This is the best vegan queso recipe ever. It’s easy and tastes so much like the real thing it should be illegal! With rich cashew cream and a touch of cheesy nutritional yeast, you’ll fall in love with this dairy-free vegan queso recipe. It’s paleo and Whole30, too, even low carb!
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 vegan queso for years, but this vegan queso recipe kind of took my breath away. One, single, 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.
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 them, well, cheesiness you’d get from cheese.
- The tapioca starch gives this vegan queso a sort of gooier texture, like regular cheese dip, that you don’t get with other recipes.
- 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!
How to make the best vegan queso recipe:
Put all ingredients, except for 1/4 cup canned diced jalapeños and Rotel, 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 and Rotel.
Garnish with fresh jalapeño slices and cilantro, then serve with chips or over your favorite Mexican recipe!
Tips for Perfect Vegan Queso
- 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.
- For a queso blanco, leave out the turmeric and can of tomatoes and chiles. You still want to use the small can of green chiles, just leave out the Rotel.
- 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.
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 your review below! ? And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!
Best Vegan Queso (Ever)
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 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 jalapeno juice
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch Optional. For a gooier texture
- dash turmeric Optional. For color
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- 1 can tomatoes and green chiles like Rotel, drained. Optional
- fresh cilantro chopped, if desired for garnish
Combine everything except for 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños and can of tomatoes and chiles (Rotel) in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix. Including the 4-ounce can of green chiles. Start with 1 teaspoon salt. Blend until very smooth.
If the blender does not heat mixture, transfer to a saucepan and put on the stove over medium-low heat. Heat until desired consistency, stirring constantly so as not to burn the bottom.
Taste and add extra salt if desired. Pour vegan queso into a serving bowl and stir in the 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños and drained can of Rotel if using. Garnish and serve.
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.
You can use chicken broth instead of vegetable if you're not vegan.
This recipe was originally published April 2017 but was updated with video and tips August 2018.