I’ve been working on this recipe for quite sometime and it’s finally perfect! I absolutely love my vegan queso sauce because traditional queso is one of my fave foods, and now I can enjoy the same dreamy deliciousness in massive quantities without guilt.
I’m using a mixture of canned white beans and cashews as the base of this sauce. Miso (or nutritional yeast, see notes) and lemon juice come together to add the savory cheese flavor while a mixture of spices, onion, tomatoes and green chilies add the Mexican flare.
Give this dairy-free queso a try and prepare to be blown away by how easy and delicious vegan cheese sauce can be.
Easy Vegan Queso Sauce
Servings: enough for a crowd
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 1-3 hours & drained*
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small yellow or white onion, peeled & diced
sea salt, fine grain
1 teaspoon chili powder or chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 14-oz can white beans, drained & rinsed
1 tablespoon white or yellow miso*
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 4-oz can green chilies
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
Soak cashews in water and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 to 3 hours.*
Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and 1 teaspoon salt. Sweat onion for 5-6 minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent. Add chili/chipotle powder, cumin, garlic powder and paprika. Sauté for about two minutes stirring frequently, being careful to not burn spices. Transfer mixture to blender or food processor, but don’t clean out the pan.
In the same pan add tomatoes, green chilies and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce to simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add drained white beans, soaked/drained cashews, 1 cup fresh filtered water, miso, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt to the onion mixture in blender/food processor. Blend until smooth. This takes 1-2 minutes in a high-speed blender and up to 6 minutes in a food processor.
When the tomatoes & chilies have been simmering for 10-15 minutes, add the bean/cashew mixture to the pot. Gently simmer until heated through. Add salt to taste.
If you’re using a high-speed blender, a 1 hour cashew soak is enough. Some would even say that for a high-speed blender soaking isn’t necessary. If using a food processor or standard blender, 3 hours (or overnight in the fridge) is best. Discard soaking liquid.
Instead of miso, you can add nutritional yeast to taste, 2-4 tablespoons – but don’t skip the miso/nutritional yeast. It’s what adds a super cheesy flavor to this queso sauce.