How to Make Vegan Queso, the Protein-Packed, Plant-Based Cure for Bland Food

Whether you’re trying to transition to a more plant-based meal regime or you’re in search of a sauce to breathe new life into dishes that fall a bit flat, let this healthy queso recipe cure what ails you.

Photo: Getty Images
Prep Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins

This dip's velvety smooth, creamy texture comes from cashew cream, which is made from mixing cashews with water and whirling them together in a blender—no dairy needed. For a softer consistency, or if your blender is having trouble processing raw cashews, allow them to soak in the water for a few hours before blending. You’ll also add green chiles, chipotle pepper, and cumin seeds, which layer in warming, crave-worthy complexity. To kick your queso up a notch, toss in an extra pepper (for spice) or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (for umami). Use it as a dip for tortilla chips, stir into butternut squash soup, or drizzle it over mushroom enchiladas stuffed with sautéed peppers and onions.


  • 1 cup roasted, salted cashews

  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles

  • 1 chipotle pepper (we recommend the type that comes in adobo sauce)

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • cilantro, for garnish


  1. Add cashews, ½ cup water, chiles, chipotle pepper, cumin, and salt to blender and process until smooth and consistently creamy throughout, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary.

  2. Using a silicone spatula, transfer queso from blender into a serving dish. Top with fresh cilantro and toasted pumpkin seeds (optional) for garnish.

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