vegan queso in a bowl surrounded by tortilla chips and poblano peppers

The Best Vegan Queso (8 ingredients!)

This super flavorful vegan queso has only 8 ingredients, comes together quickly, and is perfect for a variety of easy meals.

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vegan queso in a bowl surrounded by tortilla chips and poblano peppers

This vegan cashew queso is a dream come true. I have a mild obsession with vegan queso, and have tried many store bought variations over the years. I have slowly but surely been tweaking and perfecting my own recipe and am thrilled to say I have finally nailed it. With just a little bit of planning ahead, this 8-ingredient queso comes together quickly and is ready to enjoy in no time.

Vegan Queso Ingredients

Cashews: Raw and unsalted is best, or the flavor won’t be the same. These cashews will make our queso creamy without dairy.

Carrot: We will steam one large carrot to add to the queso. We love secret veggies!

Almond Milk: Just a splash to get things moving in the blender. Be sure to use unsweetened and unflavored almond milk!

Salsa: Use your favorite! My absolute favorite salsa is this one from Trader Joe’s.

Garlic: Just one clove to deepen the flavor of our queso.

White Vinegar: To brighten the flavor and add a bite to the queso.

Nutritional Yeast: This deactivated yeast will provide cheesy flavor without actual cheese!

Taco Seasoning: This will give our queso all kinds of lovely flavor from the various spices. My favorite taco seasoning is Sieté, but use whatever you have on hand.

Salt to Taste: This will entirely depend on how salty your taco seasoning is. I didn’t use any extra salt.

vegan queso in a bowl surrounding by tortilla chips and poblano peppers

Tips for Success

  • Make sure your cashews soak for at least 6-8 hours in room temperature water OR 30 minutes in boiled water. This will ensure your queso gets super creamy instead of grainy (no one wants grainy queso!). While this does require some planning ahead, it’s barely any extra work. You can set it and forget it until you’re ready to blend up your queso.
  • Use raw and unsalted cashews. Roasted cashews do not provide the same texture and taste.
  • Don’t skip steaming the carrot. I know it may feel like an annoying extra step, but it’s essential to the texture and flavor of the queso.

Ideas for Serving

If you try this vegan cashew queso, be sure to leave a rating and review! This helps Google find my little blog, and it means the world to me. You can also find me on Pinterest and Instagram. I always love hearing from you!

vegan queso in a bowl surrounded by tortilla chips and poblano peppers
queso in a bowl with tortilla chips and pepper slices surrounding the bowl

The Best Vegan Queso

This super flavorful vegan queso has only 8 ingredients, comes together quickly, and is perfect for a variety of easy meals.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4

Equipment

  • steamer basket
  • Blender or Food Processor

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup raw unsalted cashews soaked in water for 6-8 hours
  • 1 large carrot peeled and steamed
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 clove garlic peeled
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • ½ tbsp taco seasoning
  • extra salt to taste (this will depend on how salty your taco seasoning is)

Instructions
 

  • Soak cashews in room temperature water for 6-8 hours OR in boiled water for 30 minutes.
  • Peel and chop carrot. Put a bit of water in the bottom of a microwave steamer. Place chopped carrot in steamer basket and cover. Be sure to make sure the vent on the steamer basket top is open to allow air to escape. Microwave for 2 minutes before removing. Alternatively, fill a pot with a few inches of water and insert steamer basket with chopped carrot. Cover pot with lid and bring to a boil on high heat over stove top. Once water is at a boil, steam for approximately 3 minutes before removing from heat.
  • Drain cashews and place in blender with steamed carrot and remainder of ingredients. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
  • Gently heat in a sauce pan over medium-low heat if desired. Serve as a side dish with tortilla chips and veggies of choice or as a sauce for tacos or enchiladas. Enjoy!

Notes

Storage: Can be kept in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Keyword cashew queso, gluten free, healthy, queso, vegan, vegan queso, vegetarian

Photography by Hope Agresti

vegan cashew queso in a bowl surrounded by tortilla chips and poblano peppers

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