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the best vegan queso

The Best Vegan Queso

  • Author: Kate Kasbee
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: appetizer
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: american
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This vegan queso is smooth, creamy, spicy, and savory. Add soy chorizo for a robust dip or keep it simple with a straightforward blend of pantry staples.


  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup onion, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ jalapeno, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 6 oz. soy chorizo (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro, for topping
  • Squeeze of lime juice
  • Tortilla chips, for serving


  1. Combine the cashews, onion, carrot, and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer for 15 minutes, until the carrots are very tender.
  2. Pour the contents of the saucepan (including the water) into a high speed blender. Add the chili powder, paprika, jalapeño, salt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and a splash of water.
  3. Blend the vegan queso until creamy and smooth. Adjust the seasonings to taste - add more nutritional yeast for more “cheesy” flavor, lemon juice to brighten, or salt to amplify the overall taste. I added another teaspoon of nutritional yeast and an extra pinch of salt. If you want your queso a little bit spicier, add more jalapeño or a pinch of cayenne pepper. 
  4. If you’re adding soy chorizo, preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the soy chorizo and sauté until completely heated through, about 5 minutes. 
  5. Pour the vegan queso into the cast iron skillet or transfer it to a serving bowl and stir in the soy chorizo. Top with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve warm with your favorite tortilla chips.


Nutrition info doesn't include soy chorizo or tortilla chips.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 229
  • Sugar: 3.7 g
  • Sodium: 660.6 mg
  • Fat: 16.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.2 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.6 g
  • Fiber: 3.1 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: vegan queso, vegan appetizer, vegan appetizers, vegan snack