Vegan Queso Dip with Green Chiles combines all there is to love about hot queso in a delicious, dairy-free dip. Serve this creamy, healthy queso with chips or over tacos for the ultimate plant-based crowd pleaser.As we approach the first weekend of college football, it’s only appropriate to share the most EPIC recipe for the most beloved dip. This vegan queso is every bit as creamy and satisfying as the cheesy classic, however completely plant-based. And in case you’re skeptical, I tested it on even the most devout cheese lovers, and no one raised an eyebrow.
Serve it with tortilla chips for a game-day appetizer or smothered over homemade enchiladas or nachos. And if you happen to wind up with leftovers (the probability is low), this queso reheats beautifully.
How to Make Vegan Queso:
This dip is primarily made of cashews, which have a naturally creamy texture and mild flavor. To start, soak the cashews in boiling water for an hour until softened (more on this below). Next, blend the cashews with unsweetened cashew milk until ultra-creamy. At this point, the mixture is ready to be heated stovetop, which, with the help of corn starch, transforms the consistency to creamy, gooey bliss.
To achieve the classic cheesy flavor, we lean on nutritional yeast, spices, and green chiles. If you prefer your queso on the spicy side, you can up the cayenne pepper or opt for hot green chiles (as opposed to mild).
Is Soaking Cashews Necessary?
Soaking the cashews ahead of time contributes to the ultra-creamy consistency of the dip. Most recipes that call for cashew soaking recommend 4 to 6 hours, however if you use boiling water (as recommended here), it should only take an hour. Just be sure to use raw cashews, as opposed to roasted/salted, for the best results.
Where Do I Find Nutritional Yeast?
To start, let’s cover what the heck nutritional yeast even is. In short, it’s an inactive form of yeast (the same strain bakers use to leaven bread) with a super savory flavor. It’s naturally dairy-free and low calorie, yet packs a surprising amount of protein. Plus, most brands are fortified with B12, which most plant-based diets can easily fall short on.
You can find nutritional yeast in most health food stores, either in the bulk bins or spice section. You’ll get the best deal from the bulk bin section, however Trader Joe’s also sells bags of it for pretty cheap. And incase you’re worried you’ll only use it once, there are myriad possibilities for nutritional yeast. Sprinkle it over popcorn, roasted veggies, or pizza for a savory boost, or use it in dairy-free mac and cheese.
This homemade queso is extremely easy to make, and better than any store-bought version I’ve tried. It’s not gritty or gelatinous, nor does it have any trace of cashew flavor.
I love serving it in a mini crockpot to keep it hot, however a warmer dish also works well. Top it with cilantro, jalapeño, or pico for a pop of color, or serve it plain Jane for ease of dipping. Your guests will be absolutely shocked to know it’s vegan, and will undoubtedly ask you to make it for every event moving forward.Lastly, if you give this recipe a try, be sure to tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations!
More Vegan Dip Recipes:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 cups unsweetened cashew milk
- 2 tsp. corn starch
- 1 (4-oz.) can diced green chiles
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper or chili flakes
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add cashews, remove from heat, and let stand 60 to 90 minutes. Drain cashews.
- Combine cashews and cashew milk in a high-power blender; blend until smooth. Place ½ cup of mixture into a small bowl; whisk in corn starch. Pour remaining cashew mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking often. Right before reaching a boil, whisk in reserved corn starch mixture. Boil, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in green chiles, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne.
- Serve warm with tortilla chips, or spoon over tacos, enchiladas, or nachos.