Want a fast, cheesy, spicy dip to snack on while watching the big game? Do you also want it to be completely dairy-free and 100% plant-based? You need this five-minute cashew queso, stat!
You may be thinking, WHY would anyone want to make their own queso, which literally means “cheese,” without the cheese? Well, for starters, this dairy-free version is perfect for lactose-intolerant folks. Second, plant-based queso lacks the bad cholesterol-boosting saturated fats that are found in animals. Last but not least, store-bought vegan queso is EXPENSIVE! Do you want to spend eight bucks on a 6 oz container of stabilizers and weird ingredients? No.
This plant-based queso comes together instantly in a blender, and you can pronounce every single ingredient. Plus, it makes quadruple the amount you’d find in the grocery store, and it keeps for a long time in the fridge. So invite the whole neighborhood over for chips ‘n’ dip!
If you have a well-stocked pantry, you may have all of the ingredients on hand already. Just combine toasted cashews, nutritional yeast, canned tomatoes and chilies, garlic and chili powders, salt, oil, and some chipotles in adobo in a blender with some water. Whir it up until it’s smooth as silk, and BOOM. You just made the plant-based queso of your dreams in minutes.
While it’s not necessary, the flavors meld and intensify after some time in the fridge, so if you’ve got the time to make it a day in advance, do it. From there, you can serve the queso chilled or at room temperature — and scoop it up with your favorite tortilla chips and crunchy veggies.
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5-Minute Cashew “Queso”
Makes about 3 cups
1 cup toasted cashews
1 (10oz) can diced tomatoes & green chilies, divided (like Ro-Tel Original)
1 (4oz) can diced green chilies⅓ cup water
⅓ cup grapeseed oil
⅓ cup nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, or lemon juice
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 whole chipotle in adobo (or ~1 tablespoon chopped chipotles in adobo)
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
Spoon approximately half the can of Ro-Tel tomatoes (with the liquid) into a blender, along with all the other ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Transfer to a bowl and stir in remaining Ro-Tel tomatoes and chilies. Serve chilled, warm, or at room temperature.
Letting the finished queso sit in the fridge for an hour (or overnight) helps develop the flavor, so this is a great make-ahead recipe. Queso will keep up to a week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.