This silky, cheesy, dairy-free dip is perfect for the big game.  I’m not personally invested in this year’s Super Bowl but I watch it every year regardless and love that the game centers around food.  I get a kick out of making Super Bowl foods super healthy since they are traditionally super unhealthy (see what I did there?).  It just blows people away.  My husband is a huge nacho lover and not dairy-free at all, yet even he begs me for this dip.  He couldn’t wait until I finished the photos so he could dig in.

My daughter has a cashew allergy so for her I make this nut-free version.  I also don’t make it as spicy for her since she is only three years old.

Both versions are vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and loaded with veggies which you just wouldn’t expect at all in a dip that looks like the opposite of healthy.  You can serve as a dip or use to make nachos.  Here are some fun topping ideas if you go the nacho route: diced avocado, sliced olives, scallions, black beans, diced tomatoes, chopped onions, salsa, sliced or diced jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and hot sauce.

Vegan Queso Dip

Below is a quick video to show you just how easy this appetizer is to make.  You wouldn’t believe that these ingredients come together to make a cheesy-like queso that tastes like the real deal.  This is a must-try recipe that is somewhat life changing (if you are the type of person where food can change your life).


Programming update! 🙂 I now have a YouTube channel.  If you would like to subscribe to my Eating by Elaine YouTube channel click here.  You will receive email update when I upload new recipe videos to my channel.  You can also find this Queso recipe video on YouTube here.

5 from 1 reviews
Vegan Queso
Prep time
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A guilt-free cheesy dip that your friends will not believe is dairy-free and oil-free. It is mostly made from creamy cashews and orange carrots for color. The cheesy flavor comes from the nutritional yeast and is enhanced by the lemon juice and spices. I find it to be luxurious, slightly spicy and totally addictive. It is perfect for game day or any time you have a cheese dip craving. Note: The nut-free version can be found here.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 cup carrots, diced*
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews (soaked in water overnight and then drained and rinsed)**
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from ~1/2 lemon)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne (or more if you want more heat)
  • ⅛ teaspoon chili powder (or more if you want more heat)
  1. Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil and add carrots. Cook until fork tender (about 12 minutes). Drain and add to high speed blender.
  2. Add all other ingredients to a high speed blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
  3. Puree until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Pour into a small serving bowl for dipping with chips. Garnish with jalapeno, sliced green onions, paprika and/or fresh cilantro. You may want to microwave just before serving. Too keep it warm serve on a plate warmer or with a pot-holder to lock in the warmth.
  4. The queso can also be used for making nachos.
* You can substitute peeled sweet potatoes in place of carrots.

** If you are pressed for time you can put them in a glass jar with boiling water and shut the lid. Let soak for at least 30 minutes. The longer they soak the creamier the dip will be. Click here for a cashew-free version.