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vegan queso

Vegan Queso

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican


This easy vegan queso is so creamy and delicious, you’ll be shocked that it’s dairy free! With just a handful of pantry staples, you can have queso on the table in 30 minutes!


  • 1 medium russet potato (about 10oz), peeled and cubed
  • ⅓ cup chopped carrots (about 23 medium carrots)
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cooking water, reserved
  • ⅓ cup cashews, soaked for 6 hours (See note for faster soaking)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 10oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (see note)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Add the potato, carrots, and onion to a large pot.
  2. Cover with water and bring to a boil.
  3. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are fork tender.
  4. Once the vegetables are soft, reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the rest of the water from the pot of vegetables.
  5. In a blender or food processor, blend 1/2 cup of the cooking water (reserve the rest), cashews, salt, garlic, mustard, vinegar and oil.
  6. Add the vegetables and continue to blend. Since the veggies will be hot, be sure to let steam safely escape through the top of the blender.
  7. Blend until completely smooth. If it’s too thick, add a few tablespoons of the additional remaining cooking water, until you reach the desired consistency.
  8. Taste and add additional salt if needed.
  9. Pour into a serving dish and stir in the tomatoes and green chilies. Serve warm.


Ideally, you’ll soak your cashews overnight, or for at least 6 hours. But if you want to make queso in a flash, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat, add the cashews, and cover. Set aside for 15 minutes. Carefully drain the water and the cashews will be ready!

I like getting a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies but you can also use pico de gallo and a can of green chilis. Green chilies are usually sold in smaller 3-4oz cans. The green chilies are an essential part of the queso flavor so don’t leave them out!

Keywords: Vegan queso