Our vegan queso is so good, you may find yourself forgoing your go-to cheese substitutes (or, dare I say it, cheese?)! Whether you’re looking to eat plant-based, are lactose-intolerant, or just want a healthy alternative, with delicious add-ins like tomatoes, peppers, and vegan chorizo, you’ll never look back.
How to Make Perfect Vegan Queso
The trick to making a good vegan queso is having a heavy hand with a few key spices and flavorings. If you go too light, it’ll taste like what it technically is: vaguely spicy blended cashews with hot water. Blech. Put too much though, and you might just get stuck with unpleasant overpowering flavors.
That said, as a lactose intolerant individual, I’m deeply committed to my fake cheesy spreads, so I’m pretty sure I’ve made the perfect vegan queso. It even got the seal of approval from Sarah, the eternally skeptical cheese-loving omnivore!
The 3 key ingredients are:
- Plenty of nutritional yeast for a cheesy base flavor
- Simple distilled white vinegar for tang
- Your favorite Mexican hot sauce. (I use Valentina, a classic must-have we use for everything from burritos and tacos to rice and beans.)
There’s also plenty of garlic, and a simple blend of additional spices!
So now you’ve got a perfectly creamy and tasty queso. The next conundrum? My constant, subconscious craving for restaurant style queso—that ooey gooey little casserole of cheese baked with greasy chorizo. It’s so good, but it ain’t vegan.
Hence the TOPPINGS. It’s all about the toppings. My favorites are chopped tomato, chopped green bell peppers, a handful of chopped cilantro leaves and stems, and a spoonful of crispy vegan chorizo.
Break out the tortilla chips, or dollop it over a baked russet potato or sweet potato with a side of salad. It’ll become one of your favorite things to make!
How Long Does Vegan Queso Last In the Fridge?
This queso lasts for up to 2 weeks in the fridge, without any add-ins. I store it in resealable jars for when the craving strikes!
When you want to reheat it, simply pop it in the microwave for 1 minute, covered with a plate to catch any splatter. From there, reheat it 30 seconds at a time to bring it up to your desired temperature. It may seize a little, but just stir it until it’s smooth, adding in a splash of hot water if needed.
Ok, on to the recipe!
Vegan Queso Recipe Instructions
Combine the hot water, raw cashews, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Add the nutritional yeast, cumin, onion powder, oregano, white vinegar, and hot sauce. Blend until combined, and add salt, additional hot sauce, and/or nutritional yeast to taste.
Transfer the queso to a serving bowl (or store some of it in jars).
And add toppings if desired, and serve with tortilla chips! Here it is with vegan chorizo on top:
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons Mexican hot sauce (such as Valentina, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 small tomato (finely chopped)
- 1/4 cup green bell pepper or jalapeño (finely chopped)
- 3 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)
- 1/2 cup vegan chorizo (if you’re lactose intolerant but not vegan, feel free to use pork chorizo; browned/sautéed)
- Combine the hot water, raw cashews, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Add the nutritional yeast, cumin, onion powder, oregano, white vinegar, and hot sauce. Blend until combined, and add salt, additional hot sauce, and/or nutritional yeast to taste.
- Transfer the queso to a serving bowl (or store some of it in jars), and add toppings if desired. Serve with tortilla chips.