Vegan Queso


  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup peeled and grated russet potato 
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked, rinsed & drained
  • 1½ cups water, more as necessary
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 rinsed oil-packed sun-dried tomato
  • 1 teaspoons hot sauce (more if you want spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained and pressed 
  • chopped pickled jalapeños, optional
  • Optional toppings: additional fire-roasted tomatoes or salsa or chopped fresh tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro, thinly sliced fresh jalapeños or pickled jalapeños, and/or finely chopped red onion


In a large saucepan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender and turning translucent. Add the grated potato, garlic, paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Stir to combine, and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes to enhance their flavors. Add the cashews and water, and stir to combine. Let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue simmering, stirring frequently and reducing heat as necessary to avoid a rapid boil, until the potatoes are completely tender. Pour the mixture into a blender and add the nutritional yeast, sun-dried tomato, hot sauce and vinegar. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary. If the mixture won’t blend easily or if you would prefer a thinner consistency, add water in ¼ cup increments, blending after each one. Taste, and season with salt.  Pour the mixture back into the pot and add the tomatoes or salsa and jalapeños, if using. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very warm. To serve it as a dip, transfer to a serving bowl and top with any garnishes you’d like.