This creamy Vegan Queso recipe is so delicious! A highly adaptable recipe packed with wholesome veggies and perfect as a dip or over nachos, tamales, burrito bowls, and tacos.

This creamy Vegan Queso recipe is so delicious! A highly adaptable recipe packed with wholesome veggies and perfect as a dip or over nachos, tamales, burrito bowls, and tacos.

Looking for a dairy-free vegan nacho cheese sauce for game day? This Vegan Queso is light and flavorful and made primarily of vegetables! A no-guilt version of our favorite dip!

I have a confession- I love nachos! A guilty pleasure, for sure! It’s been a journey finding nachos that I actually feel good about eating, but that day has come, and it’s all about this vegan queso recipe. I also finally found these delicious organic tortilla chips that don’t involve seed oils!

Why you’ll love this!

  1. Wholesome ingredients: Packed with veggies and light on the nuts, this lighter version of vegan queso is low in calories and dairy-free.
  2. Nut-free option: Instead of cashews, try hemp hearts!
  3. Adaptable: Use carrots, sweet potatoes or orange bell peppers, or any combo of orange veggies.
  4. Simple method: No pre-soaking the nuts!
ingredients in vegan queso- spices, cashews, garlic cloves, orange bell pepper, carrot, sweet potatoes, red onion.

Vegan Queso Ingredients

How to make Vegan Queso

Step one: Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Sauté shallot and garlic until tender, golden and fragrant.

Step two: Add the veggies, spices, salt, pepper, cashews and water, stir, and bring to a boil. Cover, lower and simmer until veggies (especially carrots) are very tender, about 15 minutes.

Step three: In a high-speed blender, Vitamix, or regular blender, blend with the miso paste until the texture is silky smooth Add more water to get the blades going if need be. *If using a regular blender, be very careful when blending hot liquids, holding the lid down firmly with a kitchen towel, starting on the lowest speed.

Step four: Taste and adjust salt and spice level to your liking.

Pour vegan cashew queso into a serving bowl and garnish with sliced jalapeño (or pickled jalapeños), cilantro, and scallions.

vegan queso in bowl with blue corn tortilla chip dipping, garnished with sliced jalapeños and scallions.

Storage & Reheating

Vegan Queso can be refrigerated in a jar for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Reheat in a saucepan or in the microwave!

What Veggies to Use

You can use any combination of orange vegetables. Just be sure they are very thinly sliced! Aim for 2 cups total.

  • Orange bell peppers: about two large ones
  • Carrots: 2 large carrots
  • Sweet potatoes: peel it for optimal color
  • Combo of all three! ( my favorite is sweet potato or carrot, combined with bell pepper!)

Expert Tips

  1. Make it smoky! A teaspoon or two of adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers adds amazing flavor. Or you can use ground chipotle. Start small, taste and adjust.
  2. Don’t skip the miso! It adds a delicious depth of flavor. So does the nutritional yeast (use 1-3 teaspoons).
  3. Do not add anything green to the blended queso, or the queso will result in a brownish color!
  4. Assemble stacked nachos: Layer tortilla chips with queso, black beans, avocado, tomatoes, jalapeño and cilantro, and repeat. Keep layering- the queso will help things stick together! Serve with fermented hot sauce!

Serving Suggestions

You can use this vegan cheese sauce as a vegan queso dip or drizzle on top of tacos, burrito bowls, or burritos! However you serve it, these toppings go great with our Vegan Queso!

FAQs

What is plant-based queso made out of?

Most vegan queso recipes are made with cashews, which we use here. But we also offer a nut-free variation using hemp hearts! The orange veggies are a unique twist that make our vegan queso especially nutritious and a vibrant color!

Can I make vegan queso nut-free?

Yes! Simply use hemp hearts instead of cashews.

Is vegan queso gluten-free?

If you wish to make this recipe gluten-free, simply leave out the miso!

Is this vegan queso healthy?

Yes! Adding so many veggies makes this recipe high in potassium, beta carotene, and vitamin c.

vegan queso dip in a bowl with jalapeños, scallions, cilantro, and red pepper flakes and a hand dipping a tortilla chips in.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of this Vegan Queso recipe in the comments! Enjoy!

Ways to Enjoy Vegan Queso

Print
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This creamy Vegan Queso recipe is so delicious! A highly adaptable recipe packed with wholesome veggies and perfect for nachos, burrito bowls, and tacos.

Vegan Queso Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 ¼ cups 1x
  • Category: appetizer, vegan
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This creamy Vegan Queso recipe is so delicious! A highly adaptable recipe packed with wholesome veggies and perfect for nachos, burrito bowls, and tacos. Nut-free option!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 fat shallot ( or half an onion), diced
  • 46 garlic cloves, roughly chopped ( or sub garlic powder)
  • 2 cups orange vegetables: carrots, very thinly sliced (any combination, see notes) or orange bell pepper or sweet potatoes.
  • 2 cups water, more for blending if needed
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews (or use hemp hearts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle -or less for less spicy ( see notes)
  • optional- 2 tablespoons white miso paste, for depth
  • squeeze of lime- optional
  • Garnishes: sliced jalapeno or pickled jalapeños, cilantro, scallions, hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Saute shallot and garlic until tender, golden, and fragrant, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the veggies, spices, salt, pepper, cashews and water, and bring to a boil.  Cover, lower and simmer until veggies (especially carrots) are very tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Pour the mixture into a high-speed blender or Vitamix, and add the miso paste. Blend until the texture is silky smooth -adding more water to get the blades going if need be.  *If using a regular blender, be very careful when blending hot liquids, holding the lid down firmly with a kitchen towel, starting on lowest speed.
  4. Taste and adjust salt and spice level to your liking. (I like to taste this with a tortilla chip, if using). Add a squeeze of lime for tanginess if you like. 
  5. Pour into serving bowl (warm) and garnish with sliced jalapeno ( or pickled jalapenos), cilantro, and scallions- or see notes. 
  6. Vegan Queso can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and reheated in a saucepan or microwave!

Notes

Veggies: you can use most any combination of orange veggies.  Using carrots and yams helps add “bulk” and adding orange bell pepper is great for flavor. If using all bell peppers, I would strain the mixture before blending, as they will release extra water, and just add enough liquid to the blender to get the motor going. Make sure to  very thinly slice carrots (1/16 of an inch- for fastest cooking). I recommend peeling the sweet potato for optional finished color/presentation.  Do not add anything green like green chilies to this part, or queso will turn brown. 🙂

Chipotle: A teaspoon or two of adobo sauce from canned chipotle adds great flavor here. Or use smoky ground chipotle-  be sure to go light, add more to taste.

White Miso adds great depth here. Feel free to leave it out. You can also add 1-3 teaspoons of  nutritional yeast to the blender if you like.

To make stacked nachos, layer tortilla chips with queso, black beans, avocado, tomatoes, jalapeno and cilantro, and repeat, and keep layering- the queso will help things stick together! Serve with fermented hot sauce!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ¼ cup
  • Calories: 87
  • Sugar: 2.2 g
  • Sodium: 171.9 mg
  • Fat: 6.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.1 g
  • Fiber: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 1.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: vegan queso, vegan nacho cheese, vegan queso recipe, vegan queso without nuts, vegan nacho cheese sauce

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Comments

  1. So good!!!! I am impressed. It’s so perfectly balance. I used carrots only. I made nachos 🙂 I have a lot leftover!!! So it’s going on everything else this weekend 🙂 thank you for another amazing recipe!!!

  2. This queso recipe is incredible. I made it with hemp hearts and carrots and used it on nachos with your vegan chorizo. Easy, healthy and not overly caloric like many other recipes that are made with mostly nuts.

  3. Looks very intriguing and yummy! Sylvia said she would share info about a tortilla chip that does not use seed oils, yet I’m not finding more info about it or a link to a specific product.

      1. Hi,

        I used 2 cups veggies (one bell pepper and one carrot) my queso was not as thick as pictured. Actually, it was rather soupy, not sure why? Maybe the sweet potato is what thickens it?

        Kindest regards,

        Alicia

        1. Oh shoot. Did you add more water to the blender by chance? I have made this with carrot and bell pepper and it turned out, but maybe I used more carrot?

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