This is the best vegan queso recipe ever. It’s easy and tastes so much like the real thing. With rich cashew cream and a touch of cheesy nutritional yeast, you’ll fall in love with this dairy-free vegan queso recipe. Paleo and Whole30, too.
To claim that I don’t speak in hyperbole would be something of a hyperbole itself. I’m so freaking enthusiastic about things most of the time, that subtlety is not my strong suit. That said, I try to keep superlatives out of my recipe titles unless they’re absolutely, totally justified.
Enter… the best vegan queso blanco. Only because the “best damn vegan queso” isn’t uh, super SEO-friendly. Just being honest, y’all. ?
I’ve been making dairy-free cheese dip for years, and we’ve made this vegan nacho cheese dip more times than I could count. But this vegan queso blanco recipe kind of took my breath away. One, singular bite was loaded with so much promise: visions of weekly nacho nights flashed before my eyes! And I might have groaned with delight.
Don’t judge; you’ll do it, too. Pinky promise.
We ate it two ways over the next few days: first, with paleo Instant Pot carnitas, guacamole, and pico de gallo. The next? With medium-rare steak tossed with fresh chimichurri and smashed avocado. Epic, indulgent, yet… healthy?
All. The. Things.
Why this is the best vegan queso recipe:
- It tastes so much like the real thing you might worry you’re actually eating dairy!
- The ingredients are beautifully balanced with all the attention to cheesiness factors: lemon juice to replicate the tang you’d get from cheese, full-fat coconut milk to up the creaminess, and nutritional yeast to represent the, well, cheesiness you’d get from cheese.
- The cashew cream offers an absolutely indulgent richness that, paired with the spicy, briny jalapenos and bright green chiles, is just perfect. Garlic because… of course.
- It’s really super easy to make: you blend almost all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and hot, then stir in more canned diced jalapeños. Quick and easy!
- For a yellow vegan queso, blend in 2 ounces of canned, drained pimentos or get anti-inflammatory with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric. Work up to 1 teaspoon, depending on how vibrant you want your vegan queso.
- Go for mild canned diced jalapeños if you’re very sensitive to heat. However, we don’t find this vegan queso very spicy, even with regular jalapeños.
- If you want or need to leave out the coconut milk, increase the cashews to a total of 1 1/2 cups and 1 1/3 cup water or stock. Leave out the coconut milk altogether, of course.
- If you’re strictly paleo, swap the 1 cup of cooked peeled potatoes for 1 cup steamed mashed cauliflower.
- Use a high-speed blender to make this vegan queso recipe so, so quickly and easily. I blend mine long enough that it heats up and is super smooth.
- If you don’t have a high-speed blender or a blender that will heat your vegan queso, soak your cashews overnight in hot water (Simply pour hot water over the cashews then let sit – no need to change the water to keep it hot). Then, after blending, you’ll want to transfer the vegan cheese dip to a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until heated through.
How to make the best vegan queso recipe:
Put all ingredients, except for 1/4 cup canned diced jalapeños, in your high-speed blender.
Blend until completely smooth and preferably hot. If your blender does not heat your vegan queso, transfer to a medium saucepan and heat through over medium-low heat.
Stir in 1/4 cup canned diced jalapeños.
Serve with chips or over your favorite Mexican recipe!
Other recipes you’ll love:
- Best Restaurant Style Salsa Recipe
- Smoky Guajillo Salsa Recipe
- Roasted Salsa Verde with Tomatillos and Chiles
- Avocado Salsa
Did you make and love this recipe? Give it your review below! 👇 And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!
Best Vegan Queso Blanco (Paleo Queso Blanco)
The best vegan queso recipe ever, it tastes so much like the real thing. Made with potatoes, cashews, and nutritional yeast, this magical combination does not taste dairy-free, paleo, or vegan. But it is!
- 1 cup boiled potato about 2 medium yellow or red potatoes, see note for strict paleo diets
- 4 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 cup raw cashews soaked overnight if not using a high-speed blender like a Vitamix
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup coconut milk unsweetened, full fat
- 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 jalapeno juice
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- fresh cilantro chopped, if desired for garnish
Combine everything except for 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix. Start with 1 teaspoon salt. Blend until very smooth.
If blender does not heat mixture, transfer to saucepan and put on the stove over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños. Heat until desired consistency, stirring constantly so as not to burn the bottom. Taste and add extra salt if desired.
If on a strict paleo diet or if you must avoid nightshade, swap the 1 cup white potato for 1 cup mashed, steamed cauliflower.
Keep leftover in an airtight container in the fridge about 5 days. When reheating, add unsweetened almond milk, if desired, to thin to desired consistency.
This recipe was originally published April 2017 but was updated with video and tips August 2018.