Roasted Jalapeño Vegan Queso (7 ingredients!)

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Dipping a tortilla chip into our Roasted Jalapeno Vegan Queso dip

All aboard the queso train – toot toot!

Did you like my cheesy joke? (Get it? Cheesy cuz it’s…queso?)

But, in all seriousness, soak some cashews, roast your peppers, and ready your chips, folks. We’re making vegan queso.

Wood cutting board with roasted jalapenos, cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and spices for Creamy Roasted Jalapeno Vegan Queso

Origins of Queso

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

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

Our version is not traditional, but is inspired by the creaminess and heat of chile con queso.

Roasted Jalapeño Vegan Queso

I’ve made vegan queso before, both from eggplant and from a semi-classic “roux” of garlic, oil, starch, and almond milk. But I had yet to tackle cashew queso.

However, after a trip to one of my favorite Portland eateries – Prasad – my friend Jeanette ordered their roasted jalapeño queso and insisted I try it. Things haven’t been the same since. I had to remake this queso.

My version is easy, requiring just 7 ingredients and a little over 1 hour to make. Plus, it’s oil-free for those of you avoiding oil, yet it remains ridiculously creamy thanks to the soaked cashews.

The “cheesy” flavor primarily comes from nutritional yeast, which also adds a hefty serving of B vitamins and a gorgeous golden hue. It’s what we call a win-win situation.

Blender with ingredients for making our gluten-free Vegan Queso recipe

I hope you all LOVE this “cheese” sauce! It’s:

Super flavorful
& So delicious

This would make the perfect sauce to add to things like tacos, burritos, enchiladas, nachos, and more. It’s also delicious with straight-up tortilla chips – you can’t beat a classic.

If you give this recipe a try, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment below, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Serving dish filled with Creamy Roasted Jalapeno Vegan Queso cheese dip
Pouring Roasted Jalapeno Vegan Queso Cheese dip into a measuring cup

Roasted Jalapeño Vegan Queso (7 ingredients!)

7-ingredient vegan queso with spicy roasted jalapeño, smoky spices, and cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast. The creamiest dairy-free cheese on the block.
Author Minimalist Baker
Ceramic baking dish filled with Creamy Roasted Jalapeno Vegan Queso
4.76 from 70 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 22 minutes
Servings 16 (2-Tbsp servings)
Course Side, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 5 Days


  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked for 6 hours or overnight in cool water or 1 hour in very hot water)
  • 1-2 small jalapeños (2 for spicier queso, 1 small pepper for less spicy)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (for cheesy flavor + yellow color)
  • 1/2-1 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 dash hot sauce (optional // such as Tapatío // or red pepper flake)


  • Be sure to soak your cashews overnight in cool water or in very hot water for 1 hour before starting this recipe. Drain and then proceed with recipe.
  • Preheat oven to medium broil and add jalapeños to a baking sheet. Broil on the top oven rack for 4-7 minutes or until slightly blackened on the outside. Wrap in foil to steam for a few minutes. Then carefully peel outside skin away and remove any seeds/stems. (Note: Be sure to wash your hands after peeling to avoid getting any lingering heat on your skin or your eyes.)
  • Add soaked, drained cashews and jalapeños to a blender along with nutritional yeast, water (starting with the lesser amount), chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and hot sauce (optional).
  • Blend, adding more water as needed to create a creamy, pourable cheese sauce. Scrape down sides as needed.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for depth of flavor and cheesiness, remaining jalapeńo or chili powder for heat, cumin for smokiness, salt for saltiness, or hot sauce for additional heat.
  • Serve immediately. Will be fine at room temperature for several hours. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*Original recipe makes ~2 cups queso.
*Recipe inspired by the jalapeño queso at Prasad in Portland, OR.

Nutrition (1 of 16 servings)

Serving: 1 two-Tbsp serving Calories: 69 Carbohydrates: 4.4 g Protein: 2.3 g Fat: 5.3 g Saturated Fat: 1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 62 mg Fiber: 0.7 g Sugar: 0.6 g

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My Rating:

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Emily, it might work, but we haven’t tested it. Report back on how it goes if you give it a try!

  1. Jill Anderson says

    So I’ve seen a million and one cashew cheese recipes being vegan for the past year and I’m never tried one because I thought it was too much hassle but I bought a Ninja blender and I stirred this up 10 minutes before dinner and it’s amazing I used the boiling cashews method took maybe 5 minutes and I used sliced jalapenos out of the jar along with the juice added some paprika I am in disbelief that this queso is so good I can’t stop eating it I love it 10 out of 10 will make again I’m saving this recipe thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

      • Amrah says

        Oh dang, gurrrlll. Thank you for allowing my love affair with queso to continue even after having cut dairy out of my diet. I’m breaking up with all other dairy-free queso recipes.

        PS, roast some garlic cloves with those jalapeños and use them instead of garlic powder—it will not disappoint.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Ooo love that idea! Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Amrah. So glad you enjoyed!

  2. Amy says

    Best vegan queso I have ever made! Loved the addition of the roasted jalepeno. I used a shortcut from your 5 minute cashew queso recipe and just used really hot water, did not soak the cashews and that worked great for me.

  3. Shelly says

    This is the best vegan Queso EVER. I have made it so many times and decided it was time to give it a review. It’s so smooth and creamy and delicious. And healthy! Amazing.

  4. Terrie says

    This is so good on top of roasted veg grain bowls! Mine was roasted sweet tater and carrot with smoked peppers in a quinoa/black bean bowl, but I resorted to just dipping sweet potato chunks in the queso. Addictive!

  5. Marie says

    This was good but similar to what another reviewer noted, it did have more of a thick hummus like consistency and I kept adding water in as well. Despite using a big jalapeño (!) it really wasn’t too spicy surprisngly. My husband was a fan – he can’t do spice and doesn’t eat vegan as much as I do. I added a small squirt of lime juice too. I also heated it up on the stove top after blending so it would be warm for serving. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for the feedback, Marie! We’ll take another look and modify as needed. So glad you both still enjoyed it though!

  6. Josie says

    I really love this; great recipe. One short cut if you haven’t time to soak cashews is to use cashew butter instead. I used about 1/3 cup for a half recipe in place of the cashews.

  7. Sabrina says

    Omg omg! I tried this deliciousness a couple weeks ago and haven’t stopped dreaming of it since! Even my partner who isn’t a fan of nutritional yeast…. LOVED it!
    I used it on nachos, in tacos and I even used it on my avocado on toast for breakfast and it was sensational. Thank you!!! Xxx

  8. Rachael Lavender says

    I made exactly as directed. I found it to have a more spicy hummus consistency and taste. However, I enjoyed the recipe Immensely. Thanks for the share. I would make this again

  9. Terri S says

    I made this as a snack to eat while watching football and my 7 year old son loved it! He said it’s his favorite queso. We all really enjoyed it and it was super easy to make. Thanks for a great recipe!

  10. karin says

    Is it just me or does the cashew sauce thicken up like crazy when heated? It’s almost like a paste consistency.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karin, we haven’t tried reheating this one, but that does happen with homemade nut-based sauces, so we wouldn’t be surprised!

  11. Sandra says

    My first try at vegan Queso since going dairy free. Now I am not feeling deprived! I thought it was really good, but my husband wouldn’t eat it. He said he could taste the cashews. Interestingly enough, I also made your avocado crema – also with cashews – and he thought it was great. The difference? He didn’t see me make that! I just kept my mouth shut… Thanks for the great recipe. They both went nicely with our fish tacos.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ha- too funny! We’re so glad you enjoyed both recipes, Sandra! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Mai says

      Can you use vegan cheese instead of nutritional yeast? I know it’s hard to find a vegan cheese that melts well but I have found nutritional yeast to be way too pungent.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Mai, maybe? Or it might be better to just reduce the amount of nutritional yeast. Let us know how it goes!

  12. Gina says

    Is this queso amazing? Seeing I’m here eating it straight out of the blender, I would say so! Absolutely delicious, thank you again for another dreamy creamy non dairy recipe. I added a touch of smoked paprika at the end to give it a little more kick, and it is truly devine!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  13. Cindy says

    This was absolutely delicious! Nutritional yeast rocks. I made half a recipe (just me) and omitted the optional hot sauce since adding one large jalapeno was just enough spice for half a recipe. This will be used to drizzle on roasted poblanos stuffed with a quinoa and southwest black bean stuffing with a side of roasted broccoli and half of a sweet potato. Topped the peppers with chopped tomato. I had to stop eating the queso after blending it is that good. I will be making this over and over.
    Thank you for all the effort you put into these recipes. I have made many over the last 2 years. Being WFPB I do tweak some recipes, not this, it is perfection! This recipe was shared with a friend along with your website link.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for passing along our site to your friend! xo

  14. Chris says

    This is delicious! Being from Texas i used 5-6 med to lg jalapenos and doubled the salt. I’m going to add some diced tomatoes on the next batch.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

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

  15. Mindy says

    I was skeptical, but this was delicious. My entire family enjoyed this queso. I used the smaller measurement of nutritional yeast, because I don’t like if it overpowers the other flavors. I also added a little turmeric to give it a more vibrant color. Thank you!

  16. Lauren Beach says

    I have a lot of minimalist baker recipes that I love, but this is by far my favorite. I make this a couple times a week to put on everything! (It tastes amazing on roasted sweet potatoes.) I always make a double batch because we go through it so quickly! Thank you so much Dana!

  17. Richelle says

    This is the most delicious vegan Queso ever! My 5 year old is severely allergic to dairy and he loves it! My question is, can you freeze leftovers? I always have so much left over and don’t want to waste it! Thank you so Much for all your recipes that help me keep my boys fed with healthy dairy free food!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Richelle. We are so glad you enjoyed it! We don’t recommend freezing this recipe, but you can store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days! Also, next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  18. Evelyn Baron says

    I really liked everything about this recipe except I don’t use cashews; they are soft and pliable and creamy, but I prefer to soak raw almonds. The texture was inevitably grittier, which was ok, and the rest of the recipe was superb. Would recommend definitely! (Even with almonds).

  19. Kelsey Madas says

    So, SO good! My husband can no longer do diary but misses cheese everyday, and I think this might fill that void in his life. My blender is truly terrible, so I blended the soaked cashews and roasted jalepenos with a little bit of water to esnure they’d have a creamy texture. Then, I added them to my garbage blendder with the remaining ingredients. I also opted to add in a bit more salt, some tumeric for color and a 1/2 of smoked paprika.

  20. Terri says

    I made this tonight to use for vegan nachos. . . . omg it was amazing! My first attempt at a cashew cheese recipe and I rocked it! I made it mostly as is…..added a teaspoon of adobo sauce and roasted 2 large jalapeno peppers. I only have a regular, standard blender and was worried, but the queso turned out super creamy and flavorful and it was so easy! Great recipe – and will make again for sure!

  21. Erin says

    This is amazing!! The BEST. Cheese substitute I’ve tasted so far!! Thank you for making my paleo quest dreams come true!!

  22. Julie Jeppesen says

    I make something similar that includes a steamed carrot. But, I can’t wait to try it with a roasted jalapeño! It’ll be so good over roasted cauliflower rice with some of your Vegan Parmesan on top.