This is the best vegan queso recipe EVER. Ready to eat in less than 10 minutes, it tastes so much like the real thing you won’t believe it! Rich cashew cream, a little potato, and a touch of nutritional yeast blend together with traditional Mexican flavors for a dairy-free vegan queso you’ll fall in love with. It’s paleo, Whole30, and low-carb friendly, too!
What’s So Great About This Recipe
- It’s a foolproof copycat. Seriously, it tastes so much like real queso you might worry you’re actually eating dairy.
- It’s really easy to make. A quick blend in a Vitamix gives you a smooth, hot dip that’s ready to eat in less than 10 minutes!
- It’s low-calorie and low-carb, which means you can eat as much as your heart really desires.
- It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so you can make it ahead of an event or on meal prep Sundays. Store it in an airtight container, and add a little unsweetened almond milk when you reheat it if it’s too thick.
Vegan Queso Ingredients
Cashew Cream – The cashews and coconut milk blend into a rich, thick, indulgent cashew cream that really makes this recipe what it is. The flavor is subtle enough, though, that you don’t feel like you’re eating coconut cashew queso.
Nutritional Yeast – This deactivated yeast is what creates the cheesy flavor of this queso, so don’t skip it, unless you just have to.
How to Make the Best Vegan Queso (Ever)
The full recipe & ingredients list are below, but here you’ll find a quick overview for making this recipe perfectly, along with useful tips and info!
Whipping up this queso is so easy, you’ll feel like you’re missing a step.
Combine everything except for the chopped pickled jalapeños and the can of tomatoes and chiles (aka Rotel) in a high-speed blender, and blend until it’s very, very smooth. I blend mine in a Vitamix long enough that it heats up, but if yours doesn’t, you’ll need to transfer the queso to a saucepan and heat it up on the stove.
Stir in jalapeños and Rotel, then garnish with cilantro and serve with your favorite tortilla chips!
- Tapioca starch is an optional ingredient in this recipe, so don’t worry if you don’t have it. It does make a difference, though. It gives this queso a gooier texture than other vegan queso recipes, making it more like real queso.
- If you don’t have a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) that’s okay! You’ll just need to soak your cashews overnight in hot water to help them blend more easily. Simply pour hot water over the cashews and let them sit – don’t worry about changing out the water after it cools off. After blending, you’ll need to transfer the queso to a saucepan and heat it through over medium-low heat.
- If you don’t want to use coconut milk, you can leave it out! Increase the cashews to a total of 1.5 cups and use 1.75 cups of water or stock to make up for it.
- For vegan queso blanco, leave out the turmeric and the can of tomatoes and chiles. Still use the small can of green chiles, though!
More Vegan Recipes You’ll Love
- The Best Vegan Alfredo Sauce
- Vegan Chili
- Vegan Nutella
- Quick Creamy Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
- Vegan Crème Brûlée
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Best Vegan Queso (Ever)
- high-speed blender
- 1 cup boiled potato about 2 medium yellow or red potatoes, see note for Paleo
- 4 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ cup raw cashews soaked overnight if not using a high-speed blender
- 1 cup vegetable broth see Note if not vegan
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup coconut milk unsweetened, full fat, from a can
- 1 4-ounce can chopped mild chiles
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 4-ounce can chopped pickled jalapeños divided and drained (reserve juice)
- 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño juice
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch optional
- 1 dash turmeric optional, for color
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- 1 can tomatoes and green chiles like Rotel, drained, optional
- fresh cilantro chopped, for garnish, optional
- Combine everything in a high-speed blender, excluding ¼ cup chopped pickled jalapeños and can of tomatoes and chiles. Start with 1 teaspoon salt. Blend until very smooth.
- If blender does not heat mixture, transfer to a saucepan and heat on the stove over medium-low heat. Heat until desired consistency, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
- Add extra salt if desired. Pour queso into serving bowl and stir in pickled jalapeños and drained can of tomatoes and chiles. Garnish and serve.
- If you’re not strictly vegan, you can use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth if you want.
- Make it Paleo: If you’re on a strict Paleo diet, or if you must avoid nightshade, swap the potatoes for 1 cup mashed, steamed cauliflower.
- Refrigerate: Store leftover queso in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days.
- Reheat: Add unsweetened almond milk if the consistency of the queso is too thick. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until just heated through.
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Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.