This Vegan Queso Recipe is made with cashews, garlic, nutritional yeast, chipotle peppers, chili powder, paprika, and blended with hot water.
Vegan chipotle cheese sauce is versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be drizzled over nachos, tacos, or burritos, used as a dipping sauce for vegetables or chips, spread on sandwiches or burgers, or stirred into pasta or grain bowls for added creaminess and flavor. It's a delicious and satisfying option for those who are looking for a vegan cheese sauce with a smoky and spicy twist.
It's worth noting that there are many variations of vegan chipotle cheese sauce, and different recipes may use slightly different ingredients or preparation methods. Some recipes may require soaking the cashews before blending, while others may use different types of plant-based milk or additional seasonings for added flavor. As with any recipe, you can customize it to your own taste preferences and dietary needs.
This is one of my favorite dips ever. It is similar to a queso but I personally like my queso thick and spicy – hence the name. My cheese-digesting powers have not been up to par lately, so I decided to try making this dip.
What is Vegan Chipotle Cheese Sauce?
Vegan chipotle cheese sauce is a dairy-free, plant-based sauce made with creamy, cheesy flavors and a smoky, spicy kick from chipotle peppers. It is typically used as a condiment or sauce to add flavor and creaminess to various dishes, such as nachos, tacos, burgers, burritos, and more. It is a popular choice among those following a vegan or dairy-free diet, as it provides a delicious alternative to traditional cheese sauce without any animal products.
Vegan chipotle cheese sauce typically features ingredients such as cashews, nutritional yeast, plant-based milk, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and various seasonings. These ingredients are blended together to create a smooth and creamy sauce with a tangy, smoky, and slightly spicy flavor profile. The chipotle peppers add a unique smokiness and heat to the sauce, while the nutritional yeast provides a cheesy flavor without using any dairy.
Vegan Queso Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Nutritional yeast
- Chili powder
- Chipotle in adobo sauce
- Hot water
See recipe card for Vegan Chipotle Cheese Sauce quantities.
How to make Vegan Queso Recipe
Add all the ingredients to a blender.
Blend until creamy.
Add more hot water as needed to blend until creamy and smooth. I would use a high speed blender for this.
Taste and adjust flavor as needed adding more nutritional yeast for cheesiness, salt to taste, or chipotle for heat.
Hint: If the consistency gets too thin, feel free to add more cashews and if it's too thick, add more hot water.
What to serve with Vegan Chipotle Cheese Sauce
- Nachos: Drizzle the vegan chipotle cheese sauce over a plate of tortilla chips, and then top with black beans, diced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos, chopped cilantro, and any other desired toppings for a delicious and satisfying appetizer or snack.
- Tacos: Use the vegan chipotle cheese sauce as a creamy and spicy drizzle on top of your favorite vegan tacos. It pairs well with a variety of taco fillings, such as roasted vegetables, black beans, tofu, tempeh, or seitan.
- Burgers: Spread the vegan chipotle cheese sauce onto a veggie burger or bean burger for a flavorful and satisfying burger experience. Top with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and other desired toppings for a delicious plant-based burger.
- Burritos: Use the vegan chipotle cheese sauce as a creamy and spicy condiment inside a burrito. Layer it with rice, beans, roasted vegetables, salsa, and other desired fillings for a hearty and flavorful meal.
- Veggie Bowls: Stir the vegan chipotle cheese sauce into a grain or vegetable bowl for added creaminess and flavor. It pairs well with brown rice, quinoa, roasted vegetables, black beans, and other veggies for a tasty and satisfying bowl.
- Cashews: You should use raw cashews for a smoother texture. If you use roasted cashew, you’re essentially eating altered nut since it was removed from its shell, and that changes the texture.
- Garlic: I minced the garlic before adding into the blender for a nicer, finer taste.
- Nutritional Yeast: This ingredient is important because it gives the dip the cheesy flavor it needs. Nutritional yeast is a good source of vitamins, minerals and even prevent muscle loss.
- Spices: You can alter the amount of paprika and chili powder in the dip. For a more smoky flavor, add more paprika. For more heat, add chili powder.
- Chipotle pepper: Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce can be found in the ethnic food section of your grocery store. This will give the dip a lot of heat, and feel free to alter the amount.
- Hot water: The water must be hot to be able to blend thoroughly well. I put the water in a coffee mug and heated it up in the microwave for 2 minutes before mixing in.
Vegan Queso Recipe Variations
- Different Cheese Alternatives: Experiment with different types of plant-based cheeses or cheese alternatives, such as vegan cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack, or even a combination of different vegan cheeses to create your desired flavor profile.
- Flavor Enhancers: Add various flavor enhancers to your vegan cheese sauce to customize the taste. For example, try adding nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, mustard, or even a splash of hot sauce for extra tang or heat.
- Veggie Additions: Incorporate different vegetables into your vegan cheese sauce for added nutrition and flavor. Examples include roasted red bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, roasted garlic, or caramelized onions for different taste profiles.
- Spice Variations: Adjust the level of spiciness in your vegan cheese sauce by using different types of chipotle peppers, such as chipotle powder, chipotle in adobo sauce, or chipotle hot sauce. You can also try using different types of chili peppers or spices to customize the heat level to your liking.
- Creaminess Options: Experiment with different plant-based milk or cream alternatives to adjust the creaminess of your vegan cheese sauce. For example, you can use almond milk, cashew cream, coconut milk, oat milk, or even vegetable broth for a lighter or richer consistency.
Check out my Vegan Gazpacho.
- Blender or Food Processor: A high-speed blender or food processor is essential for blending the ingredients together to create a smooth and creamy sauce. It helps to break down the nuts or seeds used in the recipe and achieve the desired consistency.
- Saucepan or Small Pot: You will need a saucepan or small pot to heat up the water. You can use a teakettle as well.
- Cutting Board and Knife: You may need a cutting board and knife to prepare ingredients such as vegetables, garlic, or chipotle peppers, depending on the recipe.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measurements are important in cooking, so you will need measuring cups and spoons to measure the ingredients properly.
- Spatula or Spoon: A spatula or spoon is necessary for stirring the ingredients in the saucepan or pot and scraping down the sides of the blender or food processor to ensure all the ingredients are well-mixed.
- Container for Storage: You will need a container with an airtight lid to store the vegan chipotle cheese sauce after it is made.
How to store Vegan Chipotle Cheese Sauce
- Allow it to cool: Let the vegan chipotle cheese sauce cool to room temperature before storing. This prevents condensation from forming in the container, which can lead to spoilage or a change in texture.
- Choose an airtight container: Transfer the cooled sauce to an airtight container, such as a glass jar or airtight plastic container with a lid. Make sure the container is clean and dry.
- Cover the surface: To prevent a skin from forming on the surface of the sauce, you can cover it with a layer of plastic wrap or parchment paper directly touching the sauce. This helps to create a barrier and keeps the sauce fresher for longer.
- Label and date: It's important to label the container with the contents and the date of preparation so that you can easily identify it later and keep track of its freshness.
- Refrigerate: Place the container of vegan chipotle cheese sauce in the refrigerator and store it for up to 5 to 7 days. Avoid storing it in the door of the refrigerator as temperature fluctuations can affect the quality of the sauce. Instead, store it towards the back of the refrigerator where the temperature is more stable.
- Freeze (optional): If you have a larger batch of vegan chipotle cheese sauce that you won't be able to consume within a week, you can also freeze it for longer storage. Simply transfer the sauce to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before using, and give it a good stir to restore its smooth consistency.
Vegan Queso Recipe Top tip
- Soak nuts or seeds for a smoother texture: If your vegan chipotle cheese sauce recipe calls for nuts or seeds, such as cashews or sunflower seeds, soaking them beforehand can help achieve a smoother texture. Simply place the nuts or seeds in a bowl of water and let them soak for a few hours or overnight, then drain and rinse before using. Soaking softens the nuts or seeds, making them easier to blend and resulting in a creamier sauce.
- Adjust spice level to taste: Chipotle peppers can vary in heat level, so taste your sauce as you go and adjust the amount of chipotle peppers or adobo sauce to suit your preference for spiciness. Start with a small amount and add more gradually, as needed, to avoid overpowering the sauce with heat.
- Experiment with flavor additions: While chipotle peppers provide a smoky and spicy flavor to vegan cheese sauce, you can also experiment with other flavor additions to customize the sauce to your liking. Consider adding roasted garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, or herbs and spices like paprika, cumin, or smoked paprika to enhance the flavor of the sauce.
- Blend thoroughly for a smooth consistency: To achieve a smooth and creamy texture in your vegan chipotle cheese sauce, blend the ingredients thoroughly in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend for several minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor as needed, until the sauce is silky smooth with no lumps or graininess.
- Adjust consistency with liquid: If your sauce is too thick, you can adjust the consistency by adding a little bit of water, plant-based milk, or vegetable broth. Add liquid gradually, a tablespoon at a time, and blend until you achieve the desired consistency.
- Store properly for freshness: As mentioned earlier, proper storage is important for maintaining the freshness of vegan chipotle cheese sauce. Follow the storage tips mentioned earlier in this conversation to ensure that your sauce stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove