Cafe Yumm Sauce Recipe + How to Make a Yumm Bowl

Learn how to make Yumm Sauce – inspired by Cafe Yumm. These vegetarian Yumm Bowls are loaded up with all the toppings and drizzled with a creamy curry & cumin spiced chickpea sauce.

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Three yumm sauce bowls with all the toppings.

It’s almost been six months since I quit my corporate job and started blogging full time. It’s definitely the best decision I ever made and I haven’t looked back, but there are a few things I miss about it…

  • I miss my parking spot in downtown Portland.
  • I miss my co-workers.
  • I miss my favorite lunch spots.

Lunch was always the highlight of my day.

Obviously… Everyday I dream about food… all day.

The spots that I really miss the most are Cafe Yumm and the Whole Bowl. And, if you’re not native to Portland, or haven’t visited before, you probably have no idea what these places are all about.

The Whole Bowl is a food cart with a few locations around Portland. It serves up bowls of rice & beans topped with a “Tali sauce” and then loaded up with lots of toppings like sour cream, cilantro, cheese, salsa, avocado & black olives.

Cafe Yumm is essentially the same thing… but the sauces from The Whole Bowl and Cafe Yumm taste just a little bit different… I’d say that the Tali sauce at The Whole Bowl is a bit more curry forward while the Cafe Yumm sauce is a bit more smoky.

Plus, the Cafe Yumm sauce comes in a few different versions – Roasted Garlic, Chipotle and Original. I’m a huge fan of their chipotle Yumm sauce recipe! It’s got a hint of smokiness with a little bit of heat.

I also love their Jalapeno Sesame Salsa.

Overhead shot of yumm sauce bowl.

I’ve been working on mastering this Yumm sauce recipe for years… Many, many years… That’s because I’ve been eating it since college. Cafe Yumm! originated in my college hometown of Eugene, Oregon and I think I ate there like once a week. Seeing as I’m now in my last year of my 30’s… you can imagine I’ve eaten my fair share of Yumm bowls!

That’s why I’m so excited to share this recipe for Yumm sauce with you today! This is for all my readers who haven’t yet had the chance to experience this amazing sauce. It’s also for all my local readers who are obsessed with this sauce as I am.

But let me warn you, it’s totally addictive… 

What does Yumm Sauce taste like?

It’s creamy, lemony, and garlicky with the most amazing blend of spices and a umami flavor.

There are two special ingredients that give this sauce it’s great texture and an almost cheese-sauce like quality – almond flour and nutritional yeast.

The good thing is, this recipe makes a big batch of Yumm sauce, enough for about 8 “yummy” bowls, and it will keep in the fridge for about a week.

What is Yumm Sauce made of?

Yumm Sauce recipe ingredients

  • Garbanzo beans – I love making chickpeas in the instant pot
  • Canola oil
  • Almond flour
  • Lemon juice 
  • Silken tofu
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Garlic
  • Curry powder
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Cilantro
  • Mustard powder
  • Chipotle chili powder (optional)

Yumm Bowl ingredients

How to make Yumm Sauce

It’s super simple to make this sauce. Just add all the ingredients to a blender and process until smooth.

Can you freeze Yumm Sauce?

You can freeze Yumm sauce though it may separate when thawed. Just give it a good stir, or pop it back into your blender or use an immersion blender to it process again.

What do you put Yumm sauce on?

How to make a Yumm Bowl

  • Start with a base of brown rice, white rice or quinoa. I love making my grains in the Instant Pot. Here’s my recipe for Instant Pot Quinoa and Instant Pot Rice.
  • Add some beans. I generally heat up a can of drained and rinsed red beans, but you could also top these bowls with instant pot black beans or instant pot chickpeas. You could even add some sliced chicken.
  • Pile on the toppings – Tomatoes, olives, avocado, jalapeno sesame salsa, cheese, cilantro, sesame seeds.
  • Drizzle on the Yumm sauce to your liking. I like a lot of sauce on my bowl.
  • Enjoy!
Hand holding yumm sauce bowl.

More healthy bowl recipes 

Did you try this yumm bowl recipe?

If you loved this cafe yumm bowl recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would leave a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

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PS – Don’t miss my Cafe Yumm! inspired Jalapeno Sesame Salsa too!

More → 15+ rice bowl sauce recipes & buddha bowl sauce recipes.

Overhead close up of Yumm bowl.

Yumm Bowl Recipe + Cafe Yumm Sauce Recipe

Learn how to make Yumm Sauce – inspired by Cafe Yumm. These vegetarian Yumm Bowls are loaded up with all the toppings and drizzled with a creamy curry & cumin spiced chickpea sauce.
5 from 38 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 people


Yumm Sauce:



  • Add ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until serving.
  • To assemble place about 1 cup rice in bowl, drizzle on Yumm Sauce, then top with 1/2 cup beans, avocado, tomatoes, olives, cheese, cilantro and top with greek yogurt or sour cream. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. 


Yumm sauce will store in the fridge for up to one week. It can also be frozen, but may separate. Just give it a good stir, or pop it back into your blender or use an immersion blender to process again. 
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 501mg | Potassium: 547mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 5.9mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 5.6mg

42 thoughts on “Cafe Yumm Sauce Recipe + How to Make a Yumm Bowl”

  1. 5 stars
    I grew up in Eugene so naturally am Cafe Yumm’s #1 fan, haha! I eat there as often as I possibly can—and I buy a giant bottle of their Yumm Sauce to have in the fridge at all times. I’ve made another version of this sauce at home once, but I’d love to try your version too!

  2. My wife and I moved to Massachusetts from Corvallis, Oregon almost 8 years ago. She still regularly remarks about how much she misses Cafe Yumm! And the Yumm sauce in particular! Every time we go back to visit Oregon, Cafe Yumm is one of the first places we have to go. I can’t wait to make this for her as a surprise next week!
    One quick question- the recipe calls for “cooked” garbanzo beans. Are the garbanzo beans that come in the can already cooked? Or will I need to boil them?

  3. 5 stars
    From my first bite of chipotle Yumm sauce I was hooked and, since it’s not readily available where I live, I set out to make it myself. I have made many variations of my master recipe and with each batch I get closer to the authentic Cafe Yumm taste. Even though my own recipe is pretty darn good I still continue to look for others and I was delighted to find Erin’s version. I just finished my first batch and had to immediately leave a review even though I know the flavor of the sauce improves after it’s “aged” a few hours. All I can say is YUMM!!! This is a great recipe, made even better by Erin’s stunning photography – I wanted to lick my monitor! Erin – you were so smart to leave your corporate life because you were born to be a food blogger and I am very impressed.

  4. Thanks for the recipe, I’ve been looking for a version! I’ll be testing it out this weekend. Any chance their jalapeño sesame salsa is also on your recipe radar? 🙂

      • The jalapeño sesame salsa is the best thing I’ve ever eaten! Were you able to perfect a replica? I moved to New York and they haven’t caught on to good food here… yet!

  5. Hi, Catherine!
    I cannot tell you how truly stoked I am on your recipe. It sounds too spot-on (to the original Cafe Yumm recipe) to NOT be perfect. Ugh! I’m literally at the store getting all the imgrwdients right now, then going back home to drown my face in a bowl of Yumminess. Hahahah! 😍😋🤤
    I’m from Oregon, but moved deep out in Washington state last year and I don’t readily have direct access to these amazing treats anymore….
    & It. Has. Killed me. Lol. 😭
    You and your work are much appreciated, as I’m sure you must know at this point! 😉 Hahaha.

    A few questions though, for a very literal person like myself: (If you wouldn’t mind helping a sister out….🙏🏻) Lol.

    When recipe calls for curry powder, is it referring to simple “curry powder” or is it “curry madras”??? I assumed the normal curry powder, but from what I see in your pictures of combined ingredients before blending together, it looks closer in color to the madras. So just want to be sure before I attempt this….. 😬🤔

    Also, when it calls for dried oregano, is it referring to “Oregano Leaf (cut & sifted)”? Because that’s all I found for oregano in the spice section at my local Fred Meyers.

    Also, when it calls for mustard powder, is it referring to what I have located, labeled as “Yellow Mustard Seed Powder”? That’s all I’ve found here for mustard anything, but am pretty sure there’s a few different kinds of (mustard)/ seeds, so just want to make sure… (If you cant tell by now, I don’t cook much, and this is mainly why- I stress too much over the “little details” and end up getting overwhelmed before I even start! 🙄)

    & Last, (….If you’re still with me! 😂)
    When it calls for dried cilantro,
    Is that something found in a spice bottle, typically? Because I’ve found everything else in the natural foods isle, where bulk spices are, but there’s nothing for cilantro of any variety. Maybe it would be found with the small bottles of spices & seasonings?

    …..Please help??!! 🤷🏻‍♀️🙏🏻🙇🏻‍♀️ Hahaha.

    Thank you for your recipes!
    Hoping to hear back from you as soon as you may have a moment, but know you have a life and I’m patient.
    Hehe. 😌🤞🏻

    Much thanks, appreciation, and respect,

    Ashley from Oregon. 🖤

    • Hi Ashley – Curry powder is the curry powder in the store (not Madras). Dried oregano can definitely mean the oregano leaf. Mustard powder is the yellow mustard seed powder. And, the dried cilantro is definitely harder to find, but you can always leave it out, or use twice the amount of fresh cilantro. Hope that helps!

  6. I was in Oregon a few months agai visiting and became absolutely hooked on Cafe Yumm! I am now home in South Carolina left with a craving I can fix.
    I had a quick question for your recipe. Is there anything you think I could use other than Lemon juice? Im not allowed to have anything acidic which is very sad. Thank you for posting this recipe I cant wait to try it out!

  7. 5 stars
    This was absolutely yummy!
    My version came out thick, more like hummus than dressing (which some prefer to the bottled restaurant version)… and my family asked for loads more garlic, but I thought this was an excellent addition to my favorite rice bowls.
    Tonight’s was Caprese based, so not vegan, but delicious and I’m ready to make another batch to get us through the week.

    • I’m so happy to hear that you liked it Grace. I like the idea to add in more garlic. I’m definitely going to give that a try next time! Or maybe try adding in some chipotle for a hot & smoky version. I think that if you’d like the sauce a bit more thin, you could always add in a bit of water. Hope that helps and thanks so much for stopping by!

  8. I am in Oregon visiting now and my mom and I were discussing Cafe Yumm and their sauce. I miss it so much. I always looked forward to going there to eat. I will definitely try your recipe, after I grab me some cafe yumm to eat now, lol. I would also recommend trying, instead of the smoked chili powder, try using chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Try using a tablespoon of the adobo sauce in the yumm sauce. I use it when I’m making chili or my chicken tortilla soup and it’s amazing.

  9. I’m so glad I saw this recipe. I grew up in Eugene/Cottage Grove, and love Yumm! bowls. I moved to the UK 5 years ago, and have really missed the taste. I’ve found copycat recipes for so many of the foods I love and miss, and I’m constantly trying and finding new copy cat recipes, but the Yumm! sauce has alluded me. I’ve tried a couple different recipes and nothing has come close. My best friend flew to the UK to see me this past Tuesday, and she smuggled a bottle of the sauce in her luggage for me. It was the first time in 5 years that anyone has been willing to do that for me. So Saturday night, I roasted a chicken, as we are a family of carnivores, and while we like the occasional meat free or completely animal free meal, my husband prefers to have an animal protein on the table. So, that aside, I cooked rice in my rice cooker, though I should have used my instant pot, I would have gotten more rice that way, as we ended up running out, and then I put all the best ingredients into little bowls and let everyone put what they wanted in their bowls. We had fresh tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, black beans, avocado, red Leicester cheese (closest to American cheddar. Here they like their cheddar so sharp it’s crunchy. And it’s actually labeled that. Crunchy extra mature cheddar), olives, and the bottle of Yumm! sauce. Oh, and fresh coriander (what they call cilantro here). I’m pretty sure that’s the full list. My husband, kids, and friend all added chicken to theirs, while I didn’t. It was agreed that I didn’t make enough rice, that had I made more rice we would not have had any Yumm! sauce left, that I needed to figure out how to copycat the Yumm! sauce recipe, and last but not least, and the most important thing, in my opinion, was my husband’s opinion that we did not need to roast a chicken the next time I made this as long as I got the sauce right, because it was an amazing stand alone meal, and he wouldn’t mind having it for a meat free Monday meal (I am trying to get the meat cut down).

    So, I’m going to try your recipe. I already have the nutritional yeast, my mom buys it and dehydrated refried beans in the bulk section of Winco and brings both to me, because I struggle to find nutritional yeast here, and because a single can of refried beans cost £1.50 here, which is just way way too expensive. Mexican is not big here, so the ingredients are expensive.

    Tonight I made beef ho fun for dinner, which uses rice noodles, and I was asked by my husband and my friend to make rice, even though it is a second starch, and unnecessary. I happily made it, and then didn’t eat the beef ho fun, leaving my serving for anyone who wants seconds, and I’m going to use the rice and swap out kidney beans for black beans as I don’t have black beans right now, and make myself a Yumm! bowl for dinner.

  10. While the sauce would be good to put on falafel, it doesn’t resemble Cafe Yumm sauce to me. It’s way to lemony and almost tastes like I’m just eating hummus. Back to the drawing boards.

  11. I grew up in Eugene and my dad actually went to the gym with the man who invented Yumm sauce they were buddies so I’ve definitely had my fair share. While this recipe is similar to the actual Yumm sauce I found the tofu flavor to be way to strong, not enough garlic or lemon and it was missing a fresh flavor. I made it again but this time I halved the tofu, doubled the garlic, Used fresh cilantro and oregano and squeezed lemon over the top when serving it was definitely a lot closer to the actual recipe flavor wise but still missing something. I did however find out from my mom that they now ship the sauce (we are in Virginia) a little pricey but sooo worth it! Thanks for sharing the recipe though It was very tasty (Just not Yumm sauce) and my little one who has only had it once at age 2 really liked it and asked me to make it again.

  12. 5 stars
    Just made this sauce last night and it was PERFECT. I followed it to a T and it tastes exactly how I remember Yumm sauce. I immediately texted all my friends from Oregon and they wanted the recipe, too. My partner has never tried Yumm sauce and when I made it last night, he told me this was one of the tastiest sauces he’s ever had and asked me to save him some 😛 Thanks so much!

    • Hi Dan – I haven’t tried that myself, but I would maybe just add in a bit more tofu, or leave out (or lessen) the water. That should result in a thick sauce similar to the Yumm sauce. Hope that helps!

  13. 5 stars
    I’ve made this sauce a handful of times and it is sooooo delicious! Honestly it’s better than Cafe Yumm! 🤤 I triple the batch and use it for meal prep bowls! Perfection! Thank you so much for the recipe!

5 from 38 votes (30 ratings without comment)

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