Vegan Queso

Oh my goodness - my quest for the PERFECT QUESO has concluded! This recipe is largely based on Lauren Toyota's "the nacho cheese," which I found in her amazing book Vegan Comfort Classics (if you don't have it, you should order a copy today - seriously). I made a couple of tweaks based on my taste and the consistency that I desire in my queso. The result is absolute perfection. Careful - it's addictive!


  • 1 cup of peeled, cubed gold potato (about 1 medium potato)
  • 1/2 cup peeled, diced carrot (about one small to medium carrot)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup of liquid from boiled vegetables
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot starch (aka flour)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 pickled jalapeno slices, plus 3 tablespoons of brine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric


  1. Put the potato and carrot in a small pot and cover with just enough water to boil.
  2. Bring to a boil and let the vegetables cook until they are fork-tender, roughly 10-15 minutes (depending on how big or small your pieces are).
  3. Drain the vegetables - but reserve the cooking liquid!
  4. Starting with the cooking liquid, put all ingredients in a high-speed blender.
  5. Blend until completely smooth - 2-3 minutes on high.
  6. Check the temp of your queso. If it isn't warm enough to enjoy straight from the blender, heat it in a saucepan.
  7. Enjoy!


This sauce reheats well, though you may need to add a little water or plant-based milk when reheating to keep the right consistency. This is delicious with chips, on nachos, on potatoes, on tacos, as a dipping sauce for veggies...the possibilities are endless!

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