This easy cashew queso recipe is smooth and creamy with bold Mexican flavors. You'll have the best vegan queso within minutes and it only requires a few simple ingredients.
What does cashew queso taste like?
Cashew queso is a dairy free queso alternative with blended cashews as the base. When blended well, the cashews become smooth and creamy to mimic the cheese found in traditional queso! It's a little spicy, full of Mexican spices and delicious! You won't find a vegan cheese sauce better.
Use dairy-free greek yogurt in this avocado dip for another creamy appetizer or taco topping.
Is cashew cheese better for you?
This cashew queso dip is very healthy and fits into so many diets. It's dairy free, gluten free, keto, wghole30 and vegan so everyone can enjoy it. It's full of healthy fats too!
- Hot water: this helps make the end product nice and hot like traditional queso.
- Raw cashews: be sure they're raw and not roasted! We're microwaving them for a few minutes to avoid soaking. It makes this recipe much faster!
- Nutritional yeast: this is deactivated yeast you can get with the rest of the spices. It has a cheesy flavor!
- Chunky salsa: I prefer a mild salsa, but grab a medium or hot salsa if you want your cashew queso spicy. The tomatoes in the salsa gives this a great queso look. You could also add a bit of hot sauce to achieve the same result!
- Garlic: one peeled garlic will do the trick, but you could also use ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Spices:chili powder, paprika, cumin and salt
How to make cashew queso
- Microwave the cashews: place the cashews in a microwave safe dish and fill it up with water to cover them then microwave on high for 3 minutes then drain the water.
- Add the ingredients: Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl of a high powdered food processor or blender while the cashews heat then carefully drain the cashews and add them to the blender.
- Blend: Finally, blend on high for 2 minutes then stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl or blend and continue to blend until completely smooth. If you don't have a strong blender (like a Vitamix) it could take up to 6-7 minutes to get it smooth.
Prefer to Watch Instead of Read?
Prep and storage instructions
- Store in the fridge: place in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It will get thicker as it chills. I don't recommend storing this recipe in the freezer.
- Reheat: Add 2-3 tablespoons of very hot water and stir well. This will help thin out the queso from thickening in the fridge.
How to eat cashew queso
- Dip into it: we love serving it with tortilla chips (Siete!) or fresh veggies like bell peppers or carrots.
- Pour it: this makes a great dairy free alternative for dinners like burritos, ground turkey enchiladas, tacos, or sweet potato nachos.
I don't recommend heating it the traditional ways like over the stove or in the microwave because it's made from cashews. The best way to warm it back up is stir in some very hot water. It thins out the sauce and warms it at the same size.
Cashew sauce is made with blended cashews as the base rather than dairy or cream. Typically the cashews are boiled or soaked first to soften them.
There are about 225 calories in ¼ cup of this cashew queso.
Yes, cover it well and store it in the refrigerator.
More and more brands are starting to offer cashew queso. Our favorite brand for all things clean Mexican is Siete. They have a great cashew queso if you don't want to make your own. You can find it most local grocery stores in the refrigerated section or you can purchase it on Thrive Market.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Dairy Free Dips
- Avocado Dip
- Sweet Potato Hummus
- Mango Pineapple Salsa
- Buffalo Cauliflower Dip
- The Best Healthy Guacamole
Vegan Cashew Queso
- 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- ¾ cup hot water
- ¼ cup mild chunky salsa (you could use medium or hot if you want it more spicy)
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- ½ teaspoon EACH: chili powder, paprika, cumin, kosher salt
- Place the cashews in microwave safe dish or bowl and cover the cashews with water so they’re completely submerged. Microwave the cashews on high for 3 minutes.
- While the cashews are heating, add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor or a high speed blender. Carefully drain the cashews from the water and add them to the rest of the ingredients.
- Blend on high for 2 full minutes then stop and scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor. Blend again until smooth and creamy. The time it takes to blend will depend on how strong your blender is. If you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix it will go much faster. If it’s not as strong it could take another 6-7 minutes to become smooth.
- Serve right away or store in the fridge for up to 5 days. See notes for storage and reheating instructions.