5-Minute Vegan Cashew Queso

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Overhead image of vegan cashew queso being stirred with a spoon, plus cashews, harissa, and nutritional yeast on the side

Need vegan queso and need it fast? Look no further! This recipe requires just 7 ingredients, 5 minutes, and 1 blender. Let’s do this!

Overhead image of vegan cashew queso ingredients in a grid, including cashews, harissa, water, salt, and garlic

This recipe was born out of pure necessity. Some friends were over one night and we ordered Mexican food and I needed some queso STAT. So, I figured blending up some cashews with hot water would work. Guess what? It totally did.

Typically I like to soak my cashews before blending, but in a pinch this little trick totally works! Because sometimes you just need queso and you need it right now — you feel me?

Overhead image of vegan cashew queso ingredients in a blender about to be blended

Origins of Queso

Queso, also called chile con queso, is a melty, cheesy dip that’s typically served alongside tortilla chips. It’s believed to have originated in Texas in the early 1900s (source).

Though you may find chile con queso at some Mexican restaurants in the US, it’s much different than the authentic Mexican queso (called queso fundido) that likely inspired it. While queso fundido is typically made with soft white cheeses, chile con queso is usually made with more processed American cheeses. You can learn more about the history and differences here.

Our version is not traditional, but is inspired by the creaminess and heat of chile con queso and also influenced by North African flavor with the addition of harissa paste (learn more about the origins of harissa here).

How to Make Vegan Queso

This queso is comprised of raw cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, spices, water, and a little hot sauce or harissa paste blended to creamy perfection. That’s it!

You can make it spicier, cheesier, or more garlicky to taste — the options are endless.

Overhead image of vegan cashew queso in a white bowl with a hand stirring some hot sauce on top and cashews, harissa, and nutritional yeast on the side

We hope you love our new quick, go-to queso! It’s:

Fast
Creamy
Cheesy
Smoky and spicy
& Incredibly delicious

This would make the perfect dip for Mexican night and beyond. Lately I’ve been keeping a jar around for adding to Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls, or just to dip with corn chips. Swoon.

If you’re into queso, be sure to check out our Butternut Squash Bowl with Jalapeño Queso, Roasted Jalapeño Vegan Queso, Best Damn Vegan Nachos, Cashew-less Vegan Queso, and our Black Bean Plantain Enchilada Bake!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Image of vegan cashew queso in a bowl with a spoon on the left side and chip on the right side
Overhead image of vegan cashew queso in a white bowl on a cutting board with harissa, chips, and nutritional yeast on the side

5-Minute Vegan Cashew Queso

Creamy vegan queso ready in just 5 minutes! Cheesy, quick and easy to make, and perfect for serving with nachos, burrito bowls, tacos, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Dipping a chip into a bowl of Vegan Cashew Queso
4.93 from 111 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 (1/4-cup servings)
Course Dip, Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1 Week

Ingredients

  • 3/4 – 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp harissa (or sub hot salsa, hot sauce, Ro-Tel, or 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce // plus more for garnish)

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a blender (starting with the lesser amount of water) and blend until creamy, adding more water as needed to blend until creamy and smooth. We recommend a small blender (we prefer the NutriBullet), or a high-speed blender. Add just enough water to achieve a creamy, pourable queso. If it gets too thin, thicken with additional raw cashews.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for cheesiness, salt to taste, cumin for smokiness, chili powder or harissa for heat, or garlic for zing. It should be quite flavorful, so don’t be shy.
  • Serve with chips or add to things like tacos, nachos, burritos, and more! Garnish with additional harissa or a spoonful of fresh salsa or hot sauce for serving (optional). 
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 5-7 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. To thaw from frozen, set in refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Reheat in microwave or in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add more water as needed if it thickens when reheating.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 (1/4-cup) serving calculated without additional garnish, chips for dipping, or other sides.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Calories: 133 Carbohydrates: 8 g Protein: 5 g Fat: 9 g Saturated Fat: 1 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 237 mg Potassium: 209 mg Fiber: 1 g Sugar: 1 g Vitamin A: 150 IU Vitamin C: 0.6 mg Calcium: 8 mg Iron: 1.8 mg

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My Rating:




  1. Riana S says

    I’m going to start off by admitting that I am not vegan. I love my cheese. My sister is vegan and shared this with me. I like trying new things. I gave it a try tonight. It took a bit extra water and nutritional yeast to get the consistency desired.
    I don’t like it on its own but it made a great addition to my tacos!
    I will try this again. I think part of my issue with consistency was that I used a food processor and not a blender.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the honest feedback, Riana! We don’t think a food processor would be able to get it to be creamy and would recommend a blender for best results.

  2. TN says

    Commenting to help those who only have a food processor! At first, I was afraid that it would not be smooth enough so I blitzed the garlic and cashews together first to get them into a pulpy texture. I scraped down the sides and then drizzled in hot water as the food processor was running. Once it was runny, I added the remaining spices and harissa and then let the machine rip for a few minutes. Smooth queso achieved! The flavor is VERY good. I ate it with cucumber slices and pita chips. But unfortunately it can not beat nuked velveeta + rotel (the gold standard for Texans like me), but at least I do not feel like a garbage monster after eating it!

  3. Nela says

    I used homemade chili oil (dried chilies, fried garlic, peanut oil, salt blended up) instead of harissa, and that was a solid substitution. I actually thought 2 tbsp of nooch was a bit much; before I overpowered it with other spices (cumin, more chili oil), I found it overpowering. I also thought the recipe really needed some acid, so I added some apple cider vinegar. All in all I thought the recipe was a good springboard for making a queso I liked, but I didn’t care for it as written.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nela, sorry to hear that. We’ve never tried it with chili oil and wonder if that made a difference? So many other readers have loved it as written which is why we wonder. Let us know if you try it with the harissa!

    • Brigid says

      This queso is delicious, quick to make, and goes with anything! The texture is so creamy. I have been making this weekly for about a year now and I can’t get enough. Thank you!

    • erica says

      Hi, do you think lemon juice could be a better acid base than ACV? I agree, it needed some zing, and I followed as per recipe exactly.

        • erica says

          I did end up using 1 tsp of ACV, which seemed a bit strong at first, but mellowed significantly overnight to the point that I couldn’t even taste it the next day. Definitely improved the balance in flavours! If eating straight away, use 1/2 tsp ACV. Hope this helps!

  4. Linz says

    I was skeptical, but pleasantly surprised! I soaked the cashews for seven hours, used a Vitamix and added more nutritional yeast—so yummy!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Linz. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  5. Denali says

    My dad ate half the batch with a spoon so I guess you could say this was a big hit :) I notched up the chili powder and hot sauce for more heat and it was great!

  6. Brie says

    I love how quickly this can be whipped up (5 minutes, one dish!) and how yummy this comes out! It’s delicious! I used it to top a baked potato with wilted spinach and broccoli. Tastes great just as written, I also tried mixing in extra salsa and that was delicious as well. Thank you for this fast, easy recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Brie. And that baked potato sounds yummy! Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. eva @ StyleMyThrift.com says

    Just made this cashew queso! today was an assembling of ‘mexican bowls’ with roasted veggies, tomato quinoa, avocado sauce, and this amazing queso!….
    i added more chili powder to give more depth, more nutritional yeast, and about 1/4 teaspoon of tumeric powder–just to add some more nutrition as if this bowl didn’t have enough…
    this recipe goes into the “Keep” folder right away : )
    xo eva

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Eva! And that combo sounds so delicious! Thanks for sharing!

      • eva @ StyleMyThrift.com says

        btw, I am eating it right now! i love savory for breakfast! forgot to add that the harissa addition was a great idea!
        xo eva

  8. Baylee says

    I was trying all your queso recipes to see which one we liked the best and this one won the vote!! I like all of them, but this was the favorite! I also love how quick it is to make and it only takes one dish!!

  9. AB says

    Delicious! So good and does indeed take 5 minutes! I used a food processor and it took a few minutes to get smooth but it was great. Will make again!

  10. Caroline says

    I was looking for a fast queso recipe as I was short on time and hadn’t soaked the cashews prior. I found your recipe and I must say it came out AMAZING!! I put this on my tofu and veggie stir frys, game changer for sure!!!

  11. Shannon says

    I am new to this way of eating and have been trying to find a vegan queso that was good. Well, let me tell you what……I don’t have to look any further! This seriously reminds me of the cheese dip my mom used to make when I was a kid. Soooo delicious!

  12. Sabine Salgado says

    I was sooo skeptical because I’m a cheese addict but this is way better than any regular nacho cheese!!!

  13. Grace B says

    This recipe rules- it’s sooo quick and easy, and the flavor is better than the expensive store-bought cashew nacho cheese I’ve been splurging on lately!! I started with 3/4 cup hot water as directed and felt like I could even have used a little less as it turned out on the liquid-y side. I didn’t have to tweak the flavors at all; it’s perfect.

  14. Amanda says

    This recipe is a total game changer. I cut meat out of my diet over a year ago and have been striving to go vegan ever since. Queso has been a downfall, until now. This is hands down the best queso recipe. All the other ones I tried weren’t quite right. This queso is better than the “real stuff.” Thank you SO much for sharing.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Amanda. We are so glad you enjoy it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  15. Kara Tsukerman says

    I am new to making vegan cheese at home but I don’t think I need to look any further! This was delicious!!

  16. Charlotte says

    I love this recipe- I love to add leftover taco “meat” to make a cheeseburger queso type of dip

  17. Ariel says

    This is so delicious! Since I found the recipe I’ve made this once a week. I haven’t been able to eat dairy for 6+ months and this definitely hits the spot, even for some of my dairy loving family. I found the harissa at Trader Joe’s, sometimes I add a little less cause it is on the spice-y said. I also usually add a little more nutritional yeast for extra cheesiness. I

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Ariel. We are so glad you and your family enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  18. Aubrey says

    This was super quick and easy. I skipped the cumin and chili powder in favor of one chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. Soooooo good!!

  19. Baylie says

    This queso is sooo good! Tried it warm right out of the blender, and I’m so impressed that it’s healthy because it tastes so rich, creamy and satisfying! I used franks red hot buffalo hot sauce. The only thing is I found the colour of it not amazing… kind of browny-yellow but the taste makes up for it! Will definitely make it again!

  20. Becca says

    I have long been on the quest for a decent vegan queso, and I am just in awe of how yummy this is! It’s a great consistency (reminds me of the queso at Chili’s) and it’s definitely a good base recipe that you can play around with. I used the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce which was a little sweet for my taste but I can’t wait to experiment more with this recipe! Thanks so much for sharing!

  21. Diane says

    I am UNSTOPPABLE now with this recipe! Really achieves the queso effect, and I almost always have these things in my cupboard. So easy!

  22. Lindsay says

    Love how quickly this queso comes together. I found the flavor a little flat, though, so I added about a tablespoon each of red and white miso, and wow! Those additions gave the queso a salty, umami, cheesy flavor.

  23. Deborah says

    Could you substitute raw sunflower seeds for the cashews? One of our guests has a cashew allergy.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried that and aren’t sure it would work. Let us know if you try it!

  24. Arianna says

    I have a ton of unsalted roasted cashews so that’s what i used instead of raw and it still tastes amazing. I think the roasted cashews even helped with the smokey flavor!
    I’ve used it as a dip and plan on putting it in my burritos! Thank you so much for this recipe :)

  25. Kylie says

    This dip is delicious! Love making a batch and keeping it in the fridge to throw on black bean burgers, tacos, or as a dip. It’s all I can do to keep myself from devouring it with a spoon! Sooo tasty!

  26. Courteny Slonski says

    Best recipe ever!!! I had time before hand so I soaked my cashews and kept adding spices cause I love that spicy food and my gosh! I am in love! Best queso I have ever tasted and it made so much!!! Defs gking to be using this one alot now!

  27. Jodi says

    I think this queso might change my life!! Sooooo good. Super easy and so much flavour. This will be a staple at our house now, for sure.

  28. Delphina says

    OMG this was so EASY!!! delicious recipe, I used the pepper in adobo sauce and It was phenomenal. Thank you for your simple and concise recipes 🙏🏼🙏🏼

  29. Aly says

    Five stars! I whipped this up with a single chipotle in adobo instead of hotsauce/harissa, which was a great suggestion. I almost always have things I’d tweak about recipes, but this one is spot on as written (per usual with Minimalist Baker). Quick, easy, and delicious.

  30. Evgeniya says

    This queso is amazing!! I’ve made it few times already. I usually use less hot sauce and more nutritional yeast. Really good with bell peppers and cucumbers.

    Thank you for creating such a delicious dish!!!

  31. Bernadette says

    I got all the way to a set table before realizing I didn’t have shredded cheeze to go with the tacos. I looked up this recipe and we will never go back! “So good it must be bad for you,” according to my husband. I used half the chili powder and mild salsa instead of harissa for the kids’ benefit, but it was perfect. Everyone loved it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Alexis, we haven’t tried it, but a couple other readers have done so with success. We do think raw would be better though.

    • Serena says

      Absolutely delish! I didn’t have harissa so I added more chilli powder, smoked paprika and cajun seasoning instead. Definitely would be better w harissa but I still loved it. I felt like it tasted a bit like a cheesy hummus. Will def try again with harissa!

  32. Kirby says

    Seriously so good and so easy to make! I’ve made this at least 6 times and each time I think, “Why am I not making this ALLLL the time!” I have found that if you use water that is just off boil and let the cashews soak for a few minutes, it turns out even smoother.

  33. Alison says

    OH MY GOODNESS! It’s Holy Week for eastern orthodox christians, and a lot of us follow a mostly vegan diet during lent. Which means no cheese. I’ve been craving queso like crazy as we near the end of the fast…and THIS IS LENT-FRIENDLY! This is becoming part of our everyday, non-fasting lineup as well.

  34. Ashley says

    Made this last night and it’s almost gone. Basically like crack and will be a forever staple. SO SO SO GOOD. Can’t recommend enough.

  35. Rachel S says

    Easiest addition to a dairy-free taco night. Really only takes 5 minutes using a Nutribullet – no need to chop anything! I’ve made it many times using chipotle adobo sauce and it always comes out great! Thanks for another great dairy substitute!

  36. Claire says

    So this is amazing. I’ve made some weird vegan quesos before that took far more effort with disappointing results. This is delicious and while I wouldn’t say it took 5 minutes, it definitely took less than 15. I used chipotles in adobo plus a touch of hatch green chile for good measure. I will definitely be using this recipe again! My hubby and I are very happy with this delicious quarantine queso!

  37. Danielle says

    I am making this for the second time this week. We are pairing it with the ever so humble rice and beans ?

  38. Danielle says

    I am shook! This sauce is so creamy and flavorful. It doesn’t bother your stomachs with such beautiful ingredients. I don’t have harissa so I put some smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. My 8 and 5 year old girls loved it as well ??

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Danielle. We are so glad you all enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  39. Shannon says

    Cheese is irrelevant once you try this recipe. I was seriously blown away by how easy it was to make and how much flavor punch it packed! I followed the recipe nearly to the letter, except I used roasted and salted cashews and Ro-Tel for spice because that’s what my hubs bought. It keeps great in the fridge and reheats like a dream! This will be a regular repeater for sure.

    • Rachael says

      I added half of an avocado and juice of half a lime. I feel like the avocado really benefited texture and the lime added some awesome acidity.

  40. Maggie Johnson says

    Best queso dip I have ever made! It was so easy, simple, and I love that I didn’t have to soak the cashews before. I saved it to make leftover taco salads for lunch the next day (with the quinoa taco meat recipe by Minimalist Baker as well). Highly reccomend!

  41. Christiane says

    I just made this recipe, and it is the best! Love the spice and the creaminess. Luckily, I had everything in my pantry when i got started. Now, I am out of harissa so will have to stock up to make it again soon!

  42. Victoria Molina says

    I add about a 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast (just because I want it as close to cheese as possible) and this recipe is divine!! Who needs queso when you have this savory nut butter??

  43. Shelly Stamps says

    This queso was amazing. I didn’t truly believe it could be this easy, so I waited almost a week after buying the nutritional yeast to give it a go. Sheltering-in-place and taking classes online, I knew it was time to give it a try. So all I have to say is “wow.” I adapted it with chipotle chili pepper and salsa, and then, voila. I literally couldn’t believe how easy this was to make, or how incredibly delicious. My husband is off to write a FB post, and said, “This is the best thing I’ve ever eaten.” Thank you!!

  44. Maria says

    I love this recipe! I did not have harissa and have used cayenne pepper instead. The taste still is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  45. Becca says

    I just made this and it is so so good! I added jalapeno slices into the blender since I didn’t have cumin or hot sauce and it gave it the perfect spice! I can’t wait to mix this in with my grits and pasta!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Lauren, we haven’t tried that, but it might be stronger, so we would suggest starting with less. Let us know if you try it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Laura. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  46. Tina says

    I love this recipe – it was a wee bit bland but that’s likely cause I skipped the harissa – so I added a lil bit of roasted red pepper from a jar, 1 more garlic clove, 1 more tablespoon of nutritional yeast and a lil bit of chipotle. Yum!

  47. Jenny says

    This was delicious. I didn’t add hot sauce because I’m kind of a baby, but I kept everything else the same. It was soooo good. I’ll keep this one in rotation for sure.

  48. Tamara says

    Awesome! Have had to make changes to my diet for health reasons and have to cut back on my beloved cheese :( Was craving queso which didn’t require pre-soaking the cashews. This recipe will definitely be a go to/replacement for dairy queso. Shh don’t tell the cheese!

  49. Jami says

    Just made this with my Vitamix on the dips/spreads setting and it turned out perfectly smooth, creamy and hot! I used 3/4 tbsp hot sauce in place of the harissa. Love the taste with tortilla chips but am going to try it with Philly soft pretzels next time!

  50. Sarah says

    SOOO good! I had some time so I soaked my cashews before blending. I also added 1/4 tsp of apple cider vinegar…this is such a simple recipe but SO damn good! Thank you!!

  51. Alex C says

    This is the best vegan cheese sauce yet! Unlike some of the starchy ones using things like tapioca or potato, it doesn’t “set” – just stays creamy. (There’s nothing worse than desperately trying to scrape vegan cheese sauce over your nachos or vegetable bake in record time before it turns to glue.)
    If you are disorganised like me, you can just boil the kettle and soak the cashews for 30 minutes. I do this while I mess around getting the rest of the dinner ready.
    Also, my flatmate is on a low-carb fad so I replaced half the cashews with macadamias and this worked fine.

  52. Beth Dupree says

    Omg….this is the best “cheese” I have ever had. I couldn’t add salsa or harrissa due to allergies and it was amazing.. I am eating it out of the bowl with a spoon. I wonder if you can spread out on a sheet and bake to make crackers…

  53. Diane K says

    YUM….this is some tasty stuff! I added an extra tablespoon of nutritional yeast and stirred in a few tablespoons of mild salsa after blending since I’m sensitive to heat.

  54. Tracy says

    This recipe is AMAZING!! I’ve made it twice now (once with the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and the other time with harissa) and both times my dairy-loving friends did not believe that there was no queso in my queso. One friend called it voodoo cheese sauce because she could not stop scooping it up with chips. This is definitely THE queso to make if you’re craving chips and queso.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Julie, we haven’t tried that, but it might work! You may want to omit the salt (if they are roasted/salted) and then add to taste. If you give it a try, we would love to hear how it goes!

  55. Sue Sherratt says

    I made this – quick and easy to make. We like hot spicy food but I only put half a teaspoon ground chillies in and no hot sauce. It was a bit too hot…. perhaps it was the fact that the ground chillies are home grown and possibly more potent?

  56. Stephanie says

    Omg this is sooo amazing! I am trying to incorporate more plant based meals, and this is my first experience with a cashew “cheese” sauce. I only had diced green chiles, but they worked great. Even the husband said it was delicious. Thank You!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Stephanie. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  57. Michele says

    I’m trying to eat a more plant-based diet and this was my first experiment with vegan queso. I made it exactly as described and the texture was perfect. I did add a little more salt and nutritional yeast to taste a little cheesier.

    I’m surprised at how easy and delicious this recipe was! Thank you so much!

  58. Denise Silverstrom says

    Holy Cow sooooo easy and sooooo delicious A definite KEEPER.
    Thank you, my husband would thank you too except I can’t get him out of the Queso Bowl lol
    Blessings Dana

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Denise. We are so glad you both enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  59. Katie Brewer says

    This queso is so easy and SO delicious! I’ve been vegan for about 3 months now and hadn’t found any decent cheese alternatives until this queso recipe. I’m seriously obsessed! I ate some leftover queso this morning for breakfast (it reheats really well) and whipped some more up a few minutes ago for a late night snack. This amazing and amazingly simple recipe has curbed any desire I had to “cheat” on my new vegan diet.

  60. Michelle says

    I love this recipe so much! I’ve made it countless times and put it on EVERYTHING. I normally don’t have harrisa, so I add in some chipotle powder, and it turns out delicious! Thank you!

  61. Eric says

    My first time went well. I give it 4/5 just because I will tweak a few things to get it to 5/5 for my tastes. I used extra nutritional yeast, will cut cumin down next time and roast garlic to cut a bit of the bitter. I used a couple dashes of Frank’s hot sauce. Pretty easy and tasty regardless, and I am not a vegan currently.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Claudia. We are so glad you enjoy it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  62. Eileen Patterson says

    I made a double batch of this today because I just needed queso, you know. It’s so good. I don’t have a really expensive blender, so I always cover my cashews with water and cook them in the microwave for 10 minutes so they will blend easier. This is my favorite queso recipe (even the guys at work eat it and they don’t know it’s vegan). Thanks for the recipe!

  63. Jennifer says

    Amazing. So much flavour. I used Chipotle Paste instead of Harissa and it worked amazingly. It gives the dip an nice smokiness.

  64. Sabine says

    I have some leftover cauliflower, could I throw it in with the cashews or do you think it’ll ‘ruin’ the overall taste?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      It might be a little too strong, depending on how it was cooked and the quantity. But it might work! Let us know if you give it a try!

  65. Jasmyn Trent says

    I tried this recipe this morning to go along with a breakfast burrito. I’m so, so happy with it! I can’t wait to try some of the other vegan cheese recipes.

  66. Michelle Duncan says

    We love this recipe!! We make it all the time. Even my real cheese loving friends like it. It’s the best alternative to queso I’ve ever had! Also so quick and easy to make. It’s just a tiny bit crumbly when you reheat it but still good for left overs the next day!

  67. Maggie says

    I made this tonight to put on nachos along with some guacamole, pico, and jalapenos. I used chilula hot sauce since I could not find harissa. I was so good even my significant other who is not vegan INHALED it! Will be making this many more times!!!

  68. Kristen says

    This is the queso recipe I keep coming back to. It’s so delicious! Every time I’ve made it, it turns out perfectly. I use extra nutritional yeast. I’ve used both raw and roasted cashews and both work as long as you account for the salt. We love it on broccoli and baked potatoes and it’s perfect for nachos.

  69. Josie says

    Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe. It’s the best cashew queso I’ve ever had, and I’ve made many different cashew-based quesos. I think the tablespoon of hot sauce is key. We used Franks Hot Sauce and it’s perfect! ????

  70. SFerd says

    Super delicious! I’ve made this twice now…awesome both times. I used boiling water and substituted garlic powder (1/2t) for the fresh garlic. (I’m always afraid fresh garlic won’t completely blend properly.)

    My only complaint is that it doesn’t make enough!

  71. Annette Thompson says

    Amazing queso! My husband was craving queso and I didn’t want to wait to soak cashews, so I tried this recipe — and I’m so, so glad I did.

  72. Amber says

    Thank you so much for sharing! My very picky dad, who is allergic to dairy, tried it reluctantly. Immediately, he took two more spoonfuls because he loved it so much.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So great! Thanks for sharing, Amber! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review next time? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

  73. Hailey says

    Oh. My. Goodness! This was unbelievable! So easy, so quick, SO delicious! My only problem, I immediately needed to make more!! Next time i’ll quadruple the recipe if I want to share!

  74. Jaclyn says

    The flavour was on point but the texture was off/I couldn’t get it to blend to be smooth. Although probably very much my own fault for using a food processor and then switchingto a Ninja but it still came out gritty. I also had soaked raw cashews on hand (after making banana ice cream) and used those instead of dry raw ones and lessened the water. I think next time I’ll try it with a proper blender to achieve a smoother texture.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So, FYI, a food processor and Ninja aren’t ideal for creamy sauces. I’ve tried using both and they just don’t work well. A high speed blender like a cuisinart, vitamix, or kitchen aid are best! Check out our shop for options! Glad you enjoyed the flavor! Thanks for sharing, Jaclyn.

  75. Kelly says

    This was better than I expected. I usually make a more labor intensive cashew queso and this is just as good. I used ghost pepper salsa and next time I might squeeze a bit of lemon juice in. Thanks for sharing!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Stephanie. We are so glad you enjoyed it]! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  76. Erika says

    This recipe literally took me 5-minutes and it’s GOOD!! We couldn’t stop eating it on corn chips and it barely made it to the dinner table on the tacos it was intended for. Do yourself a favor and try it!

  77. kayla says

    THIS IS SO TASTY! I omitted the garlic because of a sensitivity and it was still SO DELICIOUS! creamy, full of flavor, and doesn’t make your belly hurt afterwards. the hot water hack in the blender worked well. thanks for a great recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Kayla. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

      • kayla says

        I’m using the leftovers on some roasted broccoli for dinner tonight; fast, easy & delicious. I was bummed to see after posting my original comment that I had forgotten to rate it, but 5 stars and then some to this vegan cashew queso recipe. thanks!

  78. Lea says

    LOVED it!!! I used chili garlic sauce instead or harissa, and turned out better than I could have imagined! Thanks for another wonderful creation!

  79. Laura says

    Delicious… We make this quite often in our house as half the family is vegan and the rest are mostly vegetarians. I call it cashew sauce because the non-vegans object if I use the word cheese… but they all love it. We pour it over broccoli, potatoes, nachos, and anything else around.

  80. Lisa says

    Hi Dana!
    I discovered your blog sometime ago but forgot about it. When a co- worker was eating a quinoa, sweet potato casserole recipe of yours I had to have a bite. Delicious!!! Tasty food just makes me so happy!
    I made a version of this awhile ago and I mixed it into some kale that I had massaged with a little salt and lemon juice and a touch of raw sesame oil. It was the best kale salad I ever had. So easy to take to work for a filling lunch!
    I can’t wait to make your sunflower seed dip with dill and garlic. I plan to make a collard green wrap with it and add arugula, spinach, shredded raw beet and carrots.
    I’m trying to eat mostly raw these days and it seems these days there are so many great recipes!! Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and sharing your creation, Lisa. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  81. Katie says

    Giving it a 5 for what it is bc it tastes good but as a non-vegan the people commenting make it obvious they haven’t had real cheese, much less real queso in awhile lol! It is appealing but now I need to find something to put it on. Thinking about dipping veggies or on meatballs.

  82. Taylor says

    This was really good! I added half a jalapeno and some cilantro though. It needed some freshness.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Taylor. We are so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  83. Alicia Kern says

    I am making an enchilada casserole and had some leftover chipotle peppers in adobo. I remembered this recipe and decided to make a batch while the casserole is in the oven.
    Why? What has it taken me so long to make this again?!?! So amazing! So easy! So tasty!
    I only hope there will be some left by the time the enchiladas cool…

  84. Mackenzie says

    This was the quickest and easiest recipe! And the taste is fantastic. Will definitely continue coming back to this recipe!!

  85. Sunburger says

    This remind me of the cheese sauce recipe for the plantain black bean enchilada bake just using a high speed blender . (Yes I’m I’m learning lol)

  86. Abby says

    This is the second time I’ve made this. Didn’t use harissa either time and just subbed some spicy salsa in which is perfect! Love this simple, easy queso.

  87. Stephanie Stevens says

    I’m always skeptical about dairy alternatives since discovering that I’m lactose intolerant. Since I only discovered this intolerance in my twenties, I’ve spent many years enjoying the real deal cheeses and sometimes nothing beats the real thing. However, this queso was a game changer. It’s super creamy and so flavorful. I added chipotle powder to mine for that little extra kick I live. This is definitely a 5 star recipe!

  88. Colleen says

    I’ve now made this 3x. OH.MY.GOODNESS. The most perfectly amazing, and easy, addition to so many dishes!

  89. MillyL says

    Hello, can I use room temperature water instead of hot? Does that change the queso in any way? I cannot blend hot liquids in my ninja.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should be okay! The hot water helps it blend better, but room temperature will likely work just fine. Hope that helps!

  90. Michelle Abbey says

    Oh man, so good! So I really like the jalapeno flavor in my cheese dip, so, I replaced 1/4 cup of the water with jalapeno juice, and of course added jalapenos too :-) Delish!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for sharing, Michelle. We are so glad you enjoy this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  91. Amy says

    I’ve made this three times now, so easy and yum! First time I did with harissa and we liked it but it wasn’t “nachoey” enough. Second time I added some lemon and pickled jalapeño. SO GOOD. Tonight I subbed the harissa with Valentina hot sauce and the family gobbled it up! So versatile and fast… thanks for the great recipe!

  92. Will says

    This recipe is awesome! I love the cashew-less queso recipe (with eggplant) and actually haven’t made a cashew-based cheese sauce yet though have eyed the super expensive ready-made brands. Queso was once of my favorite snacks as a non-vegan but I always hated how I felt afterward. This dip tastes super creamy/cheesy and is warm enough from the hot water to use right away. I used it for nachos and it was so delicious. I forgot to put garlic in it but had a bunch of garlic in the nacho toppings so it wasn’t a big deal though more garlic would make it even better.

    My variation of this recipe was: Trader Joe’s hot pepper sauce, chili lime seasoning, paprika, chili powder, a TBS of Trader Joe’s tomatillo salsa

    My nachos consisted of Trader Joe’s unsalted tortilla chips drizzled with the queso and topped with sautéed red bell pepper, soyrizo, black beans and crimini mushrooms topped with chili lime seasoning + fresh cilantro with the tomatillo salsa on the side.

    This review is in no way sponsored by Trader Joe’s.

  93. Nicole says

    I’ve made several versions of vegan queso from different books and blogs including some of your other queso recipes and this one is by far my favorite and the easiest too! Double win! We made it with the adobo peppers and it was super tasty with a great consistency. Definitely will be making this more often…you rock as usual!

  94. Geridd says

    Hmmm, so delicious – I made it for a Mexican salad and it was so yummy, could hardly stop myself from eating all the queso sauce before adding it to my sald❣️❣️

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks for sharing! Next time would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers! xo

  95. Libby says

    I made this last night & it was a hit with the whole family! We poured it over roast potatoes, alongside cajun-spiced roast cauliflower & green beans. Later, my son was seen disappearing into his room with the rest of the queso…and it was never seen again… Thanks for the great recipe x

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried that, but it might work! If you give it a try, we would love to hear how it goes!

  96. Robyn says

    This was really great! The consistency was amazing and I doubled up on Chipotle peppers to add smoke. Delicious!!

  97. Carly Spear says

    Hey Dana I’m making this right now and I know it’s gonna turn out awesome. I’m using a mix of alderwood smoked salt and pink salt and roasted black garlic in it! I just wanted to say I have been following your blog for many years, since you had only a dozen or so recipes, and I was vegetarian and then vegan for a really long time. As of last month I decided to add (wild caught/hunted) animal protein (not dairy!) back into my diet (once or twice weekly) for similar reasons to you and I am feeling better so far. Still totally open to going back to being vegan-ish. The labels are such a pain! I have used honey this whole time and find it no less disturbing than drinking tree blood, aka, maple syrup and it does save the bees in our human-altered world. I also have leather hiking boots because I work in the realm of forestry and have to be around very hot fire and other things that require leather. Besides, what’s better for the environment, leather or (current) synthetic materials? ANYWAYS that was a tangent, but it brings me so much relief that you told a publicist that you eat a diverse diet without labels. That gives me so much courage to be open about my own diet when others ask. I know they are not entitled to an answer but I don’t want to feel like I have to lie anymore and your response is so helpful to me. Vegan meals are still totally awesome and the major component of my diet and I am excited to see what you’ve got cooking for the future :-) thank you!

  98. Maggie says

    Easy and so delicious! Thank You for creating this; my craving for dairy cheese has finally been taken care of.

  99. Christy Robertson says

    Hi! I was wondering how much it would change the flavor if I substituted roasted/salted cashews for the raw ones as that is what I have on hand at the moment. Will it still work? Thank you, love your recipes!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Christy, we haven’t tried that, but it might work! You may want to omit the salt and then add to taste. If you give it a try, we would love to hear how it goes!

  100. Eva says

    We liked it a lot!
    I will do the regular quick soak next time because it didnt blend as smooth as I should have liked it. Delicious! Thanks Dana! ?

    • Eva says

      Also, careful if reheating :D
      We tried reheating the leftovers in the microwave and it was inedible after.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

        Yeah, we find it’s best to slowly heat on a stovetop and add dairy-free milk or water as needed to thin. The cashews tend to thicken it when reheated. Will add a note!

  101. Beth Ann A Fischberg says

    Absolutely so easy, quick AND divine! Thank you! I want to put on everything!
    Left out the Chili powder as did not have, and used chipotle in adobe, was plenty flavorful.
    I’m another person that agrees on a squirt of lemon for tang and a fresh note to add balance.

  102. Sara says

    Made this tonight. I had never used Harissa before, picked some up yesterday and the sauce is delicious!! So easy, can’t believe how good it is. Thank you!!

  103. Birdie says

    Wow this was delicious and easy to make! I had hot salsa on hand so used that and it was fantastic. Once mixed I added another tablespoon of so of salsa for texture and added flavor. I will definitely be making this again. I may try with macadamia nuts like some of comments suggested just to experiment with. Thanks for the recipe.

  104. Karen Goodwin says

    This sounds delicious and easy. I’ve made some other cashew dishes, like whipped cream and milk, and they are fine–not a long shelf life however. Question: What could I use beside nutritional yeast in this recipe (and so many of your other recipes)? I have a bad reaction to it. Thanks.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So in your instance I would suggest upping the salt a little and compensating on flavor with a bit of chickpea or soy miso if you can OR just garlic powder!! Hope that helps, Karen.

  105. Nicolette says

    We made this last night with tacos and it was delicious! We tried to make them like the cheesy gordita crunch or double decker, where you wrap the soft shell around the hard shell for the taco and we used this cheese to stick them together. It was perfect for that and the leftovers were great as a dip.

  106. Mary stokes says

    I am travelling at the moment and really miss my blender,when I see a recipe like this!
    Can anyone recommend a small portable,blender for future trips?(possibly even battery operated)
    Thanks!

  107. Tracey says

    This was really simple and delicious! Took just a minute to grab the ingredients from my pantry and throw them into my little blender. We poured it on top of a savoury potato style meal loaded with yummy stir-fried nuts, seeds and peas. I’m imagining using this in place of sour cream in the future too.

    • Nicolette says

      I normally just boil them quickly while I get everything else together. 10 minutes usually does the trick.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi all! This recipe doesn’t require soaking cashews, which is what makes it so quick! But you could still soak them in cool water overnight, OR in very hot water for 1 hour before draining and blending. Hope that helps!

    • Amy says

      This is the trick! Recipe has you add hot water to throw cashews, do first so it sits while you add the other ingredients then blend until smooth. Works great in my Bullet blender no soaking required!

  108. Karen says

    I recently found through a blood test that I have a food sensitivity to several foods that I’ve been using in Vegan recipes; one being cashews. I know they make for the best sauce but what would you consider to be second best? I also cannot have sesame, lemon,or any kind of pea. UGH!

  109. Michelle says

    Hi, just wondering if any other nuts could be subbed for cashews as they are an allergy for me. Thank you

    • Nikki says

      I’ve heard of people subbing raw sunflower seeds for cashews! Probably will affect the color but worth a try (:

    • Annie says

      Macadamia nuts are my go-to for sauces….more expensive but taste excellent. And not as harsh as cashews can be to the immune system .

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Michelle, if you can have soy, try subbing silken tofu. Or perhaps another nut such as macadamia or blanched almonds? Or, soaked sunflower seeds or hemp seeds? Hope that helps!