my house! Sundays are crazy, and I never feel like cooking anything complicated, but I hate to start the week with eating takeout. I’m pretty sure this is going to save my Sunday!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  74. Lauren says:

    Looking forward to making this healthy looking dish (I love all the colors!) using my new handy dandy insta pot. I have never heard of nutritional yeast before! It almost sounds as tho, esp after reading Liz’s post, that it could b sprinkled on spag & meatsauce. I must admit that I do not always grate parm & sometimes take the easy route of using the processed stuff in in the pasta aisle next to the sauce. Would nutritional yeast b good spooned over spag?

  75. Mel w/ a Brian too says:

    Mel this looks wonderful! Do you have a favorite jarred salsa? Or do you make your own usually?

  76. Teresa R. says:

    We don’t have a Cafe Yumm in our town so I’m not familiar with it, but these bowls really do look delicious. I have made copycat Chipotle rice bowls with black beans and veggies, using whatever vegetables were on hand, but your bowls with yum sauce sound so much better. Thanks for sharing! Please sign me up for the Friday email recipe. I’ve tried signing up several times with no luck. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hey Teresa – I show your email address already signed up to receive the weekly newsletters…and it shows that all of them have been sent successfully, without bouncing. Any chance they are going to spam or to a promotions tab (like in gmail)?

  77. Heather bell says:

    Never heard of yumm cafe. #midwestissues but I’m excited to try this!

  78. Melissa says:

    Look at you gettin’ all fancy with your food design pics! Looking good Mel!

  79. Grace says:

    You are my hero! My husband is a PNW native and misses Cafe Yumm a lot, so I will definitely be adding this to the rotation.

  80. Liz says:

    Good grief, this looks and sounds wonderful! And that sauce! I’ve never heard of Café Yum so nothing to compare to when I try it.

    I’m also a fan of nutritional yeast: popcorn, a spoonful in a bowl of soup, on pasta. And I use it in homemade crackers for a bit of a cheese taste. Here in small town northwest Montana I see it in bulk bins (great way to try some and see if you like it), also the Bragg’s and Bob’s Red Mill. It also makes a non-dairy “cheese” sauce combined with cashew cream.

    I can’t wait to try the sauce. Thanks Mel and Mel’s in-laws!

    • Mel says:

      I hope you like it, Liz! That sauce really is something else…and glad to know you are a fan of nutritional yeast, too. We love it enough to keep it on hand!

    • Teresa says:

      Liz, I always love and learn from your comments. Those homemade crackers sound really yummy. I’ve always wanted to try to make them. Maybe Mel will post a cracker recipe one day for us!!! Love this Yum Yum recipe Mel.

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