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!
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?
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.
We hope you love our new quick, go-to queso! It’s:
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!
5-Minute Vegan Cashew Queso
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
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