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Up close view of cashew queso in a white bowl surrounded by tortilla chips.

Cashew Queso

  • Author: Leanne
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Soak Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups
  • Category: Dips
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan


Cashew Queso is a thick and creamy vegan dip with a hint of spicy chilis and lots of smokey flavour. Serve it as a chip dip or nacho sauce!


  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened nut milk
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more for garnish)
  • 1 can (4 ounces) green chilies


  1. Add the cashews and hot water to a glass dish and let soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain cashews and add to blender, along with nut milk, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, salt and garlic. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add tomatoes and pulse a few times until blended but some small pieces remain.
  4. Stir in the red pepper flakes and green chilis.
  5. Enjoy it cold by serving right away or chilling in the refrigerator for later. Serve it warm by heating on the stove top or in the microwave.
  6. Garnish with more red pepper flakes and serve with chips or pour over nachos.


  1. If you like a spicier queso, just add some more red pepper flakes, or substitute chili powder for some of the smoked paprika. You can also add some finely chopped jalapeños for an extra kick.
  2. If you like it less spicy, just leave out the red pepper flakes.
  3. Make sure you use smoked paprika, not regular paprika.
  4. A high-powered blender works best, but if you don’t have one, just blend the ingredients in two batches, soak the cashews longer or use a food processor.
  5. This queso is thick (especially after it is refrigerated), so you can blend or stir in some more nut milk to thin it out.
  6. Be sure to check out the other sections above the recipe card for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.

Keywords: vegan queso, dairy-free queso