This Dairy-Free Queso Dip is rich and creamy, without traditional cheese, and full of flavorful bacon and peppers. Make this in under 30 minutes as a delicious dip for Game Day, Cinco de Mayo, backyard barbecues, and any gathering!
I loooooove queso. If you are a cheese lover, I'm guessing you love queso dip too.
But if you're also dairy-free like me, you don't have to miss out on the rich, cheesy dip we love so much. You can make your own dairy-free queso dip at home, thanks to the many different dairy-free and vegan cheese alternatives available at the store!
What is queso?
Queso is a cheesy dip often found in most Mexican restaurants in the United States. It's usually classified as Tex Mex cuisine, as it's associated with Texas and often described as an American dish using Mexican ingredients and flavors.
The first published recipe of queso dip was actually in an 1896 issue of a magazine called The Land of Sunshine. It was listed under Mexican food, and reportedly was more chile-focused than cheese-focused as we tend to think of queso today.
Traditional queso dip that you find in Mexican restaurants is usually made with white American cheese. This recipe takes the classic ingredients and bumps up the flavor with bacon, and uses dairy-free cheese instead of regular cheese.
Kitchen tools and equipment
For this recipe, you just need a few basic kitchen tools:
Large pot - I use my Dutch oven to make this queso. You can use any large heavy bottom pot that heats evenly.
Ingredients to make dairy free queso
Bacon - Chop up four slices of bacon. This builds the flavor foundation of this queso!
Onion - Dice the onion very finely unless you like larger chunks of onion in your dip.
Dairy-free cheeses - The recipe calls for 8 ounces of dairy-free Mexican cheese and equal amounts of dairy-free Mozzarella cheese and dairy-free cheddar cheese. You can mix and match cheeses to suit your taste preference, and based on what you can find in the dairy-free section.
Bell peppers - You can use any colored bell peppers you like for this recipe. I love using three different colors - red, yellow, and green bell peppers - to add depth of flavor and even more color to this queso.
Tomatoes - You'll need a can of diced tomatoes in their juices - do not drain before adding them to the queso.
Chiles - The recipe calls for a small can of diced chiles, but you can always add more or less, depending on the heat level you prefer.
Optional: jalapeno, cilantro, lime - Feel free to top the queso with any of these optional ingredients. You can also add more spices like paprika, chili powder, cumin, or oregano. Remember to taste as you cook, and adjust as needed.
How to make dairy free queso
START WITH BACON - In a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the bacon pieces until fully cooked and to your preferred level of crispiness.
Remove and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
SAUTE THE AROMATICS - Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease from the pot. Add the onions and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, just until soft, translucent, and fragrant.
Then, add all three of the chopped bell peppers and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, just until the peppers are soft.
Pour in the can of tomatoes with their juices, and the can of green chiles.
Add the dairy-free cheeses, and stir regularly until the queso is smooth.
Top with bacon and any additional optional toppings you like, such as sliced jalapeno, chopped cilantro, dairy free sour cream, or additional chopped tomatoes.
Use leftover queso to make a soup! Simply add leftover queso dip along with some chicken broth or vegetable broth, and either simmer together in a large pot on the stove or mix together and heat up in the microwave.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.
Surprisingly, yes! Most foods that contain dairy are not great for freezing, but this dairy-free queso dip can freeze well and reheat well if you follow these instructions:
1. Allow the queso to cool completely.
2. Divide queso into small, airtight, freezer-safe containers. Leave about an inch or so of room above the queso, as food tends to expand in the freezer.
3. Freeze for up to one month.
4. To reheat: transfer the container to the refrigerator and allow to thaw in the fridge overnight. Pour into a skillet to reheat over medium heat. Serve.
What to serve with dairy free queso dip
This rich and creamy dairy-free queso dip is absolutely delicious when served with any of the following:
Creamy Dairy-Free Queso Dip
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- ½ cup finely diced onions
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 8 ounces dairy-free Mexican style shredded "cheese"
- 4 ounces dairy-free cheddar-style shredded "cheese"
- 4 ounces dairy-free Mozzarella-style shredded "cheese"
- 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes do not drain
- 1 can diced chiles
- sliced jalapeno
- chopped cilantro
- In a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the bacon pieces until fully cooked and to your preferred level of crispiness. Remove and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
- Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease from the pot. Add the onions and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, just until soft, translucent, and fragrant.
- Add all three of the chopped bell peppers and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, just until the peppers are soft. Pour in the can of tomatoes with their juices, and the can of green chiles, stir.
- Add the cheese, and stir regularly until the queso is smooth.
- Top with bacon and any additional optional toppings you like, such as sliced jalapeno, chopped cilantro, dairy free sour cream, or additional chopped tomatoes.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.
Want more easy, delicious recipes? Buy my cookbooks!
If you're looking for more Pressure Cooker, Air Fryer, Meal Prep, and Baking Recipes, I've got you covered in these two cookbooks!
My second cookbook, The Super Easy Teen Baking Cookbook, features
- 60 easy-to-follow, sweet and savory baking recipes
- Kitchen safety tips for teens
- Glossary of baking terms
- Fun substitution and serving ideas