Dairy Free Salsa Con Queso

Photo Credit: Allyson Kramer
  • Total: 3 hrs 45 mins
  • Prep: 3 hrs
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings

This cheesy recipe tastes just like traditional salsa con queso, yet is totally free of dairy, making it a delicious option for those following a plant-based diet.

Feel free to adjust the spiciness to your liking. If you prefer a very spicy dip, use fresh jalapeños and leave a few seeds to kick up the piquantness several notches. For a mild dip, simply decrease the amount of jarred jalapeños called for in the recipe, or omit altogether.


  • 2 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 large orange carrots
  • 1 large or orange bell pepper
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 cup nondairy milk, such as almond, soy, or cashew, plus more to thin if needed
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh diced tomato ( about 1-centimeter x 1 centimeter)
  • 1/3 cup chopped jarred jalepeño peppers
  • 4 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced chives or scallions

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the cashews into a medium sized bowl and cover with one inch of water. Allow the cashews to soak at least 2 hours, up to 3.

  3. After the cashews have soaked about 1 hour, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a medium sized baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Arrange the carrots, bell pepper, and garlic onto the baking sheet and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until carrots are tender and you can easily remove the skin from the bell pepper. Allow to cool 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are easy to handle.

  4. Peel the skin from the bell pepper and place into the pitcher of a blender or the bowl of a food processor along with the roasted carrots and garlic.

  5. Drain the soaked cashews and place into the pitcher of a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Add 1/2 cup nondairy milk and blend until smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides of the blender container as needed. Add the salt, nutritional yeast flakes, chili powder, and lemon juice, as well as the remaining nondairy milk and blend once again until very smooth. Feel free to add up to 1/4 cup additional non-dairy milk to thin to your desired texture. Transfer to an oven safe bowl and fold in the jalapeño pepper, cilantro, and minced chives.

  6. Warm in oven or enjoy cold with tortilla chips (makes fab nachos!), on top of cooked pasta, or as a veggie dip. Store leftover salsa con queso in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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