Vegan Cheese (Quezo) - Chef Cynthia Louise
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How To Make Vegan Cheese (Queso) In 5 Minutes

What comes to your mind when you think of queso? Cheesy, gooey, flavoursome, savoury, has a smokey aura around it, and once you start eating it, you can’t stop. If you are intolerant to dairy or you are into vegan food, well, I bet you won’t dare have any of such savoury treats. Don’t worry my dear plant-lovers, I have just the thing you need! Today we will be making freaking delicious, vegan cheese (queso). It will be cheesy, smokey, and silky just like you want it to be.

The Key To Silky Vegan Cheese Is In Blending

Cashews are essential in plant-based diets because they form a wonderful base for sauces and dips of all sorts. It’s not only because of their texture but also because of their neutral flavour that won’t overpower other ingredients. For our vegan cheese (queso), you’ll need to soak cashews overnight. Soaking nuts changes their texture, so whenever you need to use them in sauces, milks, or icings, you should not skip this important step. If you are new to using nuts in your meals, check out my blog on how to make activated nuts and why it matters

The rest of the ingredients are pretty simple actually – nutritional yeast for cheeseness, fresh garlic, garlic and onion powders for a depth of flavour, jalapenos for a subtle heat, and some lovely smokey paprika.

Now when you have your ingredients all sorted, you can jump to the fun part. I recommend using a high-speed blender when making this queso. The reason is simple – there’s some grittiness in cashews and in order to get rid of that, you need to blend for a bit longer and a high-speed blender is your best ally here. It will break down all those gritty particles and give your queso a very fine, silky texture.

Other than that, there’s no big science to this recipe – just plants and their goodness that you can transform into a delicious, nourishing treat for your body. Keep reading to get the full recipe together with serving suggestions.

nachos and cheese

Vegan Queso Recipe!



  • 2 cups (280g) Cashew Nuts, soaked overnight, rinsed well
  • ½ cup (35g) Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp crushed Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Smokey Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 4 tbsp Jalapeno, sliced

  • 1 cup of Water
  • Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Jalapeno, chopped, for serving
  • 1 Ripe Tomato, chopped, for serving
  • Olive Oil, for serving
  • Corn Chips, for serving
  • 2 Limes, quartered, for serving


Add the cashew nuts, nutritional yeast, garlic, smokey paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and sliced jalapeno to your blender.

Start blending on low and then slowly increase the speed to high.

Gradually pour in water until the dip reaches your desired consistency.

Season with salt and pepper and continue blending until the mixture is completely smooth and silky. 

Transfer your queso to a serving bowl, top with the jalapenos and tomato, drizzle with olive oil and serve with corn chips and lime.


Serves: 2

Prep time: 5 mins

Freezer-friendly: No



Check out a special section on my website dedicated to dips, sauces and condiments! Hope you’ll get inspired to experiment and come up with your own plant-based creations. And as always, I’d love to hear your wholefood stories, so let’s get in touch via my YouTube channel.


With love from my kitchen to yours,

Chef Cynthia Louise xx

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About the Author

Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.

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