You’re going to be amazed at this rich and creamy vegan queso. It’s dairy-free, has slightly spicy Mexican flavors, and is quick and easy to make.
I must admit, I can get a little obsessed trying new Mexican recipes, especially the ones that will need to accompany my chips. There is just something about enjoying chips with salsa and queso cheese dip over a great conversation that makes me very happy.
I wanted to create my own guilt-free, vegan queso that I could eat to my heart’s content. It needed to be nutritious and low in fat but give me that creamy, satisfying scoop that traditional queso does.
What does vegan queso taste like?
Vegan queso has a slightly nutty, cheesy flavor. Its base is raw cashews and the addition of nutritional yeast gives it a sweet cheese flavor. It is creamier and does not harden as it cools like traditional cheese based queso. You can create a multitude of flavors, with the addition of jalapenos, onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin or cilantro.
For this recipe, I start with raw cashews soaked to soften and then pureed to a smooth, creamy texture. Cashews are a nut that is very versatile when cooking.
Also, consuming a high proportion of plant-based foods such as cashews appears to reduce the risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids found in cashews can also help reduce your LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. So enjoying this queso will help reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks, what a bonus!
Next, I lightly sauteed some sweet red peppers, diced jalapenos, onions, and garlic. These will be stirred into the cashews along with seasonings and nutritional yeast. The addition of nutritional yeast makes this recipe dairy-free, yet it still has a cheesy flavor. For a fun way to serve this dip, pour it in a cast-iron skillet, heat until warm and bubbly. Top with diced red peppers, jalapenos, and some cilantro. Then serve with a big bowl of warm chips.
- 2 cups raw cashews pieces
- 2 cups water boiling water for soaking cashews
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno medium size seeded and dicked, more if you like it spicy
- 1/4 cup red sweet pepper diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro fresh chopped
- 1/3 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mild chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- *almond milk if needed to make cashews smooth
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Place cashews in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Allow to soak for 1 hour.
- In a medium pan heat olive oil over medium heat, saute chopped onions, jalapenos, garlic, and red pepper until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro and sautee one more minute. Take off heat and set aside.
- Drain cashews and place in a blender. Add lemon juice, nutritional yeast, paprika, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Blend until creamy and smooth. If needed add 1 tablespoon almond milk at a time if needed to make smooth.
- Pour cashew mixture into a bowl, stir in cooked vegtables and cilantro. Pour quaso sacue into a cast iron skillet and heat in 350 degree preheated oven for 10 minutes or until bubbly hot.
- Serve warm with chips.