This guilt-free “queso” is completely vegan and surprisingly delicious! Made with cashews, coconut milk, nutritional yeast and Sky Valley Verde sauce, this dip takes on a gooey, cheesy consistency that may fool even the most discerning cheese queso lovers!
When I was little my dad brought home some sausage one day that a friend of his from work gave him. Being seven or eight at the time I ate it without question assuming it was your standard pork or beef sausage on a cracker. It wasn’t until after I ate four or five slices that my dad told me the sausage I was eating was actually made from a bear his friend shot on a hunting trip. I couldn’t believe it—I ate Winnie the Pooh and confession: he was delicious!
You’d think an experience like that would have made me distrust anything my parents ever put in front of me again—and you’re right it did! I was very leery over anything my dad brought home from work from that point forward. However, over time, I’ve come to appreciate this sausage imposter I was given and how it completely fooled me into eating something I would have otherwise turned my nose up at. I guess the lesson here is: don’t knock it until you try it!
That brings me to today’s recipe—Vegan Queso Blanco. Yes, that’s right a completely vegan and dairy-free “queso” dip that tastes, looks and acts surprisingly similar to traditional queso made from cheese. This dip is made primarily using cashews that have been soaked overnight in water and canned coconut milk. Both add the necessary creaminess and richness component needed to turn this into a convincing queso doppelgänger.
This queso’s cheesy flavor comes from nutritional yeast—a staple in any vegan’s pantry because it’s known for having a tangy cheese-like flavor. I love sprinkling this over popcorn—so good! Then, the dip gets a kick from cumin, cilantro, lime juice, diced green chiles and a hefty pour of Sky Valley Verde sauce.
If you can’t find Sky Valley Verde sauce at your local store, you can order it online. Alternatively, you could also substitute any other bottled verde sauce or tomatillo salsa and get similar results.
The best part about this recipe is its simplicity. Just soak the cashews overnight, cook the potato in the microwave till soft, and blend everything together until smooth. Then, just warm over low heat until nice and bubbly. YUM! I love this dip served with crunchy tortilla chips or an assortment of fresh veggies like baby carrots, broccoli and sliced red pepper.
Bring this to your next party and I bet you’ll fool one or two people with this pretty convincing queso. You may just want to give people a heads up that this dip does contain nuts (darn you, increasingly common food allergies).
What about you? Have you ever been tricked into trying food you thought was something else? How did it turn out? Leave me a comment below.
If you try out this queso, please leave me a comment don’t forget and give this recipe a rating. You can also tag me Instagram (@frydaeblog or #frydaeblog) if you try this recipe out. It’s always fun to see my recipes come to life in your kitchens. Happy Frydae, everyone!
Vegan Queso Blanco
- 1/4 cup potato, peeled and chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
- 1 cup coconut milk, canned
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 cup Sky Valley verde sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 4 ounces canned green chiles
- In a bowl, add cashews and cover with enough water to cover the nuts. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let soak overnight (or for at least 8 hours). When ready to prepare the queso, remove plastic wrap and drain excess water from the cashews. Set aside.Next, in a microwave-safe bowl, heat chopped potato on high for 2 minutes, or until fork tender.Add potato to a food processor along with soaked cashews and remaining ingredients. Blend until very smooth and then place dip into a saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally and cook until “queso” is warmed through. Alternatively, you may also put the dip into a small crockpot and warm it on your pot’s lowest setting. Serve with tortilla chips or your choice of assorted vegetables. My favorites are carrots, broccoli and red pepper strips. Enjoy!
If you’d like to add additional heat to your queso, or would like it to have a chunkier consistency, you can fold in additional diced green chiles or diced pickled jalapeño peppers while warming the queso.