Vegan Queso
Vegan Queso

Be the game day hero with this gooey and delicious vegan queso! Yes, you heard that right, it’s vegan (you won’t miss the cheese).

In this recipe

  • Ingredients in vegan queso
  • Swaps and Substitutions
  • Cooking with nutritional yeast
  • Use a blender!
  • Make queso ahead of time
  • Ways to use vegan queso

Omnivores and vegetarians alike will love this plant-based party snack. Cashews, veggies, and spices come together in a creamy, savory queso dip that also happens to be gluten-free. Top with a scoop of salsa, serve with a bowl of chips and get the party started.

While the word queso translates directly from Spanish into English as “cheese,” here it refers to a cheese diveserved hot and melting.

As you may have noticed from the recipe title, this queso is vegan, meaning it doesn’t contain any real cheese! However, you would never know it by the taste. It checks all the same boxes as a dairy-based queso, with the flavor, texture, and melt-in-the-mouth you’d expect from a cheese dip.

Ingredients in vegan queso

When I first tried this queso, I had flashbacks to Kino Nacho Cheese in a good way. The color also resembles milk nacho cheese – with carrots in the mix as well as a hint of turmeric, its orange, cheddar-like hue makes it even more appetizing.

This cheesy fake is achieved through a combination of ingredients that might surprise you: potatoes, carrots, and onions are simmered in vegetable broth, along with chili powder and jalapeño for a mild spiciness. Soaked, macerated cashews add creaminess, and some nutritional yeast rounds out the savory flavor of this dip. A squeeze of lime brightens everything up, as does a final scoop of pico de gallo on top.

Swaps and Substitutions

I find that the combination of carrots and Yukon gilded potatoes gives the most cheese-like flavor and texture in this recipe, but you can add other veggies if you’d like.

Red potatoes or sweet potatoes can replace the golden potatoes, and you can use cauliflower, turnips, or parsnips in place of the carrot.

Cooking with nutritional yeast

Most of the ingredients in this queso are things that anyone would have in their kitchen. The only exception might be nutritional yeast, especially if you’re unfamiliar with plant-based recipes.

Yellow in color with the flaky appearance of croissant crumbs, it is a cooking ingredient entirely different from the type of yeast used in baking. Rich in MSG, it has the same savory notes as an aged cheese, and a little goes a long way.

Not only do I use it to mimic the taste of cheese in plant-based dishes, I also like to sprinkle a little on top of popcorn and avocado toast.

Use a blender!

You definitely need a blender for this recipe to work, the more horsepower the better to achieve the super creamy texture of this queso.

I recommend a stand mixer rather than an immersion blender for the smoothest results. If you’re looking for a new blender, the Simply Recipes best blenders guide is the right place to start!

Make queso ahead

Queso can be made up to two days in advance. Store in a container with a lid in the refrigerator and to serve, reheat in a saucepan over low heat, stirring every minute or so until heated through. I wouldn’t recommend freezing the queso as it can affect the texture and cause it to separate.

Ways to use vegan queso

Once you’ve made vegan queso, you can use it for many dishes beyond the traditional preparation of fries and dips.

A food truck near me serves a delicious queso mac and cheese, and this recipe would make a bombastic plant-based version. You can also pour the queso onto nachos, drizzle onto tacos or enchiladas, or add to a burrito or burrito bowl.

It pairs great with veggies, too — scoop some queso on top of roasted or steamed broccoli and you’ve got a delicious (and kid-friendly) side dish.

More vegan party dips

  • Sweet potato dip with white beans
  • Baba Ghanoush (eggplant dip)
  • How to make Creamy Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce
  • Simply Muhammad
  • Spicy Three Chile Guacamole

Vegan queso

preparation time
5 minutes

cooking time
25 minutes

total time
30 minutes

6 servings

2 cups vegan queso


  • 1/4 Cup cashew pieces

  • 1 Cup Boil water

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • 1 clove garlicchopped or pressed

  • 1/2 Cup yellow onionrolled

  • 1 pepper jalapenocored and diced

  • 1 carrotrolled

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 Cup low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 1/2 lb golden potatoespeeled and diced

  • 2 teaspoon nutritional yeast

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


  • 1/2 Cup Pico de Gallofor garnish and more for serving

  • tortilla chips


  1. Soak Cashew Nuts:

    In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the cashews. Put aside.

  2. Cook Vegetables:

    In a 3 quart saucepan, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, jalapeño, and carrot and sauté for about 4 minutes – the garlic and onions should start to get a little browned and roasted, but you don’t want to burn the garlic. Add the salt, chili powder, and turmeric and sauté for another minute.

  3. Add broth and potatoes:

    Add the broth and potatoes, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered over medium-high heat for a further 10 minutes, until potatoes are very tender and broth has reduced by about half.

  4. Place ingredients in blender:

    Pour the mixture from the pot into a blender carafe. Using a slotted spoon, place the cashew chunks in the blender, then add 1/4 cup of the cashew soaking water. Reserve the rest in case you need more to get the blender going. Place nutritional yeast and lime juice in blender.

  5. Mix the queso:

    Blend on high speed until queso is very smooth, about 1 minute, adding more cashew soaking water if needed (it usually takes about another 1/4 cup before I get a pourable, nacho cheese-like consistency). . Taste for seasoning, add more salt if needed.

  6. Garnish and serve:

    Transfer the queso to a serving bowl. Top with the pico de gallo. Serve warm, with tortilla chips and more salsa on the side.

nutritional information (per serving)
142 calories
7g Fat
18g carbohydrates
3g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!