writer, advocate, holistic health coach

Vegan Queso

Vegan Queso

I’ve been vegan for over seven years and my quest for the PERFECT QUESO has finally concluded! This recipe is largely based on Lauren Toyota‘s “the nacho cheese,” which I found in her amazing book Vegan Comfort Classics (if you don’t have it, you should order a copy today – seriously). I made a couple of tweaks based on my taste and the consistency that I desire in my queso. The result is absolute perfection. Careful – it’s addictive!


  • 1 cup of peeled, cubed gold potato (about 1 medium potato)
  • 1/2 cup peeled, diced carrot (about one small to medium carrot)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup of liquid from boiled vegetables
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot starch (aka flour)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 pickled jalapeno slices, plus 3 tablespoons of brine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric


  1. Put the potato and carrot in a small pot and cover with just enough water to boil.
  2. Bring to a boil and let the vegetables cook until they are fork-tender, roughly 10-15 minutes (depending on how big or small your pieces are).
  3. Drain the vegetables – but reserve the cooking liquid!
  4. Starting with the cooking liquid, put all ingredients in a high-speed blender.
  5. Blend until completely smooth – 2-3 minutes on high.
  6. Check the temp of your queso. If it isn’t warm enough to enjoy straight from the blender, heat it in a saucepan.
  7. Enjoy!


This sauce reheats well, though you may need to add a little water or plant-based milk when reheating to keep the right consistency. This is delicious with chips, on nachos, on potatoes, on tacos, as a dipping sauce for veggies…the possibilities are endless!