Smoky Vegan Cheese (Three Ways)

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Bowl of Vegan Mexican Cheese with a basket of blue corn tortilla chips and other ingredients used to make it

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.

Cashews, salt, nutritional yeast, and spices for making Easy Vegan Mexican Cheese

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.

Food processor with freshly pulsed cashews and other ingredients for Shakeable Mexican Cheese

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.

Open can of chipotles in adobo

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!

Chipotle pepper added to a food processor with other Mexican Spreadable Cheese ingredients

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.

Blue corn tortilla chips and a bowl of simple Vegan Mexican Cheese Spread
Dipping a blue corn tortilla chip into a bowl of Spreadable Vegan Cheese

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!

Using a whisk to add water to spreadable cheese to make Vegan Mexican Queso

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!

Vegan Mexican Queso sliding off of a whisk into a bowl

Smoky Vegan Cheese (Three Ways)

10-minute vegan cheese with smoky spices THREE ways: shakeable, spreadable, or pourable! Healthy, easy, fast, and surprisingly close to the real thing.
Author Minimalist Baker
Vegan Mexican Queso falling off a whisk into a bowl
4.88 from 70 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 (2-Tbsp servings)
Course Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 10 Days




  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 pinch chili powder
  • 1 chipotle in adobo with a little sauce (or sub salsa or your favorite hot sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil (for blending // optional)


  • 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.


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 2 Tbsp of the shakeable cheese (which yields a total of 6 servings). For estimates on the spread and queso, roughly double those numbers per serving due to increased volume/weight.
*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.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 two-Tbsp serving Calories: 106 Carbohydrates: 6.6 g Protein: 5.1 g Fat: 7.3 g Saturated Fat: 1.3 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 202 mg Fiber: 1.6 g Sugar: 1 g

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My Rating:

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kim! The cheese won’t be as smoky or flavorful, but it should still be yummy! Let us know how it goes!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Malinda, you can leave it out and it will still be tasty, just not as “cheesy”. We’d suggest adding more salt, to taste. Hope that helps!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Carrie! You can always see the nutrition information below the ingredients and notes. This cheese has 106 calories in a 2 Tbsp serving. Hope this helps!

  1. Jeff B says

    I’m always just floored by how amazing your recipes taste. And always better than compared to other excellent plant based sites. Thank you!

  2. KP says

    I have made this multiple times and it’s delicious! It has helped me significantly cut down my cheese consumption. My favorite is to eat it on a wrap with black beans and avocado soooo good. I usually triple the recipe and store in freezer

  3. Tiffany B says

    We have been craving nachos and this was the key part we were missing; both vegan and non-vegan family members agree!

  4. AW says

    I absolutely love this queso, however, I attempted reheating in the microwave and it just becomes thick and hard. What methods do you use to reheat when removing from the refrigerator?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, it’s best when fresh, but you could try adding water for reheating. The microwave or a saucepan should work.

  5. Sue says

    Hello there !
    I made this dip and LOVE it. It’s delic !

    Question – does the dip freeze well ?


    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy it, Sue! We haven’t tried freezing it so we’re not sure. Let us know if you try it!

  6. Sue says

    Hi there
    I’m making right now. I know I made this before but added salsa instead of chipotle in Adobe
    I’m following the spread directions and it’s quite thick and crumbly if that makes sense. It didn’t happen before but I think I added quite a bit of salsa
    Should I add some hot water to thin it out more adobe liquid or salsa. ? Tnx so much
    Making it just to put on some crackers but would use for tostitos dipping as well. Tnx :)

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes, that should work! But you may need to make more of it so that it stays above the blades and blends properly.

    • Sue says

      Hi there
      Is the chipote REALLY SPICY? I’m a mild type person but a touch of zip is ok.
      And you don’t soak cashews right ?

      Thanks 😊

  7. Marie says

    Delicious! About as close as we’ve been able to find to regular queso, and went perfectly on our veggie enchiladas.

  8. yolisa says

    We used this with the 7 layer dip and it is sooooo delicious! We omitted the oil and used a little extra hot water. Otherwise followed exactly. Thank you!

  9. Jill says

    I made the spread using 1/2 cup raw cashews and 1 cup cooked drained garbanzo beans. I processed the cashews first. They never quite made it to smooth cashew butter, but they did release their oils making it easier to blend. Then I added the garbanzos and the other ingredients. And to make it blend better I added a little of the bean liquid (instead of oil). It’s really good, probably not as rich as using all cashews, but I wanted it to have less fat content. Great as a sandwich spread or dip. Sort of like a queso/hummus. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Jen says

    This is just what I was looking for! Not too spicy and delicious over steamed broccoli and potatoes. Delicious.

  11. Maggie says

    This is delicious!!!! Clogged my blender a bit but added some water and then it was fine. Made the queso version over some meatless tacos and didn’t even miss the cheese!!

  12. Kelsey says

    My Omni family loved this in dip form and couldn’t stop eating it! I had to be super patient to get the cashews into a butter but it happened! And was well worth the work!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We don’t find it necessary, but you can for the queso. The other two might end up too liquidy.

  13. Molly says

    Completely AMAZING queso! Gonna make your vegan seven layer dip for the super bowl tomorrow, and if THIS liquid gold is any part of the recipe, I am sure it is gonna be a crowd pleaser!

  14. Madonna Nash says

    Amazing!! loved it!!! Question, did you soak the cashews first? Mine did not come out so smooth and creamy.

  15. Theresa says

    These all look amazing! I am not able to eat Cashew Nuts (or Brazil Nuts, Pistachios). Do you recommend another nut for this Vegan Cheese base? Thanks much!

  16. Liz says

    I made this and my partner and I really like it! The only element we’d like to improve is that it’s very sweet – I think the cashews just bring a sweetness that’s difficult to cut. We used raw cashews (and didn’t soak it or anything, missed that in your recipe). We tried adding some acidity in the form of hot sauce, but it’s still so sweet. Do you have any recommendations? Overall we really like it, though, and think it would be super tasty with beans and avocado.

  17. Yesenia says

    Hi! Is it possible to substitute the nutritional yeast or omit? I’m excited to try but I’m unable to use nutritional yeast.

      • Khat says

        I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but will very soon – it looks fantastic. As for nutritional yeast – I am quite allergic. I made a nacho “not yo cheese” which called for nutritional yeast and substituted chick pea flour with a good dose of garlic powder, onion powder and bit extra salt. It worked out great, very satisfying rich taste. Thanks for the recipe!

  18. Emma says

    I made the queso version for your 7 layer dip, awesome flavors – I’ve been eating the leftovers for lunches this week with tortilla chips! It didn’t turn out exactly pourable like yours looks, I think it was my bad for adding the water and mixing it with the food processor instead of a whisk. The texture was more like a hummus, but still delicious. Do you have any tips/recipes to use up the rest of the Chipotle peppers? Do you know how long they’ll last in the refrigerator? Thanks!

    • Mary Shaw says

      I take the chipotles and sauce and put in a container add unsweetnened vegan milk and process with my emersion blender. Then I freeze in small containers to use later on. It freezes soft so you can actually scrape it out with a spoon to use to spice up any recipe and add smokiness. then put right back in freezer.

    • Tiffany says

      I place leftover chipotles in an ice cube tray (1 per cube) and divide the adobo across them. Once frozen, they store well in a freezer bag or airtight container.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Another reader used 3 TBSP of Frank’s and had success with it, but feel free to add less to begin with and adjust to your liking!

  19. Shakeitup coaching says

    Mmmmm making it as we speak… I have to say you are one Of the sweetest thing in my life ?
    Loving it!

  20. Kate L says

    I’ve made this recipe many times before and its always turned out delicious. Today, I tried subbing the cashews for chickpeas and it came out great too! Great alternative for those who are looking for a low fat option!

  21. tzephyr says

    So I’m trying to be vegan for a month, and out of nowhere this MAJOR craving for nachos hit me HARD. Found this recipe, didn’t have any nutritional yeast so I subbed it with soya sauce at just under half (1.5 tablespoon) of what the recipe called for nutritional yeast. Thinned it out with some hot water, poured it over my tortilla chips, dumped in some salsa and BAM! I licked the whole bowl clean in 5 seconds. Couldn’t even tell the difference for the life of me! And I’m one of those people who turns her nose up in the air with vegan substitutes saying “I can tell a little bit of difference”. Not only was my tummy happy with neutralizing the craving, but it was also SO happy that it wasn’t real cheese (I’m lacto-sensitive). Going to make another batch now!
    In case it got lost in the word dump: sub nutritional yeast with soy sauce at 2:1 ratio! It works well!

  22. Sarah says

    Hello! I want you to know that I love your website & youtube channel! You inspire me to cook more plant-based, despite my steak-loving husband. I’m going to slowly work meatless monday into our diets and get him used to some plant proteins. I used to be vegan/veggie and never ate red meat, but now I eat steak almost regularly. I’m actually concerned about my cholestrol, to be honest.. lol but anyway, I have a question! I made some nacho cheese yesterday, a different recipe, but it was cashews, water, and nutritional yeast and yielded 3 cups. I have 2 cups leftover, and I don’t know if I can finish it by the end of the week. How long will it stay good for in the fridge? The girls are coming over next Thursday and I’m planning on doing vegan mexican (hello black bean taquitos) with my cashew queso. Will it be bad by then? Can I freeze it and then dethaw in the fridge and warm it up in a saucepan? If I can’t use it and have to make a new batch, I’m going to try your recipe here. Thanks so much!

  23. Molly Kirkpatrick says

    I made this last night because I’m throwing my engagement party today and want to make the pinwheels. It firmed up a lot over night. When I tried to spread it, it seemed very dry. What’s the best way to get this ready to use? Should I put it back in the vita mix and add a little hot water or oil? Or should I just try to leave it out to soften. It tastes great, but the texture isnt going to spread I fear. I don’t want to ruin it!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Molly! Yes – I’d recommend adding some hot water and stirring until a thinner consistency is achieved!

  24. Sara says

    I made this today and it’s delicious! I must not have the right kind of blender to do the spreadable. I added water (not sure how much) until it could blend. It’s still very thick so I may add more hot water to use it as queso for a layered bean dip. Thanks for the recipe, I will definitely be making this regularly for game day! ?

  25. Mtini says

    What kind of nutritional yeast do you use? I just learned about fortified vs unfortified, and I’m bummed I’ve been eating fortified nooch my whole life!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Victoria! I don’t know about freezing it, but the batch does last for quite a while (up to 10 days) in the fridge!

      • Victoria Capehart says

        Thanks for the response! It taste really good. My boyfriend who was a meat eater when I first met him loves the queso in nachos I make.

  26. Peggy says

    Delicious. I added about 3TBS of Frank’s RedHot original cayenne pepper sauce. I’m not a fan of adobo chilies. I added the sauce a 1/2 tbs at a time to make sure it wasn’t to over powering. ?

  27. Angela says

    I don’t like most vegan cheeses but this one is exceptional. The smokiness of the Adobe gives it the same richness of queso! And so easy. Can’t wait to make this again.

  28. Catherine says

    I want to make a cheese sauce for potato wedges. I’m used to cheddar cheese flavor. Which of your cheese recipes would you recommend to someone who’s new to eating vegan cheese?

    Also, are any of your cheese recipes close in flavor to cheddar cheese?

  29. Lisa says

    How much of adobo to use ? I also do not enjoy any spiciness in my food so I plan on using mild Salsa. How much to use ?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lisa! I would recommend using a couple tablespoons of your favorite salsa in place of the adobo! Hope this helps :)

  30. Meg says

    I just made the recipe for the spread, following the posted directions. I processed the cashews for quite a while – they did not get to the paste stage. I added the rest of the ingredients, and the whole thing ended up in a tight ball in my processor. It took 3Tbs. of olive oil to loosen it up enough to spread, but the consistency is smooth, and the taste is delicious. Thanks for a good recipe! I still have a question – there is no mention of soaking the cashews anywhere – are they supposed to be soaked?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Meg! Glad you enjoyed this recipe! There is no soaking required for this recipe, but if you want a queso, we recommend using 1 cup of the spreadable + hot water.

  31. CC says

    Hi -I was wondering if you have to soak the cashews for the shakeable cheese? Doesn’t it just clump up if the nuts are wet? I see where that would be good for the spread and queso, but for the other? Thanks!

  32. Anne-Marie says

    I have a question that I’ve never been able to answer ! Why do we need to take raw cashews and not roasted cashews to make fake cheese ? It’s kind of hard to find where I live ! :)

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Anne-Marie! Raw cashews just seem to work better and creates a better vegan cheese, which cannot be achieved using roasted!

  33. sarah says

    I love every recipe I have tried so far from minimalist baker, and there’s a fair number of them, but this was so amazing I had to say thanks!! I doubled pretty much everything to have two batches for two pans of enchiladas, but now I have to make more, because I ate so much. Thanks again for all the awesomeness you share!

  34. Katie says

    Delicious! I made the queso dip ~ super tasty. I had to add more nutritional yeast, cumin, and salt for my taste buds. Thanks Dana! :)

  35. Livia says

    I used the half of the spreadable and mixed with four cups of sautéed organic spinach and it turned out to be a delicious spinach dip!

  36. Anne says

    I have not used the spreadable cheese, but the sprinkle cheese and queso are staples now that I am dairy and egg free. Minimalist Baker is the absolute best! The cheese recipes are some of the only ones that I have ever found that actually come out so good! Thanks for all of your hard work!

  37. BettyBud says

    This is one of my go-to recipes for parties and I’ve made it a lot! Everyone absolutely loves it and the omnis are always surprised that yes, it really is vegan. I just got a Ninja food processor and now it’s even better. Just wanted to thank you for this awesome recipe!

  38. Rob Moore says

    I’ve made this queso at least a dozen times so I thought I should say thanks. Thanks. It’s amazing! I don’t change it a bit. Tonight its topping nachos with black beans, crispy fennel, and roasted veggies.

  39. Ashley-Lynn says

    How well does the queso do sitting out? When it cools does it get really thick and not queso-y? I have a potluck event coming up and I’d want to bring this as my appetizer, but if we’re leaving it out while playing board games, and someone tries it after it’s been on the table, is it going to be gluey and unappetizing?

  40. Rachel says

    This was very tasty! I’ve been searching for good vegan cheese recipes because I’ve even missing that kick on my food. I made the spread version with salsa because that’s what I had. I’d like it to be a little smoother, but it just wasn’t happening. Still delicious and I can’t wait to make a burrito with it soon!

  41. Jan says

    I made the dip and it worked exactly right in my food processor. (I was worried I should use my Nutribullet since that’s what I use for cashew creams). I needed to add about 2 teaspoons of oil and the soaked cashews came together. I added the hot water to the food processor and kept it going, turned out just right and tasted very good. Also added a little turmeric for color. Definitely will make it again, thanks.

  42. Niki Hare says

    Insanely delish! I finally got hold of some nutritional yeast (don’t see it much in the UK) and wanted to give it a whirl. As a spread I found it a little oily, as a dip I had to pour some into a little bowl before I gobbled the whole lot. Just gorgeous! I am not even a vegan, just a vegetarian that is a bit weird about eggs and doesn’t like commercial farming. Last night I made a double batch of flaxseed crackers and these were just divine for dipping……

  43. Justin says

    Hi! I just wanted to say THANK YOU so much! I haven’t even tried your recipes yet and I already want to buy stock in you (if that were possible). I have been struggling with trying to go vegan and there are so many yummy looking things but they take all these ingredients that only NASA has heard of or they take 4,857,345,987 normal ingredients, a degree from Le Cordon Bleu, and 792 hours of straight mixing, chopping, peeling, mashing, standing on your head, putting one foot in and one foot out, etc. So, I am was beyond ecstatic (as if you couldn’t tell) when I came across your simple recipes! Again, thank you so much for sharing these!

  44. vegan not by choice says

    I made this and added the hot water and the oil separated from the cashews… I also made the eggplant cheese version but left out the salsa. I made both of them the night before (I didn’t care that the eggplant one wouldn’t look great one of them was going to be a part of a vegan 7-layer dip, but I wanted to taste both, and they tasted amazing! I ate a bunch of the eggplant one like cheese soup. In the morning, I gave the cashew one a stir, and it was very stiff and the oil was still separated. I decided to blend a spoon of both and mix and see what happened, and wow! Even one step better! So I ended up blending the eggplant cheese into the Mexican cashew cheese together till it was to the right consistency to put into a vegan 7 layer dip. Everyone at the BBQ ate up my dip before most people even knew it was there. I’m making another batch for 4th of July!

  45. Catherine says

    I make this recipe every single week! I couldn’t imagine taco Tuesday without it! Soooo delishhhh

  46. Dan says

    I made this for nachos this weekend. It turned out so good! Can’t wait to make it again.

    After adding the water for the pourable cheese, the texture just wasn’t right for me, so I added ~2tsp tapioca powder and stirred constantly over medium heat and eventually the sauce came together in a perfect melty-cheesy way.

  47. Marie says

    This looks amazing and all the comments have given me great ideas for customizing to my taste. A Question: will the queso bake well in the oven, or should I add to the top of my casserole once I take it out of the oven. I cook my casserole at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
    Thank you for all your recipes: I cannot wait to fill my pantry with the staples to try them

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Marie! I wouldn’t recommend baking the queso, but if you give it a try, report back on how it goes. I would say that it would be best to top your casserole with it after!

  48. Ashley MaKirdy says

    Just made this last night….SO good! Fairly new to your blog but starting to think you’re a genius. THANK YOU!

  49. Jasmyn Maria Vera says

    I always soak cashews, but this recipe said it wasn’t needed and being lazy and starving I thought I’d get away with it.. wrong. Lol it’s still delicious but not creamy like it would have been I’m so mad at myself dammit I should know better. I added a splash of lemon juice and tamari, as well a wedge of raw red pepper, cayenne, it’s seriously amazing!!

  50. Maddie says

    So good! As my first attempt at vegan cheese, I was completely surprised by how easy it was and how delicious it turned out! Even the sceptics in my house were convinced when I made them nachos with it! Thanks for the recipe!

  51. Sandy says

    Hi there! I have made this and LOVE it!! I have some leftover sauce. How long will it keep in the fridge?
    Thanks, Sandy

  52. Katie says

    You are my hero! I am not vegan or even vegetarian, but have had to go dairy free. I have been finding it hard to enjoy some foods without using cheese or butter. Then I found this recipe. I have only made it as a spread but enjoy it on crackers (an old favorite snack) and smeared on a tortilla with taco fixings.

  53. Dana says

    I’ve made this recipe twice now and love it! I make the queso but instead of adding hot water I add fresh stewed tomatoes (I got the idea from the Nacho Mom’s Vegan Queso that I’ve bought previously), so good!

  54. Amy Lacy says

    I made this today-yummy. I spread it on a tortilla with some black beans and corn and made quesadillas. I couldn’t find my large blender so I probably could have gotten the texture more smooth with that but I’ll definitely be trying again.

  55. Colleen says

    I tried the queso and it tasted great, however, within a minute or 2 it started overflowing in the bowl…..what happened!! Im guessing its because of the yeast?

    • Kylo says

      It sounds like you used the wrong kind of yeast. If you used active yeast, that definitely makes sense that it would rise up in volume. Nutritional yeast is different from the active yeast you would use in dough recipes and doesn’t rise.

  56. Joey says

    I just successfully made the queso with sunflower seeds! It wasn’t really working as a spread, but queso is infinitely better anyway, so ???

    I put it in a saucepan and whisked in unsweetened almond milk over a low flame until I had the consistency I wanted, and boom. Delicious queso!

  57. Alex says

    I just made this and it was awesome! My aunt, who’s not vegan, remarked how much it tastes like cheese. I definitely will make it again

  58. Rose Robinson says

    I am vegetarian and have decided to go vegan for this month. Made this today as queso for nachos! I did add some sauteed onion and garlic and a touch of tumeric for color. It was Divine. Thank you.

  59. Craig says

    Made this a few times now and it’s by FAR the best and in my regular rotation!
    I always make the dip and don’t soak the cashews. When I add the hot water I just keep it rollin’ until it’s nice and smooth and I use a small KitchenAid food-pro…turns out amazing!
    Thanks for this post…a total win in my books!

  60. Christian says

    I used the spreadable version on Pizza as a cheese substitute! It was so good. I made two improvements to the recipe for pizza topping. Blend some corn starch into the paste before you crumble it over the pizza. Then, before you put it in the oven, paint the entire thing with a bit of semi-melted vegan margarine. When the pizza is almost done switch it to the broiler for 3 minutes. You would swear it was a melted / roasted feta or soft cheese on top.

  61. Carmen says

    This turned out awesome!!! I made it into Queso for nachos. Not missing the actual cheese at all!!!!

  62. Laura says

    Hello ! I just want a precision. Somebody ask you in comment for the soaking time of cashew but there is no mention of soaking in this recipe. What is the best way to do it?
    Thank you in advance :)

  63. Aaron says

    Outstanding. Just tried this for a group of friends and we all loved it. I added a couple of diced chillies.

    Keen to try the cashewless queso you have here as well!

    You’re the best!

  64. Jude says

    LOVE THIS! Just made the crumb cheese and coated some potatoes before roasting and they’re excellent. Thank you for saving my sanity from trying to find a decent cheese flavour that is vegan.

  65. Dee says

    Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! (did I say) OH!
    I live in nowhere, and to get ahold of anything resembling a vegan cheese is a difficult process. You have so saved my soul! Thank you! This stuff is FAB!!!!! Thank You!!!!!

    (face full of home baked nacho chips and vegan queso with a big fat grin)

  66. k says

    I really wanted to love this. The consistency was great, but I think I just haven’t trained myself to like nutritional yeast yet. It was pretty gross. Sorry.

  67. Janice Rodriguez says

    The queso was delicious. We made the Vegan Mexican Layer Dip for a Super Bowl Party yesterday and no one knew it was vegan but everyone loved it and wanted the recipe! Love Minimalist Baker! Thank you.

  68. Kenzie says

    Oh my god you are my hero! I absolutely love cashew cheese but hate waiting for the cashews to soak. This queso dip is quick, insanely delicious, and even had my carnivore friends asking for the recipes! This will definitely be the center piece of the Superbowl snacks this weekend! Thank you so much, your recipes are always so great and this one is no different.

  69. Sherwood says

    Made this on Sunday, going for the queso version that I could nom on with some homemade (or at least home chipped) tortilla chips. My boyfriend can’t eat dairy, so I wanted to treat him to a non-dairy version of something we used to snack on back in the day. Unfortunately, he’s been too sick to have any. This is only the second vegan cheesy thing I’ve made (the other being an alfredo made of cauliflower). I don’t really eat cheese myself even though I can, so I can’t give a good comparison. I rather enjoyed this fresh. Made it with salsa since I had some on hand already. I can’t give a worthwhile review of it after being in the fridge for a while because my chips have gone bad. They’re like leather, making eating them a chore. I did microwave a few scoops of this and maybe it’s because I put it in for too long, but it did not work well. It turned into a crumbly dough, almost like it wanted to be a mug cake or something. lol I might try alternate means of heating, like making nachos in the oven or something. Thanks for the recipe!

  70. Lorraine says

    Fantastic queso! I’ve made this quite a few times. I use boiling water to soak the cashews and find that works best for me. I also add extra garlic and a bit of cayenne for a spicier kick since my family likes the heat.

    Even the carnivore in the house likes this. He cannot believe it’s made with cashews. :D

    Love this website!!!

  71. Robin says

    I made this tonight with soaked cashews. I was trying to make the shakeable recipe, but it was too sticky. Should I try drying the nuts off completely first? I wound up just adding salsa to make the spreadable version, which was quite tasty. My 15 mo was licking it up off his plate!

  72. Nikki says

    This looks delicious! Is there any alternative to the olive oil? I’m trying to cut out oils where ever possible. Thanks!

  73. Alayna says

    This was so delicious! It’s best to leave the recepie overnight and then reheat it. It tastes so much like cheese! As a newer vegan cheese has been a real struggle for me and I needed this win ??. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      The shakeable keeps for up to 1 month in the fridge, oftentimes more. The spreadable will last up to 2 weeks. And the pourable will last a good week.

  74. Amanda says

    Amazing! We’ve been missing cheese mightily since discovering two of my sons have a dairy allergy.

    This stuff tastes heavenly, especially after being cheese free for so long! Cheesy, creamy, smooth, and completely delicious. Can’t wait to try it on enchiladas, burritos, casseroles, and more!

  75. Kim says

    Made the queso version of this over the New Year weekend for a dinner party and everyone loved it so much, even the two meat and potatoes guys who didn’t know until the next morning that it wasn’t “real” cheese!! I’ve been making cashew cheese for awhile but something like this was totally missing from my life. Thank you!

    • Kim says

      Forgot to mention that I also soaked the cashews without realizing that wasn’t a step in this recipe. Just went into autopilot cashew cheese mode. Turned out great!

  76. Domi says

    I really want to try this but i dont know what adobo is. do you make it yourself or buy it? i would live a recipe or tand name you like.

    • Janice Rodriguez says

      You can find Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce in the supermarket aisle with the mexican food. They come in a can. Worth hunting for!

  77. Sarah says

    This was delicious! I have been trying not to eat cheese but love cheese and although the consistency reminded me (well my son really said it) of refried beans – it tasted really good – cheesy almost I would say. It is a keeper. We made it like a queso. I soaked the cashews – not sure if I should but I was concerned about them grinding up and kept it all in the cuisinart as I added hot water. I’m super happy with this recipe. Thank you!

  78. Kasia Thompson says

    Loved it and so incredibly easy to make! Such a success we are making up for lost time and having nachos again today. Will have to try the other cheese recipe soon (when I remember to prep). Love all of your recipes and anticipate going through all of them eventually. Hands down my favorite website.

  79. Dara says

    Could you freeze this spread? I’ve frozen plain cashew cream before and it seemed ok but never a cashew spread made with other ingredients. Thoughts? I have a small family so I wouldn’t want to waste any of a batch and thought freezing some for later might be a good idea.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I don’t know about freezing it, but the batch does last for quite a while (up to 10 days) in the fridge!

  80. Marta says

    Ok, so I rarely comment but this needed to be said:

    Are you kidding me? This just rocked my world. I made the mexican pinwheels today and almost skipped the cheese part. So glad I didn’t!!!!!!
    Almost sorry I didn’t see it last year (I’ll have to catch up and make extra).
    This recipe is gonna stay with me till the day I die.

    Thanks Dana!

  81. Shanel says

    Love it! Just finished my first batch. This is definitely going on the rotation of ready to eat items for a quick snack or meal. I had the queso each time with chopped tomatoes red onion and fresh cilantro. :)

  82. Ace says

    This looks like an incredible recipe! I can’t wait to try the queso in particular, but I have two questions to ensure maximum deliciousness.

    1) Do you recommend I soak the cashews before making the queso? If so, how does it change the taste/texture/etc. of the final product?

    2) How much salsa would you sub in place of the chipotle in adobo? I want to try using my favorite Trader Joe’s tomatillo salsa.

    Keep on keeping on with the amazing work!

  83. Ambar says

    I want to make this recipe for tomorrow but I don’t have Nutritional Yeast. Can it be substituted for something else?

  84. Millie says

    Made this last night and it is the BOMB! I didn’t have cumin or chipotle but I subbed salsa (wasn’t sure how much to put in?) and it still turned out amazing! So super cheesy and addicting! If only I had an endless supply of cashews!

  85. sassygirl says

    I just finished this in the Vitamix.
    smells good, looks fantastic, and it has a gorgeous
    smoooooth consistency. can’t wait to top it on…
    everything! thanks much for the recipe. I love the shakeable
    version…but this queso sauce…muy bueno.

  86. Jennifer says

    I am speechless. I was so unsure and had my doubts that this would be good (I am 1 week into this vegan thing to better my health and heal my gut…family history of IBS and Crohn’s…and I have been a meat & dairy lover my whole life…and my gut is revolting against me so I decided it was time to make a change!) So anyway, I was speechless when I took a bite and it did in fact taste like queso, actually even better than any queso I have ever made. I think I said “GET OUTTA TOWN! WHAT AM I EATING?!?? ” This is amazing, you are a culinary genius! I have tried several other recipes from your site and they have all been very good. Thank you for sharing your recipes. You are my life saver.

    • Marina says

      Jennifer, my husband has had Crohns, as well, for over 20 years—at 27, he had a perforated bowel, leading to a small intestinal resection (i.e., removing a foot of his small intestine). Making the shift from vegetarian to vegan was what turned the corner for him. He never eats dairy or eggs (or meat, of course), and rarely has gut problems. I really encourage you to stick with the vegan diet. P.S. We made this recipe yesterday, some of the spreadable and some of the queso, and both loved it!

  87. Dan says

    My wife and I LOVE this queso! I found that when you replace the water with unsweetened almond or soy milk it adds even more creaminess to what was already amazing. Trader Joe’s meat crumbles also make a nice addition! Thanks for this recipe, it’s part of our regular line-up now!

    • Caroline says

      Yum that sounds good! I’ve been making the queso with Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies, just like the disgusting and addictive Velveeta queso I grew up eating! I heat up a can of Rotel on the stove til it’s boiling and then process it with half of the spreadable cheese. YUM

  88. Julia says

    I made two out of three of the different cheeses and they were awesome! I am now making batch after batch of the shakeable. Thanks for another recipe that’s improved my meals :D

  89. Kristin says

    Genius, genius, genius. I’ve been a huge fan of Sister River Foods vegan parm and Nacho Mom’s vegan queso, but at $10 (for 7 oz.!) and $6+ a pop respectively, I’ve been trying to find new ways to save – so I’m crazy excited to make your vegan parm and all versions of your Mexican cheese. Once I make I’ll be sure to share the photos on Twitter and tag you : )

    Keep the amazing coming!

  90. Katie Morton says

    Thank you for all of your wonderful vegan recipes! I made this today with Thai chili lime cashews from Trader Joe’s and it has a unique and wonderful spice to it. It’s so easy to make too!! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooh, I love that idea! I’ve seen those but haven’t picked them up before. I’ll try that next!

  91. Allison says

    I know what I’ll be eating during the 49er game on Monday night Football! I plan on adding some Beyond Meat crumbles, chips, and jalapeños! Thank you!!

  92. Faith VanderMolen says

    Wowza. This nacho cheese sauce is amazing!! I made it last night and used it as the cheese in my mexican tortilla casserole. I couldn’t stop licking my fingers and had to push my husband away so he’d stop eating it. Thanks for the recipe!!

  93. Sarah says

    I couldn’t get my kind of food processor to make the cashews into a butter, so I ground it up as fine as possible and made up for it with a little extra evoo and adobo sauce to make it spreadable-friendly. I was nervous to try the final product, but am so excited with how it turned out! Looking forward to using my spreadable in my breakfast burritos! SO DELICIOUS! Thanks so much for the recipe!!

  94. Charlotte Martin says

    This looks DELICIOUS! I’m thinking of trying one of the ‘cheeses’ as a sauce for a Mexican mac & cheese!

  95. Lynn @ The Actor’s Diet says

    I can’t believe I lasted so long in my life without the marvelous combination of nutritional yeast and nuts.

  96. Meredith @ Unexpectedly Magnificent says

    I made the queso tonight with quesadillas. It was delicious! My fiancé said they were the best quesadillas I ever made. :) Cashews for the win!

  97. Hannah Elizabeth says

    I am *in love* with adobo (and forgot to buy some for last night’s dinner, so I’m feeling especially deprived :() and I adore all your dip/spreads/cheesy yummilicious recipes that I’ve tried (that sentence is too qualified :P), so I can’t WAIT to try this!! Thanks for the awesome ideas! XO

    • Aurora says

      I was doing a search on this site and came upon this “Mexican cheese” the color of cheese whiz. Please rename this to “queso,” and refrain from calling it “Mexican.” Mexico offers a variety of cheese, none of which include Velveeta or its neighbors. Queso as the dip is a texmex invention, although i am sure none of us Texans would mistake it for actual “cheese.” Thx!

  98. knoodoo says

    Wow, that looks sooo yummy! I will try this out this very evening and bring it to the girls night. I’ll tell you afterwards. *yeah* :-) Thank’s for the recipe!!

  99. jaime // the briny says

    zomg, brilliant! I love that you made three phases of the same basic flavors. it’s kind of like the three states of matter. sort of. pretend I didn’t just say that.

    but seriously, this is awesome! thanks for sharing all three!

  100. Leslie says

    I’ve been making your eggplant queso, which I love! I also have an annoying sensitivity to cashews, as another commenter mentioned, so if I try these I will use perhaps macadamia nuts. Thank you for all your brilliant ideas. Whenever I pin yet another one, I usually add that to my tag- “Another brilliant idea from Minimalist Baker”!

    • Kat says

      Hey, can anyone tell me if the Macadamia nuts (or, if not, ANYTHING ELSE) work for this? I thought I was the only person in the world who can’t eat cashews, but having finally seen at least one other person with this issue I have hope. What nut works well in place of cashews for vegan cheese???? THANK YOU!

      • Leslie says

        I haven’t tried the Macadamia nuts yet, but have read lots of vegan cheese recipes, and many of them indicate that they can be a good alternative (as well as pine nuts and sunflower seeds). But I have never tried soaking cashews first, which some people have indicated can help with digestibility. If you have an allergy, don’t even try. But I just have mild intestinal discomfort, so soaking overnight is something I plan on trying.
        And you are not alone. Many, many people cannot eat Cashews. I don’t think a food exists that someone somewhere is not allergic to.

  101. Rebecca says

    In my mind somewhere (because my best friend is Vegan) I would like to become Vegan, but cheese is my most loved LOVED food, especially with Mexican food.
    You may have just solved my problem of conversion to Vegan.
    Your recipe has made my day. I’m sharing with my friend, printing your recipe out and I’m going to try it this weekend! Thank you. So glad I found your website today. I’ve subscribed!!

  102. The Blonde Chef says

    THANK YOU! I have been dying for a good vegan cheese recipe, and now I have three! This is so awesome! Can’t wait to try!

  103. Michelle @ Healthy Recipe Ecstasy says

    I LOVE THIS. My body also says nah-uh to cheese but I don’t listen half the time… I’ve been meaning to try more vegan cheeses but they looked so time consuming. Now I have no excuse. :) My body thanks you!

  104. Alexa says

    This all looks crazy delicious! I’ll definitely try this out next game day!
    Where did you say the nutritional yeast is added? I don’t see it in the recipe.

      • Alice G. says

        I have a question about the raw cashews. Are they soaked over night or for a couple of hours before they are used? I would love to try this recipe today!!
        Thank you

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          Overnight is best! Or, pour boiling hot water over them and soak for 1 hour, then drain!

          • Alice G. says

            Good morning!!! I followed the recipe for spread which turned out good, but when I attempted to make the queso it did not turn out so good. I added the hot water a little at a time. It turned it a pasty color and it lost all of its flavor. Im not sure what i did wrong.

          • Kylie says

            I soaked raw cashews overnight but then was unable to use them the next day. I drained them and refrigerated them and completely forgot about them. That was over a week ago. Do you know if they’re still OK to use?

          • Stephanie says

            Phew! Thank you for the quick save about the boiling water soak for cashews! Didn’t know about the boiling water trick. Forgot to soak overnight, so will give it a try!

          • Faith says

            Can you use cashew butter instead? I won’t be able to run to the store but I already have the butter!

          • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

            Hi Faith! Cashew butter won’t work for this recipe, sorry!

  105. Danielle @ Chits and Chats and Chocolate says

    This is completely genius! Now I just really wish I wasn’t slightly allergic to cashews….

    • Crystal says

      I have subbed sunflower seeds for the cashews in her shakey parm because I didn’t have any on hand, and my family loved it. Maybe that would work in this recipe? In fact, I think I’m going to go try it. (sunflower seeds are cheaper, too!)