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The Best Creamy Vegan Queso

 February 2, 2021

Meet your new favorite vegan queso recipe that actually tastes like real queso! This queso recipe is made with soaked cashews, marinara sauce, fresh garlic, nutritional yeast, and a handful of basic seasonings that all come together for an unforgettable queso taste. It’s thick and creamy, and you can pile it on tortilla chips without worrying about whether it will drip off (it won’t!)!

Want to know the secret to making the perfect vegan queso?

The secret to making the perfect vegan queso that’s packed full of flavor is actually marinara sauce. The marinara sauce combined with the nutritional yeast, onion powder, and fresh garlic, create the most delicious “cheese” sauce! You heard it here first!

What you need to make the perfect vegan queso

To make this queso, you need just a few simple ingredients! I’ve also linked most of the items so that you can shop directly from this post. 

  • Raw cashews: When purchasing cashews for this recipe, be sure to grab unsalted, raw cashews
  • Marinara sauce: My favorite store bought sauce is always Rao’s, but you can use any marinara sauce you’d like.
  • Nutritional yeast: Nutritional yeast is what gives the queso that cheesy flavor. I sometimes up the amount to 1/2 cup instead of 1/4 cup, depending on how “cheesy” I want the top to be!
  • Onion powder: Don’t skimp on the spices in this recipe. Onion powder is essential and I’m sure you already have it in your pantry. If not, buy this one.
  • Smoked paprika: Smoked paprika adds a smoky flavor, and I absolutely love it!
  • Tapioca flour: This recipe calls for tapioca flour to help thicken the queso. If you don’t have tapioca flour, you can substitute for arrowroot flour or even corn starch.
  • Chili powder: If you like your queso spicy, add a little chili powder. But be light handed with it, a little goes a long way! It’s Fuego!

How to make this vegan queso recipe

The most important step is to make sure to soak the cashews, and that’s because, the more the cashews soak, the more they soften, which produces are super creamy queso. I recommend soaking the cashews over night, if possible. However, if you are a last minute person like I am, I know that might not be possible. In that case, put the cashews in a bowl and pour boiling hot water over them. All the cashews to soak for 20 minutes, and you’ll be good to go.

After you’ve soaked the cashews, you are ready to roll!

From there, all you have to do is add them to a high-speed blender along with the rest of the ingredients, and blend for about 2-3 minutes, until the mixture becomes nice and creamy. You might have to open the top of the blender and scrape down the sides a few times. Do a taste test and adjust the seasonings as needed. That’s it! 

Looking for other fun, Game Day foods? Try these!

Crunchy BBQ Cauliflower “Wings”

Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”

Comforting Chicken Burrito Casserole

Mayo-Free Mexican Street Corn Tostadas

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment/rating below. And, since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations, so I can see them and repost on my IG stories! Enjoy! xx

The Best Creamy Vegan Queso

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Nicole Modic
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
SERVES 6 people
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Looking for a quick and easy vegan queso recipe that actually tastes like real queso? I've got you covered. This vegan queso recipe is made with soaked cashews, marinara sauce, and basic seasonings that come together for an unforgettable queso dip. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!


  • 1 1/2 cups raw unsalted cashews soaked in water overnight (or pour boiling water on top and let soak for 20 minutes)
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt + ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca or arrowroot optional, for thickness
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder optional


  • Start by soaking your cashews. For the creamiest taste, it's best to soak them overnight. If you are short on time, pour boiling hot water on top, and allow to soak for 20 minutes.
  • Next, in a high speed blender, add the soaked cashews, water, marinara sauce, garlic, nutritional yeast, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, tapioca/arrowroot (if using) and chili powder(if using).
  • Blend for about 2-3 minutes, until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides occasionally.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy.
  • Serve with tortilla chips.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made - tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!



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