Easy dairy-free queso
Easy vegan nacho cheese sauce. Rich, creamy and delicious, this recipe will elevate your vegan nachos to the next level. Made in a blender with cashews, nutritional yeast and more.
It’s never been easier to make nachos vegan, even if you love cheese. The world of vegan cuisine is growing by the minutes. Vegan cheese has never tasted better.
The little trick to making creamy vegan pasta or cheese sauce is to use raw cashews.
This recipe is:
- Gluten free
- Dairy free
This plant based queso is full of easy ingredients and natural flavor.
- Raw cashews – This is the base of the vegan nacho cheese sauce. This gives the cheese a nice fatty content and helps to thicken it up as well. Just boil some hot water and let the cashews soften in the water for at least 10 minutes to make it easier on your blender.
- Small potato & carrot – These also make up the base of the cheese sauce. The carrot and potato help to thicken it, give it a creamy texture and the carrot adds some beta carotene.
- Nutritional yeast – This gives an amazing cheesy flavor. It’s also full of vitamin B12 if it’s been fortified.
- Jalapeño slices & brine – The jalapeño peppers will give the sauce that nice nacho cheese flavor with a touch of jalapeños. You can also use canned green chile peppers for a bold flavor.
- Lemon juice – The citric acid in lemons helps to balance out the flavors. You can also use apple cider vinegar.
- Seasonings – I use garlic powder and onion powder.
- Salsa – At the very end, to add some texture, I love adding a spoonful or two of salsa. This adds a nice different flavor to the mix.
- Salt – Sea salt, or whatever salt you have on hand works great.
Where to buy raw cashews
I love buying raw cashews in the bulk section of my grocery store. Most natural food stores have them, as well as Whole Foods.
If you can’t find them near you, then you can order them in bulk online. Buying in bulk is the most cost effective.
-Boil the potato, carrot and cashews together. This saves a lot of time. Then just strain the hot water and pour it into a blender with the rest of the ingredients.
-Thicken the cheese sauce on medium low so it doesn’t burn. Make sure to stir the whole time.
-If you want to add a little texture and more flavor, I love stirring in a couple tablespoons of chunky salsa at this point.
-Serve on top of tortilla chips with your favorite toppings like black beans, guacamole, salsa, vegan sour cream and VOILA, you’ve got loaded and delicious vegan nachos with incredible flavor.
-If you want an even stretchier cheese, add ½ teaspoon of tapioca starch to the blender with all of the ingredients. Then warm it all up on the stove on medium-low heat to activate the starch.
-If you want to add more heat to the plant based queso, add some cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes or hot chili powder.
This keeps in an air tight container in the fridge for about a 5 days.
This can be frozen in a freezer friendly bag for 3 months. Just thaw out in the fridge before using.
How to reheat queso
Heat it in a microwave and place a paper towel over the queso so it doesn’t make a mess.
You can also reheat it in a saucepan on the stove on medium-low heat. Add a splash of water if it thickened too much. Stir often.
How to serve
This can be used like any vegan queso dip. Tastes just like the queso that you’d find at movie theaters or ball games.
- Put it on top of tortilla chips and use it as a nacho sauce. I love putting red onions, hot sauce, red bell peppers, beans, lettuce and salsa on my nachos.
- Put it on top burritos
- Use it as a cheesy dip, like a chip dip
- Put it on a vegan hot dog with some vegan chili for a chili cheese dog.
More creamy, vegan cheese recipes:
- Vegan smoked gouda mac and cheese
- Loaded jackfruit vegan nachos
- Instant pot vegan mac and cheese
- Instant pot vegan chili
- Dairy free mac and cheese
- Vegan fondue ( Swiss style)
- Tofu cream cheese
- Vegan cashew cream
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Plant based queso (vegan nacho cheese)
- Peel and roughly chop potatoes and carrots. Place carrots, potatoes and raw cashews into a sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes and carrots are tender. About 8-10 minutes.1 cup raw cashews, 1 small potato, 1 carrot
- Drain the water from the sauce pan and add the potatoes, carrots and cashews to a blender as well as all the ingredients, MINUS THE SALSA, above. Blend on high until well combined. Add a splash of water or two if it's too thick.1 cup raw cashews, 1 small potato, 1 carrot, 6 pickled jalapeno slices, 3 tbsp pickled jalapeno brine, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, ⅓ cup nutritional yeast, ½ tsp salt, 2 cups water
Warm up on the stove
- Transfer the cheese sauce to a sauce pan and heat on low until sauce thickens, stirring the whole time. Stir in a couple spoonfuls of salsa if you'd like. Taste, and add salt if needed.2 tbsp salsa
- Serve over tortilla chips and top with your favorite nacho toppings.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.