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Cashew Queso, Easy 3-Ingredient Vegan Dip

Vegan Cashew Queso is delectable and so simple to make! It’s creamy and spicy. And, for something with zero cheese — it’s VERY cheesy! lol

cashew queso in a clear glass bowl
Post may contain affiliate links. See my Affiliate Disclosure.

When you take that first creamy bite, it’s hard to believe it’s vegan queso. This scrumptious dip is Whole30 compliant, dairy-free, sugar-free and grain (gluten)-free! When you taste it every spicy, cheesy queso craving will be satisfied.

The Ingredients

  • Raw Cashews (not roasted, not salted)
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Frank’s Hot Sauce – The flavors in this sauce eliminate the need for ingredients like smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chilis, chipotle adobo sauce or lemon juice. You could add extra of any of them if that’s more to your liking, but I don’t find it to be necessary.
  • salt
  • water
nutritional yeast in a bag and in a bowl
This is the brand I usually buy, on Amazon [affiliate link]. Bragg’s is another good brand and I have seen it occasionally at Walmart.

What is Nutritional Yeast and Why Use It?

The yummy, cheesy flavor in Vegan Cashew Queso comes from nutritional yeast [affiliate link].

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated form of yeast. It is the same strain of yeast that is used in baker’s yeast and brewer’s yeast, except that the bacteria that cause rising and fermentation are no longer alive.

It’s grown specifically as a food product and is very popular in vegan cooking. It’s the perfect addition to provide nutty “cheesy” flavor to Cashew Queso.

cashew queso in a clear glass bowl

Nutritional Yeast is loaded with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, too. It’s high in protein and a good source of fiber, making your vegan queso a dreamy and healthy snacking option. Gluten free tortilla chips never had it so good!

It’s also low in sodium and calories and is gluten-, sugar- and dairy-free. I always buy flakes [affiliate link], but it can be found as granules or powder, too, I think.

*Affilate Link

cashew queso in a clear glass bowl

How to Serve Vegan Cashew Queso

It makes my taste buds do a happy dance every time I get to eat this Vegan Cashew Queso and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything! Use it for dipping all your favorite snacks and veggies.

It’s great on pretzels, crackers, carrots and celery. Dip in apple slices and homemade summer sausage or use it as a tasty substitute for sour cream to top a dairy free and deliciously perfect baked potato!

Dunk these DELISH Keto Chicken Nuggets in the creamy cheesiness of cashew queso and you’ll never look back!

This smooth, thick vegan cheese dip is excellent when you want a cheesy snack with a spicy kick. Or use it when you’re making a healthier version of your favorite casseroles, mac and cheese and cheese-drizzled veggies. 

Cashew Queso has a lovely creamy texture and “cheesy” flavor.  It’s good for all things dipping and it’s sensational for topping burgers. Home fries and sweet potato fries are perfect dippers for this delish vegan dip, too.

Can I Make Cashew Queso without the Hot Sauce?

Can I leave the Frank’s Red sauce out of cashew queso?

Absolutely! If you’re looking for vegan cheese sauce with no spice whatsoever, simply leave the Frank’s sauce out of your Vegan Cashew Queso. That’s a good option for mac and cheese, zoodle pasta, cheesy cauliflower or other creamy, cheesy casseroles and dishes.

Is there a spicy substitute for Frank’s Red sauce in this recipe?

Yes. Try adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of Southwestern Seasoning instead of the Frank’s sauce. Start with one and increase until you get the heat level you want.

How to Make Cashew Queso Dip

cashews, nutritional yeast, hot sauce and water in a smoothie blender
  1. To soak cashews, put them in a container and cover with water.
  2. Allow them to sit for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.
  3. When you’re ready to make Vegan Queso, drain the cashews and add them to the blender with all the other ingredients.

Three-ingredient easy is the best kind of recipe! Don’t you think? I hope you enjoy this delicious vegan queso recipe as much as I do. No matter where you are in your nutritional journey, it will enhance your favorite dishes and leave you feeling satisfied. Enjoy!

cashew queso in a clear glass bowl

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Cheesy Hot Sauce Dip

Cashew Queso

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x


This sauce/dip is excellent when you want a snack with a spicy kick.  It has a lovely creamy texture and “cheesy” flavor.  It’s good for dipping veggies, corn tortilla chips and it’s sensational for topping burgers.  Use it for mac n cheese, in casseroles and as the perfect dunking sauce for gluten free chicken nuggets.


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons *nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Soak the cashews in enough water to completely cover them.  Allow them to sit for at least 30 minutes.  I often put them in water, stick the container in the fridge and go to bed.  You can easily soak them up to 24 hours.  Whatever works in your schedule.  The longer they soak, the softer they will be and the smoother they will blend.
  2. Place all ingredients in the blender cup/pitcher of a high-speed blender.
  3. Pulse the blender a few times to get things started.
  4. Set blender on high and allow the sauce to become smooth and creamy.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 0 min
  • Category: Dips, Condiments
  • Method: blender
  • Cuisine: American

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glenda embree

About Glenda

I believe cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated and that YOU can do it. My simple recipes, tutorials, and cooking tips will help you get weeknight dinners on the table with less stress. Forget takeout or the drive-thru. Let me show you how to make homemade easy. Read more...

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