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Vegan Queso

Vegan Queso is a quick and easy dip made with cashews, green chilies, nutritional yeast and warm spices for a deliciously thick, creamy condiment to pair with tortilla chips or veggie sticks!

top down view of chip dipped into bowl of cashew vegan queso.

Dips are a perfect center for a variety of chips, veggies, and crackers. You may already be familiar with this Vegan 7 Layer Dip, Vegan French Onion Dip, Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip, or Vegan Ranch. All delicious in every way!

Why We Love This Recipe!

Now I would like to introduce to you the best cashew queso that’s dairy-free, plant-based dip and rivals any other cheese-filled dip. It’s absolutely creamy and delicious, and you won’t miss a thing!

This easy vegan queso dip is ready in about 15 minutes and is well suited for game day, movie night, parties, or whenever you are craving a savory ‘cheesy’ style dip!

It’s a perfect centerpiece for a platter of tortilla chips. Or if you’re in the mood for fresh, veggie sticks would be great too!

top down view of ingredients used to make cashew vegan queso.

Ingredient Notes

Here is everything you will need, plus variations when possible:

  • Raw cashews – You can find raw cashews in bulk at Sprouts or Whole Foods, or packaged from Trader Joe’s. I often purchase them online from Amazon for ease: Terrasoul Cashews or Anthony’s Cashews (affiliate links).
  • Green chilies – Keep it easy by using canned chile peppers.
  • Garlic – Both fresh cloves of garlic or garlic powder will work.
  • Nutritional yeast – Adds a savory flavor, but can be optional. I used 1 tablespoon here and it was perfect).
  • Cumin – Use to taste
  • Chili powder – You can sub with regular paprika. If you’re feeling bold, try using smoked paprika or chipotle powder.
  • Salt – As always, salt to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt).
side by side photos showing the process of making vegan cashew queso.

How To Make Vegan Queso

Here is a quick look at the process (Note – The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post):

  • Soak the cashews. I like to soak my cashews covered in hot water for 5 minutes. This helps them soften up nicely and blend into pure creamy perfection. To help with digestion, it’s recommended to soak them for up to 2 hours in cool water. Soaking can be optional.
  • Blend the ingredients. Add the cashews, water, garlic, nutritional yeast, cumin, chili powder, and salt to the blender cup. Blend until creamy, about 1 – 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Taste for flavor.
  • Warm it up (optional). For warm vegan queso, pour queso dip into an oven-safe bowl, cover with tin foil, and place in a preheated oven set to 350 degrees F. for 10 – 15 minutes.

Recommended equipment: I love using my NutriBullet (affiliate link) for small jobs like this. It’s compact, easy to clean, and packs plenty of power for such a small appliance.

top down view of bowl of freshly made vegan queso in a bowl with chips surrounding.

Top Tips

  • Make it chunky. Instead of adding the green chile peppers when blending, stir them in after the vegan queso dip has been blended. This will make for a chunkier style dip. You may even like to add finely diced red bell pepper, tomatoes, or jalapeno for color!
  • Add toppings. For color, texture, and an extra yum factor, top with sliced or diced, jalapeno, red bell pepper, tomatoes, green onions, and/or cilantro.
  • Add more spices. Feel free to adjust the amount of spices to suit your taste.

How To Store

Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 6 – 7 days.

Freezer: For longer storage, vegan queso can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months using freezer-safe containers. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight, give a good stir before serving or warming.

top down view of bowl of the best vegan queso in a bowl with chips surrounding.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this savory dip as an appetizer to any of these delicious recipes. Here are a few of our favorites from TSV:

top down, side angle view of chip dipped into bowl of cashew vegan queso.

If you try this queso recipe or have a question, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

Vegan Queso

The best vegan queso is made with cashews, green chilies, and warm spices, creating a healthy dip made with whole food plant based ingredients and ready in minutes!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 15 min
  • Yield: Serves 6 – 8 1x
  • Category: Condiment, Appetizer
  • Method: puree
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex, Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/23/4 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 12 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 4oz can green chile peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 salt, or to taste

Instructions

Soak the cashews. I like to soak my cashews covered in hot water for 5 minutes. This helps them soften up nicely and blend into pure creamy perfect. To help with digestion, it’s recommended to soak them for up to 2 hours in cool water. Soaking can be optional.

Blend the ingredients. Add the cashews, 1/2 cup water, garlic, nutritional yeast, cumin, chili powder, and salt to the blender cup. Blend until creamy, about 1 – 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Add more water as needed. Taste for flavor.

Warm it up (optional). For a warm vegan queso, pour queso dip into an oven safe bowl, cover with tin foil, and place in a preheated oven set to 350 degrees F. for 10 – 15 minutes. Alternatively, warm in the microwave, uncovered, using 30 second intervals, stirring after each until warmed through.

Serve: Serve warm or at room temperature with your favorite tortilla chips or veggie sticks. For color and texture top with sliced or diced, jalapeno, red bell pepper, tomatoes, green onions and/or cilantro.

Makes about 1 1/4 cups

Serves 4 – 6

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 – 7 days, in a covered container. Give a good stir before serving.

Notes

If you find you want more flavor, bump up the spices a bit to suit your taste.

For a chunky style queso dip, instead of adding the green chile peppers when blending, stir them in after the dip has been blended. You may even like to add finely diced tomatoes or red bell pepper for color.

Nightshade free: To make queso nightshade free, simply omit the diced green chilies and chili powder. In place of the chili powder, use 1/2 teaspoon EACH garlic & onion powder. Also make the cumin a heaping teaspoon.

Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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14 Comments

  1. Fantastic! I didn’t have a green chili pepper so I used about 1/3 of a large jalapeño pepper with the seeds removed. Everything else I followed. After tasting, I added a little more sea salt and BAM! Delicious! Sometimes I don’t understand how some raw vegan recipes get a five star rating (ugh), but this is a ten star!

  2. Ayeisha C. says:

    I made this earlier this week. As a cheese fan leery of vegan cheese recipes this was extremely easy and AMAZING! I have eaten this for about 3 days now with my veggie chili.

  3. This is amazing! Thank you! made some for dinner so easy to make and family loved it!

  4. I made this it was excellent. I skip chili powder since can’t handle spicy and it was perfect.

  5. I made this for the first time yesterday, and love it. I recently bought a store bought version of this and will never do that again, the homemade version is a way better! I made a couple batch and put it in 4 1/2pint containers and tossed 3 of them in the freezer. I doubled the amount of fresh garlic and next time will add less chili powder, not all of my kids liked the spice level, but then love spicy food so I think I will go the jalapeno route next time too. Thanks so much for all of these amazing recipes!!

  6. The directions don’t say to add the green chile peppers to the blender but I assume you’re supposed to blend those as well. I’m making this today – super excited!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      The green peppers are added after, adding a little texture. But you can add them to the blender if you prefer for a smooth queso. Either way will be delicious, enjoy!

  7. Delicious! I doubled the chili powder for some extra spice, but I think I’ll add fresh jalapeño next time too. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. How do you make this nightshade free? It has both green chiles and chili powder, Both nightshades.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, JJ! I’ve updated the recipe to include instructions for making this nightshade free. Omit the chilies and chili powder, subbing with a garlic and onion powder, plus a little extra cumin. Thank you for pointing that out, somehow we missed including the how-to. Enjoy!

  9. Delicious, added twice the amount fresh garlic and fresh chillies with seeds sa i love my garlic and spice and it was amazing. I used it as a topping for a jacket potato.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Sounds amazing, Donna! I will definitely have to drizzle this over a baked potato. I’m drooling right now thinking about it! lol So glad you spiced it up extra and loved it. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Amazing! I did add a little paprika maybe 1/4 tsp. Easy and delicious.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for sharing, AJ! Love the paprika idea, my have to add it as an option in the recipe. Cheers :)

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