Roasted Jalapeno Vegan Queso

People, it’s time to get serious. Soak some cashews and roast your peppers. We’re making vegan queso.

Origins of Queso

The queso dip, or chile de queso as it’s also known, is typically served with tortilla chips. It is believed that it originated in Texas during the early 1900s. ( source).

Although you might find chile de queso in some Mexican restaurants, it is not the same as the original Mexican queso that inspired it (called chile fundido).

Roasted Jalapeno Vegan Queso

I’ve already made vegan queso, using eggplant as well as a semiclassic “roux with garlic, oil, and starch. But I hadn’t yet tackled cashew-less queso.

After a visit to one of my favorite Portland restaurants – Prasad, my friend Jeanette insisted that I try their roasted Jalapeno Queso. Since then, things haven’t looked the same. I remade this queso.

It takes just seven ingredients to make my version, and it only takes a little more than an hour. It’s non-oil, so it’s perfect for people who avoid oil. However, the cashews make it ridiculously creamy.

The “cheesy flavor” is mainly due to nutritional yeast. It also provides a generous serving of B vitamins and gives the dish a beautiful golden color. This is what we call a “win-win” situation.


  • Cashews: 1 1/2 cups (soaked in water for 6 hours, overnight or in hot water).
  • Two small jalapenos (for spicier queso; 1 small pepper for milder)
  • Use 1/3 to 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (for a yellow color and a cheesy taste)
  • Filtered water, 1/2-1 cup
  • Chili powder 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin – 1/2 tsp
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • Half a teaspoon of sea salt
  • One dash of Hot Sauce ( optional, such as Tapatio or red pepper flake).


  • Before starting the recipe, soak cashews in water, either very hot or cool, for at least 1 hour. Drain, then continue with the recipe.
  • Add jalapenos on a baking tray and preheat the oven to medium broil. Broil the jalapenos on the top rack of the oven for 4-7 minutes or until the outside is slightly blackened. Wrap the fruit in foil and steam it for a couple of minutes. Peel off the outer skin and remove all seeds/stems. Note: Wash your hands immediately after peeling the skin to prevent any heat from lingering on your skin.
  • Add the soaked and drained jalapenos and cashews to a Blender, along with nutritional yeast (start with a smaller amount), cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt (optional).
  • Pourable, creamy cheese sauce can be created by adding water to the blender as necessary. As needed, scrape the sides.
  • Add more nutritional yeast to the dish for added flavor, cheesiness, and heat. You can also add cumin, smoky flavor, hot sauce, and remaining chili powder.
  • Serve immediately. It will be fine for several hours at room temperature. Cover leftovers and store them in the fridge for up to five days. Reheat leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *