Creamy Vegan Queso

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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!

A bowl of vegan queso.

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.
Ingredients measured out to make vegan queso: raw cashews, sweet potato, mild green chilis, water, nutritional yeast, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar and garlic.

Ingredients Needed

  • 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!
Three photos: sweet potato chunks in a steamer basket, ingredients to make a vegan queso, before and after being blended in a blender.

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.

Scooping a chip in vegan queso.

How to Serve

Close up of vegan queso in a bowl.

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

More Mexican-Inspired Recipes to Try

Be sure to check out all the appetizer recipes as well as the full collection of healthy Mexican recipes on EBF!

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5 from 10 votes

Vegan Queso

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! 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 3 cups

Ingredients  

  • 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)

Instructions 

  • 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.
    Sweet potato chunks in a steamer basket.
  • 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.
    Vegan queso blended in a high powered blender.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with an assortment of raw vegetables and tortilla chips or drizzle over your favorite dish.

Video

Notes

  • 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

Serving: 1/4 cup | Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 344mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Equipment

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Dips/Spreads
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: vegan queso
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

More about Brittany
Chicken fajita filling on a sheet pan with a wooden spoon. Tortillas are resting on the bottom of the sheet pan.
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12 Comments

  1. 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!

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

  2. 5 stars
    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!

    1. 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!

  3. 5 stars
    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!

    1. 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!

    1. 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.

  4. 5 stars
    I love this recipe!! I have shared it with friends from work and even they are hooked! I am curious, is this a recipe that can be frozen and still be good after a while?

    1. Hi Ashtin – Yes! You can store this queso in the freezer for up to one month! Enjoy.