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A bowlful of vegan queso cheese sauce on a tray surrounded by taco chips.

Incredible Vegan Queso Cheese Sauce

Prep Time: 11 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 14 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Tracy Halasz

Equipment

  • high speed blender

Ingredients

  • ½ roasted red pepper
  • ½ cup raw cashews (soaked*)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeno juice*
  • 2-4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ - 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 chili in adobo
  • 1-2 tsp tapioca starch
  • ½ cup chunky salsa
  • pinch hot pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

Roasting Red Peppers (or buy a jar of roasted red peppers)

  • Roast red pepper in a preheated 450º F oven by cutting in half and placing cut side down on a parchment-covered oven proof dish.
  • Cook for around 20-25 minutes until wrinkled and charred.
  • Remove from oven and cover with a clean kitchen towel or an upside down mixing bowl or place the peppers in a paper bag. The peppers will steam as they cool down which will loosen the skin.
  • Remove the skin, membranes and seeds. Set aside.
    *You can save the remaining roasted pepper in the fridge or freezer for your next batch of queso!
  • Add all the ingredients into a high-speed blender except for the salsa and hot pepper flakes. Blend until smooth.
  • INGREDIENT SUBS
    Sub any acid for the jalapeno juice (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, etc).
    Sub 1-2 tsp smoked paprika for chili in adobo (or any smoky spice or sauce you have on hand).
  • *If you do not have a high-speed blender, soak the cashews for a couple hours, drain and rinse. Then follow the rest of the recipe.
  • Pour blender ingredients into a saucepan and heat over medium heat - stirring constantly until thickened (4 or 5 minutes).
  • Remove from heat and stir in the salsa or green chillies and hot pepper flakes (if using). Voila!

Notes

Extra time needed to roast the red peppers or buy a jar of pre-roasted red peppers.
Extra to required if you don't have a high-speed blender to soak the cashews.
Freeze any extra roasted red peppers in an air-tight bag for up to a couple months.
Adjust seasoning to make the queso hotter or spicer to your taste preference.
Ingredient Sub - sub any acid for the jalapeno juice (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, etc). Sub 1-2 tsp smoked paprika for chili in adobo (or any smoky spice or sauce you have on hand).
Queso Consistency - as the queso cools, it will thicken up. Use a splash or two of water when reheating to achieve desired consistency (or stir in a bit more salsa).