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Learn this easy recipe for a vegan cheese that goes great on tacos, mac & cheese, or by itself as queso.
This vegan cheese recipe will satisfy any cravings for a rich creamy sauce you have. After prepping your ingredients it’s as easy as putting it all in a blender and blending until you get a smooth and creamy texture. This recipe is super easy and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.
You can serve this vegan cheese as is for a queso dip, add it to a meal to make Vegan Mac & Cheese or add it to your toppings for vegan tacos. In this recipe we’ll dive into making a nice queso dip, but you can use this same recipe for pastas and toppings as well.
What you’ll need to make vegan queso.
This is a simple recipe and shouldn’t need much time. To make this queso you will only need a pot to boil some potatoes and carrots in and a blender to blend it all together.
Best blender for vegan queso.
When it comes to making any sauces in a blender, you will want a high speed blender. This will allow you to reach a smoother texture. The last thing you want is lumpy cheese. These blenders will also heat the sauce as it blends so the mixture will be ready straight out of the blender!
There is a lot of competition on the blender market, but we have a well curated list of blenders at varying price ranges in our Best Blenders for 2021 list. A safe bet, if you have the funds is a Vitamix blender like their Explorian Series E310. This is one of the stronger blenders in the market with an operating 1.9 HP. It’s not as expensive as the other blenders in their line-up that come with more bells and whistles at 349.99. With a 10 year warranty, it’s a great value if you’ll be using it at least weekly and it will last you years.
Ingredients for vegan queso.
This recipe includes a short list of whole ingredients, that can lengthen as you experiment with new flavors for your sauce.
Yukon Potatoes - These provide the base for the cheese sauce. You will need to slightly boil the potatoes to soften them before blending.
Carrots - We used carrots to help with texture, but also add a nice cheese color to the sauce.
Garlic and Onion Powder - To add a depth of flavor and warmth.
Nutritional Yeast - If nutritional yeast(nooch) is new to you, definitely look more into it. Nooch is made from deactivated yeast made from sugarcane and beet molasses, and provides a cheesy and nutty flavor that is essential to make any vegan cheese. You should be able to find nooch in most grocery stores.
Lemon Juice - To provide a bit of tanginess
Tomato Paste - Add color and acidity
Arrowroot Powder - Used as a thickener to enhance the texture
Salt & Pepper - To taste
No cashews in this vegan cheese?
Many vegan cheese recipes will include cashews. Cashews do offer a creamy texture. Once they are blended enough, they will provide a creamy smooth texture, but we’ve found using a mixture of potatoes for texture and carrots for color, provides a more satisfying sauce.
Steps to make vegan queso.
To make this vegan queso first, you need to boil the potatoes in carrots. It is ESSENTIAL that you don’t boil them too short or for too long. Getting the timing right is important to getting a nice smooth texture. If you boil them for too long, you’ll get a mashed potato-like texture and nobody wants that for a cheese sauce. We recommend letting the pot of water come to a boil before adding in the ingredients to make sure they cook for the appropriate amount of time.
After you boil the potatoes and carrots, you can add everything into a blender and start blending at a medium speed. Once everything looks to be incorporated, you can ramp up the speed and let it go until the mixture looks to be smooth with no stray lumps. This should only take a minute or two. The nice thing about using a nice high speed blender is that this will also heat the mixture so it will be ready right out of the blender.
How to store vegan cheese?
After you are done with your cheese, you can store any leftovers in the fridge for about 5 days. You can also store in the freezer for longer periods of time. The cheese may lose some moisture after being stored for too long so you may need to blend with some water after thawing.
Experiment with new flavors.
This is a standard queso recipe, but you can try experimenting with ingredients to take the flavor to a new level. If you need some inspiration to get you started here are a few ideas:
You can try adding in dijon mustard or a deeper tang, with added zest.
Add spice by introducing jalepeños.
Introduce some spices to add new flavors like paprika, turmeric
Peel and cut potatoes and carrots into large cubes.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot and boil for 6-8 minutes.
Add all ingredients to blender. Blend on high until mixture is smooth.