This cashew queso is vegan, dairy free, and so easy to make. You’ll love it as a super creamy dip or add it to the top of tacos, veggies, or sandwiches!

We started limiting our dairy years ago thanks to the discovery of David’s dairy and red meat allergies (alpha-gal). Over time he’s been able to tolerate some dairy and I feel like we really took that to the extreme in 2020. I seriously think we ate charcuterie for our meal three times a week. But hey we all did what we had to that year, didn’t we? Now we’re back to reducing our dairy intake and saving those charcuterie boards for special occasions.

This Dairy Free Cashew Queso is the perfect solution when you’re wanting a delicious cheese-like dip without the actual cheese. It is seriously so dreamy and addictive. This stuff goes quickly in my house!

For this dip you’ll need just 3 ingredients plus water and some seasonings. You can also add jalapeno if you’d like to make it spicy.

Blend everything together until you achieve a creamy consistency and you’re done! How about that for easy?

For this quick dip you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):

  • Raw cashews
  • Salsa
  • Water
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Seasonings
  • Jalapeno (optional)

To make this delicious dip you’ll need to first soak your cashews until softened. (Three methods to do this are provided in the recipe card.)

Then blend all the ingredients together and serve!

Can you use salted or roasted cashews?

I recommend using raw cashews. I have tested this queso with roasted cashews and it works but the cashew flavor is more pronounced. Since we’re wanting to replicate a queso here it’s better to stick with raw cashews.

Salted cashews work well but you’ll want to adjust your seasonings to avoid having an overly salty dish. So skip the salt in the directions until after you’ve given it a taste. Then add salt a little at a time until you achieve the flavor you want.

Why soak the cashews first?

Soaking the cashews gets them soft so they’ll blend better. This makes it easy to achieve that creamy consistency we want.

There are three ways to do this:

You can soak the cashews overnight in a bowl of water if you have the time. Need a shortcut? Add them to a bowl with enough water to cover and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes (my favorite method) or cover them with water and let them sit for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse. All three methods work great so take your pick!

Is this dip spicy?

Not at all! If you’d like to add some heat, blend 1/2 to 1 jalapeno (cored and seeded) with the other dip ingredients. You can also amp up the heat by simply using a hot salsa.

Is this dip thick?

This dip is designed to be really thick so it sticks to every chip. You can use a little extra water if you prefer a thinner consistency.

What to do if your queso feels gritty

If you’ve blended the ingredients together and the queso is feeling a little gritty, don’t worry. So long as you didn’t skip the important step of soaking the cashews until softened, this is not a problem! That grittiness just means you’re not blending! The cashews will continue to break down as you blend. Blend some more, adding a little extra water if it seems too thick, until you’ve achieved the desired smooth consistency.

Can you make this ahead of time?

Yes! Just store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. When you’re ready to enjoy, leave it on the counter at room temperature for 30 minutes so that it’s not too cold when you eat it.

How to serve this Dairy Free Cashew Queso

The obvious way to serve this queso is of course as a dip. Enjoy with tortilla chips, plantain chips, fritos, or raw veggies.

Let’s not forget all the amazing ways you can enjoy this queso as a topping too! Drizzle over roasted potatoes or broccoli. Add to tacos, burrito bowls, or quesadillas. Slather on sandwiches or burgers. Everything is tastier when you add queso!

How to store leftovers

This Dairy Free Cashew Queso should be refrigerated in an airtight container with a lid. It will stay good for up to 5 days.

More dips like this:

5-Minute Easy Blender Salsa

Dairy Free Green Chile Chicken Dip

Easy Homemade Guacamole

Dairy Free Buffalo Ranch Chicken Dip

Pico de Gallo

5-Minute Black Bean Dip

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Dairy Free Cashew Queso

This cashew queso is vegan, dairy free, and so easy to make. You'll love it as a super creamy dip or add it to tacos, veggies, or sandwiches!

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup raw cashews, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 jalapeno, optional

Instructions

  • Soak your cashews one of three ways:
    Soak cashews in near boiling water for 20 minutes.
    Add cashews to enough water to cover and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Let sit for another few minutes before moving to the next step.
    Soak cashews overnight in a bowl of water.
  • Drain cashews and then add them to a food processor or high powered blender. Add in all other ingredients. Blend until completely smooth. (If the queso looks gritty keep blending! It will smooth out.) You can add more water, a little at a time, to achieve the creamy consistency you want. The amount of water you need can vary depending on how thick your salsa is.
  • Serve as a dip for chips or topping for nachos and tacos. If entertaining guests, top with chopped cilantro, red onion, and jalapeno to really impress!

Notes

For spicier queso use a hot salsa or add 1/2 jalapeno to the food processor or blender with the other ingredients. 
Did you make this recipe?Tag @thewholecook and hashtag it #thewholecook on Instagram.

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