Vegan Queso

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When I was in high school, I thought good eatin’ was a bowl of queso dip made out of a melted block of Velveeta and a can of Ro-tel tomatoes. I now know that Velveeta more closely resembles the inside of a yoga mat than actual food, so I avoid it at all costs. But like the trans fats I consumed, the memory of that delicious, spicy cheese dip sticks with me.

I’ve been working on developing a better cheese sauce lately, and I stumbled upon a sauce that reminds me of a slightly less rubbery version of melted Velveeta. I added a can of Ro-tel tomatoes, and BAM! I flashed back to my high school days of devouring a whole bowl of queso washed down with lots of regret — but this time, no guilt!

I know food bloggers are prone to hyperbole, but this recipe is gold, I tell ya! Pure gold!

So if you’re one of those people who starts eating queso and has a difficult time stopping, I highly recommend you try this recipe. It contains no junk ingredients (except for Earth Balance, but I give it a pass this time), and tastes amazingly like the Velveeta version, but better! It’s a blend of potatoes, carrots, onions, shallots, cashews, Earth Balance, and seasonings. The texture and flavor are spot on. I honestly don’t think omnivores would be able to tell that this queso is actually queso-less!

queso how-to

tortilla chips

tomatoes

close-up of tomatoes

vegetables

bowl with chips

Vegan Queso
 
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A non-dairy queso dip made of cooked vegetables, cashews, and seasonings mixed with spicy Ro-tel. So good, nobody will know it's vegan!
Author:
Recipe type: Dip
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (about 1 medium potato) chopped Yukon gold potatoes (I leave the peel on if organic)
  • 2 T. chopped shallots
  • ¼ cup chopped carrots (about 1 small carrot)
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup raw cashews (soaked for 1-2 hours in hot water, drained)
  • 2 heaping T. Earth Balance
  • 1½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. garlic, minced (about 1 medium clove)
  • ¼ t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
  • ¼ t. black pepper
  • 1 can Ro-tel tomatoes, drained
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the potatoes, shallots, onions, carrots, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover to cook vegetables, about 10 minutes.
  2. While vegetables simmer, combine the rest of the ingredients minus the Ro-tel in a blender. Add the contents of the saucepan, blend until smooth, and taste for salt.
  3. In a serving bowl, stir together the drained Ro-tel tomatoes and the cheese sauce.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips, raw veggies, etc. Enjoy!
Notes
Update: The past few times I've made this, I didn't plan ahead and soak the cashews. To make sure they were soft enough to blend, I added them (plus ~2 T. water) to the pot and cooked them with the vegetables. Worked like a charm!

pouring cheese

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Seriously, try this queso dip and let me know what you think!

Even my picky husband says it tastes like cheese.

Trust me on this one!  😉

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    • No, pour the whole pot in the blender to make the “cheese” the right consistency. That should be the right amount of water, but you might need to add a small amount of water to thin it if you’ve let too much of the water in the pot evaporate.