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Vegan Queso

Cheesy and easy vegan queso is the perfect addition to any party! This irresistible dairy-free dip is packed with bold flavor and has a creamy texture that will satisfy even the most skeptical cheese lovers.

Overhead view of vegan queso in bowl surrounded by tortilla chips

People always say that the hardest thing to give up when going vegan is cheese. While not all cheeses are easy to replicate with plant-based ingredients, one of the exceptions is cheesy sauces like queso. While I love my vegan kimchi queso dip, if you’re looking for a more traditional queso experience, this vegan queso recipe is perfection.

Whether you're hosting a game day get-together, looking for a recipe to bring to a potluck, or just craving something cheesy while bingeing on Netflix (guilty!), this vegan queso is a must-try. You won’t believe how cashews blend up into the perfect queso consistency—it’s like magic!

Vegan queso in bowl

Why You’ll Love This Vegan Queso Recipe

  • No store-bought subs needed. If you don’t like relying on pricy store-bought vegan cheese alternatives, this recipe is for you! It uses simple, wholesome ingredients to deliver big, cheesy flavor.
  • Easy to make. Simply blend the vegan queso ingredients until they’re smooth, heat them up, and grab a bag of tortilla chips! Remembering to soak the cashews in advance is legit the hardest part.
  • Deliciously cheesy. Despite being dairy-free, this spicy cashew cheese sauce is rich, creamy and packed with cheesy flavor thanks to nutritional yeast and a little bit of tanginess from fresh lemon juice.
Overhead view of ingredients for vegan queso

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.

  • Raw cashews – Soak these for at least 2 hours so they puree silky smooth.
  • Almond milk – Or another unflavored, unsweetened plant milk.
  • Nutritional yeast – Don’t skip this! It’s key to the cheesy flavor.
  • Sriracha sauce – For a little bit of kick. Feel free to adjust the amount to your liking.
  • Lemon juice
  • Smoked paprika – I love the smoky flavor this adds to vegan queso.
  • Salt & pepper
  • Tapioca starch
  • Garnishes – Scallions, cilantro, and additional paprika to garnish.

What Is Tapioca Starch?

Tapioca starch is a gluten-free and grain-free ingredient commonly used in baking and cooking. Because tapioca starch has a fine texture and neutral taste, it’s an excellent thickening agent for sauces, soups, and desserts—and, of course, this vegan queso recipe!

How to Make Vegan Queso

  • Blend. Add all the ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth.
  • Heat. Pour the vegan queso mixture into a small saucepan and heat on low until warm and thickened, whisking constantly.
  • Garnish and serve. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle green onions, cilantro, and additional paprika over the top. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
Overhead view of vegan queso in bowl on platter with tortilla chips

Tips for Success

  • Forget to soak the cashews? Although it’s not ideal, you can soak them in boiling water for 15 minutes if needed. They won’t get quite as soft as if you soak them for the full 2 hours, but it will get them close enough.
  • Make sure you blend until smooth. You don't want bits of cashews in your vegan queso dip! For the creamiest texture, make sure to blend until completely smooth. It can be hard to tell by just looking at the blender jar, so stick a spoon in and then let the vegan queso drizzle off; if it looks grainy, keep blending.
  • Double the recipe for larger gatherings. This vegan queso recipe can easily be doubled or tripled, making it a great option for bigger parties and gatherings.


  • Add black beans and corn. For a heartier queso, mix in some cooked black beans and fire-roasted corn before serving.
  • Swap out the sriracha for salsa. If you're not a fan of spicy food, you can use your favorite salsa instead of sriracha to add flavor and a little bit of texture, too.
  • Stir in green chiles. To give this queso dip a Southwestern twist, add canned diced green chiles when heating it up on the stovetop.
Overhead view of vegan queso in bowl

Serving Suggestions

Vegan queso is delicious with tortilla chips, but you can totally get creative with how you serve it. Here are some ideas!

  • Nachos. Top your favorite tortilla chips with vegan queso, Instant Pot spicy black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and vegan sour cream for plant-based loaded nachos.
  • Burritos or tacos. Use this queso as a topping for your burritos or tacos instead of traditional cheese. It’s also great with burrito bowls!
  • Baked potatoes. Skip the faux vegan cheese and spoon vegan queso over your next baked potato.

How to Store Leftovers

If you have leftover vegan queso, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove or microwave until warm and creamy; you may need to add a splash of water to loosen it up. You can also eat it as a cold dip if you’d like.

Can I Freeze This Recipe? 

Yes, you can! Transfer the vegan queso to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating on the stove or microwave.

Hand dipping tortilla chip into bowl of vegan queso

More Vegan Dips and Spreads

Vegan Queso

Easy vegan queso is the perfect addition to any party. This cheesy warm dip is creamy and packed with big flavors, even without the dairy!
author: Alyssa
yield: 4 servings
Overhead view of vegan queso in bowl surrounded by tortilla chips
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Soaking Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 10 minutes



  • Add all the ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth.
  • Add blender contents to a small saucepan and heat on low until warm. Whisk constantly to avoid clumping and stir until slightly thickened, about 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with green onions, cilantro and a dusting of paprika.
  • Serve warm with tortilla chips and enjoy!


Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 428mg | Potassium: 250mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 127IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2mg
cuisine: Mexican
course: Appetizer, Condiment, Snack

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