The thing about cheese is, I love it. However, my body is like “ah, nah.”
The thing about this Cashew-less Vegan Queso is, it’s delicious. But my watch is like “ah, nah.”
The thing about this recipe is, it takes 10 minutes and tastes like the real deal. Ah, yeah.
I absolutely adore eggplant and cashew cheeses, but the time commitment is a little too much for everyday use. So one day I started to wonder if you could make vegan “parmesan” but with Mexican-inspired flavors. Answer? Yes.
Then, I wondered if you could add that back to the processor and make cheesy cashew butter spread. Answer? Yes.
Finally, I wondered if you could add hot water to that spread and make 10-minute pourable queso with no soaking or roasting involved. Answer? DOUBLE YES. Friends, this is a major win in my book.
The first way: Shakeable!
Add raw cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder to a food processor and blitz away.
Ta-da! You have shakeable spiced, Vegan Cheese, perfect for salads, tofu scrambles, tacos, and more.
Now that’s some adobo, bro. Learn about adobo and its origins here!
Add the same ingredients as the shakeable cheese to the food processor with a little olive oil and you have a sexy looking spread. A chipotle pepper in adobo sauce takes it to the next level with a smoky, spicy wave of flavor.
This version is perfect as a dip, sandwich spread, or base layer in burritos. But we’re not done yet.
Add some hot water to the spreadable cheese and we’ve got queso!
This version is perfect for virtually any Mexican-inspired dish, especially nachos, burritos, taco salads, and dips. Sit tight because I’ve got a recipe coming next week using this version that makes thee perfect healthy vegan snack for parties, game days and lazy afternoon lounging. Can’t wait!
If you make this recipe in any form, please let us know! Leave a comment below, or tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers!
Smoky Vegan Cheese (Three Ways)
FOR THE SHAKEABLE:
FOR THE SPREAD:
FOR THE QUESO:
- 1 cup of the spreadable + hot water
- To make the shakeable cheese, add all ingredients to a food processor
and pulse until a fine meal is achieved (see photo). Store in a jar and refrigerate, and use on anything from tacos to salads to tofu scrambles.
- To make the spreadable cheese, add raw cashews to a food processor and process into a butter, scraping down sides as needed. Add in spices and chipotle pepper and mix until until a spread is formed. You may need to add a little oil to help things blend together. Store in a jar and refrigerate to keep fresh, and use as a dip or spread.
- To make the queso, simply scoop out desired portion of the spreadable cheese and add very hot water a little at a time and whisk until pourable. Use as a dip, tacos and salads. Store leftovers in a jar in the fridge to keep fresh.
*Recipe as originally written yields ~2 cups cheese.
*Learn more about the origins of queso here, which takes inspiration from Southwest cuisine and classic Mexican flavors.