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A hand dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of creamy cashew queso to show the smooth texture.

Dairy Free Cashew Queso – 5 Minutes!

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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Nyssa Tanner
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: about 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This creamy cashew queso is a delightful plant based recipe that tastes just as good as the real thing! Made with raw cashews, nutritional yeast, lime juice, and your favorite salsa. After soaking the cashews, it comes together in just 5 minutes and is delicious served warm with tortilla chips or as an addition to taco night. It is vegan, gluten free, Whole30 compatible, and paleo friendly, too!



For queso

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons just boiled water, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, or 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional – used for color)
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, or to taste (omit for a less spicy queso)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons salsa

To garnish

  • Additional salsa
  • Thinly sliced green onion 
  • Jalapeño 
  • Cilantro


  1. Soak cashews. In a heat proof bowl, soak raw cashews in just boiled water for at least 20-30 minutes – until pale and plump.
  2. Blend queso. Drain cashews and add to a blender container along with 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons just boiled water, mustard, lime juice, chili powder, nutritional yeast, turmeric powder, hot sauce, and salt. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, until smooth and creamy, with no pieces of cashews remaining.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and stir in salsa. Transfer queso to a bowl and stir in salsa. Taste and add more salt or hot sauce if desired. Queso will be warm, but not hot. If you would like to serve it hot, it can be warmed on low heat in a small saucepan, stirring frequently so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, or in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring between, until warmed through.
  4. Serve and enjoy! Top queso with extra salsa, thinly sliced green onion, jalapeño, and cilantro if desired. Serve with tortilla chips or veggies for dipping, and enjoy!


Storing in the refrigerator: This dip should keep in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Freezing: It can be frozen for up to 3 months, although depending on how long it’s in the freezer, it may separate once thawed. It should come back together if stirred vigorously, but if that fails, it can be blended back together until smooth.

To reheat: Can be warmed on low heat in a small saucepan, stirring frequently so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, or in 30-second increments in the microwave, stirring between until warm enough.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Mexican