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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.

Hand dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of vegan queso topped with tomatoes and jalapenos

🧀 What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • 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.

👩🏼‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

  • 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!
Zoomed out photo of vegan queso topped with tomatoes and jalapenos surrounded by cilantro and tortilla chips

🌱 More Vegan Recipes You’ll Love

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
4.92 from 86 votes

Best Vegan Queso (Ever)


Prep 10 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Total 15 minutes
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!
8 servings

Equipment

  • standard blender high-speed preferred, see Notes
  • medium saucepan optional
  • Large wooden spoon optional
  • serving bowl

Ingredients

For the Vegan Queso

  • 1 cup boiled, cubed potatoes approximately 2 medium red or yellow potatoes
  • ¾ cup raw cashews soaked if needed, see Notes
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies with juice
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped pickled jalapeños juice reserved, ¼ cup jalapeños reserved
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño juice reserved from 4-ounce can of jalapeños
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk from can not carton
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste

Optional (But Recommended) Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
  • 1 dash turmeric for color
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes & green chilies drained

To Serve

  • ¼ cup chopped pickled jalapeños reserved from 4-ounce can of jalapeños
  • chopped fresh cilantro to garnish

Instructions

  • Add 1 cup boiled, cubed potatoes, ¾ cup raw cashews, 4 cloves garlic, 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies, 1 4-ounce can chopped pickled jalapeños (excluding reserved ¼ cup jalapeños), 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño juice, 1 cup vegetable broth, 1 cup unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt to blender. Add 1 teaspoon tapioca starch and 1 dash turmeric if using.
  • Blend ingredients until mixture is very smooth and all ingredients are fully combined.
  • If blender does not heat queso mixture while blending, transfer mixture to medium saucepan. Heat saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring queso constantly, until mixture reaches desired temperature.
  • Taste queso and stir in additional salt if desired.
  • Transfer queso to serving bowl. Add ¼ cup chopped pickled jalapeños and 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes & green chilies, and gently stir until ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Garnish queso with chopped fresh cilantro if desired and serve warm.

Video

  • Cashews: If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you’ll need to soak the cashews first so they’ll blend completely. Place them in a bowl and pour 3 cups of hot filtered water over them. Place the bowl in the fridge and let the cashews soak 6-8 hours.
  • Vegetable Broth: If you’re not strictly vegan, you can use chicken broth instead 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.
  • Leftovers: 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.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 171calProtein: 5gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gSodium: 725mgPotassium: 353mgTotal Carbs: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gNet Carbs: 9gVitamin A: 370IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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166 Comments

  1. I cannot gush over this recipe enough! I like to tell people it’s vegan after the fact just to watch the shock on their faces. Best Vegan Queso EVER!5 stars

  2. Delicious for shor! But without the coconut milk and only using half the broth it was the perfect consistency. I used cauliflower instead of potato and didn’t find Tapioca starch necessary.. maybe that’s why I only needed 1/4 of the liquid.. so glad I added liquid slowly otherwise I would have been bummed at having a super liquidy cheese sauce and may have ended up feeling like I wasted all the ingredients. I also roasted tomatoes in the oven and used frozen mild green chillies instead of using anything out of a can and to avoid vinager I boiled sliced fresh jalapenos in xylitol from birch and water instead of using store bought pickled or canned. Thank you for this excellent base recipe4 stars

    1. It may change the taste and texture of the queso. We recommend refrigerating it for up to 5 days, but it can be frozen. Make sure you store it in an airtight container whether you freeze it or refrigerate it.

  3. I made this for a work gathering and it was a hit. They were putting it on top of the other dishes. One non vegan coworker said 10 out of 10. i did use the Rotel with Habeneros, and kept it warm in a small crcokpot. Thank you5 stars

  4. It was pretty good. But I had to make a 2nd batch with more than a cup of potatoes to get a thicker consistency. So I’d definitely lean toward 2 medium boiled potatoes rather than the measurement of one cup. Now I’m swimming in queso!! Lol.4 stars

    1. Oops, I’m sorry about that, Patricia! We used 2 medium yellow potatoes to get our 1 cup. If you’ve still got queso that’s too thin, you can heat it up on the stovetop and let it reduce until it’s the thickness you prefer. The tapioca starch also acts as a thickener, so you can add a little more of that – just be careful not to overdo it!

  5. OMG! Made this recipe last night for my son’s birthday party and it was a hit! So so sooooooo delicious! I will definitely be making this again. Thank you!!5 stars

    1. It can, but it may change the taste and texture of the queso so keep that in mind. Make sure you store it in an airtight container whether you freeze it or just refrigerate it.

    1. This is great to hear! It really is a versatile recipe. Glad you’ve enjoyed it!

  6. This queso is fantastic! The best vegan queso I’ve had to date (and I’ve had a lot). I threw the cashews in with my potatoes as I boiled them.5 stars

  7. This is the third vegan queso recipe I’ve experimented with and I will say it’s hands down the best. Adjust nutritional yeast and salt to your taste. Sooo good!5 stars

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