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!
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!
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).
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.
- 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.
Serve this savory dip as an appetizer to any of these delicious recipes. Here are a few of our favorites from TSV:
- Salad: Serve alongside or use as a dressing for this Southwestern Salad or Southwest Chickpea Salad.
- Soup: Pair with a bowl of this Vegan Pozole or Tex-Mex Vegetable Quinoa Soup.
- Tacos: Make it a starter for these Roasted Poblano Tacos, Vegan Black Bean Tacos, or Buffalo Chickpea Tacos.
- Burgers: Pair with Smoky Black Bean Burgers or Sante Fe Black Bean Burgers.
- Meal bowls: It would be delicious drizzled in this Nacho Bowl, Vegan Burrito Bowl, or Kale + Black Bean Burrito Bowl.
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
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!
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Total Time: 15 min
- Yield: Serves 6 – 8 1x
- Category: Condiment, Appetizer
- Method: puree
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex, Mexican
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup water
- 1 clove garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 – 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 4oz can green chile peppers
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 salt, or to taste
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.
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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This recipe saved vegan cheese for me. Oh my gosh. Chili, baked potatoes, chips, 7 layer dip, nachos, taco salad….I’m so excited to have this recipe with easily stored, readily available ingredients. Thank you!!!!