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

This vegan queso is naturally dairy-free and tastes like the popular Ro*tel dip that’s made with a melted block of Velveeta.

vegan cashew queso recipe in white bowl

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.)

Canned fire roasted 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.

cashew cheese sauce recipe in vitamix blender

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

mix canned tomatoes with cashew queso dip

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!

vegan cashew queso with chip in white bowl

How to Make Vegan Queso (1 minute video):

4.82 from 37 votes
Print
Healthy Queso Dip
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

A creamy, dairy-free queso, similar to the popular Ro*tel dip!

Course: Appetizer
Servings: 8
Calories: 108 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
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
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 1/4 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!

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Comments

Rande McDaniel @ The Vegetable Centric Kitchen

Oh man, that sounds VERY tasty.

Kelly Jo

YUM!!! I have this on hand thanks to another recipe you posted (nacho cheese I do believe). Before I started paying attention to ingredients, that dip was one of my faves. No more…. I am glad to have an alternative recipe!

Donia

If I didn’t trust you so much, I would have a hard time believing there was no processed cheese in that. It looks like the original recipe! I will definitely be trying this!!!

Dee Kate Dorocant

I love your site and share it on my site. I found you through Tara Stiles yoga in New York. I’m a single Mother and short of time, but I do not serve my kids ready meals and love cooking when I can. I follow your recipes. If you ever get to read my message as you live in LA and I’m in London, plus you have over 7000 followers!!!! I have 73 so far, which I mean if you even bother to notice someone as small as me, I do advertise your site and people in this very expensive, most of the time horrible dreary weather city!!! Like it, thank you
Dee Kate

    Sherry

    Kate – what is your site? I would love to follow – especially if it is anything like this awesome Detoxinista site!! 🙂

    Dee Kate Dorocant

    I’m no where near as awesome as your site!!!! I love health cooking, hence I follow your site. I only opened it last August. I teach children gymnastics in a private health club in London called Harbour Club & teach privately pilates/yoga fusion. I also am an authorised practioner & stockist of Environ skin care & nutrition care.
    Dee Kate

      Megan

      That sounds awesome, Dee Kate! Keep up the great work! 🙂

      Dee Kate

      You obviously are a big company, where as I am a one man band!!! I shall continue to follow your site
      Dee Kate

        Megan

        It’s flattering that you think I’m a big company! I’m just a one man band, too. 😉

        Dee Kate

        Well done!!!!
        Dee Kate

Red Deception

I was a huge cheese-aholic. I’m always impressed at how a little cashew and nutritional yeast can satisfy that old craving!

Lisa

Yum! This looks great! I tried coming up with something similar, but was having a few issues with the final product. Hopefully something can replace cashews since I’m intolerant sadly!

Penny O

Will try.

Sabrina @ Nutritiously Sweet

Wow this sounds awesome and totally something I could use in different recipes!

a farmer in the dell

Yum! I can’t wait to make this!! sounds like a perfect dip for the Super Bowl (however, I am not much of a Super Bowl watcher) This dip will get me to a party though! yum

Megan

I only watch the Super Bowl for the food and company. 🙂 This will be at our party, too!

Catherine

Getting ready to try this. Why the soaking with the cashews this time and not with the Mac and cheese ( one of my favorites BTW)?

    Mary

    I also wanted to know about this!

    Megan

    The mac n’ cheese is simply an older recipe, and I didn’t soak my nuts and seeds very often back then. You are welcome to soak the cashews for both recipes! (It improves the flavor and makes them easier to blend.)

Jennifer

Hello! Love this recipe, can’t wait to make it for Superbowl! How far in advance can I make it and how long will it keep? Thanks!

    Megan

    I’ve frozen this dip, and it thawed very well, so you could make it as far ahead in advance as you like! I’d guess it would keep about 3 to 4 days in the fridge, though.

Kristen @ The Balanced Bowl

Just made this today. It’s amazing!! Can’t believe how authentic it tastes. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe.

Ester

Megan, I have a question, will it have the same result or similar taste if I sub chick peas for cashews?

    Megan

    Hmmm… I have no idea. Please let us know if you try it!

      Ester

      Thanks Megan, I will. I really like your website. I have been following you since Aug 2011. It’s been a blessing.

Claire

Just made this and it’s completely great. It may just become my go-to party snack. Thank you!

Jen

This is incredible!! I’ve been eyeing it since you posted it and finally made last night. We had it over a huge taco salad and then polished it off with tortilla chips. SO delicious. I’m prety sure I’ll be making this to every party and get together for the next 6 months. Thank you!!

Bobbi Kenow

I don’t have nutritional yeast on hand….is this ingredient absolutely vital? This looks so delicious!!

    Megan

    Nutritional yeast gives this dip a “cheesy” flavor, so without it, I’m afraid it will just taste like a cashew dip! Please let us know if you try it, though.

Meg

I was so excited to find this recipe that I made it the very next day! It was a hit!!!! It passed the taste test with my husband and friends (who are quite judgemental when I try to alter the junk foods that they love). Everyone loved it! Extra perk, my best friend’s husband has ciliacs disease and a dairy allergy…. He was pretty excited to have a cheese-less cheese dip that he can enjoy with everyone! I highly recommend this dish!!!!!

Tiffany

Just made this, and it is amazing!! My kids are tearing it up as I type. We did a double batch, and were wondering about how long this will stay good for. I am planning on using it in quite a few of our meals this week.

    Megan

    Ours only lasts in the fridge for about 3 days in the fridge before it’s all gone, but I assume it would last maybe a couple days longer than that…

Robynn

Just made this. Delicious…thank you!!!!

Kitty

OMG – loved it. Had a friend who tried it, but must not have left it in the food processor long enough, because it had the consistancy of hummas, when I made with vita mix – was spot on!!

Sandra

Wow!!! this is easy and amazing!!! Thank you so much…I love it 🙂

Laura

Hi Megan!
Just wanted to let you know that ALL your recipes (that I’ve tried) are DELICIOUS! I was skeptical of this one, but it turned out great – I wouldn’t have known that it didn’t have cheese if I hadn’t have made it myself!

Jennifer

This queso is delectable! I made a veggie taco salad tonight with this on top! Thank you for all of the recipes!!! Your website has changed my life!

Molly

Such a great recipe! I was instantly in love with it and am looking forward to having it again. Thank you!!

Meigen

Absolutely amazing, cannot wait to share with my dairy-free FIL.

Radonna

3 words. A! Maze! Ing!

Gina

Ok, can someone tell me some sort of approximate time for processing? I think when all was said and done I processed for a total of 11 minutes and it still looked nothing like your creamy concoction! It tasted fine, but it was very grainy, not smooth. I soaked the cashews for more than 4 hours too. Is the only answer that I need a better food processor?

    Amber

    Gina, I had better consistency when I used my blender as opposed to my food processor, which also turned out grainy. Try that next time!

Kimberly

Megan,

Thank you! I just made this and couldn’t wait to add my three cents! I used my Vitamix and it was spot on like said in previous comments! I doubled the recipe, my husband doesn’t know it doesn’t contain processed cheese, let alone that it is made from cashews or nutritional yeast! OUR secret!

Naomi

I think I’ve seriously tried 10 different cashew “cheese” recipes, and this one by far blows them all out of the water. Thanks for the great recipe. Simple, fast and easy. Love it!

Living Outside of the Box

I still haven’t told my skeptical hubby what’s in this wonderful dip…and he hasn’t asked! He just eats away and we all enjoy it! Thank you!!

Mindy

What if one of the nuts I have been told not to eat is cashews… Do you have any other alternatives to making some of these recipes? Please let me know.. Thank you 🙂

Diana

I would just like to say that your recipe was awesome! I doctored mine up just a bit with more spices and some almond milk to thin it out, as I poured it over tortilla chips, and it came out amazing! Thank you again!
D-

melanie

I cant eat tomatoes due to allergies. ..sucks I know! What can I substitute?? I am craving queso!!

melissa

I’m so excited to make this! I have the cashews soaking right now. would three hours of soaking be okay?

daniela

Hi megan,

I made this queso dip and it looks like it did fermdnted and some of my guests didnt like the flavor after that, what did I do wrong??

Stephanie

You are a goddess!!! This is literally the thing I have been craving the most since I started Paleo 2 month ago. Thank you SO much for putting this recipe together. I’m excited to try it this weekend. 🙂

Becky

This looks wonderful! How long can it store in the fridge? I’m thinking of making it a day in advance, but didn’t know if it wouldn’t be as good.

    Megan

    Yes, it definitely stores well, and I think the flavor is even better the next day. Just make sure you heat it up to thin-out the texture before serving.

      Becky

      Awesome! I made it, and it.is.amazing!! My queso loving husband was shocked that there wasn’t any cheese in it (as was I). Big hit. Thank you for a great recipe! Love your site.

Aly

I am going to make this for Christmas it looks so good but I was wondering if adding white miso would be good or bad…

Erica

Wondering…could I leave out the nutritionally yeast and have this still turn out yummy? Or is there something I could sub for the yeast? My son can’t have yeast and I was hoping to make this safe for him too!

Thanks.

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