Quick and Easy Recipes Tips from Janani

Cashew-Less Vegan Queso

Vegetarian Carnivores, I cannot wait for you to try this delicious vegan queso dip! It is nut free, dairy free, vegan, and gluten free, if you so desire. And the best part is I am sharing two amazing recipes for the exact same queso, so no matter what you have available in your home, you are likely to be able to make this super versatile party dish. While most vegan quesos I have had are cashew based, I know that nut allergies are common and cashews are heavy and sometimes weigh me down. So enjoy this delicious cashew-less vegan queso with everything from loaded nachos, to Crunchwraps (recipe coming soon!), to a delicious dipping fondue style warm and bubbly pot of cheese.

While cashews are one of my all-time favorite ingredients to add a vegan creaminess to literally any dish (see my Vegan Butter Chicken Recipe), I realized at one point that I was relying so heavily on cashews that I was eating way more cashews than is probably recommended. Don’t get me wrong- I don’t subscribe 1000% to no oil or non processed foods- I eat everything as long as it’s vegan (in moderation). But it got to a point where I was going through cashews so quickly in my pantry and I realized I needed another robust ingredient hack that could blow people’s minds.

So what is it that I discovered, and since have been ridiculously obsessed with? Rolled oats.

Rolled oats are amazing in oatmeal (duh), cookies, and for making homemade oat flour. I could have never imagined it would work so beautifully as a queso.

How did I even think of oats?!

When you hydrate oats to make oatmeal, it turns kind of sticky and a little stringy. That got me thinking: if only the oats weren’t clumpy, maybe a smooth texture might lend itself to a dipping queso type consistency. It was a shot in the dark, but I threw together some rolled oats, water, salt and nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor into the blender and went to town.

To be honest, the very first iteration wasn’t that great- the sticky to cheesy ratio was off and there wasn’t any acid to break the sticky consistency. But a couple of tries later, I had an amazing dippable, pourable queso with a flavor to absolutely die for.

What makes queso, queso?

In the simplest terms, it is a cheese dip. It is commonly spiced with green chilies and made with evaporated milk with different kinds of cheese melted in. I really loved queso before becoming vegan, but I had no doubt that making this vegan would not be rocket science.

What people look for in a great queso is that thiccc (yes, with three c’s) consistency that can really hold onto a chip or whatever you are dipping in (pretzels, anyone?). All the photos in this post are different ways I have used my queso- it is super versatile!

Apart from that, there are a ton of different flavors you can add to it. The most common ones are hatch green chilies, which are delicious but don’t really pack a spice punch. And if you know me, you know I go a little spice happy (ok, a lot spice happy- let me live) with all my recipes.

Anyhoo, the point is that once you’ve mastered the base texture and consistency, then you’ve essentially got a blank board to add whatever you dang well please and make it your own.

These two recipes are simple, yet super creamy and cheesy and all around wholesome. And the best part is that they are similar tasting, so you can choose which one you want to make, based on your ingredient availability!

How to make vegan queso

Both of these recioes are super simple, in that all you have to do is throw the ingredients into a high power blender and blitz until smooth. The only risk you run is of overblending, which can generate a lot of heat and make your rolled oats overly sticky and kind of gummy. It helps to have a high power blender so you don’t have to blend for too long to get the smooth consistency. Short of that, make sure you use ice cold water and blend for 20 seconds at a time to reduce the risk of your blender heating up and ruining your oats. It is a bit of a delicate balance, but one that is a pretty quick learning curve so don’t stress too much.

Ingredients (Recipe 1)

  1. 1 cup rolled oats, gluten free if desired
  2. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  3. 1 red/orange bell pepper
  4. 2 tbsp arrowroot starch
  5. 1 lime, juiced
  6. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1 cup water*

Ingredients (Recipe 2)

  1. 1 cup rolled oats, gluten free if desired
  2. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  3. 1 chipotle pepper
  4. 3 oz red potato (boiled and peeled), around a 3rd of a small potato
  5. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1 lime, juiced
  7. 1 cup water*


  1. If following recipe 1, roast bell pepper in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Take pepper out and sweat it by covering it for 10 minutes. Peel and deseed the pepper.
  2. Add all ingredients from either recipe to a high power blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If your blender is not high power, see above for tips on avoiding sliminess when working with rolled oats.

Leave a Reply

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