This easy Vegan Queso Recipe is naturally dairy-free. It’s made with raw cashews for a much healthier alternative to traditional Queso and is ready in just 5 minutes!

A bowl of dairy-free queso cheese topped with sliced jalapenos

Easy Cashew Queso ready in 5 minutes!

Looking for a healthy plant-based dip that comes together quickly? You’re in the right place! This Vegan Queso recipe is pretty much life-changing.

The Queso gets its creamy base from raw cashews that are blended together with nutritional yeast and spices into a luscious creamy dip. The best part? It literally comes together in 5 minutes. Enjoy this cashew queso as a dip with chips, on as a sauce on top of your favourite burritos, enchiladas or tacos!

Ingredients & substitutions

raw cashews, nutritional yeast, spices and water on a marble board

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Raw cashews: it’s very important to use raw cashews for this recipe and not roasted cashews. Raw cashews blend up to be super creamy and carry on the flavour of whatever you add to them.
  • Nutritional yeast: If you’re not familiar with nutritional yeast, it’s a deactivated yeast that has a very nutty and savoury taste. It’s a staple in many vegan recipes (like vegan mac and cheese) to give a “cheesy” flavour. It’s also (as the name says) very nutritious!
  • Spices: I use a mix of Chimayo chilli powder, smoked paprika and salt. You can definitely substitute these with regular chili powder and paprika, or even add a touch of cumin, or cayenne if you like!
  • Garlic: opt for fresh garlic here! Don’t replace this with powdered garlic, the flavour won’t come out the same.
  • Lemon: this vegan queso uses 1 tbsp of lemon juice to help balance the flavour and give it a slight tang.
  • Water: the water gets blended with the cashews to make our creamy queso!

How to make Vegan Queso

Add everything to a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. You can also make this recipe in a food processor, though I blender does work better.

Tips for making this recipe perfectly

  • For best results, soak the cashews overnight (or at least for 1 hour) before blending. This helps to soften the cashews so they blend more easily. If you forget to soak your cashews and want to make the recipe, if you have a powerful blender like a Vitamix it should be fine, you may need to blend for slightly longer so you don’t end up with little pieces.
  • Want a more orange-looking queso? Add 1/2 tsp turmeric to the recipe. Not only is turmeric anti-inflammatory and good for you, but it will give the queso that nice orange hue. If you don’t mind more pale-looking queso, you can just leave out this ingredient.
  • You can find nutritional yeast at most grocery stores, or on amazon. They sell it in flakes or in powder. Either will work for this recipe.

Storage tips

Store any leftovers of your Vegan Queso in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days. I wouldn’t recommend freezing this queso, because it will change the creamy texture and won’t be as good as it is fresh. (Though technically you can still freeze the dip if you want to.)

FAQ

What is Vegan Queso made of?

This recipe for vegan queso is made from raw cashews and nutritional yeast, as opposed to a traditional queso which is made cheese, milk and other ingredients.

What does Vegan Queso taste like?

It really does taste similar to traditional queso! It’s creamy, has a cheesy and slightly nutty taste, and is very savoury.

Is Vegan Queso healthy?

Yes! This recipe is made with all natural and healthy ingredients like raw cashews, nutritional yeast and spices.

Other recipes you may like

a small bowl of vegan queso with tortilla chips on the side

If you tried this Vegan Queso or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!

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A bowl of dairy-free queso cheese topped with sliced jalapenos

Vegan Queso

  • Author: Jessica Hoffman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Vegan Queso comes together in just 5 minutes for a healthy and delicious dip!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup raw cashews* (see note)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (I used Chimayo chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika  
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional, for colour) 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • 3/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy, about 60-90 seconds.two side by side images of a blender before and after blending queso
  2. Pour into a bowl and serve with your favourite chips. 

Notes

*For best results, soak the cashews in warm water for an hour then drain. This will help soften the cashews and blend up more easily. If you have a powerful blender, you can technically skip this step. 

Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 5g

Keywords: dairy-free queso, vegan queso, vegan cheese sauce, paleo queos