Guilt Free Vegan Queso

Guilt Free Vegan Queso

Classic Tex Mex queso is the ultimate guilty pleasure, but have no fear Vegan Queso is here! The silky smoothness that is queso is usually achieved by Velveeta cheese. Velveeta is a highly processed food, and that’s something we just don’t need in our lives. That being said, queso is one of my favorite things, and I wanted to create a vegan queso that satisfied the craving.

I actually never had a true queso until I visited Texas for the first time with my husband in 2005. California just doesn’t do it well. Maybe because we are scared of the processed cheese? Whatever the reason is, California just ain’t where it’s happening with queso. Any time we visit Texas, an order (or three) of queso is necessary.

What is vegan queso?

Dairy does not love me as much as I love it. That’s not to say I don’t eat it on occasion, but a bowl of piping hot liquid cheese is not something I should be indulging in often. Enter this creamy, dreamy vegan queso.

The base of this silky dip is potatoes and cashews. I added carrots (mostly for color), onions, and of course jalapeno! Not only do we get to indulge in queso, but we’re getting our veggies in too. It’s a win win situation. I add original Rotel tomatoes at the end, but this is optional. Classic queso is basically Velveeta and Rotel tomatoes heated up in the microwave. My mind was blown when I learned that.

This dip is sure to satisfy everyone, even cheese eaters. It’s the perfect recipe to have in your arsenal. You’ll impress your newly vegan friend or cousin who had to give up dairy at the next gathering. Serve it warm with chips or fresh tortillas. This batch is large and the leftovers make excellent nachos.

What ingredients are in vegan queso?

Yellow Potatoes: I have tried this with russet potatoes, but I find yellow potatoes lend a creamier base for this dip.

Carrots & Onions: these add both flavor and color to the vegan queso. They are not to be missed.

Nutritional Yeast: this is my favorite flavoring of all time. It adds a salty, umami flavor to dishes that mimics a certain cheesiness. This should NOT be skipped as it is one of the main flavor components.

Coconut Milk: full fat canned coconut milk should be used here. If you use it from the carton the queso will be thin and runny. No bueno!

Jalapeno: you can use fresh, or pickeld in this recipe. I have also made it with serrano chilies, but it came out pretty spicy. Feel free to use your favorite chili here.

Rotel Tomatoes: this is a name brand tomato in a can. The classic version has diced green chilies in it, but there are many variations. You don’t need to use this brand specifically, I use it to try and remain true to classic queso. Any canned tomato with diced green chilies will work for this.

Who doesn’t love bubbly, melty, cheesy dip? Now you can have your “cheese” and eat it too.

Looking for another dip? Why not try my Roasted Fennel White Bean Dip

Guilt Free Vegan Queso

Queso gets a dairy free update with this easy and delicious guilt free vegan queso. It's potato and cashew base provide ultimate creaminess that can satisfy anyone.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine Mexican, Tex Mex
Servings 8


Vegan Queso

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water boiling
  • 1 cup yellow potato diced
  • 1/4 cup carrots diced
  • 1/3 cup onion diced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk canned, full fat
  • 1/4-1 each jalapeno sliced
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp cilantro chopped



  • Place the cashews in a small bowl and pour the 1 cup of boiling water over them. Set aside.
  • In a sauce pan: place the potatoes, carrots, and onion. Cover with water and bring a boil.
  • Boil the vegetables until soft, about 15 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup of the vegetable liquid if possible.
  • Drain the cashews and place them in a high speed blender with the vegetables, 3/4 cup water or vegetable liquid, jalapeno (1/4 for mild, up to 1 for spicy), nutritional yeast, lemon juice, coconut milk, and salt.
  • Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides. About 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the Rotel tomatoes.
  • Pour the queso into a bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro and jalapeno slices if desired. Serve warm with chips, tortillas, or veggies.


This vegan queso stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Leftover queso is great mixed with cooked pasta for a spicy macaroni and cheese or poured over warm tortilla chips as a nacho cheese sauce.
Keyword dairy free, easy, gluten free, vegan

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