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
4.91 from 193 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)

Serving: 1 (1/4-cup serving) 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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  1. Adriana says

    This vegan queso is delicious and one I will be making again. I love how much it yield in comparison to the jars of siete queso sold at the grocer. I made it this evening to pair with tortilla chips alongside our dinner of fajitas. The one thing I did different was boil the cashew for 30 minutes which worked perfectly as I do not have a high speed blender. Other than the following, I proceeded with the recipe as it is written. Thank you for a wonderful and delicious vegan queso.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks so much for the great review and for sharing your experience and modifications, Adriana!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cathy, in our experience, a food processor doesn’t fully blend cashews so it wouldn’t be as creamy.

      • Andrew says

        Have you tried using a nutribullet in small batches? I use it to make vegan Korma and is so creamy. Soak cashews in hot water for 20 minutes, you won’t be disappointed:)

  2. Rachel says

    I made this tonight and what a game changer! I used Gebhart chili spice and a bit of chipotle pepper and this sauce rocks! Even my non vegan hubby liked it. Thank you for a great recipe.

  3. kmalecki says

    Great recipe, I only had Siracha on hand and I used bottled chopped garlic, cut time down to 3 minutes, still really good, I am sure original is even better.

  4. Cassandra says

    Hello

    Wondering if you think I could use almonds instead of cashews?

    Have made with cashews and its delicious but need to avoid cashews at the moment :’(

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cassandra! We haven’t tried it but it could work, though it will be quite grainy compared to the cashew version. You would want to be sure and soak the almonds overnight before using. Another slightly creamier option could maybe be macadamia nuts? Let us know how it goes!

  5. Courtney says

    Turned out perfect both times! I didn’t have harrissa so found some substitutions to help give the kick and color. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Tia Hatton says

    Yum! I really enjoyed making this and how simple it was. I brought it to a small potluck with ~ 8 people and it made enough to be an appetizer for us. As per some comments, mine turned out a little sweet, but I just added some more salt, hot sauce, and another chipotle pepper in adobo.

    • Jehna says

      The taste is great, but I am wondering how you got it so creamy!! I followed the recipe to a “t” , soaked the cashews etc … But mine is still chunky with bits of cashew in it. Doesn’t look anything like yours !

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Jehna! Sorry to hear this. What kind of blender did you use? It’s possible you might need to soak your cashews for longer, perhaps in boiling water for at least an hour? Let us know if we can help troubleshoot further!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Michelle! If you’re trying to reduce the spice level, you could omit the harissa and decrease the chili powder to 1/2 tsp, then increase the cumin to 1 tsp. Let us know if you give it a try!

  7. Rachelle V says

    Omg, this turned out So. GOOD! I am shook. This is the best vegan cheese recipe I’ve used, and I’m amazed at how easy and simple it is. I subbed my local hot sauce, and I think next time I’ll add just a touch more salt as well. I’m so happy I can enjoy queso cheese again! Thank you!! :)

  8. Rachel Smith says

    Dana and team – this recipe was perfect for a lunchtime craving of something quick made with pantry staples and a little bit of heat.

    I subbed jarred minced garlic and hot sauce but along with the other ingredients in the recipe it was just about perfect. A quick 1.5 minutes in the Ninja food processor and I was on my way. Thanks so much for a great recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, we’re so glad to hear you enjoyed it, Rachel! Thank you so much for your kind review! xoxo

  9. Kristina says

    This is the easiest and by far the best tasting vegan queso I’ve ever made. Will definitely be making this in the future!

  10. Victoria Richter says

    I’ve just made this recipe for the first time. I eyeballed all the spices and it turned out perfect and very spicy, just the way we like it. We have never made anything from cashews and this is surprisingly good. Never liked any fake cheese products from the store so haven’t had cheese for year and now we will!!!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Homemade is a game changer for cheese products! So glad you gave it a try and enjoyed it, Victoria! xoxo

  11. Kelly says

    Has anyone tried adding this to homemade freezer burritos? I’m wondering if the consistency would hold up when quickly reheating them in the oven or microwave.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kelly, we haven’t tried that but think it should be okay! We’d love to hear if you give it a try!

  12. Callie says

    I love this recipe! I’ve made it several times now. I like varying the types of peppers I throw in for different flavor profiles and spice levels. Recently I’ve been making a habañero queso with freshly picked peppers from my garden! Not for those with aversion to spice but the flavor is excellent! Thanks Dana! :)

      • Jill says

        I have been craving cashew queso since a recent trip to a vegan restaurant, and this recipe is absolutely perfect! I only had regular cashews, but it is still delightfully creamy. I used red gold diced tomatoes w green chiles in place of the harissa because I had them handy. To take this up a notch, I recommend sprinkling Tajin chile lime salt over the top!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          We’re so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Jill! Your modifications sound lovely. Thank you for sharing! xo

    • Nea says

      I love it! I didn’t use any harissa but i added some chili sauce and it worked. Tasted so good with chips and i even poured a bit of it to my salad and all i have to say is that I will be making this again!

  13. Shalleene Pickard says

    This is a delicious recipe! Since going vegan I have been looking for a substitute for queso dip to use in recipes and I have found it! We make this at least once a week. Thank you!

    • Jessica says

      I made this today. Let’s begin with I am not vegan. This makes delicious pseudo-queso! I partially soaked the cashews in the boiling water while putting together my new food processor. I didn’t have harissa so I used 1/2 tsp smoked paprika. It turned out just a little gritty only because I don’t know that the new food processor is excellent quality. I would absolutely encourage using a bullet or Vitamix if someone has one – I do not. I would use this on ground taco meat, tortilla chips, enchiladas. I might soak the spices with the cashews to soften up the spices for immediate eating (I know, I know, it’s a no-soaking cashew recipe) because they were noticeable individually upon immediately eating. But I’d make the recipe again for sure!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thank you for sharing your experience, Jessica! A food processor does have trouble getting it fully creamy, but glad to hear you still enjoyed it overall!

  14. Aneena says

    All I can say is WOW !! I have experimented with a bunch of these recipes and this is by far the simplest, quickest, and most delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Aneena. Thank you for the lovely review! xo

      • Sabrina says

        Wow, this was a very pleasant surprise, we loved it! Our household is mostly plant based, but not vegan, and we are trying to reduce the sound of cheese that we use, so I recently got some nutritional yeast. When making nachos, I went light on the cheddar and figured we can use some of this on the side and I was so happy that both hubby and mom couldn’t get enough! Thanks for a wonderful and less guilty option of cheesy goodness!

  15. Marin says

    Ok…this is better than real cheese! I just cannot believe how amazingly delicious this queso is. I’m not plant based & have to admit this is better than the dairy kind. We made ours with harissa & it just ‘makes’ the recipe. Wow, speechless! Thank you for creating this perfect queso.

    Would love an updated plant based sour cream recipe without the probiotic capsules, please 😁

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoy it, Marin! We’ll add the sour cream to our ideas list.

  16. Kim says

    Literally love this queso cheese. I’ve recently gone gluten and dairy free and cheese is always a must have for me! It is a fabulous recipe!
    I have made in server all different styles but each one came out fabulous!
    If like me you crave for a “harder cheese with tang” I cut out the chilli and replace it with half a red bell pepper and a table spoon of apple cider vinegar and a little garlic and onion powder, pop that into the blender and then let it roast in the oven to make it a more thicker consistency. Pop it back into the fridge and it is like a cheddary soft cheese! So yum!

  17. Jess says

    I’ve been after a decent vegan cheese/queso recipe for ages and this is the beeeeeest. Can always rely on Minimalist Baker for the goods!

  18. Jy says

    Hi, most of my family lives in Texas the and best thing about visiting is the QUESO. However, its always served warm there… I havent made this yet… can it be heated and served warm or will that change the texture/consistency? Thanks

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! Yes, it can be, but you’ll want to avoid overheating or it can get a weird consistency. It’s best to slowly heat on a stovetop and add dairy-free milk or water as needed to thin. The cashews thicken when heated. Hope that helps!

  19. Taylor says

    Absolutely loved this!
    I was a little worried my blender wasn’t good enough, so I soaked the cashews in hot water for around 30 mins before making the dip. The only seasonings I adjusted in the end were more nutritional yeast and a dash more cumin. Didn’t have harissa or many of the substitutions suggested, so I added some Valentina (hot sauce) and a few pickled jalapeño slices. Highly recommended! So easy!!

  20. Emma says

    The best vegan “cheese” anything I’ve ever made! I soaked the cashews in hot water for an hour because I had the extra time and why not. I subbed the harissa for an equal amount of Sambal Oelek and it’s AMAZING! I think it would be great on nachos. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy it, Emma! Thank you so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modification! xo

  21. lara says

    hands down this is the BEST and FASTEST queso I’ve ever made. even my dad – who can’t eat nuts – said that it smelled exactly like nuts and was so sad that he couldn’t try it 😅 will be making this on repeat 100 % 🤤

  22. Karen Pearson says

    I had a sudden craving for queso but can’t eat dairy. I figured there must be a vegan queso recipe out there, and lo and behold, this one popped up. It was runnier than I would have preferred (note to self: use less than 3/4 cup hot water to start next time) and it wasn’t as creamy as it looked in the photos. I think it’s my blender because everything I’ve tried with cashews is still too grainy for my liking. However, the taste was excellent and helped with the craving. 😋

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karen, thanks for sharing your experience. It does sound like the blender may be the issue. Because if the cashews are still a little grainy, they haven’t fully soaked up enough liquid.

  23. Stephanie Hataway says

    I love this. I think it’s my favorite vegan queso. Has anyone tried hemp instead of cashews?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy it, Stephanie! We haven’t tried that, but think it would turn out more bitter. Perhaps subbing up to 1/4 of the cashews with hemp seeds would provide a better flavor. Let us know if you try it!

  24. Rita L. says

    Pardon my french but holy s*** this recipe is the BOMB DOT COM!! Move over Siete brand cashew queso in a jar from the grocery store. That used to be my fave but THIS IS 1,000 times better…my mind is BLOWN! I substituted “Sambal Oelek Chili Paste” for the Harissa. I am sure it is the bomb both ways but THIS RIGHT HERE, WOW. Thank you Minimalist Baker for bomb recipes, wow! Oh and did I mention that I am not even vegan and it is still the bomb dot com :)

  25. Jes says

    This is SO GOOD – I basically have it in the fridge at all times if I need a boost in a grain bowl or on some avocado toast or roasted veggies! Thank you, Dana!

  26. Tiffany says

    With all the rave reviews, I was prepared for my socks to be blown off with this recipe and I was greatly disappointed. It didn’t have any sort of a cheesiness or wasn’t an appealing taste. It just tasted like spicy cashews and not in a good way. I’m happy for all the people who did like it, but also kind of dumbfounded and I suppose a little salty that my cashews were wasted.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Bummer! We’re so sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it, Tiffany. Did you make any modifications? Were you using a brand of nutritional yeast you typically enjoy? That should give it the cheesy element.

    • Cas says

      I’m sorry to say but this is one of the worst vegan cheeses I have ever had, all the reviews were so great but after dumping that whole thing I’m just annoyed I wasted a cup of cashews. Definitely do not recommend unless you’ve recently gotten covid and lost your sense of taste

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Cas, we’re so sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it. Would you mind sharing what you disliked about it? Is it possible you made any modifications? We ask because other readers have really enjoyed this recipe.

  27. SB says

    Added a tsp or two (depending on one’s taste) of cider vinegar to give it that ‘cheesy’ tang.

    Always keep this in my fridge.

  28. Nancy says

    Holy moly this queso is BOMB. I’m trying not swear because it’s that good. I soaked my cashews overnight, and used less hot water–maybe 1/4 cup. I went with the Rotel instead of Harissa because I had a can on hand. OMG. It’s smoky and just the right amount of spicy–so satisfying. Thank you for sharing.

  29. Jackie says

    Hi! I’m on a search for a queso without cumin, chili powder and peppers (nightshades). Could this recipe work without those things?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, that’s tough! You can try and make this recipe without these ingredients and see how it goes!

  30. Alexandra says

    Omg this dressing is amazing. I used Bufalo (brand) classic Chipotle sauce for the Smokey flavour. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Kelly says

    This was amazing! I don’t usually love sauces made with cashews, but this was incredible. And so easy. I used a chipotle pepper because I had it on hand. So good.

  32. sammy whatman says

    Guys, you must make this! I followed the recipe exact. Everytime I make sauces with cashews in them everytime I am slightly disappointed. This is delicious! The regular vegan queso I make takes such a long time with roasted eggplant/aubergine which was so good but too time consuming. This took me 5 minutes and is healthier and tastier! Ah, thank you!

  33. Morgan says

    This is so delicious! I used an Adobe pepper and love the smokiness. Also, I ran out of cumin :( so I subbed coriander and it is perfect! Super flavorful.

  34. Amy says

    Made this for my very “I don’t think I’ll like alternative healthy cheese sauce things” boyfriend. Verdict: “you should make this again, it’s awesome and delicious.”

    We slathered this on baked potatoes and broccoli tonight and it was the perfect spicy creamy cheesy addition. Love this recipe!

  35. Jessa says

    So tasty with so little effort!! I was so excited to try this that I needed to make a couple modifications to use what I had on hand. I used roasted cashews instead of raw and Trader Joe’s Italian Bomba sauce (fermented crushed Calabrian chili peppers) instead of harissa. I will be making this again for sure!

  36. Kelly says

    Oh my gosh, this “queso” is SO addictive. I saw this and had my doubts but decided to give it a try because everything I’ve tried on this site has been great.

    I couldn’t believe a fake queso dip, whipped up in literally 5 minutes without soaking the cashews, would be good. I was wrong. It is fantastic!! I was trying to scrape every possible drop from the blender!

    I cut the recipe in half but, otherwise, made as is. The flavor is amazing and I can’t stop eating it!!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for such a quick and easy queso fix!

  37. Kristin F. says

    This is best queso I’ve ever had…hands down! And I’ve had a lot of queso in my time. I’ve never bought queso from a jar again since making this. It is so simple and so fast. I use my Nuritbullet to blend it smooth, and instead of harissa, I use green pepper Cholula. Even my 3-year-old girls love it, and I feel good giving it to them because it’s healthy. 🤩🏆

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your girls enjoyed it, Kristin! Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Interesting. Cashews and nutritional yeast CAN have sweetness depending on the brands you buy. I’d suggest adding more salt, inspecting your harissa to ensure it’s not sweetened, and if you’re adding any nut milk in place of water, ensure it is 100% unsweetened and not flavored.

  38. Ashley says

    I made this tonight, following the directions to the tee and for some reason mine was slightly sweet tasting and I can’t figure out why. I’m 98% sure my cashews were raw. It lacked a tang from normal cheese, but I will say that it was 1000% better than processed vegan cheese and I will be making it again. It went great with my tacos and I could see it on nachos. It is the perfect consistency…I just need to figure out the sweetness issue. Thanks for the quick recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ashley, cashews can have a bit of a natural sweetness to them. Or perhaps it was the hot sauce? You can add a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to balance the sweetness.

    • Athenalovestocook says

      I noticed that as well, I’d recommend subbing harissa for one chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, 1-2tbs of canned green chilis, 4-8 cherry tomatoes and 1/2 tsp of cumin 1/2 tsp seasoning salt and it was perfect! Compare to Tostitos nacho cheese dip (vegan style)

  39. Andi says

    Hi there! So I happen to have a harissa seasoning as oppose to a paste – would that work the same you think? Thank you! 🤓

      • Andi says

        Good morning! It worked out fantastic! I doubled the recipe and used a tablespoon and a half to start just to be safe and it had just the right level of spice for me. I would still use the full two if you’re doubling the recipe though if you like more spice in your queso! Thank you so much! Awesome recipe! 😍

  40. Sylvia says

    I didn’t have any harissa so I added a small jalapeno with some of the seeds and a couple tablespoons salsa. Served this on nachos – wow! This in my new go-to queso.

  41. Mags says

    This cashew queso is INCREDIBLE. It was just what I needed—a quick vegan queso recipe that just smacks. I feel like this will definitely become a staple for me : ) I had some with chips and also poured it all over my burrito with rice, beans, peppers, pico and lettuce. Incredible. I made mine without salsa and it was still awesome. I can see adding some zing—tomato, lime/lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar would be yum too. Thank you for this recipe!

  42. Jenna says

    I’m trying to navigate veganism in college, and this recipe taught me two adult things 1) cashews are expensive, and 2) a food processor doesn’t serve the same purpose as a blender. I definitely didn’t get the right consistency with my mini food processor. The color is very brown, which throws me off a bit. I think adding a little oil might be better next time!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jenna, sorry to hear it didn’t turn out! Is it possible you used roasted cashews? That could cause a darker color. And yes, a blender is important here.

      • Brynn says

        I tried it and turned out very nutty flavor-wise that I couldn’t make cheesier, even when I added more nutritional yeast. Texture was fairly creamy, but more grainy than queso should be. Definitely not bad, but not quite queso. Will try again with cashews!

  43. 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.

  44. 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!

  45. 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!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  46. 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

  47. 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!

  48. 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!

  49. 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

  50. 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!!

  51. 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!

  52. 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!!!

  53. 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!

  54. Sabine Salgado says

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

  55. 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.

  56. 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

  57. 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!!

  58. Charlotte says

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

  59. 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

  60. 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!!

  61. 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!

  62. 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!

  63. 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!

  64. 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.

  65. 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!

  66. 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 :)

  67. 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!

  68. 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!

  69. 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.

  70. 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 🙏🏼🙏🏼

  71. 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.

  72. 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!!!

  73. 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!

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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!

  78. 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!

  79. Danielle says

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

  80. 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

  81. 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.

  82. 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!

  83. 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!