Make this easy and super creamy Vegan Queso Dip recipe in less than 20 minutes using cashews, salsa sauce, yogurt, and a handful of warm spices and seasonings. This dairy-free and gluten-free nacho cheese dip is just as flavorful and delicious as the classic but is lighter and much healthier!
The Best Vegan Queso Dip Recipe
One thing that I really love and do not worry about missing out on being vegan is CHEESE! Making dairy-free versions of these salty, tangy blocks of yumminess at home is actually very easy. Just like my Vegan Mac and Cheese, Cashew Ricotta, Mini Mozarella Cheese Balls, and Vegan Parmesan Cheese. They are super flavorful and much healthier too.
Easy Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
This vegan take on classic queso dip is equally as yummy and easy – and is perfect for snacking too! Unlike your usual tex-mex nacho dip that is high in saturated fats, this dairy-free recipe is made using cashews, which are rich in healthy unsaturated fat and has zero cholesterol so you can enjoy it with your favorite snacks to your heart’s desire without all the guilt.
All you need is a pot, a blender, and 10 simple ingredients and you will have a homemade preservative-free “cheese” alternative that is better than anything you can buy from stores! Aside from enjoying it with tortilla chips and nachos, you can also serve the dairy-free cheese sauce with potato wedges, sweet potato fries, cauliflower nuggets, zucchini fries, and vegan fish nuggets!
- Raw cashews: are the base of the vegan queso and will give the cheese dip a creamy consistency and nutty undertone.
- Salsa sauce: you can use your favorite brand for this recipe. Chopped tomatoes can be used instead of salsa sauce. However, to make the dip just as flavorful, it is recommended to add sautéed onions or onion powder and some tomato paste or paprika paste as well as hot sauce or more jalapeño or chili. If you like, you can also add other spices like cumin.
- Vegan yogurt: I used unsweetened Alpro Skyr-Style but feel free to use any brand. This will add a tangy and zesty creaminess to the dip.
- Water: to give the cheese mixture better consistency. You can also use unsweetened dairy milk as a substitute.
- Garlic: use a clove of fresh garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
- Nutritional yeast flakes: this is added to give the vegan queso its savory and “cheesy” taste.
- Spices: I used paprika and chili powder to add a warm, earthy and spicy flavor. This will also give the dip a nice color.
- Salt and pepper: to taste
- Garnishes (optional): grilled corn, fresh or pickled jalapeños, chopped tomatoes, and cilantro.
As always, I recommend watching the recipe video and checking out these step-by-step instructions first. Then you can then find the full recipe with the exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: soak / cook cashews
Put cashews in a saucepan, cover with water and cook for 15 minutes to soften. Alternatively, you can soak cashews in cold water overnight. Then drain the cashews, rinse with fresh water and drain again.
Step 2: blend until creamy
Then add to a high-speed blender along with the remaining ingredients (salsa, dairy-free yogurt, water, garlic, nutritional yeast flakes, paprika and chili powder) and blend until creamy. Add more water to desired consistency if needed and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish the creamy vegan queso with grilled corn, jalapeños, tomatoes and cilantro as desired and serve as a dip with nachos or other finger food snacks. You can also use the vegan cheese dip as a sauce or spread for wraps, burritos, tacos, burger or quesadillas. Enjoy!
- Soaking cashews in cold water overnight will help keep their nutrients intact. So if you have time to do this the night before, the better.
- If the cheese mixture is too thick, you can add more water to plant milk until you reach the consistency you like.
- Adjust the amount of spices to your liking. You can make it a bit spicier by adding more chili powder or cayenne pepper or make it a bit more cheesy by adding more nutritional yeast flakes.
- If you want to give the vegan queso a more yellow hue, just add a pinch of turmeric or a few drops of orange food dye.
- For a slightly tangy flavor, feel free to add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar.
Place the vegan queso dip in an airtight jar or container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. To serve the queso dip warm, simply heat in a microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. If it becomes too thick, add a bit of unsweetened plant milk or water.
This Vegan Queso Cheese Dip is:
- High in healthy fats
- Low in calories
- Quick and easy
- Perfect for dipping!
More delicious Dips and Sauces to try:
- Peanut Sauce
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Ajvar Sauce
- Red Pepper Cashew Dip
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Vegan Mayonnaise
- Aioli (Garlic Dip)
- Baba Ghanoush
- Tzatziki Sauce
- Raita Dip
- Herb Dip
- Garlic Sauce
If you try this easy Vegan Queso Dip recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a review! And if you take a picture of your homemade dairy-free cheese dipping sauce and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! 🙂
Vegan Queso Dip (Nacho Cheese Sauce)Author:
- 1 cup (150 g) raw cashews
- ½ cup (120 g) salsa sauce or chopped tomatoes and more spices, *see notes
- ½ cup (120 g) vegan yogurt e.g. Greek or Skyr-Style, unsweetened
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- 1 garlic clove or ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- ½ tsp chili powder or to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
For garnish (optional)
- grilled corn, jalapeños, chopped tomatoes and cilantro
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step photos above!
- Put cashews in a saucepan, cover with water and cook for 15 minutes to soften (or soak them in cold water overnight).
- Drain the cashews, rinse with fresh water and drain again. Then add to a blender along with the remaining ingredients (salsa, dairy-free yogurt, water, garlic, nutritional yeast flakes, paprika and chili powder) and blend until creamy. Add more water to desired consistency if needed and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with grilled corn, jalapeños, tomatoes and cilantro as desired and serve as a dip with nachos or other finger food snacks.
- Ingredients: Instead of salsa sauce, you can use chopped tomatoes. However, to make the dip just as flavorful, it is recommended to add a sautéed onions or onion powder and some tomato paste or paprika paste as well as hot sauce or more chili. If you like, you can also add other spices like cumin.
- To serve the queso dip warm, simply heat it in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. If it becomes too thick, add a bit of unsweetened plant milk or water.
- More helpful tips and information about this recipe, including serving suggestions and storing notes, are mentioned in the blog post above!
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