Healthy Queso Dip (Dairy-free, Soy-free)


This queso dip is one of my new favorite party snacks.

SONY DSC

I served it to my friends at a get together last weekend, and everyone was shocked at its similarity to the popular Ro*tel dip— which is a simple mix of diced tomatoes and chiles, with a melted block of Velveeta. For this dip, I wanted to recreate that classic flavor, without using any “processed cheese product.”

To my surprise, it’s actually not that difficult to recreate that processed cheesy flavor. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that most “cheese products” don’t contain much real cheese to begin with?

Instead, this dip gets its creaminess from raw cashews! Not only do cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, they’re also loaded with iron, magnesium and tryptohpan. Paired with fresh lemon juice and diced tomatoes, providing a healthy dose of vitamin C, this dip– unlike it’s processed counterpart– is practically guilt-free!

Healthy Queso Dip (Dairy-free, Soy-free)
makes about 2 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews*, soaked for up to 4 hours and drained
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon sea salt
juice of half a lemon (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
14 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles

*Raw cashews have a very mild and neutral flavor that works well in this recipe. Try to avoid using roasted cashews, which have a stronger cashew flavor.

Directions:

In a high-speed blender, or food processor, combine the first six ingredients, plus the liquid from the can of diced tomatoes and green chiles. (I was able to get about 1/4 cup of liquid from the can.)

tomatoes

Blend until a smooth and creamy “cheese” sauce is created. Feel free to add more liquid, if you like, but keep in mind that the diced tomatoes and chiles will also thin-out the sauce a bit.

SONY DSC

Transfer the cheese mixture to a large bowl, then add in the can of diced tomatoes and green chiles. Stir well to combine.

dip mix

At this point, be sure to adjust any flavors to your taste, then warm the dip using a small crock pot, or by heating it gently over a stove top. As the dip is warmed, it becomes even more authentic!

Serve with baked tortilla chips and fresh sliced veggies, for a nutrient-rich party snack!

SONY DSC

4.8 from 33 reviews
Healthy Queso Dip (Dairy-free, Soy-free)
Author: 
Serves: 2.5 cups
 
A creamy, dairy-free queso, similar to the popular Ro*tel dip!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for up to 4 hours and drained
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • juice of half a lemon (about 1½ tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles
Instructions
  1. In a high-speed blender, or food processor, combine the first six ingredients, plus the liquid from the can of diced tomatoes and green chiles. (I was able to get about ¼ cup of liquid from the can.)
  2. Blend until a smooth and creamy "cheese" sauce is created.
  3. Transfer the cheese mixture to a large bowl, then add in the can of diced tomatoes and green chiles. Stir well to combine.
  4. At this point, be sure to adjust any flavors to your taste, then warm the dip using a small crock pot, or by heating it gently over a stove top. As the dip is warmed, it becomes even more authentic!
  5. Serve with baked tortilla chips and fresh sliced veggies, for a nutrient-rich party snack!

Enjoy!

Reader Feedback: Are you a queso fan? Have you ever made Ro*tel dip before? I have always been a huge fan of warm queso dips, so now I can get my “cheesy” fix, without a stomach ache later!

Share:
Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, Iโ€™m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the bodyโ€™s detox organsโ€” no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

145 thoughts on “Healthy Queso Dip (Dairy-free, Soy-free)

  1. Amber

    Coming from a Southern-raised Mexican food lover, ew. Not at all like the real thing. Nothing dairy-free that I’ve tried this far even comes close to real queso. ๐Ÿ™ Good try–cashews work great in your amazing coleslaw and cheesecake recipes; it just doesn’t work here. Thanks anyway.

    Reply
  2. shanna

    This dip was very tasty but nothing at all like queso..I’m not sure if I did something wrong but the consistency was more like hummus..I kept having to add water because it was so thick and grainy. I ground up the cashews in the food processor…any tips on how to make this more cheesy would be much appreciated.

    Reply
    1. Naomi

      Sounds like it might have needed even more time in the food processor, shanna — or perhaps, a longer pre-soak for the cashews? The amount of time they need to soak can vary depending on how long they’ve been sitting on the shelf.

      Reply
    2. Billy

      I’m guessing you didn’t soak the cashews long enough or at all. I find an easy alternative is to steam the cashews for about an hour and a half. Works like a charm for me!

      Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      I’m not sure, but you can always calculate any nutrition info you need using a free website like Fitday.com or MyFitnessPal.com.

      Reply
  3. Naomi

    Someone may have already said this, but this recipe makes an awesome kale chip mix-in, too — just stir it into the raw leaves, then oven-dry or dehydrate as usual. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Elevate Your Tailgate: Queso Dip…That’s Good For You! {Dairy-Free} | Rachel's Nourishing Kitchen

  5. KatyG

    I just made this recipe yesterday, after seeing your post with the sweet potato version. Since I can tolerate cashews I went for this one and it was AMAZING! I brought it to my parent’s house as a snack and you wouldn’t have known there was no cheese in it…even my Dad was surprised. I finished the leftovers today and I’m still craving it. WOW!! This will be my new go-to for a party. Love it! I’m sending links to my Mom so she can try out some recipes. I was looking at the one for the spaghetti squash casserole…wow, that sounds great too. I just started eating vegan, so we’ll have to see about the cheese and yogurt, but a little won’t hurt. I just need to find the goat variety. : )

    Reply
    1. Baylie

      I used ground mustard seed instead of turmeric when I made this and it was absolutely fabulous, nonetheless… I also used lime juice instead of lemon… I just went with what I had on hand.

      Reply
  6. Kira

    I am not vegetarian or vegan but I do like to eat vegetarian some days of the week. I am also pretty skeptical of “mock” meat/cheese foods. However, I made this today after soaking my cashews overnight and it was delicious over my veggie burger. A little grainy by itself (I used a food processor as I do not have a vitamixer) but the flavor is definitely there! Would be great with black bean loaded nachos!

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      No, I think the other citrus fruits would negatively affect the flavor. Maybe try a small dash of vinegar, instead?

      Reply
    2. Megan Post author

      No, I think the other citrus fruits would negatively affect the flavor. Maybe try a small dash of vinegar, instead? Or maybe just extra salt?

      Reply
  7. Baylie

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WOW!!! I have been dairy free for going on 2 years… Actually, gluten, dairy, and soy free… And my biggest craving is always cheese. You have hit it right on the money, girlfriend! I am so glad I found your website!!! I have a 2 month old son and we are currently working out even more intolerances than previously mentioned. The first recipe I tried from your site was the Raw, Date-Sweetened Caramel Dip. I liked it so much that I made it twice in one week… and made it a double batch the second time! Then I came across this recipe and made it last night. I have a potluck to attend tomorrow and I will be making more of this goodness as well as some of your Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies (I can’t wait to try them!) There are so many good resources on your site. I cannot rave about you enough!

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    Reply
  8. chris2april

    WOW! And my vegan MIL loved it too! She’s so amused that many of the things we enjoy in our Paleo lifestyle are also ones she can enjoy in her vegan lifestyle. Thank you!!!!!

    Reply
  9. Leslie

    This is my go-to vegan queso recipe (especially since my husband demands it quite often!). I love that you don’t have to add corn starch and cook to thicken it. I’ve used it as the base for macaroni and cheese and on nachos as well.

    My minor revision is that I REALLY squeeze all the liquid out of the can of tomatoes and only use that as the liquid to blend (no water). I figure there is plenty of liquid in the can and I want to make sure that when I add the tomatoes in the end, it doesn’t make the queso too runny. I’ve skipped the lemon juice when I don’t have a lemon on hand and it still tastes great.

    Reply
  10. Pingback: What Is A Good Queso Recipe | We Get Healthy

  11. Monica

    I really enjoyed this, and so did my husband! However I took it to a New Years Eve party and no one was convinced this was actual queso lol! I think maybe if I had said its spicy cashew dip or something. Thank you for the recipe and I will make it again for my husband and me!

    Reply
  12. Pingback: The Shaved Ice Shop | UMLexpert NEWS

  13. Pingback: Tailgate Like A Babe | Wellness Babe

  14. Pingback: 7 Super Bowl Snacks {Paleo, Dairy-free} | Crunchy Hot Mama

  15. Pingback: Healthy Queso Dip - Food Warriors

  16. Pingback: Foods vs. Supplements: The Turmeric Edition | Nutrition Interactions

  17. Erin

    This is, and forever will be, my absolute favorite queso dip!! Slight changes I’ve made include doubling the cashews and keep the rest the same (too much nutritional yeast lends a chalky texture in my humble opinion) and blend up the tomatoes just a tad because I’m not the biggest fan of the things. Even the boyfriend loves it, and he’s relatively difficult to please when it comes to my allergy-sensitive “concoctions” in the kitchen, he raves to his family about it (big ol’ win!!)!

    Reply
  18. Anne

    I made this a few days ago and it was amazing!!! I can’t believe how delicious. I just ran out and need to make more. Also I just made your Everyday Basil Dressing, and even though I’m not always a big fan of basil, I loved this dressing– so fresh and clean tasting!

    Reply
  19. Don

    Made this today. It was delicious. Quick and easy to make too once the cashews are soaked. I soaked for two hours only and it worked just fine. I added some hot sauce. Yummy.

    Reply
  20. Doug

    Hi, I’m from UK and we don’t have cans of tomato and green chili mixed together (at least not where I’m from). Could you estimate the proportions please so I could make my own version? Any additional tips would be welcome. Thanks

    Reply
  21. Yochi

    This is my go to for parties. I make a quadruple batch (which my husband insists should just be called a batch, bc it’s necessary to make that much) with a lb of cashews, and it always gets gobbled up. Although I do save a bit for cheesey potatoes for breakfast the next day. Anyone who says this isn’t like actual queso isn’t doing something right. It’s better than queso, it’s full of real food and its good for you!!! <3 thanks so much. (i generally soak cashews 8+ hours and have a vitamix. I also use rotel as the tomato)

    Reply
  22. Annie

    I can’t wait to try this! We make rotel at Thanksgiving every year for the appetizer table. And I am so excited to have something that won’t make me feel sick!

    Reply
  23. Jennifer

    This is great! I was a little skeptical, because I figured it wouldn’t taste like real queso dip (and it doesn’t, but it also doesn’t give me gas, so that’s a plus), but it tasted soooo good with these paleo nachos I made. I was very pleased!

    Reply
  24. Mary

    Is there a good substitute for cashews? I really want to try this and we are looking to avoid wheat, dairy and cashews; this recipe is so close!

    Reply
  25. Lisa

    This dip is so delicious! And easy to make. And healthy. What more can you ask for. I doubled cashews and kept everything else mostly the same. I may have increased water and nutritional yeast a bit. I have a Vitamix and it became creamy in seconds. I think having the right blender is key to creating the right consistency. Thank you!

    Reply
  26. Shane

    This dips is amazing. If you’re getting hummus consistency or something other than cheese sauce, more than likely it is user era. We make this all the time and it is super creamy. Add more liquid to the blender if needed.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: