Cashew-Less Vegan Queso

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Dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of Cashew-Free Vegan Queso Dip

It always happens. Just as I’m about to drift off to sleep at night, a recipe idea zings into my brain out of nowhere. This time, for vegan queso.

Eggplant slices drizzled with olive oil on a baking sheet

EXCITING NEWS.

I’ve tried vegan cheese based with cashews. It’s good, and it’s the first way I learned to mock cheese texture and flavor without using dairy. But I knew there had to be a better way.

I mean, not that I’m into counting calories, but cashews are very high in calories and fat and you can detect them in sauces unless you really build up the flavor from spices and otherwise.

So, the thought was, “What else is creamy but neutral and would make a good base for cheese sauce?”

The zinger I got at midnight whilst falling asleep: EGGPLANT!

Roasted eggplant slices wrapped in foil

Eggplant is amazingly versatile, especially once roasted. I enjoy it in pastas, whirled into baba ganoush or even roasted and layered into a hearty veggie sandwich. I adore the creaminess of baba ganoush and suspected its eggplant base would make an excellent base for vegan queso.

DING DING DING. I was correct.

Blender filled with ingredients for making Cashew-Less Vegan Queso

This sauce starts with roasted eggplant. I speed up the process by slicing it into thin rounds and broiling. A little steam in foil and then you can pull away the skin with ease. Then, just throw it into a blender with almond milk, nutritional yeast and a handful of spices and you’re good to go.

Look at that creamy queso goodness.

Blender with freshly blended Vegan Cashew-Less Queso Dip

A little cornstarch in the mix helps it thicken up once heated in a saucepan for serving. This is an optional step but I recommend it for that ultimate luxurious cheesy texture. (If you don’t use cornstarch, try another thickener, such as arrowroot powder.)

Cooking Easy Vegan Queso in a saucepan

All that’s left to do is add in a few Tbsp of slightly drained Rotel (just like real queso dip!) or your favorite chunky salsa. This really sends the texture and flavor over the top to mock the real thing.

Can of diced tomatoes for Vegan Queso DipBowl of soy-free Vegan Queso Dip surrounded by tortilla chips

Oh. My. Word.

You’re not gonna believe how delicious this is. And guess what? HUSBAND APPROVED!

John tried it, and he doesn’t like cashew sauces, and he really liked this dip! We agreed that it was ridiculous how close it was to real queso dip. Seriously amazing!

Tortilla chips and a bowl of Cashew-Less Vegan Queso

So what does it taste like?

Creamy
Velvety
Savory
Super cheesy
Slightly spicy
Perfectly dippable
Totally pourable
Begging to be added to all your favorite dishes

Don’t worry. I have a few recipes in the works utilizing this dreamy dip! And another bonus: It reheats extremely well! If you’ve ever made cashew cheese you know it doesn’t exactly reheat well. But with this, you can just pop it in the microwave or put it back in a saucepan and it’s just as good!

Dipping chips into Creamy Vegan Queso with a hot sauce swirl

Yet ANOTHER bonus? This dip is cashew-, soy-, dairy-, and gluten-free!

And did I mention it’s way lighter in fat and calories than nut- and dairy-based quesos? Just 55 calories and 3.5 grams of (healthy) fat per serving! What’s not to love? Make this dip! And if you do, take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram so I can see! Cheers!

Scooping up cashew-less Vegan Queso Dip on a chipChip dipped in the Best Vegan Queso Dip

Cashew-Less Vegan Queso

Easy vegan queso made cashew-, dairy-, soy-, and gluten-free! Eggplant keeps the flavor neutral and the texture creamy! The perfect dairy-free queso!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Tortilla chips and a bowl of homemade Vegan Queso made without cashews
4.19 from 197 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Course Appetizer, Dip, Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 Month (in small jars)
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 7-9 rounds of eggplant (sliced 1/4-inch thick // half of a medium eggplant yields 7-9 rounds)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups unsweetened original almond milk
  • 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (see instructions)
  • 1/4 tsp finely minced fresh garlic (I used crushed garlic from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (optional for thickening // sub another thickener if desired)
  • 1/4 cup chunky medium salsa (slightly drained // OR 1/4 10-ounce can of Rotel original diced tomatoes and green chilies)
  • Smoked paprika and hot sauce (optional // for added color and flavor upon serving)

Instructions

  • Slice your eggplant into thin rounds just under 1/2 inch (not quite 1/4 inch). Then sprinkle both sides of the flesh with a little sea salt and arrange in a colander to help draw out some of the moisture and bitterness. Let set for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse with cool water and thoroughly pat dry between two clean towels.
  • Preheat oven to high broil and place an oven rack near the top of the oven. Arrange the dried eggplant rounds on a baking sheet lightly spritzed with non-stick spray and drizzle both sides of the eggplant with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with a very small amount of salt.
  • Broil on high for 4-5 minutes on each side, watching carefully as to not let them burn. Flip at the halfway point to ensure even cooking. Once the eggplant appears tender and both sides have golden brown color, remove from the oven and wrap loosely in foil to steam.
  • After a few minutes, unwrap and peel the eggplant skin away. It should come right off. If you pack your roasted eggplant into a 1-cup measuring cup, it will be almost 1 cup (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • Place eggplant in a blender with almond milk (starting with the lesser amount), nutritional yeast (starting with the lesser amount), minced garlic, cumin, chili powder and cornstarch and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a pinch more sea salt and a little more nutritional yeast. To thin, add more almond milk.
  • Transfer to a small saucepan and warm over medium to medium-high heat until slightly thickened and bubbly – about 5 minutes. The longer you go the thicker it will become.
  • NOTE: If it isn’t looking as thick as you want, thicken with a slurry of cornstarch by adding an additional 1 tsp cornstarch to a small bowl with a little almond milk and 2-3 Tbsp of the cheese mixture (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Whisk to combine and then stir back into the pot. This should thicken it right up.
  • Once hot and thickened, remove from heat and stir in DRAINED salsa or Rotel. Don’t put the liquid in or it will make it runny. Pour into a serving dish and top with a little smoked paprika and hot sauce for flavor/color.
  • Serve with chips, crackers or veggies. Keep warm in a mini crockpot or over a tea light warmer if you have one. Microwaves well.
  • NOTE: When this dip sits out for a long time it loses its orange hue. It doesn't affect the flavor but it doesn't look as appetizing, so it's really best when fresh!
  • Refrigerate and cover leftovers. Reheats extremely well in the microwave or in a saucepan. Will keep for up to a few days, but best when fresh.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 55 Carbohydrates: 4.7 g Protein: 2.3 g Fat: 3.5 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 326 mg Fiber: 2 g Sugar: 0.7 g

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  1. Novella says

    Outstanding! Be sure to leave no skin on the eggplant, I suspect that’s why many people’s have turned grey. Mine was a gorgeous tan /orange. You NEED smoked paprika. Make sure you don’t leave it out. It adds something to the flavour that couldn’t be replaced by something else. I also added hot wings sauce while making it, which is orange and probably also helped with the colour. My hubby won’t stop raving about it! I will be making this forever!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! After broiling, simply cover it with the tinfoil and the heat will be trapped in the tin foil packet, creating steam.

  2. Erin says

    I used soy milk and it was pretty gross – too sweet and funky. Just a warning in case you’re considering substituting. Texture was good.

  3. PlumV says

    Do you recommend a substitute for the Nutritional Yeast? I’m avoiding it since it has the same chemical structure as MSG, but wonder if it will still taste good with a substitute. I’ve been looking forward to a yummy low fat “cheese” dip!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      You can try omitting and maybe increase the spices? It won’t quite have that same “cheesy” taste though.

  4. Maribeth says

    This was brown, not yellow and it tasted like baba ganouj. Absolutely nothing like cheese sauce.

  5. Amanda says

    Was so excited to make this because I love your mashed chickpea tuna recipe – but it didn’t work, unfortunately. What I got was a tannish dip (even after adding paprika) that tastes nothing like queso. I do like the consistency and taste of the eggplant in a dip but I don’t think I’ll be making this specific dish again because it was not at all like what I had expected it to be and was a bit weird. I’m giving three stars because even though it did not taste or look at all like queso or the dish shown I have still been eating it with chips these past few days.

    • Julia says

      Hi Amanda,
      I made this as well, and the color and taste of my result was also slightly off. I think this is because I forgot to peel the skin off of the eggplant! Could you have possibly made this mistake as well?
      Thought I would post this as a possible explanation for any more results like ours and a reminder for others to peel the skin off 🙂
      Thanks, Minimalist Baker, for the creative recipe!
      All best, Julia

  6. Kara says

    I don’t usually rate recipes, but I’ve used it so many times I figure I need to say that this dip is great. It really does taste like queso, and I always have people guess the secret ingredient since it’s not cashew. People are always surprised it’s eggplant. Thanks :)

  7. Katrina Peebles says

    My husband and I have been vegan since the beginning of 2020. We’re not a fan of the cashew cheeses we’ve tried, so I was very excited to find this one. The eggplant was brilliant! It was out of this world! Even my picky husband agreed that it’s the closest thing to real queso he’s tasted! Every recipe of yours that I’ve tried has been delicious! I just added your cookbook to my Amazon Wish List as I have a birthday coming up this month! Thank you for inspirational dishes! ;-)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you both enjoyed it, Katrina! Thank you so much for the lovely review! xo

      • Lisa says

        Hi, I’d like to know what a serving size means? The recipe says it gives six servings but I don’t know if that means 6 cups or some other kind of measurement. I’m planning on making this and would like to know as I’m tracking my food intake. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
        Thank you.
        Looking forward to my nachoes 😀

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Lisa, we don’t have a measurement in cups, but it’s 1/6 of the total recipe. Our best guess would be about 1/2 cup, but we’d recommend measuring out 6 servings to confirm if concerned.

  8. Deb says

    No, this did not work for me. My attempt was a less than appealing color (kinda tan-ish/green) right out of the blender. I thought I must have skipped an ingredient, yes, the olive oil on the eggplant before broiling. I doubt that made a color difference though. I will add turmeric, that could help.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Deb, did you add the smoked paprika and/or hot sauce? That can help with the color! The turmeric may also help. How did it taste?

  9. Barb says

    This recipe looks great. Reading through comments wondering can this be totally but free- is Oatly just an oat milk and if yes does it leave an aftertaste? Also a popular vegan queso uses cauliflower as first ingredient. Wondering if any benefit to adding some of that for nutritional benefits and creaminess as well?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes, Oatly is a brand of oat milk and shouldn’t leave an aftertaste. But we haven’t tried it in this recipe specifically! We also haven’t tried using cauliflower, but it might work. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

  10. Maureen says

    I followed this recipe to letter and ended up with a delicious faux-queso! Since then, I’ve made this many times but I’ve never ended up with an orange coloured dip. Regardless, it’s always been super tasty and versatile. Thank you for sharing it with the world!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lisa, You can try omitting and maybe increasing the spices? It won’t quite have that same “cheesy” taste though.

  11. Amber says

    THIS QUESO IS A BANGER!!!!!!!!!!! I was definitely skeptical about the eggplant, but I will literally never use cashews to make a queso sauce again. This is the one. I used this for a batch of buffalo chickpea and tempeh quesadillas and it was sooooooo good. I can not overstate how amazing this stuff is. Stop thinking about it and try it now!

  12. Frankie says

    This is somewhat labor intensive but really good. The only thing I would do differently is to peel the egg plant before browning it in the oven. I didn’t have good luck peeling it and wasted some of the egg plant itself because it stuck to the peeling. Otherwise, it went well. I added fresh cilantro as an after thought.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sam, For the cornstarch, we would suggest omitting or maybe trying arrowroot starch (though we haven’t tried it)? For the nutritional yeast, you can try omitting and maybe increasing the spices? It won’t quite have that same “cheesy” taste though.

  13. Morgan Fleming says

    All of the recipes I have done from this website are amazing including this one! I made this with cashew milk (and only 1 cup because that was all I had on hand) and it was still great. Thank you Dana for all these wonderful recipes. This is my go to website for vegtarian dishes and I am never disappointed.

  14. Judy Smith says

    This is amazing. In fact I’ve never left a review for a recipe before but this more than deserves the praise! I didn’t change anything except leaving out the salsa only because I liked it just plain. I plan to use on top of black bean burgers, for tacos and just as a plain dip. This could be used for so many things! It was easy to make and it will be a staple in my fridge. Thank you for the wonderful recipes!

  15. Shelby Schneider says

    This was delicious! Made it for Superbowl viewing; it was a hit! I was a little afraid to make it; it turned out great! Some of the eggplant I broiled, was a little burnt, I ate it as a snack, so delicious! The consistency of the queso was great; I used 2 tbls. nutritional yeast. I will follow one of the recommendations, and try making it with Oatly; as I need to make these again for my son’s girlfriend; she cannot have dairy or almonds! Thank you, I can’t wait to experiment with this recipe further.

  16. Astrid says

    Love your recipes! Can’t wait to try this one. Word of caution, most nonstick sprays contain soybean oil. I’ve only seen one avocado oil spray that doesn’t contain anything but avocado oil (it’s definitely not any of the main brands)

  17. Elizabeth says

    This queso is so easy and the spice blend is on point. I’ve started roasting the eggplant halved on a sheet pan until tender because the insides scoop out so easily. Making this for traditional “meat and potatoes” family members recently, I cooked ground Beyond Meat “Beef” with chilles and salsa and added it to the queso in a crockpot. It was great!

  18. Ligia says

    Made this and it was so delicious. One question. Could i add agar powder after everything is blended, and whisk everything in a pot with agar powder to make it a cheese? Would it work? I am looking for a cheddar cheese taste.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I think that would work! I think tapioca would provide a similar, thickened, “stretchy” effect.

  19. Emily S Yang says

    Hello! I have been invited to my first vegan potluck (I am not vegan) and I’m so glad I found your recipe!! Thank you. PS – Do you think soy milk would work in place of almond?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there! soy milk has a very distinct taste so I wouldn’t recommend it. I’d say cashew, almond and rice are your best bet here.

  20. Kristen says

    Just made this now. So tasty! Will be making again. I used the higher end of nutritional flakes but low on milk. I also like spicy so I added extra chili.

  21. Brooke says

    I love this website. When I found this, I made it the next day. I like the taste, but I put the items in the food processor instead of the blender, so the texture wasn’t right. Next time, and there will be a next time, I’ll put it in the nutribullet. I added the rotel, some jalepeno powder and a few drops of liquid smoke and it tasted pretty good. I think if the texture was right, it would’ve tasted more like cheese. We used as a dip with bread and veggies. Thanks Dana!

  22. Kristin says

    I’m new to the dairy free world and am slowly trending towards vegan. This sauce has totally opened up the world of creamy vegan sauces to me – in fact, changed the seasonings around, left out the nutritional yeast, and it made a great creamy enchilada sauce. It filled a void that I’ve been missing as my family eats our favorite sour cream chicken enchiladas. Thanks! :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  23. Cassie says

    I made this tonight for nachos & it was amazing! I added a couple spoonfuls of chipotle sauce instead of tomatoes/Rotel & it was exactly what I wanted!

  24. Katie Leigh says

    THIS! Is so amazing. I can not believe this even worked. Eggplant – Nacho cheese? WHAT! Well, it does and let me say, It’s so so good. I have now made it 3 times (shamelessly in the past week ha! eggplant overload from the garden) and modified a few of the ingredients each time – i.e. I add WAY more garlic than the 1/3 tbs and tried sauteing it first before adding in and also added fresh tomatoes and scallions, instead of salsa the 3rd time and it’s still amazing. KUDOS! Thank you :D I’ve loved you and your cooking for years but for some reason haven’t left a comment yet, so cheers to cashew-less cheeze & chips!

  25. Shannon says

    I think the chili powder and cumin can be reduced or left out. I added in probably three times as much nutritional yeast and it turned out pretty good. The spices were overbearing as it tasted like a chili cheese sauce BUT was still cheesy and gooey and definitely passed as nacho cheese.

  26. Jordan says

    Love the idea of using eggplant in a dip like this! I opted not to use nutritional yeast because I’m following medical medium recommendations. I added lemon instead. It wasn’t necessarily “cheesy” because I left the nooch out but delicious nonetheless!!

  27. Aj says

    This recipe is fantastic. I highly recommend following the recipe as written and you should not have any issues.

    I also made few changes the second time I made it. I used Oatly instead of the almond milk and turmeric for color and it’s benefits
    Great recipe

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there, We don’t have a sub for nutritional yeast, but you can leave it out and up the amount of spices we list. It won’t be as cheesy though!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm we’re not sure whether that would work, but if you give it a try, we would love to hear how it goes. Good luck!

  28. Suzie says

    I just made this and it is wonderful! I had it up on my comp for a few weeks now and kept putting it off! I really don’t like eggplant or should I say I have yet to cook eggplant and enjoy it! BUT this is wonderful! Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

  29. Jenna says

    I just made this and it is freakin amazing! I’ve been vegan for about 6 weeks now and have been dying for some queso! Queso was my biggest addiction and BY FAR the hardest thing to give up. I am not a fan of cashew cheese and I got some “nacho dip” from the store that was absolutely disgusting. I was just about to give up hope for my queso dreams when I found your recipe. THANK YOU! The only substitution I made was replacing the cornstarch with a couple of tsp of agar-agar because I was out of cornstarch. Worked great! I will say, it is not quite as creamy as queso, but it definitely hit the spot. I’ll be making this again, for sure!

  30. Rasmalai says

    the first time I made this dip, it was blah. But I was craving nachos today so I decided to give it another go. It was amazing. I added turmeric for color and subbed Frank’s Hot sauce for the salsa.

  31. R says

    I was so excited to try this and had it bookmarked for ages as I’m not so keen on cheese substitutes that rely heavily on nuts – they end up being not so healthy.
    However, I found it tasted strange, bland, and not at all like a cheesy sauce :(

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there! Sorry you had difficulties with this recipe. It’s one of my favorites, but definitely one that requires a bit of seasoning to taste depending on your preferred flavor. Did you change any of the ingredients? Just wanted to ensure you used nutritional yeast? When in doubt, add more nutritional yeast, salt, and spices!

  32. Pamela says

    Thanks so much for this recipe! Before dialysis, cheese was a staple of my diet. Now, not only is dairy off the menu due to its high levels of phosphorous, but the same goes for nuts. Any other suggestions for cheese alternatives for things like pizza would be most appreciated.

  33. Paula says

    I made this for nachos and it was a hit!
    Also, used this queso as a cheese base for mac-n-cheese and it was delightful.

    ***If your queso is turning GRAY, try peeling the eggplant before you blend it. Purple peel will certainly turn your queso grey. Maybe try a little turmeric in the recipe for color?

  34. Ariel says

    I made this!!!! We topped it on the grillable burger recipe that Dana has with onions and spinach and omg it was heaven. Sloppy deliciousness!
    I subbed a roasted jalapeno pepper for some extra heat instead of the canned salsa.
    Cant wait to use this base for the mac and cheese!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the sweet note and lovely review, Ariel. 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

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Johanna, we haven’t tried that, but don’t think it would work. If not using cornstarch, we would recommend arrowroot powder. Hope that helps!

  35. ct says

    Sorry- but this dip didn’t taste like queso at all, even with 5 tablespoons of nutritional yeast. It was also greyish-green. Maybe if you add lots of salsa and chilli powder you can make it taste of something, but it was pretty bland even with half a can of green chilis. I had to add a lot of salt.
    The texture was good, but the recipe as it needs a little help.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We are sorry this recipe wasn’t a winner for you! Better luck with the next one :)

  36. Ashley says

    I followed the directions and ended up with a yellowish-gray sauce that reminded me more of baby food than cheese. It turned greenish-gray after about 20 mins. The cumin was way over powering. It was pretty disgusting. Not for us.

  37. Necoe says

    My daughter loved the cheese dip and asked if I thought I could make it into Alfredo sauce. Challenge accepted! I swapped the cumin and other nacho spices for oregano and basil. I think it needs less than the teaspoon each. Also went array with 3 T yeast. Super yummy!! Even the critical hubs loved it!!

  38. Melissa says

    This is delicious!! Not like queso….but good in a different way, if that makes sense ? I did make some minor substitutions/adjustments… I used cashew milk because I didn’t have any almond milk …. used only about 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast .
    .. smoked paprika… red pepper flakes and extra of everything spice wise cause that is my family’s preferences….no other reason. Used some of it in a baked macaroni and cheese dish with salsa,corn, and black beans….delicious! Used some of it for regular queso …. yum!! Thank you for sharing your recipes with us ….. I never would have thought to use eggplant!!! Genius!!

  39. Jo says

    I made this tonight since my daughter and I are both dairy free. I need to tweak the spices-maybe a little spicier next time-but it’s really good! Very creamy! I did have trouble “skinning” the eggplant, but most of the skin came off pretty easily. Wondering if I should have let it steam longer? Broil longer? We really liked it and will make it again! We had nachos with veggie chili and this queso! Thank you!

  40. Paul says

    Needless to say I did not read all comments. There are way too many but I am curious has any of the commenters actually tried the recipe? It has a five star rating based on its appearance and ingredients but no actual rating for taste. I can not go by “wow, I need to try this” as a real 5 star rating. It does not qualify. Thanks

    • DG says

      This does not taste like cheese or queso. However, it is a Mexican style dip that tastes good. I think it tastes exactly like her green chile mac n cheese recipe. Many of the ingredients are the same, except for eggplant instead of cashews. It is good if you are not expecting a queso flavor.

  41. Vicky says

    I’ve made several of your recipes, notably the arepas, and thoroughly enjoyed them all. I also really love the music you choose for your videos. I’m a New Orleans girl and I know good food and music!

  42. Shawn says

    We are not vegan but have a friend that’s is vegan coming to a party and wanted to have some things for her to eat. We didn’t really get a cheese flavor from this, but we both liked it. I am sure our friend will as well. Thank you for this recipe.

    • Em says

      I just wanted to say, I think it’s amazing and so kind and respectful of you to do something like this for a vegan friend. ?

  43. Kristen says

    Velvety is the perfect word for this recipe! The only change I made was to substitute plain nutritional yeast for Pop Zest’s Vegan Artisan Cheese Nutritional Yeast Seasoning. Yummy ?

  44. Ktloo says

    Taste was ok- nothing like cheese. The color and consistency looked nothing like the picture. Diuretic. As other people pointed out, the color was gray… it did go nicely with a black bean corn tortilla taco, but no way would I serve this as a dip. Very time consuming too with the egg plant prep… I folllowed the recipe exactly.

  45. Jan says

    It has been cold and rainy here so on Friday I made the 1-pot red lentil chili. I got the awesome idea today to make a frito pie using this cheese. I must say, best idea I have ever had in my LIFE! I recently made the decision to go vegan due to health concerns and I will say, your site has made the transition so much easier and I am finding that many of your recipes (this queso dip included) taste better than the meat/dairy versions!

  46. Carol Logan says

    I am lazy so thought I’d try a shortcut. (Never made the original so I can’t compare it). Am also on a low FODMAP, and nut free diet so needed to change it anyway.
    1. Sliced 1 largish aubergine, oiled slices both sides and baked at 220C for 40 minutes till golden.( NB did not pretreat the aubergine with salt. Did not get a bitter flavour.)
    2. Removed only some bits of skin that had gone dry.
    3. Put the remainer (including lots of skin) into food processor with 3 rounded tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 level tsp ground cumin, 1/2 level tsp asafoetida powder (Schwartz brand which is a blend- this is to replace the garlic ), large pinch of extra strong chilli powder and sea salt to taste. Whizzed still smooth.
    4. Absolutely yummy – no milk, thickener or anything else needed so once the aubergine is cooked it takes 5 minutes to make. Thank you so much for the inspiration!
    When the oven was on to bake the aubergines, I was baking potatoes at the same time.

  47. Mary says

    When I saw this I knew I had to make it…NOW. Not surprisingly, it was as good as it looked! I was oohing and aahing when my 16-year-old son came into the kitchen. I said,” you have to try this queso dip. ” Having tried some of my less successful food swaps, he was on to me. “Mom. That is not cheese. It is not going to taste like cheese.” I pushed him to try. He took one bite and his eyes lit up. “OH. MY. GOD. Mom this is amazing!” He began to take my bowl away and I panicked….maybe I didn’t want him to like it–more for me! Since then I have made it several times, my boys ask for it when their friends are over and I even had one mom text me–“Can you send me your dip recipe? My son was raving about it!” Thank you for making eating good foods so incredibly tasty!

  48. Don Urban says

    I made this in about 10 minutes (minus the cooking time) and splashed it all over tonights nachos. IT IS AMAZING!
    Love your vegan pesto and now love this! Thank you for sharing your recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm I’m not sure, Ashley! The salsa is pretty key to the recipe but if you experiment with swaps, report back on how it goes!

    • LeAnn Lewis says

      I know this comment is a bit dated, but if you’re still looking for ideas you could try adding in some green chili’s and lime. You could also use a chipotle pepper or roasted jalapeños.

  49. Karma says

    i am allergic to eggplant and carrot, so that really limits my vegan cheese options. do you think i could use zucchini in place of eggplant?

    • LeAnn says

      I have used thinly sliced zucchini and minced garlic as a base for a pizza before. It was creamy and delicious. I’ve also seen zucchini “ganoush” recipes that mimic the eggplant version because the texture is similar.

      Definitely worth a try!

  50. Mommaof3 says

    So excited to try this recipe! Eggplant is much more economical that cashews! My family is gonna love this!
    Thank you Dana for all of your AWESOME recipes! You ROCK!

  51. Cathy says

    Made this today, it was amazing. I didn’t get a great orange color but the taste and texture are really good. Thank you!

  52. Leslie says

    After finding out last week that Cheese is now a big no-no for me, I found this recipe and tried it out! I was very pleasantly surprised. This recipe was so good, that I decided to review it on my blog! I will definitely be making this again and again!

  53. SHARON GOODFELLOW says

    I ahve a very dumb question, because Ive never used eggplant for anything; when you say 7-9 rounds of eggplant, does that mean I need 7-9 eggplants or I need to cut my eggplant into 7-9 pieces that are just under 1/2”? I know, dumb question. I want to make tonight since I have about 10 people coming over and they’re all vegan. Thanks!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sharon! You guessed right – we mean 7-9 slices (cross-sections, if you will) of eggplant not 7-9 eggplants. Hope this helps!

  54. Jody Copp says

    Im doing the happy dance in my kitchen……this tastes sooooooooooo good. I would recommend the whole world to try..NOT KIDDING!
    Thankyou so much

  55. Calgal says

    I made this tonight exactly as written but I’m not a big fan. I even tried doctoring it up with smoked paprika, Himalayan sea salt, and some hot sauce. I used the drained salsa option and even thickened it up with some tapioca starch. I think my heart just belongs to cashew-based cheese as it’s so much creamier and richer.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We are sorry this recipe wasn’t a winner for you! Better luck with the next one :)

  56. calgal says

    I made this tonight and can’t quite decide if I like it or not. I made it as written, but doctored it up with some smoked paprika, salt, some hot sauce and I used the drained salsa option. I even thickened it with a bit of tapioca starch. I think I’m just obsessed with cashew-based queso and this doesn’t have the richness or creaminess of that. I do like this version better than potato-based queso, and is a good option for people who can’t have cashews or want a fat-free queso dip.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried and can’t say for sure. If you give it a try, report back on how it goes!

  57. Brandy says

    This is my new favorite queso recipe, and I have tried a LOT since giving up dairy last year. Perfect for nachos, pasta and baked potatoes! Just make it!

  58. Erin says

    I’m convinced you are incapable of creating a bad recipe! I was, like, ‘eggplant? No way is this gonna be awesome’. Yet…. I was proven wrong! This is sooooooooo good!!!! Keep those recipes coming! They’re magic!

  59. Elaina says

    Best vegan queso I’ve ever made! Taste is spot-on, but for some reason mine was more of a grayish brownish color and didn’t have the appearance of queso. Didn’t look appetizing at all but was delicious. Reheats well in the microwave.

  60. Mari says

    I was so looking forward to this but the result was awful. I live abroad and maybe it’s the kind of nutritional yeast they sell here, because that was the awful part of it. Do you have any suggestions to what to use instead? Im not vegan, I just like eating vegan food every now and then so Im willing to try use any substitute.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Mari! We are sorry to hear that this recipe did not turn out for you. We love this brand of nutritional yeast and have had success with it.

  61. WZ says

    OMG this was amazing. I added extra nutritional yeast. The color was yellow but a bit more dull than what is pictured here. This recipe has helped me in my decision to eat vegan for most meals (eventually all meals) as I do get cravings for queso but it makes me feel nasty afterward. This is ultimately creamy and veggie-packed. I made nachos several nights in a row with silken tofu sour cream, Quorn chik’n (not vegan, be warned– has egg whites, learned after buying which was a good lesson to double check), peach salsa, cilantro, beans, tomatoes.. yum.

  62. terri carroll says

    Is it real runny without the addition of a grain based thickener. I ask because I’m doing keto. It looks great, thank you for sharing your recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Terri! We do recommend using a thickener of some kind of not cornstarch as the dip is definitely more runny without!

  63. Ruth says

    Wow I always wanted to know how to make this recipe and I love it, I will surely try it. Can I try and roast it instead of baking It? Pls reply cause I want to try it today since I have the ingredients.

  64. Teresa says

    I made this tonight and it was delicious. Just one side comment … I love your recipes, but your website it SO SLOW. Is it all the advertisements. I hope this could be sped up somehow. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Teresa! We are sorry to hear that. What browser and device are you viewing from?

  65. Marisol Mendoza says

    Usually love your recipes, but quite disappointed. Mine was brow/tan, too much cumin flavor(hard to reverse). I’m in Texas, so maybe queso different up north?

  66. Soph says

    Soooo Good! I used minimalist baker’s recipes like nearly eary day no joke. I used coconut milk for this recipe because I ran out of almond AND soy milk and it still turned out yummy. The sauce was a little thin for mine so I would recommend using a little more cornstarch if you use coconut milk because it will turn out thinner if not. Flavour wise there wasn’t a huge coconut aftertaste because the nooch masks it up. Def gonna make again. Thanks for being such a lifesaver for vegan late night dinners!!!

  67. Vicky says

    I’ve just finished making this and eating some for the second time…oh yum! I’m not vegan, but I’m veggie and mostly dairy free. I wanted to give this a try because I like Queso in a jar (there’s only one kind available in the UK as far as I can tell), but it’s loaded with junk that’s awful for your body. So I wasn’t expecting this to taste like real queso, but wow. The verdict? So good that I crave it! Thank you, Dana!!!

  68. Nicole says

    My husband made this for me for our 27th Anniversary!! So so delicious! So nice to enjoy a warm comfort food on a 25 degree day in Wisconsin during April. I’m tired of cold dips… this one hits the spot!

  69. Sarah says

    I made this queso tonight to go on top of some sweet potato nachos. The queso was so good I started dancing when eating it. After dinner I caught my husband eating it right out of the pot on the stove. We loved it!

  70. Tina says

    I love you but I am so sorry I hated this recipe! The spices overpower and it didn’t taste like cheese to me at all. The color was offputting but the texture was ok. I’ll still to cashew “cheese” for now.

  71. Laura says

    I added turmeric for a yellow appearance. I made it with less spices for more of a plain all-purpose cheese sauce. It’s great for Mac and cheese! Must add more eggplant to the shopping list…

  72. Edith Oh says

    I made it. Follow the recipe. It does not taste like cheese. It tastes like curry. What was it supposed to taste like? What went wrong?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Edith! I am not sure what went wrong, but there is no curry powder in the recipe so that shouldn’t be the case. It should be cheesy and creamy, but unless you added an ingredient or changed the recipe, I am not sure what happened. If you have any other info, let us know and we’ll do our best to help out!

      • Edith says

        I found out what it was. I’ve been eating a lot of Indian curry recently and I now know the taste of their spices. I asked one of the doctors I work with, which is Indian, and he said they use cumin in their curries.

  73. Charlene says

    Our first try at making Vegan Queso and we enjoyed it. I followed the recipe and the texture was creamy. Flavor was tasty. Color did not resemble what was in the pictures but I will broil it for less time in the future and see if I can get it closer. Thanks for being so generous with your ideas!

  74. Mallory says

    I love the idea of this recipe Dana! I was wondering however if you had any suggestions for those who are allergic to all nuts? (A good substitute for the almond milk) thanks! :)

  75. Kelly says

    This recipe didn’t quite work for me. We enjoyed this dip and thought it would be tasty on vegetables, but my husband couldn’t give it his stamp of queso authenticity (to be fair, his family basically is the “when queso is life” meme). My attempt was also not at all yellow, but the same brown as the brewers yeast. Maybe I’ll try adding turmeric next time.

  76. Krysten says

    OOOOOOOO GIRL!!!! I made this last night. I read some of the comments regarding people not liking it. I tried it anyway and I am glad I did! I have no idea why anyone wouldn’t like this. Trust me guys, it is delicious! My husband is the biggest carnivore I know and he ate 5 plates of this over some rice. Read that again. FIVE PLATES OF IT. He loved it. My kids wanted more, so I made another double batch thinking I could save some. Uh no… gone. I made the recipe exactly as described and it turned out so perfect. The color is nice and cheesy-yellow looking. It has a very robust Spanish flavor and it is super creamy. Anyway, my family of 6 loved this! Great job!

  77. Alicia says

    Just made this for the first time and OMG it’s so good!! I am new to veganism and it blows my mind that I’m able to make a something as tasty, creamy, and bingeable as nacho cheese but way healthier! Much better than cashew cheeses I’ve tried.

  78. Bill Dauz says

    I have made this twice now and it was fantastic! After I went vegan, I thought I would never enjoy the cheeses again! Well, I stand corrected! This would hold up to even non-vegan standards.

  79. Elaine says

    Dana, I have been enjoying your recipes and waited until the weekend to try this one. I’m Mexican-American and was so drawn to the idea of queso. It ended up being a tad labor intensive (still working on cooking). I did use arrowroot in lieu of cornstarch. Thickness was fine. I used the Rotel and everything. My cumin is from a spice store. Mine was overwhelmed by the taste of the cumin and did not resemble cheese. I measured everything carefully. Mine never looked yellow.

  80. Christina says

    Thank you for making a no-nut cheesy recipe!!! I cook all vegan, but I have a daughter who is extremely allergic to cashews, pecans, walnuts, and sesame, which I find very limiting. I can’t wait to whip this up. You are responsible for many fave recipes at my house!

  81. Susie says

    This didn’t turn out well for me either. I really wanted to like it because I love eggplant. I followed the recipe exactly and the taste and color were totally off. It was somewhat salvaged by adding some salsa and green chilies. I wouldn’t say it was inedible, but definitely didn’t satisfy the queso craving. I’ve had better success with potato/carrot queso dips. I do love this blog and will keep trying out the recipes.

    On a side note: I wish people would only rate recipes if they’ve made it. Most people have given this 5 stars because they like the ingredients or are excited to make it. I really wish there was a way to sift through comments so I could read how people liked it (or successful medications) AFTER making it. This especially becomes a problem when you are viewing on your cell phone. Only after I decided to post this comment am I seeing some of the more negative reviews from people who made the recipe. Sorry to rant but this is such a common problem on food blogs….

  82. Taylor says

    I was SO delighted with this recipe! After reading some of the comments I was honestly a little hesitant as I’m not a whiz in the kitchen… but I’m so glad I tried it anyway! It was so tasty, the perfect consistency, and addictive! My husband and I both really enjoyed it. (The colour of mine turned out just as shown in the photos – so it was pretty to boot!) Dana your recipes consistently blow my mind.

  83. Robert says

    Making this and vegan Chile for new years 2018. Can’t wait. ☺️
    Nothing tells the story of out with the old and in with the new like vegan Chile and cheese nachos and other plant based Mexican fair.

  84. Caryn at Veggie Campus says

    Dana, this recipe is brilliant! I had a vegetable sponge, which is like a mix between a zuke and an eggplant, so I used that. I also don’t have an oven, which meant I ‘roasted’ the vegetable sponge rounds in a pan (sans oil) to sorta dry it out. Also used soy milk because almond milk is hard to come by in Taiwan. That being said…wow! Still turned out amazing. I added a half of a fresh red chili pepper for more spice because my salsa was very mild. Loved this flavor so much – thank you!

  85. holly says

    Thank you so much for sharing! I just made this dip for my first time and it turned out great! I used a spicier salsa and it gave it the perfect amount of kick! Can’t wait to make it again!

  86. Kayla says

    I made this today and was a bit hesitant as I don’t normally like eggplants. But let me tell you THIS WAS AMAZING!!! I’ve just started dabbling into vegan recipes and I must say this has satisfied my craving for queso! I did burn some of my eggplant while broiling(LOL) so I cut the recipe in half, but it was perfect for just myself. I did find that I didn’t get a bright yellow color either, it was kind’ve ugly to look at but extremely delicious! Great recipe thanks!

  87. Dave says

    Question: I am allergic to eggplant and I’m wondering if you have tried this recipe for cashew less cheese sauce using zucchini or butternut squash?

  88. Dee says

    I made this exactly as listed and it turned out bad. I ended up tossing it. I tried tweaking it with more nutritional yeast and more salsa and still was terrible. Not sure how yours turned out so orange because mine looked like a beige green cheese dip from 1972. Sorry to be harsh but I wasted a lot of nutch trying to salvage it.

  89. Jordan says

    Delicious! I only made half, but the recipe halved beautifully. Was fantastic with nacho chips. My omnivore mother liked it too! Win!

  90. Jenny Engle says

    This is a brilliant recipe. Great way to use up my windfall of CSA eggplants and suits my vegan daughter and non-vegan husband. Added a little sriracha for heat since I only had regular diced tomatoes.

  91. Christine says

    I’m always looking for vegan queso dip recipes but eggplant is one of the few things out there that I can’t stand. Will I taste the eggplant or is it really just used for consistency?

  92. Wendy says

    Thank you so much for this. As a vegan who is highly allergic to cashews, I’ve been struggling all the great recipes out there, especially creamy sauces and cheeses. This gives me hope. I can’t wait to try it!!

  93. Christina Kruk says

    The only time I have ever had eggplant I found it slimy and uninteresting. I hope you’re right about this cause I DO count calories (or at least I consider them. lol)
    Im wondering if this would make a good topping, in a more liquid fashion, for pasta? I cannot have tomato or onion and very little garlic. Right now I make a rue and then a white sauce add cream cheese and sometimes a little mozza (cant have too much cheese) and then I freeze it in single serving bags.
    It would be nice to have a change (Im so dying for some variety in my food).
    Do you think this would freeze and then reheat well?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Christina! It should work as a pasta topping! I would freeze it in small batches in jars and it will reheat beautifully in the microwave. Or, put it in the fridge to thaw and transfer to a saucepan to reheat. Hope this helps!

      • Christina Kruk says

        thanks.
        This is all so new to me and it’s great that I can try stuff that you (or other) have already perfected.

  94. Leanne Nichols says

    Recipe worked great for me. Felt like I was eating junk food (in the best way). Made it for nonvegans and they loved it, too.

  95. Laura Jarrell says

    Hi! I love this recipe and I’m cooking out of your cookbook a lot these days! I especially love cheese-y things. I recently unpacked my fondue pot from before I was vegan. Have you ever used any of your cheeses as a fondue?

  96. Melissa says

    Made this today – very happy with the results. Thank you for thinking up such a great vegan alternative. It’s nice to indulge in something that is tasty and healthy!

  97. Anna Clements says

    Love the idea and was very excited! Confused because the pics you show do not help us see the rotel/tomatoes mixed in…did you blend these? I wanted to love this, but mine came out like a vegan gravy–a great accomplishment, but not what I was looking for! Maybe I had a glitch with the spices, the color was not even close to yours.

  98. Renee says

    This looks great! I will try it.
    One comment I’d like to make is when you roast the eggplant, by first enclosing/wrapping it in parchment paper and then the foil, the issue of aluminum contacting the food is avoided. Food will uptake some of the aluminum when heated.

  99. Tara says

    I just made this and it was the bomb! I tweaked it a little because I had macadamia milk instead of almond on hand, tapioca starch instead of cornstarch 1/2 tsp of chipotle seasoning I got at TJ Maxx and 1/2 tsp of taco seasoning from trader joes. I had a large eggplant and I decided to blend half of the peeled and roasted eggplant in the queso mix and the other half I chopped up and added to the mix as it was heating in my saucepan. The 1/4 cup of the rotel added a kick and instead of chips I put it on top of rice. This recipe is very versatile and I can see this as a great sauce to dress up other dishes like ratatouille. Thank you Dana!

  100. Katarina says

    Calling this eggplant soup “cheese” is ridiculous. We are vegans and making all sorts of non-dairy cheese all the time, but this one was the biggest disappointment so far…

  101. Whitney says

    Hi all!
    I made this tonight and it turned out alright…BUT I really thought I’d get more of a smoky flavour from the eggplant. I really can’t taste the smoke/texture/taste of the eggplant at all.

    I think I followed the eggplant section to a T. Any suggestions? Did others get a smoky/eggplant taste?

    Thanks!
    Whitney

  102. Veggie Val says

    This was AWESOME! I’m oil free so I just left out the oil, added a little yellow miso and boy oh boy was this FANTASTIC ?! I have found a use for my bumper crop of ? ??????.

  103. Clara says

    I made this and it never had a golden hue color. Just the color of the almond milk really. Did I do something wrong?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Clara! We added A LOT of nutritional yeast which amped up the color. Paprika helps boost the color, too. Perhaps that was the issue? Hope you still enjoyed it!

      • Clara says

        WE loved it! Made nachos twice and tonight made black bean enchiladas adding this cheese. It was super yummy! Thank you so much!!

  104. Carolyn McDaniel says

    I made this last night for family and friends. It turned out really good. I didn’t find the need to make the slurry. I just used less almond milk than the recipe called for. I only had a jar of salsa so I used 1/4 cup instead of Rotel. Everyone loved it. Thanks for the recipe.

  105. Carol Dunlop says

    Lordy ! This queso is to die for !!! I don’t even like eggplant, but this works . I may eat the entire bowl right now . Thank you !!!!!

  106. Sarah says

    I followed the recipie to t! Came out like a beige colour and wasn’t as cheesy as I had hoped. I even added a little extra of the yeast. Oh well!

  107. Eleanor Dillon says

    Can you leave an approximate weight of the eggplant? I have lots of miniature ones I’d like to use for this. :)

  108. Chef Tyler says

    Cool idea have the broiler heating up now to try. I know this was posted a while- have you tried making an eggplant cream to put in a savory shoyu vegan ramen broth- trying to replicate that creamy pork tonkotsu broth. Think it would gum it up?

  109. Judy says

    I guess I’m finding this late but…just made it with only a couple tweeks…I used arrowroot powder and had no issues. I’d forgotten the cumin haha, being careful to add 3/4 tsp chilli pwdr and only 1/4 tsp hot Mexican chilli powder. Then I read the comments on too much cumin , which I know can break a dish so I added about 1/2 tsp or less and it was just right for our taste. I didn’t even know what queso is lol but I wanted a cheesy dip without soooo many nuts and this is a great spicey dip!
    I never can detect a cheesy taste with nutritional yeast but my husband and I just enjoy its flavour! So I didn’t even call it a cheesy dip, just a taco dip and scored!!

    Haven’t tried it yet with the addition of salsa etc but will next time; love this even more than a babaganoush! Thanks!

  110. Kavisha says

    Hi, I just made this recipie, and it’s pretty good, but I think I used a bit too much cumin, so it’s overpowering the taste, it there anything I can do or add to mild it down a bit?

  111. Alainna Leonard says

    I am sooooo thankful for this recipe. I have been in a predicament for years… I am lactose intolerant(but I still loveeee dairy, especially cheese), but I also have mild allergic reactions to nuts (especially cashews and almonds). Unfortunately, a lot of the vegan recipes for cheese require nuts so I haven’t eaten cheese in forever or the few times that I dared to, I pretty much died. With this recipe, I’m hoping to get an amazing taste, texture, and relief from all of my little quirky physiological reactions to dairy and nuts. Can’t wait to try it out!

  112. Seana says

    This is fantastic ! I’m from Tex Mex country and this is a believable sub for the style of queso you find in Mexican restaurants around here. Especially loving the eggplant “sneak”!

  113. Judith says

    I am not counting calories but we have to make sure we don’t go overboard on the nuts due to my DHs health. This recipe is excellent as a dip and in TexMex recipes.

  114. britt says

    I haven’t made this yet but thank you , its so frustrating finding vegan creamy recipes without cashews they are the ONLY thing i am allergic to .

  115. Amy says

    I just made this, and my dad even liked it! It’s so much smoother than anything I’ve made with cashews which is so refreshing since my blender isn’t a Vitamix.

    I think a personal touch would be less cumin and chili powder and more nooch for more of a straight up cheese taste since I’m not a big fan of seasoning. Still though, I’m pouring this allll over my vegan nachos at school tomorrow haha

  116. Alex says

    I just made this recipe tonight – unfortunately it came out gross and brown even after I tweaked it. I personally hated the taste but I left out the tomatoes but GET THIS – I put it on my boyfriend’s burrito and he LIKED IT !! So must just be different for everyone…

  117. Danielle says

    Thank you so much for this!!! I’ve been trying to phase dairy out of my diet as much as I can, but I have a nut allerrgy and can’t eat things like almonds, cashew, hazelnuts, etc. This eggplant based recipe sounds AWEOME and I can’t wait to make it. :D

  118. Sarah Victoria says

    I made this the other night and after reading the reviews I added a bit of butternut squash that I boiled in vegetable broth and the queso turned out beautiful with a nice orange hue. It was delicious and my husband LOVED it (even though he hates eggplant but I love hiding vegetables he “hates” in recipes… It makes me feel good to point it out after he’s done eating and declaring his love for it). I’m from Austin but I live in Italy now and I really miss my queso. I don’t miss the calories, though, so I’ve been on a mission to compensate for both of those things which I’ve definitely found in this recipe. Thank you so much!!

  119. Dorota says

    This is the first recipe from Your site that I followed 100% (I tend to go by my guts usually and in the middle of cooking forget that there was a recipe…) and I am so dissappointed :/ It doesn’t taste like cheese AT ALL. It maybe looks like one, but the taste, although not bad, is sooo far away from what I was expecting :/ Are the cashew cheeses more cheesy? I love cheese, I cannot go for it now since my baby is milk intolerant. I actually have dreams at night about cheeseburgers (both meet and cheese are off limits :////////)

  120. Claudia Anaya says

    I made the “20 Minute Vegan Queso” version in your book… It was very tasty but the color was waaaaay off for me. Any clue on what I might have done wrong?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm I am not sure! Did you change anything in the recipe? Hope it was still delicious!

  121. Paige says

    I just made this dip. I had high hopes for this recipe and it was even better than I expected!! So delicious and a great way to sneak a veggie into a snack food. I would highly recommend it. I think it is something even non-vegan cheese lovers could enjoy.

  122. el says

    I followed this recipe exactly as is… it was rather bland and definitely did not have an orange-y hue. It was grayish greenish… not sure what went wrong and where.

  123. Libby Vish Carl says

    This was amazing! I couldn’t top eating it! Thank you! I did not need to make any modifications (and I almost always make modifications when I cook.) I used a whole (be it small) eggplant.

  124. Rebecca S. says

    I just made this for Super Bowl today! It’s pretty great. While it may not give off the exact flavor of cheese, thats normal I’d say! Vegan often has a slightly different flavor than things full of dairy/animal products.

    I don’t mind that, because I don’t want to feel like I’m eating something NOT vegan! I find it odd when others are upset because it doesn’t taste exactly like an animal-product based food.

    Anyway, it’s delicious. My coloring was fine…..you will see when I tag you on Instagram…..I added a little extra yeast and just 1/4-1/2 tsp of chipotle powder. It’s excellent! Thank you for always helping our family enjoy traditional foods in a non-traditional way! Can’t wait to see what hubby thinks when we eat it at the party later! Cheers! :)

  125. Joan says

    The flavor was just okay…I used almond milk (unsweetened) and followed the recipe.Besides the mostly lack of flavor the color looked like a mixture of tomato and split pea soup.Grade:C-minus.

  126. Holly says

    I made this last night to top our vegan enchiladas and it was AMAZING. Mine was more sauce than dip even with extra corn starch and more brown than the picture, but the taste was very queso-y. I think I will be making this much more in the future!

  127. Kelly says

    Oh my!!!!!! A perfect queso to complement the can of jackfruit languishing in my pantry! Carnitas nachos! I adore eggplaeggplant and nooch. I can’t wait to try this. Thank you

  128. Katie says

    I made this and it was super yummy! I hardly used any almond milk, omitted the cornstarch and avoided the last step and it was perfect!

  129. jaye says

    Nevermind. It’s great. (I posted unnecessary edits before). The sauce by itself is gross. The magic ingredient is the salsa. Then it’s awesome. Thx

  130. jaye says

    I made this as is and it was gross. But I hate throwing out recipes because vegan ingredients are too expensive to waste.

    I dunno if its the quality of the eggplant that makes the difference in outcome??? To save this I added/adjusted the ingredients to try to save this recipe. But this only makes it passable. I won’t be making this recipe again. But for others who wanna try and save their recipe before throwing it out. This makes it taste a little more nacho cheesy. (Also came out brown not yellow). I added based on another recipe I love.

    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    2 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    2 teaspoons tamari
    1 teaspoon Celery salt
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

  131. Jenesse says

    I made this. I’m vegetarian so I don’t usually replace cheese. I would make this again but mine had terrible color compared to yours for some reason. Next time I will try turmeric for color.

  132. Jamie says

    I just want you to know that your blog has made me a better vegan and you’re my hero…And I may very well love you…Not as much as I love this cheese, but I feel like that’s understandable.

  133. Ana says

    I Really want to try this! Only concern is the almond milk. My family is allergic to nuts in general, is there a good substitute for that?

  134. Meg says

    Made this exactly as is tonight and it was delicious! I eat everything but my roommate recently went vegan so I’ve been trying to be accommodating ;) don’t think I could do it without your site Dana!

  135. Matilda says

    This recipe didnt work for me at all ): it looked so creamy and cheesy and delicious on the photos but mine was just gray and sad. it didnt taste like cheese, it just tasted like eggplant with spices and nutritional yeast ?
    It was still pretty good though so i put it on top of some zucchini noodles with a bunch of seeds.
    Im sorry i won’t rate this very high :c
    I still love what you guys do on here ♡

      • Carrie says

        Hi!
        Thanks for the reply.
        I sure did. The flavor was good but the color was more brownish; definitely not orange. I just, that day, bought The Minimalist Baker cookbook after having found your 7 layer dip recipe (of which this queso is a part) online the night before.
        I’m meticulous by nature and even triple checked nonetheless, as the color was so very off. I was sure you’d respond saying that the orange color was just there as a result of editing. Not sure what to make of it now.

  136. Rebecca says

    This is a great recipe. It did require a lot of tweaking as was noted in earlier comments. I did 1/2 inch slides, probably doubled the nutritional yeast and added a touch of lemon juice. More garlic, salt and black pepper was added too. I didn’t experience the off color that others did. Mine was pretty yellow but I used a bit of turmeric too. I also added half a package of vegan chorizo which gave it a nice burnt orange color and added to the texture. For the salsa I drained some pace and used about 3/4 cup. Will see how it’s received at a family party tonight. My husband and I are vegan and his father is gluten free so this is a perfect potluck dish, just a little tedious getting it right!

  137. Craig says

    Hi

    I didn’t wade through all the comments because so many, but that must mean you have made a successful recipe! congrats

    Just wanted to ask, could I use Tapioca starch instead of the cornstarch?

    I am of course going to subscribe to your email, because of this intriguing recipe

  138. londontami says

    ok, so i tried this again…. tweaking it just so my last two eggplants wouldnt go to waste. this time i used my bullet blender instead of food processor and cut way back on ghe almond milk, doubled the yeast, increased the salt and added chilis with tomatoes. it was sensational! i also peeled the eggplant completely before baking. no, its not pretty and next time i might add turmeric but i have a feeling that will only make it green, i agree on cutting back on the cumin, its way too cuminy, but i am very happy with this and will be using it instead of high calories cashews!

  139. allison says

    Hi Dana, I wanted to point out that in the ingredients list you wrote 1/4 inch thick but in the instructions it’s “under 1/2 inch”. Which works better?

  140. Shaina says

    This is great! I have a severe nut allergy. And don’t get along well with soy either. So the obvious cheese replacements don’t work terrifically well for me. Very creative as well as delicious!

  141. Emily Estes says

    Woah! Two years later and I am just finding this recipe. I went vegan about a year ago, and desperately missed queso dip. Thank goodness I found this – it will be my go-to for future cravings.

  142. A.F. Jordan says

    I just made this and used coconut milk. It is fantastic! My (picky) husband lapped it up and loved it. He thinks I’m a genius. . . do you mind if I don’t tell him about your site?

  143. tami says

    this was horrible! it was not pretty and orange, it was grey and ugly and was not tasty at all, in fact, it had no taste, whatsoever! so disappointed!

  144. Allison says

    This is really good. It actually does taste like queso! And the consistency is just right. I added 2 more teaspoons of cornstarch in the pot and whisked it in to get the consistency I wanted. And a squeeze of lemon juice for tanginess

  145. Reka says

    I just made this and I’m quite disappointed. I used tapioca starch instead of cornstarch (on some blogs they say it’s even better) and simple diced tomatoes as I didn’t have salsa at home and result was.. well nothing that reminded me of cheese (consistency- , taste- and color-wise).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sounds like your swaps might’ve been the culprit. The green chilies + diced tomatoes are key. And I don’t think tapioca would work the same here. Sorry!

  146. Carrie says

    I was googling for a GF apple crisp and I stumbled across your blog. I love that recipe and I am getting lost in all the other ones like this that look so great too! I’m so glad I found you!

  147. Nicole says

    I made this last night and it was delicious! I drizzled it over some tortilla chips and walnut meat. Voila! Vegan Nachos. However, I would love to know how you got that bright orange color! I followed the directions “to a T” and mine came out brown/tan. Tasty, but not pretty. I would love some feedback so I can make this for guest/parties in the future!!

  148. Vegan Recipes says

    Thank you for another fantastic recipe! I tried cashew cheese before and I really loved it, but I will definitely try this cashew-less version, sounds so delicious! :)

  149. Tanya says

    Dana,
    Followed your recipe exactly and it tastes great, but it’s not yellow looking enough. I tried a little turmeric but the flavor profile started going wonky. Other than cumin and chili powder, how did you achieve the deep yellow color?

  150. Dani says

    Dana, I’m officially in love with you! I never ever liked eggplant neither did my boyfriend. He went to the store for me tonight and I added eggplant to the list. He was like what’s that for?! But he trusted me. I actually made this as a garnishment to your quinoa tacos. By the end of the meal he was hoarding this dip ready to hockey check anyone who dared to get another spoonful. We’re all very very pleased. Being vegan has never been easier for either of us. My four year old couldn’t get enough either. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to try another recipe. You never disappoint.

  151. Ashley says

    I never leave comments, but I was compelled here! This is FABULOUS! I have been on a bit of a nut overload and wanted to try an alternative, so amazing! True, it is not orange, more like a mustard brown, but who wants day-glow food anyway?!? I used about 2 1/2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast and added some salt to my taste. I threw this together with the quinoa taco meat, some black beans, red peppers and corn for nachos! Love!

  152. Meg says

    Can’t wait to try this – just finished my dinner of gnocchi with a cashew mozzarella cheese – the second cashew/tapioca recipe I’ve tried – and I just really don’t like the cashewy taste that is so hard to mask :( So super excited to try this, especially as I LOVE your recipes!

  153. Krista says

    I couldn’t find eggplant at Aldi so I’m trying squash… this should be interesting! Hopefully it works. I’m sure it’ll still be tasty!?!

    • Krista says

      It worked! Although the chili powder was a bit overwhelming for me. I did not have cumin so I used ground red pepper (1/2 tsb) which was nice, but spicy! I can’t wait to try it again when I find some egg plant!

  154. Tiffany says

    I can’t seem to figure out how to make my cashew cheese creamy. It tastes amazing, lol, but like a dip (might be my food processor, to be fair!). I love love love your site. I can’t wait to try this!

  155. Amal says

    Could someone help me with changing the quantities to an amount enough to serve two people? I don’t want to make too much queso but I don’t know how to properly convert the measurements.

  156. Sam says

    When I tasted it after I finished blending, I thought it was a little bland and was nervous my non-Vegan husband would hate it. But then I added juice of half of a lemon, a dash of salt and pepper, a little bit of cayenne pepper, and a few more sprinkles of nutritional yeast. Turned out he loved it! And so did I. The only thing that gives it away as non-Vegan is lack of cheese-like texture, but the taste is spot on.

  157. Rafaela Huguenin says

    Hey Ana, is it possible to prepare this eggplant in the microwave or even in the pan? I live in a models apartment and here unfortunatelly we dont have any oven :/

  158. Brittany says

    I’ve made this twice and it’s delicious, but I cannot get it to look orangey. It’s always brown, kind of like Dijon mustard. I tried the turmeric trick but it didn’t help much. It doesn’t taste super cheesy to me either but still good so oh well

  159. Rachel says

    I am not vegan, but we had some vegan friends over for New Year’s Eve and I wanted to make sure that we had food they could eat. This was their absolute favorite, and I agree that it was very, very good. So good, in fact, that they have asked me to make it for their wedding reception. The eggplant is a really ingenious way to make a vegan queso dip. My husband refused to eat it (he said that all he would be able to taste were the lies), but if I hadn’t told him beforehand that it was vegan, I think he would have loved it.

    • Kira | A Better Life Lived says

      I had to comment on your husbands comment about tasting the lies. Absolutely something my husband, who IS vegan, would say. There’s just no pleasing a cheese-loving husband, is there? :)

  160. Rebecca says

    Helloooo, has anybody tried making these into cheese squares in the fridge? Does it work please? I’m trying to find a veggie cheese slice recipe for my cafe :)

  161. Nikki says

    I couldn’t even find a cheese sauce this good before I was eating vegan that didn’t involve processed cheese like Velveeta. I’ve been eating vegan for less than a week and this was a perfect recipe to start with making vegan cheese. My young kids and my husband loved it too. We made nachos with taco-seasoned lentils, black beans, and kots of veggies. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!

  162. Cristina says

    Thank you! Having Hashimoto’s and chronic kidney stones, and leaning vegan for 2 years, I need to be both gluten and nut – free, preferably without dairy and meat! Ha. It’s a tall order that you have filled perfectly. I am a dip fanatic. And this is wicked yum. It’s now pretty much always in my fridge. Thanks for your whole food insight and innovation! And for having epiphanies at midnight! You have made frustrated, lonely dietary restricted people feel satiated and happy again!

    • Cristina says

      Oh, and with kidney stones, nuts are a BIG no-no. Which is why cashew-based is not in my best interest :(

  163. lisa says

    I was really looking forward to this and made sure I followed the steps to the T. Unfortunately it looked and tasted nothing like queso. I looked at other comments saying to take out the cumin so i did. It came out brown- like a babaganoush. :( how does yours look so creamy and orange?! maybe try it with cauliflower or white beans instead of eggplant?

    • Nikki says

      Cumin helps to make the color more cheese-like so I wouldn’t take out all of it. I also found that my chili powder added to the brown coloring so next time I think I will halve that. You can also add termeric to make the color more yellow but that changes the flavor slightly too.

  164. Jocelyn says

    This turned out very cheesy! I upped the nooch to 4TBSP, didn’t use the cumin, and subbed in green chile powder from New Mexico. This fooled my non-vegan, totally carnivorous, dairy loving husband.

  165. Kat says

    Thank you so much for this, I can’t wait to try it! Cashews make me ill so it has been really hard finding good ‘cheese’ recipes, yet I don’t know that I can give up animal products without a replacement for my cheese addiction!

  166. Jenny says

    I didn’t really follow the recipe but took it more as a guideline, which may explain why it doesn’t taste like queso. However, it does taste amazing! I used 1 T yeast, about 1 tsp. onion powder, and a garlic spice mix, and some turmeric. I didn’t cook it either, just blended the spices and eggplant ( a small one) with about a quarter cup of rice milk and some vegan mayo. It is absolutely amazing and wonderful! Oh, and also when roasting the eggplant I brushed the slices with a mix of soy sauce and a couple of drops of liquid smoke. So good!!

  167. Melissa says

    Once again I’m so happy you create these recipes! The Queso, along with many other recipes of yours I’ve tried, was amazing. Also non-vegan husband approved ? Thank you!

  168. Tricia says

    I’ve never had a bad recipe from you guys!
    When I made this I did have to add tumeric for some color and the smell of it while it cooked wasn’t appitizing at all :( in the end it tasted okay. Not like I wanted though.

    BUT I had to use up the rest of the eggplant so I made it again – I tweaked it! I added a chunk of onion, more garlic, nooch and salt. Also a small bit of red pepper.
    This is what I was hoping to taste the first time through!

    All in all thanks for posting this recipe – I can finally eat eggplant!

  169. anne says

    Did not love this. My husband did though. Didn’t love the cumin, lacked zing, and not fond of the pastiness from the flour. I think I may have liked it more with less milk, and no flour.

  170. Ellen says

    Just made this with zucchini (seeds and all) and a few hefty shakes of turmeric for color. So tasty! Nachos in my future!

  171. Caitlin says

    Okay, realtalk:

    *How did you get your dip to look so yellow and cheesy??!*

    I followed the recipe and mine turned out quite brown. Not that the color really matters, but I am just totally curious to know what you did to impart such a lovely delicate color.

    I also found that 9 slices of egglpant were not nearly enough…

    Was there any reason to use the slice, roast, peel, puree method? After realizing the first slices wouldn’t produce enough sauce, I went ahead and threw the whole rest of the eggplant under the broiler. I broiled the skin until it was all blistery and it came right off, and the eggplant was nice and soft and cooked on the inside. Then I threw the rest of it in the blender. Seemed to do the trick in terms of adding body. It just seemed so much easier….but maybe the flavor is different if it’s salted and roasted?

    Just curious. Thanks! Your recipes are pretty much a weeknight staple every single night.

  172. Kevin says

    Cumin is a strong flavor. I always use 1/4 of what a recipe states. If i don’t, that is all one tastes! easy does it, like Joanne Weir says works for me. Otherwise I can’t wait to try this

  173. dave says

    left comment on Blueberry breakfast cookies under this recipe. Feel free to move it if you can….. I can’t.

    Also made the queso dip tonight. Liked it. I used entire eggplant (medium size) as wasn’t sure when I get around to cooking the rest. Really ended up with just over a cup of eggplant after pulling off the skin. Taste great. Need to add more salsa when I reheat it.
    I think I will share and call it a roasted eggplant with salsa dip. If I say ‘queso’ or ‘rotel-like’, I think people will be disappointed. If I say ‘roasted eggplant with salsa dip’ then people will be pleased and like the taste. Managing expectations is so important. Not trying to ‘fool’ anyone. Enjoy the dip for what it is.

    • Shirley says

      I think you are correct in renaming this before sharing it with others. It’s good as a sauce, but it doesn’t really taste as much like a cheese dip as the cashew/ cheese dip I have made in the past. Also, mine came out looking like an old avocado dip rather than queso. I added turmeric, but it didn’t change the color.

  174. dave says

    I was recently referred to your website at a yoga community potluck. Found two recipes I just had to try. For a Saturday night, Maha Shavaratri kirtan in Boulder, I am bringing the Blueberry cookies. Taste great, worth sharing, and should appeal to the Boulder kirtan crowd. I NEVER cook with peanut butter (memories of 8th grade home ec class and burnt peanut butter cookies). So bought Almond butter. Only the seal was broken, so I had to use the peanut butter I had in refrigerator. Next time, almond butter! And I can’t write/say “never” bake with peanut butter again….. Thanks for recipe.

  175. Mika says

    I used cajun spice mix and jarred marinara sauce but this turned out great! Looking forward to stirring it into some shells!

  176. Duck says

    I made this tonight and put it on homemade vegan nachos along with green bell peppers, onions, olives, refried beans and roasted corn. It was AMAZING! I’ve read all these reviews saying it didn’t work or it didn’t taste like queso. I don’t understand because it tasted just like queso to me. It was such an amazing substitute and I never would have guessed eggplant was the star of the show.
    I made a few small adjustments: I used 1/2 tsp of cumin rather than 1 tsp and added 1/2 tsp of smoked parpika. I added some turmeric for color. I used 1 tbsp miso paste instead of nutritional yeast because I personally do not like nutritional yeast. And I didn’t add salsa because it was perfectly delicious without. I can’t wait to use this on more things! I plan to put it in a burrito next! :)

  177. Katie says

    I made this today with a few changes that might help with the color (after it’s been sitting out, not that this was around long enough to even check) but I roasted one red pepper and one small eggplant, followed the rest of the steps… Added 3 cloves of garlic, 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1/2 teaspoon seasalt, cumin, chili powder & corn starch as you have mentioned. I used 1.5 cups of water (to keep it nut and soy free) and blended. Added half a can of drained rotel and cooked a few minutes to warm and thicken. It was perfect with our vegan burritos today, my husband originally didnt know it wasn’t real cheese. I could just eat this queso by the spoonful. Thank you so much!!

  178. Pauletta says

    I just tried this for Super Bowl!! I am not vegan but just dairy-free due to my sensitive baby that I’m still nursing. I added ground turkey which I seasoned with chili powder, salt and pepper and cumin for more of a chili con queso feel but didn’t want the beans. It was very good! I wish I had more time to work with the recipe and get it thicker. I was trying to make too many recipes from scratch which took too long. I added what the recipe called for right away but wasn’t able to see if that was enough before serving. Other than that I loved it! I will definitely make this again!

  179. Jessie says

    Thank you Dana! I have been searching for an alternative to Cashew “Sauce” Two of my daughters have peanuts and tree nut allergies so this is perfect!!!

  180. Amanda says

    I made this dip last night – and although it was very delicious – it was not at all “cheesy” (at least, not to me). It tasted more like a chili-bean dip than a cheesy queso (which was still very good – just not what I was expecting). I think I will try adding more nutritional yeast next time so that the colour isn’t so brown. Definitely will have to try try again! Thanks :)

  181. Anna says

    THANK YOU so much for sharing! I’m highly allergic to cashews and was always disappointed that they were the go-to substitute for cheese in healthy recipes. Eggplant, though- I LOVE! Delicious recipe! YAY! :)

  182. texasgirlfarfromhome says

    You mention in the recipe that if the dip sits out a while it looses color. Have you tried a dash of tumeric powder to keep the rich golden/yellow color?

  183. Jess T. says

    I never leave comments on food blogs, but I absolutely had to this time, because I LOVE this vegan queso! I’m not even a fan of eggplant, but this recipe is absolutely amazing. It has all the flavor of real nacho cheese with none of the lactose or fat. Thank you so much for sharing this, you’ve inspired me to use this recipe as a base for everything from pasta sauces to moroccan chicken dishes. Keep up the great work! :)

  184. Beacon says

    This recipe is a sign from the Gods and the Heavens! I’m looking at vegan cheese recipes because I wanted to try something new, and my next search would have been eggplant because I have one on hand but I’m clueless when it comes to eggplant. I’m literally going to make this RIGHT NOW.

  185. Gabriela Rodriguez says

    Hi¡ I am new to cooking vegan (I love to eat vegan but havent cooked things myself). I want to know what is the purpose of the nutritional yeast… It could be replaced by something else?

    Thanks!!

  186. Mike says

    I followed the directions precisely, and as a queso, I didn’t love it. The creaminess of it wasn’t much like actual queso, and it was missing that tang. I added more nutritional yeast to try and up the cheesy flavor, but it still was just kind of a tan colored cream sauce. I like the eggplant as cream sauce idea, and I think it would be great as the base of a cream of mushroom type of soup, but I’ll keep looking for a queso recipe that hits the spot for me.

  187. kate says

    I tried this recipe today and love the flavor! Mine came out a little bit mealy, do you have any suggestions to make it smoother? I was hesitant to just add more soy milk (didn’t have almond around) , i didn’t want it liquidier, just creamier… Might halve the cumin next time too. What a great way to use eggplant, thanks for the recipe!

  188. Diane says

    (I may have already reviewed this here but I am not sure) This is an awesome recipe! I made it for my strictly non-vegan husband and son…they LOVED it! My husband actually told me he wouldn’t mind if I made this often. That is a rave!! Thank you for this.

  189. Ana says

    Made this last night, and it was quite good, though I would cut WAY down on the cumin next time. Maybe only a 1/4 tsp. Because it was a little like “oh, and here’s my cumin dip, everyone.” I also think that pre-spices, this would be a great base for a spinach-artichoke dip.

    • Sarah says

      Totally agree. I just made this and it wasn’t that cheesy queso flavour even with extra nutritional yeast. Creamy cumin dip is accurate. Even after adding a slurry, it didn’t get very thick either. I think I’ll try cashew cheese queso next time.

      • Krista says

        I used ground red pepper (1/2 tsp) instead (which was real spicy), but to me the chili powder was a bit much for me. I also used yellow squash, because they did not have egg plant at the store, but surprisingly I could not taste the squash! I might try eating it with some quinoa and beans tonight!

  190. Jill says

    I make this all the time and we love it!!!! It’s effin amazing. Last night I added chopped green chilis to it. So good. Thanks for the recipe! The ONLY way I can choke down eggplant. LOL.

  191. Carly says

    Just finally tried this for Christmas! It turned out great! Just had to adjust some seasoning after blending and then was perfect!! Genius idea!

    • Jill says

      Crystal Tenty says
      October 9, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      When I make it I add turmeric and that seems to help the color stay yellow/orange

      Reply

  192. Annie says

    I’m so happy I stubbled upon your lovely blog. I recently made Love and Lemons vegan mac & cheese and absolutely ADORED it. However, I try to stick to a high carb, low fat vegan diet so I was on the hunt for cashew-less mac. Then, BAM. I found this recipe and I ended up making it tonight along with some noodles and some cooked spinach! I actually used components of your recipe and also Love and Lemons recipe for the sauce because I wanted the same flavor from the cashew sauce. Let me tell you, it was delicious. The eggplant completely made up for the cashews.
    Can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Everything looks fabulous!

  193. Rose says

    I really liked this, but I personally find that there’s too much cumin. It overpowers everything else, I can’t taste the garlic, the yeast, the chili… :( So next I make this (because otherwise it was a big win), I’ll be using a 1/4 tsp of cumin. Thanks for an otherwise great recipe!

  194. Tamika says

    What an amazing idea?! I love this! I’m obsessed with vegan cashew cheese but I find it so easy to over do it and worry about the high fat content of the cheese. Eggplant is the perfect solution! Thanks for your wonderfully creative ideas Dana this is definitely on my to-do-list for today ;)

  195. Nina says

    Do you think I could add a homemade Pico de Gallo (drained first) rather than a salsa to this? I think eggplant is very creamy also. I like to juice eggplant (not for the juice though) and use the pulp in raw vegan dishes. It comes out silky and fluffy. Juicing takes out all of the bitterness when its raw. I also puree it into raw dips. We can’t wait to try this!

  196. Amber says

    I didn’t have much luck with this recipe. I followed the directions exactly and it never really thickened up. I used nearly double the amount of corn starch and had to keep adding nutritional yeast because the flavor wasn’t right. As for the taste, it was just okay. I was expecting it to be more similar to queso. The color was kind of icky too.

  197. Cary says

    Thank you so much! I went a little heavy with smoked paprika and loved the result.

    I am making it for non-vegan friends this weekend and I won’t call it ‘queso’. There is some similarity, to be sure, but I think non-vegans expecting traditional queso are set up to be disappointed by any amount of deviation in taste and substance. This dip has a huge amount of stand-alone appeal among almost anyone, so it doesn’t need the comparison. :)

  198. Daff says

    Hi there! I have candida and was wondering if this absolutely delicious looking recipe could work without the yeast? Cheers!

  199. Celine says

    I tried this recipe this weekend with my family.
    I was surprised by the small amount of cornstarch (2 tsp) for so much liquid. I ended up adding around 4 tsp cornstarch during heating process to get the pictured texture. I double checked I didn’t misread tbsp for tsp. How do you get that creamy texture?
    Also, I’m in Belgium here and I’m not sure about the cheesy taste of my nutritional yeast. What brand do you use?
    Anymay, taste and color were great! It was a success :) Thank you so much for all your great recipes!

    • Steve says

      I think the cornstarch sounds OK, but there are alternatives. I sometimes use Quinoa flour in the same way, as it is super absorbent, and adds lots of protein and much fewer carbs. The other option as she says, and does not emphasize, is just cook longer. I never worry much about runny things. Keep it on the stove longer. But realize you will have to tend it and stir. As it thickens there will be less fluid circulation and the bottom will burn or overcook. This is a BRILLIANT recipe! I will try it today!

  200. Brandie says

    Eggplant!!! That’s brilliant! Thank you for sharing this recipe with us! I’ve shared it on my blog (meaning I linked back the recipe to your site) for National Nacho Day.

  201. Jessica says

    Sorry if this question has already been answered – tried scrolling through but didn’t see it. What if you accidentally make a big batch and want to freeze it? Does that work out?

  202. kirsty says

    I am so so buzzed to try this, I have been vegetarian for year but have recently turned vegan and am allergic to all nuts (apart from almonds) so I have been getting down about the amount of recipes I have been finding that use cashews etc.

    I havent actually ever heard of queso though.. maybe its an american thing?
    Could I use this to make macaroni cheese?

    thanks

  203. Crystal Tenty says

    I want to make this for work next week but I have a co-worker who is allergic to almonds. I’ve tried it with hemp milk and didn’t like it. Do you think soy would be a good alternative or should I do rice milk?

  204. Clare says

    Delicious recipe! I added roasted chipotles instead of rotel for a spicy, smokey flavor. Like some previous commenters, I had some trouble with the presentation–it came out as an unappetizing-looking greeny grey. The creamy texture more than made up for it, but I don’t think I can serve this to guests any time soon. Ah well–more for me!

  205. Melissa says

    I don´t know how mine is different from yours but mine turned out a kind of gross pea soup green color like Jennifer´s above, not that lovely orange color, and the taste isn´t anything too great either. It just tastes really strongly of nutritional yeast. I only used 2T. Tried tumeric but that didn´t help.

  206. Jennifer says

    Mine was not this beautiful golden color. What did I do wrong? Mine was more the color of cumin–kind of greenish brown. Would turmeric work? I don’t really want to stain my Vitamix with it! Thanks.

    J

  207. verena says

    Love this concept!

    I noticed that this turned out greens for others also. Any suggestions on how to make this dish the colour it is in the picture?

    Also my preference would be to halve the spices for a smoother taste.

  208. Dlbroox says

    I was searching the Internet for the same old cashew cheese recipe when I stumbled on this recipe. I was highly doubtful at first. I’ve tried so many of these kind of recipes and have thrown out a lot of tries. And I am not especially fond of eggplant. But I figured let’s have a go at it because if it’s good it’s a healthy alternative to the norm.

    Well I gotta say it’s fabulous! I’ve eaten half of it just taste testing! Yes it is green, but the texture is smooth and creamy and the flavor is really nice. I used a small Japanese eggplant and made a half recipe as a test and it worked great. I also used oat milk that I whizzed up in my vitamix while the eggplant was roasting.

    Seriously brilliant!

  209. Ann says

    First try over the weekend was tasty, but a bit off-colour. I tried slicing the eggplant with my mandolin and it came out too thin, so got a little too brown in the oven. I think next time I’m gonna try just char-roasting the whole eggplant halves the way I do for baba-ghannoush, then scoop it out. This would also make the process simpler. But otherwise I think it tastes great.

  210. Rachel Ward says

    Made this and rocked it on some killer vegan nachos tonight! Thanks for this idea, it really does make the smoothest most amazing vegan queso I have ever tried and nachos are hands down my favorite food so I’ve tried a bunch, but this will be my go to from now on, it’s perfect. (I did tweak it but I do that with everything!)

  211. Ash says

    I am a new vegan and I cannot control laughing at how delicious it looks. Please share your newsletter, if you have one. If not, make one!

    Gracias.

  212. Justme77 says

    This stuff is fantastic!! It is delicious and even my husband loved it, and he didn’t like the idea of it at first but gave it a try and he had more than he had planned to. I forgot to add the paprika for color but it was still really great. Next time I will peel the eggplant first, to save time. Thank you for this. It is a keeper for sure!! I will make this part of my rotation of meal plans.

  213. Kathi says

    This is geniously good, just tried it today! I think it would also work great as dip for vegan cheese-fondue, defenetly on my to-do list. :) love, Kathi

  214. Stephanie says

    woahhhhh im eating it right now. Awesome! I broiled my eggplant a little longer to get a nice charred flavor I like. So happy this is not made from cashews, im not a fan of cashews in cheeses (in desserts yes!). But the only minor thing I was disappointed about was how my dip didnt look as orangy as yours, oh well still awesome

  215. Vida says

    Looks amazing!! I buy Beanitos Restaurant Style taco chips. They are just like tortilla chips but made from beans…..gluten free!!

  216. Emily says

    I LOVE this dip! My friend made it for me and ever since I’ve been making it all the time! I don’t even really like eggplant that much but this tastes so much like queso dip even cheese-eating friends like it! Awesome idea! I would love to hear about other things you use this on (I’ve done nachos so far)! Also, I have made some minor substitutions based on what I have on hand (coconut milk instead of almond and tapioca flour instead of cornstarch)- still terrific! I also added smoked paprika! :)

  217. Maya bee says

    I was super disappointed. It didn’t taste cheesy at all. The texture was not velvety and the color was dull not orange. I’m pretty sure I might have screwed up with the yeast. I used instant yeast.

  218. Nicole says

    Okay, so I did not know what to expect from this recipe, but I ended up digging it. It’s sort of amazing how much this ends up looking like a jar of the Taco Bell queso stuff in the tortilla chips aisle! I *did* get it to turn yellowish, even without the use of turmeric. I doubled the amount of salsa, though, because or else I did not find it to be chunky enough.

    The only sad part was that my eggplant did not end up producing a whole cup of roasted eggplant :( I used a whole, medium-sized eggplant, which I thought would be more than enough. Hell, I thought I’d have leftover roast eggplant slices. But after roasting, the slices got super tiny and condensed, and only made 1/2 cup of eggplant. The bummer part: I had already measured the almond milk + spices into the blender, so I had to mix that up and then discard half of it because I only had half of the eggplant amount. See what I’m gettin’ at? So I might recommend making more eggplant than you think you need. You could always use extra it in a sandwich or something. And I also found it difficult to get the eggplants sufficiently moist/roasty without oil… I don’t like adding oil to things, but I found it necessary. That’s the only “bad” ingredient in this, so no big.

    My husband recently developed some allergies to cashews, so he saw this in the pan and thought it was a cashew sauce he couldn’t eat. And I was like, no, it’s actually eggplant! I feel like this would be really yummy spread on some corn tortillas with just some black beans on top. I’m trying to count calories these days, so it was great to see a lower-calorie vegan cheese sauce (because we all know those nuts are heavy). Thanks for the idea!

  219. Julianna says

    I am excited to try this!! I’m worried about the salt content though. Is there any way I can get around the first step of the process?

    • Therese says

      Salting eggplant is common to draw out excess moisture and reduce the bitterness. I wouldn’t worry about the salt content, because you rinse it off & pat dry before you continue on in the recipe :)

  220. Sarah says

    I just spent three hours at working looking at your food and I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to marry your blog. My daughter is horribly picky with food and since we’ve stopped eating meat I’m having a hard time getting her to eat anything. BUT everything I’ve made from your site has been approved by her! Can’t wait to try everything!

  221. krystal says

    OMG, lady!! I’ll start by saying I’m not crazy about eggplant. This queso is amazing and not eggplanty at all. Genius. I’m placing it into my face with chips as I type this all in the name of “adjusting seasoning.” ;)

    I added half a teaspoon of puréed, roasted jalapeños. Thumbs up!

  222. Ashley says

    This is my fourth recipe of yours that I’ve tried, and just like the previous three this was amazing! My husband and I aren’t vegans, but I’m pregnant and dairy isn’t an option for me anymore so I decided to try this… So amazing!!!! We both said “this is insane” about five times while eating this :)

  223. Corley says

    I’ve noticed that you use a lot of almond milk in recipes. I generally don’t buy it because production requires so much water. In a couple of recipes I’ve subbed unsweetened coconut or hemp milk, but I was curious why you prefer almond milk, or what other options you think would provide a similar taste and effect on the recipe?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I just prefer its flavor! Plus, it’s easy to find it in the UNsweetened plain varieties. But rice, hemp and flax would work well here.

  224. A. Perez says

    I ve been thinking of why the dip turns brown or why it sometimes doesnt taste good…
    I think both problems are related to the quality of the eggplants…I bet the problems are from older eggplants..
    You dont know how long your eggplant was in the field, did it get enough water? or how long before it was taken to the store…I think the season and the place grown can all have an effect.
    There are some eggplants that are just plain bitter…Cooking it can bring it out..Brown can mean the eggplant was older or sat in the sun once picked so its not as fresh..Once you slice it it can slowly turn brown from oxidation and it can be enhanced as its cooked and mixed..Also bumps and bruises can turn parts brown..Old eggplants just dont taste good..Fresh is the key..However it can be pretty hard to figure out how fresh it is at the store.
    One other thing…They still grow and sell the older bitter eggplants…Some varieties arent…Ive cooked with eggplants and sometimes it all comes out well and then same recipe same way and turns out bad…
    Try to buy a fresh eggplant and when you find a store with consistent good quality eggplants buy from them…Also the longer you salt and drain an eggplant the less bitter it can be…And make sure your yeast is bright yellow which indicates a better quality. Especially for this recipe…let your toungue taste and let that be your guide.

  225. Nathalie says

    Hey beautiful :) i was just wondering if there’s a way to sub the nutritional yeast? Or like omit it. I can’t seem to find any here and i really wanna make this dish:,(

  226. Claire says

    Made this today to go on some vegetarian quesadillas, and it worked really well! I didn’t think there was enough flavor to it, though, so I also added about a teaspoon of powdered vegetable boullion–it worked great!

    Great recipe!

  227. Azure says

    Are you freaking kidding me? I don’t know how your mind went to eggplant for queso, but so glad it did! This stuff is darn delicious. Made nachos last night and the left over sauce is going on some veggies for lunch today. Is it wrong to eat this stuff daily? :o)

  228. Jasmine says

    I’m new to the vegan lifestyle- today marks the 15th day! Anyway, I’ve been craving cheese, but didn’t like the high calorie content that comes with cashew recipes. So this is the first “cheese” recipe I have tried.

    I followed the directions exactly and the results were GREAT! It satisfies my cheese craving and made me excited to know there are alternatives to my previous “comfort foods”. Thank you so much for your creativity. Love your blog and recipes!

  229. Kendra says

    I’m usually a good cook, so not sure what went wrong here, but I will not be making this again.

    I didn’t end up with a creamy dip close to a cheese dip. I ended up with a nauseating mess that resembled a greenish liquid oatmeal. I thought maybe the appearance was just “off.” Well, the taste is horrible too. Not horrible if you’re expecting eggplant, but this doesn’t taste anything close to cheese dip. It tastes like liquified eggplant.

    I’d never serve this to anyone and I’m trying to think what to do with it so I don’t have to throw it away, but what waste of eggplant and the nutritional yeast I specially ordered from Amazon. :(

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Kendra, so sorry you had trouble with this recipe. A lot of people have had great results with this dip, so I’m not sure what went wrong! If it was lumpy, you likely didn’t blend it thoroughly enough. And the flavor really comes down to adding enough seasonings and nutritional yeast.

  230. emilia says

    I just made this and i love it, but the color of mine turned out greenish lol, it still tastes great it just looks like hot guacamole

  231. Alyssa says

    What an innovative way to use eggplant! Like some of your other readers, I was was thinking it might be easier to use pre-roasted eggplant or roast one whole eggplan and then scoop it out. It is so easy to burn the slices! I’ll report back and let you know what happens. I’m an experienced vegan cook, so I’ll be ready to improvise to get the right texture and flavor. So excited!

  232. Ilene says

    So you go to all this trouble to make “cheese” and then you just use store bought chips? The chips are the WORST thing you could eat.

  233. Anya G says

    This stuff was oh-so-good. I poured it on some nachos with aaalllll the trimmings (tomato salsa, black bean & corn salsa, guac and plain greek yoghurt and had some cerveza con limon as my drink.