Creamy cheesy Vegan Queso- Use this cashew cheese as a topping for Mexican dishes, a simple baked potato or veggies.
I’m often asked how I live without cheese. When I first became a “junk food vegetarian”, cheese was the star of the show. I added it to pastas, sandwiches, you name it. When I finally did some much-needed research and learned more and more about the benefits of a vegan diet (and how harmful a non-vegan diet could be), I realized I had to say “peace out cheese”!
At first it was difficult to say the least; nothing tasted the same. A sandwich without cheese? But how? A pasta without cheese? But why!? Luckily, over time I learned how to cook amazingly flavorful foods that tasted even better than cheese. Healthy food started tasting better. My stomach felt better and I had more energy. Cheese (and any kind of dairy for that matter) was no longer a part of my diet as it once was.
I don’t like to think of this Vegan Queso recipe as a cheese “replacement”. It’s not meant to taste like dairy-laden cheese.
But what it does taste like is super creamy and flavorful, and it’s an incredible topping for Mexican dishes, or even a simple baked potato, my favorite way to eat it. (see photo below)
How to make this vegan queso:
To start, add the raw cashews to a food processor. Process on high power for 2-3 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides as necessary and re-blend. After a couple of minutes, the cashews will start to resemble a butter-like consistency. Keep processing until you get it as creamy as possible. If still not smooth, add a little water in 1 tablespoon increments and blend again.
Add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, beans, tahini, hot sauce, all spices and hot water, and blend until smooth. *Add more hot water for a thinner consistency, if needed.
This recipe makes about 2 cups vegan queso. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
If you make this Vegan Queso, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your photo with #veggie__chick on Instagram.
Vegan Queso (Vegan, Gluten Free)Pin Rate
- 1 1/2 cups raw unsalted cashews
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 15 ounce can Great Northern beans OR pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 tablespoon tahini – optional
- 2 teaspoons jalapeño hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 to 1 cup hot water
- Add cashews to a food processor and process on high for 2-3 minutes, stopping to scrape the sides as necessary. The cashews will start to resemble a butter-like consistency.
- Add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, beans, tahini, hot sauce, all spices and hot water. Blend until smooth. If still not smooth, add a little hot water in 1 tablespoon increments.