Creamy Vegan Queso
Published Aug 18, 2022, Updated Feb 03, 2023
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Creamy vegan queso made with cashews, sweet potatoes, nutritional yeast, green chilis and a blend of spices. Drizzle it on your favorite dish or serve it as a dip with tortilla chips!
Who can say no to queso? I mean it doesn’t get much better than melted cheese in a bowl, am I right? But sometimes a bowlful of cheesy queso turns into stomach ache (at least for me!), which is why I set out to create this vegan queso!
And if I do say so myself, I think I hit the jackpot with this recipe. It’s by far the best vegan queso recipe I’ve ever had. Even cheese lovers will enjoy this recipe. It’s that good!
This vegan queso is creamy, easy to make, loaded with nutritious ingredients (like sweet potatoes and cashews) and filled with traditional Mexican flavors. I could eat it by the spoonful (only speaking from experience here!), but it’s delicious drizzled over a burrito, enchiladas or really any dish and also makes for an awesome dip served with tortilla chips. Definitely add it to your next Taco Tuesday menu. You won’t regret it!
Why You Need to Try This Vegan Queso
- Who doesn’t love creamy queso? This vegan queso is bursting with flavor and loaded with nutrition.
- It’s great as an appetizer with chips or makes an awesome topping for tacos, burrito bowls and so much more!
- It’s vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free, making it perfect for someone with allergies or dietary restrictions.
- raw cashews – this is the base of the sauce that makes it thick and creamy! Their mild flavor and fatty texture are the perfect substitutes for the creaminess of cheese. I didn’t soak the cashews for this recipe because I didn’t feel like they needed to be soaked with my Vitamix blender, but if you don’t have a high-speed powerful blender then you might want to soak your cashews for 2-4 hours before making the queso.
- sweet potato – this powerhouse vegetable is packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. When steamed and pureed, it adds the perfect color and thick, creamy texture.
- water – to help the queso from getting too thick. Almond milk would also be a good option.
- garlic – adds a ton of flavor! Garlic powder will also work in a pinch!
- nutritional yeast – this nutrient-packed ingredient gives the sauce a “cheesy” flavor without any actual cheese! It’s slightly nutty, slightly cheesy and a key ingredient in this recipe so I don’t recommend skipping it! Learn more about nutritional yeast here. You can find it at most grocery stores in the spice section or you can buy nutritional yeast online.
- chili powder, paprika, onion powder and cumin – the perfect combo of spices for this queso.
- green chiles – I prefer to use the mild canned green chiles, but if you want more spice feel free to use the hot chiles!
- kosher salt – to bring all the flavors together.
- apple cider vinegar – adds a great tangy flavor to this queso. Fresh lemon juice will work as a substitute.
- cayenne pepper – this is optional if you want to put a little “kick” into your queso!
How to Make Vegan Queso
Once you’ve steamed your sweet potatoes, this queso dip is so quick and easy to whip up. Here’s all you need to do:
Peel sweet potatoes and chop into cubes. Place in a steamer basket (I use my Always pan), cover and steam for 15 minutes or until fork tender. Add sweet potatoes to a high-speed blender (I love my Vitamix) with the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. That’s it!
Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with an assortment of raw vegetables and tortilla chips or drizzle over your favorite dish.
How to Serve
- As a dip – I love serving this vegan cashew queso as an appetizer with tortilla chips and fresh veggies! It would also be delicious served as a dip with fresh jicama or my baked jicama fries.
- As a topping – this queso is a delicious topping for any recipe that you want to add some creamy, cheesy goodness too. If you want to keep it vegan, drizzle it over this vegan burrito bowl, tempeh tacos or cauliflower tacos. For some non-vegan options this queso would be a great addition to this taco salad, sheet pan shrimp fajitas, chicken burrito bowl or chicken enchiladas. The options are endless!
How to Store Vegan Queso
Store leftover queso in the refrigerator covered in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Or place in the freezer for up to 1 month. To take the chill off, warm in the microwave or in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add more water as needed if it thickens in the fridge.
More Appetizer Recipes to Try
- Easy Black Bean Dip
- Black Bean and Corn Salad
- Easy Guacamole
- Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Creamy Hummus
- Healthy Guacamole with Frozen Peas
- Lima Bean Hummus
- Healthy 7-Layer Dip
- Whipped Feta Dip
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes to Try
- Cheesy Mexican Quinoa Casserole
- Vegan Burrito Bowl
- Copycat Chipotle Sofritas
- Cauliflower Tacos
- Tempeh Tacos
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Mexican Quinoa Casserole
Be sure to check out all the appetizer recipes as well as the full collection of healthy Mexican recipes on EBF!
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1” cubes
- 1 ⅓ cups water
- 1 large garlic clove
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 4 oz can mild green chiles
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ½ Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Cayenne pepper, optional
- Jalapeño slices, dash of paprika and fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- If you haven’t done so already, peel and chop your sweet potatoes into cubes. Add to steamer basket (I used my Always pan), cover and let steam for about 15 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are fork tender.
- Once sweet potatoes are tender, add to blender along with cashews, water, garlic, nutritional yeast, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, cumin, green chilis, salt, apple cider vinegar and cayenne, if using. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding any additional salt or water as needed.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with an assortment of raw vegetables and tortilla chips or drizzle over your favorite dish.
- I didn’t soak the cashews for this recipe because I didn’t feel like they needed to be soaked with my Vitamix blender, but if you don’t have a high-speed powerful blender then you might want to soak your cashews for 2-4 hours before making the queso.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Do the cashews need to be soaked for this recipe? I am used to seeing that for similar recipes, bit didn’t see any mention of soaking the cashews in the instructions and wondered if this was an oversight, or simply unnecessary in this recipe? Thanks!
Hey Molly – Sorry for the confusion. So the cashews don’t need to be soaked for this recipe, but I used a Vitamix to blend this all together. If you don’t have a Vitamix or super powerful blender it might be a good idea to soak the cashews beforehand. I’ll add a note about that to the post. Let me know if you end up trying this recipe and what you think of it!
Very tasty!!! You’d never guess it’s dairy-free!
Oh yay!! So pumped to hear that you loved this recipe, Tanya. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!
This is amazing! I used my hand blender to mix it and it worked fine. I will be making this on repeat! My meat eating husband really enjoyed this too! Soooo good! We used it for taco salads; I’ll be making your enchiladas next!
Oh yay!! I’m so glad this recipe was a hit, Shana! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!
This queso dip is to absolutely die for. My husband is an avid Tostitos cheese dip kind of guy and he had no idea this was actually healthy. And he loved it. We ALL love it! Thank you!
WOO! I am so happy to hear that you and your husband are loving this recipe, Brenda. Thank you so much for sharing your review & star rating, I really appreciate it!
If I am allergic to cashew, can I substitute it?
Hi Loretta – Unfortunately the cashews are the base of the sauce that makes it thick and creamy! I haven’t tested this recipe with either of these, but you could try either almonds or macadamia nuts. Let me know how this recipe turns out if you give it a try.