This vegan queso recipe is smokey, creamy, and tastes exactly like real queso. It’s made from cashews, nutritional yeast, spices, secret roasted veggies, and hot sauce.
Internet’s BEST Vegan Queso Recipe
Vegan queso has never tasted so good. This vegan queso recipe has the texture and taste of traditional queso, but is actually made with real, whole ingredients that are 100% plant-based!
It took us a few rounds of recipe testing to get the PERFECT spice combination for this cashew queso, and we’re so excited about how it turned out. Have you ever tried Siete Foods’ Cashew Queso? It tastes EXACTLY like that, but you can make it in your own home.
What does this vegan queso taste like? This vegan queso tastes like real cheese queso. It’s savory, creamy, and slightly smokey.
What is vegan queso made of? Vegan queso is made from a base of soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, roasted vegetables, and white vinegar.
Is vegan queso healthy? Vegan queso is healthy because it’s 100% plant-based and made from real ingredients.
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What You Need to Make Vegan Queso
The cool thing about vegan queso is that it’s 100% plant-based and involves no animal products or dairy at all. Here’s the down low on what you need:
Soaked cashews are the basis of this recipe. The purpose of soaking your cashews overnight is so that they get soft enough to blend into your queso!
What we love about cashews is that they take on whatever flavorings you mix with them and they almost have this buttery silky smooth texture. They’re truly perfect for vegan queso.
Can you use roasted cashews instead of raw? Yes! Absolutely. Soak them the same way.
Now, the secret to this recipe…ROASTED VEGGIES! You would never guess, but this cashew queso actually has red pepper, carrot, garlic, and shallot in it. All these veggies add so much flavor, yet you can’t even tell they’re in it!
Spices place a big role in flavoring vegan cashew queso, but no worries! I guarantee you have all these at home already. Here’s what you need:
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
Nutritional yeast is a big flavor component to this recipe. It’s commonly used in the vegan community to add the flavor of cheese to recipes and it really does just that.
You can find nutritional yeast a most grocery stores these days, but also on line. This is our favorite brand!
White Vinegar & Hot Sauce
Both white vinegar and hot sauce are vinegar based ingredients. Vinegar helps bring out all the delicious flavors in this recipe. Feel free to swap the hot sauce for more white vinegar if you don’t like heat.
How to Make Incredible Vegan Queso (step by step)
Cashew queso is made by blending together soaked cashews, roasted veggies, and spices in a high-speed blender until smooth. Here’s how to do it:
First things first –> we must soak our cashews. By soaking your cashews, they will become soft enough to blend so that they can become rich and creamy.
Place cashews in a large bowl and then top them with water so that they are fully submerged. Let them soak overnight or for at least 12 hours until softened.
how to quickly soften cashews
Tight on time? Flash boil your cashews! Simply place your cashews in a large, glass bowl. Then, pour almost boiling water on top of them. Let them soak for 15-20 minutesand you’re good to go!
Roast veggies and garlic in olive oil, salt, and pepper at 425ºF for about 25-30 minutes or until soft.
Place soaked cashews, roasted veggies, and the rest of the ingredients into a high-speed food processor. Process on high until smooth.
If you’re having a difficult time getting things to smooth out, add water by the teaspoon.
What to do with Vegan Queso?
- Vegan Queso Dip – eat your vegan queso as a dip with your favorite chips and/or veggies.
- Cheese sauce – top your favorite pasta or buddha bowl with your cashew queso!
- Mac and cheese – Make a batch of macaroni noodles and toss them in this vegan queso for an epic bowl of vegan mac!
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight and rinsed*
- 1/2 large red pepper, chopped
- 1 large carrot, cut into coins
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 2 tablespoons shallot, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- First, place cashews* in a large bowl and completely submerge them with water. Soak cashews overnight or for 12 hours so that they soften. Once softened, drain the water and set aside
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Next, add the pepper, carrot, garlic, and shallot onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss
- Place baking sheet in the oven and bake at 425ºF for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent burning.
- Remove from oven and place veggies in a large food processor or Vitamix. Add the rest of the queso ingredients into the food processor (including the soaked cashews) and blend on high until smooth. Remember to scrape the sides of the food processor frequently as you blend to make sure all ingredients are combined. If the queso is lumpy and thick, add an additional teaspoon of water at a time until queso is smooth.
- Serve with chips, vegetables, or even over rice or noodles.
Tips & Notes
- Cashews: alternatively, you can flash boil the cashews by bringing a pot of water to a rolling boil, turning off heat, and add cashews to the water. Let soak for 15-20 minutes.