Make this dairy free queso dip with vegan cashew cheese in just about 20 minutes! It's a delicious party appetizer for game day or any gathering!
When I first started a dairy-free life, I discovered an amazing vegan nacho dip. It was made by Portland-based Heidi Ho, a company that got backed by one of my fave Sharks on SharkTank, Lori Greiner.
But then suddenly, I could no longer find it at my local New Seasons Market. And Whole Foods Market stopped carrying them. What was going ON, people?? I needed my vegan queso dip!!
Heidi Ho vegan cheeses made a comeback to stores a few months ago. But during that time, I decided to make my own dairy free queso dip. After some trial and error, I came up with a recipe that I loved. I'm sharing it here and hope you will all love it, too!
What's in Dairy Free Queso Dip?
This dairy free queso dip gets its "cheesiness" from blended cashews. Cashew cheese is a popular dairy free cheese alternative, so it's no wonder it works so well in making a cheese-like dip!
Do I need to soak cashews for this recipe?
The base of this vegan queso dip is cashew cheese. I use a high-powered Vitamix blender, so I find I don't need to soak the cashews before blending. If you don't have a high-powered blender, simply plan ahead and soak the cashews in water for up to four hours before beginning to make the recipe.
I prefer to make a chunkier queso dip, with a little bit of texture to each bite. If you prefer a creamy queso dip, then definitely soak the cashews ahead of time. You'll also want to blend in more water, and blend for a longer period of time. And, you will get a creamier consistency with a higher quality, high powered blender.
How to Make This Vegan Queso Dip
Begin by sautéing the onion and garlic. Then add the spices and stir, sautéing for just a little longer.
Next you'll blend the cashews, water, salt, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. Then you'll add the sautéed mixture and blend until smooth. At this point, you can add more water and blend in increments, until you get the consistency you like.
Pour the dairy free queso into the saucepan you used earlier, stir in the fire roasted tomatoes. Cook and adjust flavors according to your preference. At this point, you can add more spices, salt and pepper, a little chopped cilantro, some jalapeño... it's all up to you!
Then you can pour the queso into a serving bowl and top with chopped cilantro, more tomatoes, some dairy free sour cream, jalapeño. Serve it with tortilla chips, and you're all set!
More Dairy Free Game Day Recipes
- Best Instant Pot Chili Recipe
- Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken: Make Once, Eat Twice Recipe
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Loaded Nachos
- Instant Pot BBQ Ribs with Homemade BBQ Sauce
- Honey Bourbon Wings
- Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Meatballs
Dairy Free Queso Dip Recipe
Dairy Free Queso Dip (Vegan)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ onion
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 cup raw cashews if you do not have a high speed mixer, soak for up to 4 hours and drained
- ¼ cup water plus more, if needed
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ cup fire roasted tomatoes drained
- Optional: jalapenos cilantro, fresh tomatoes
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and garlic for 1 minute, just until slightly softened. Add the paprika, turmeric, cumin, and chili powder. Stir and sauté for 1 more minute; remove from heat.
- In a high speed blender, mix the cashews, water, salt, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. Add the sautéed mixture of onions, garlic, and spices and blend until smooth. Add an additional tablespoon of water at a time, as needed, to make blending easier and until you get the smooth texture you desire.
- Pour the queso into the saucepan you used earlier, stir in the fire roasted tomatoes, and cook over medium heat. Be sure to taste and adjust flavors according to your preference at this time: you can add more spices, salt and pepper, a little chopped cilantro or jalapeño.
- Once warm, remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Top with your preferred optional toppings (I like this with chopped cilantro and a little seeded & sliced jalapeño). Serve immediately.