Dairy Free Football Queso

Football Season is just around the corner! While some are in it strictly for the game, I’m in it for the food. 

While I personally don’t banish any food group all the time, I do try to limit the dairy a bit! Studies have shown that dairy in high consumption may increase the risk of acne, so I’m sharing a vegan queso dip that has fooled even the biggest cheese fans out there! My family is not thrilled when I try to make healthy spins on “junk food”, but this one in particular is often requested and I’m happy to make it!


  • – 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • – 1 medium organic sweet onion, chopped
  • – 1 cup peeled and grated organic russet potato
  • – 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • – 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • – 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • – 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • – 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • – 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • – 1 cup raw cashews (must be soaked in water for a minimum of 4 hours, then drained before using)
  • – 1 1/2 cups water
  • – 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • – 1 tablespoon rinsed oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • – 2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce (I used chipotle)
  • – 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • – 2/3 cup Trader Joes salsa (Homestyle Salsa Especial Medium, or your favorite salsa)
  • – 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, seeds removed
  • – Optional toppings: your favorite salsa, fresh cilantro, pickle jalapeños, and/or finely chopped red onion


  1. In a large saucepan, warm the avocado oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender and turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the grated potato, garlic, paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Stir to combine, and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes to bring out their flavor. 
  3. Add the drained cashews and water, and stir to combine. Let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue simmering, stirring frequently and reducing heat as necessary to avoid a rapid boil, until the potatoes are completely tender and cooked through, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Carefully pour the mixture into a blender, but keep the pot handy for later. Add the nutritional yeast, salsa, hot sauce and vinegar. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary. If the mixture won’t blend easily or if you would prefer a thinner consistency, add water in 1/4 cup increments, blending after each one.
  5. Taste, and blend in additional salt until the queso is utterly irresistible. Pour the mixture back into the pot and add the salsa or jalapenos, if using. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very warm. 
  6. To serve it as a dip, transfer to a serving bowl and top with any garnishes you like, alongside tortilla chips!


– Recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate

Let us know how it turns out!