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Vegan Queso

Here's a basic vegan queso that uses cashews as a base. It's low waste, healthy, and surprisingly close to the real deal. You only need 8 ingredients and 15 (or less) mintutes to make it.
Prep Time15 mins
Servings: 8 1/4-cup servings


  • cups raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup sweet peppers (red, orange, or yellow)
  • 1 whole ancho pepper (or 1 tbsp. ancho powder)
  • 1 whole guajillo pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. pink himalayan or sea salt (or more to taste)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne (optional)
  • 1 whole red chili pepper, dried (optional)


  • Soak cashews in warm water for about 1-2 hours.
  • Place everything in a blender or food processor.
  • Add water and blend on the lowest setting. Add more water if needed.
  • Slowly turn to the highest setting and, if needed, add enough water to reach desired thickness.
  • Optional: if using a high-performance blender, you can run it on the highest setting for 1-2 minutes to warm it up.
  • Serve immediately or store it in a sealed container. Will keep in the fridge for up to 5-7 days or 1 month in the freezer.
  • Can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop over a medium-high heat. Add more water if it thicken up in the fridge.


If you would like it hot, add the cayenne and/or chili pepper. 1 whole chili = 1/2 tsp. chili powder
If you are having trouble finding dried guajillo peppers, you can substitute another whole ancho pepper instead.
If you have an allergy or reaction to peppers, replace those with 1 tsp. cumin powder instead.
If you don't have time to soak the cashews, use hot water for the queso.