This vegan cashew queso is cheesy, creamy and so easy to make! Made with just a few pantry staple ingredients, this simple recipe is perfect as a dip, on top of burrito bowls, tacos & more.
If you need a flavor packed dip for a party (or just yourself tbh), look no further than this vegan cashew queso! It’s made with just a few simple ingredients you probably already have on hand and is 100% healthy.
This recipe is paleo, vegan, gluten free, dairy free and even Whole30 friendly, but I promise it’ll impress your friends and family. It’s perfect with a strawberry margarita on the side with my vegan tacos as the main course!
You may have had the Siete cashew queso or Whole Foods one, but making it from scratch is so much better, I promise.
This recipe is not like a traditional Mexican queso (also known as chili con queso) which is made from soft white cheeses, peppers and often ground beef, but more like a delicious, creamy and cheesy tasting dip without the actual cheese!
I promise you won’t even miss the cheese, the cashews and nutritional yeast take the place of it quite nicely!
Vegan queso is something you can buy at many grocery stores these days, but making your own at home is just as easy and tastes so much better! Plus, you’re in complete control of the spice level, flavors, saltiness and more. If you love this recipe, my lemon tahini dressing next!
How to make cashew vegan queso
Add the cashews to a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for about 20 minutes to soften. Covering with boiling water instead of cold water allows us to speed up the soaking process!
If you have a high speed blender, you can get away with not soaking them at all. However, for the most creamy texture, it is best to soak them!
You can also just boil the cashews in a pot for 15-20 minutes to ensure they’re really soft if you don’t have a high speed blender.
Drain and rinse the cashews and add to a blender.
Add in all remaining ingredients and blend until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Transfer to a pot or pan and heat over low heat until warm, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Serve hot & enjoy!
I recommend serving this cashew queso hot, but you are welcome to serve it cold if you prefer.
This recipe is pretty versatile, you can stir in some salsa or chopped tomatoes or chili peppers for a bit of texture/spice, make it spicier with more hot sauce, make it smokey by subbing regular paprika for smoked paprika etc.
I have not tested this recipe with roasted cashews, but if that’s all you have on hand, that should be ok. The flavor may be a bit different, but still delicious.
How to store
Once prepared, this cashew queso will keep in the fridge for about 5 days. You’ll want to mix it up with a spoon before serving to make sure the top hasn’t dried out at all.
I have not tried freezing it, but I think it could be ok. I’d freeze in a container, then let thaw in the fridge an re-blend to make it creamy.
Can I make it spicy?
Definitely! We all have different taste buds, so don’t be afraid to adjust the flavors!
I usually add a bit more nutritional yeast and salt to bring out the cheesy flavor and sometimes a pinch of red pepper flakes if I want more spice. Use what you have and make it how you like, this recipe is very versatile!
Is cashew queso healthy?
Traditional queso is made with lots of cheese, so it is generally considered a healthy food! This vegan queso, however, is made from cashews, nutritional yeast and a bunch of spices so it’s a totally good for you recipe!
Try these next!
Vegan Cashew Queso
by: claire cary
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews
- 1-1 ½ cups non-dairy milk I used plain almond
- 1/3-1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce or to taste
- Add the cashews to a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for about 20 minutes to soften. You can also just boil the cashews in a pot for 15-20 minutes to ensure they're really soft if you don't have a high speed blender.
- Drain and rinse the cashews and add to a blender.
- Add in all remaining ingredients and blend until completely smooth. Start with 1 cup of milk and add more to thin it out if desired.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Transfer to a pot or pan and heat over low heat until warm, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Serve hot & enjoy!