Vegans and non-vegans love this dip. It’s creamy and flavorful, thanks to cashews, nutritional yeast, and pickled jalapeños. If you have a high-powered blender, there is no need to soak the cashews before making the dip. However, if your blender is not very powerful, you might consider soaking the cashews for the smoothest vegan queso.
1 cup (5 ounces) raw cashews
3/4 to 1 cup hot water
1 to 2 teaspoons taco seasoning, see our taco seasoning recipe
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies, mild or hot depending on preference
1 tablespoon juice from jar of pickled jalapeños, optional
1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeño, optional
Salt to taste
Chips for serving, try homemade tortilla chips
If you have a high-powered blender (most blenders are), it is unnecessary to soak the cashews. Therefore, we do not soak cashews for this recipe. However, you may decide to soak cashews for two reasons: (1) to soften the nuts, making them easier to blend into a smooth and creamy sauce, and (2) to break down the shell of the nuts for easier digestion.
Quick soaking method: Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, turn off the heat, and add the cashews. Allow the nuts to soak for 30 minutes, drain, and then use in the recipe.
Overnight soaking method: Add cashews to a bowl of water and allow to soak for 6 to 8 hours, drain, and then use in the recipe. Be careful with this method since cashews soaked for too long can take on an unpleasant flavor. Changing the water after a few hours can help.
Place the cashews and 3/4 cup of hot water into a blender. Blend until very smooth.
Add taco seasoning, nutritional yeast, chopped green chilies, and the jalapeño pickle juice to the cashew cream. Blend until smooth.
If the queso dip is too thick, blend in a little more water.
Taste, and then season with salt or taco seasoning. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with chopped pickled jalapeños.