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Plant Based Queso Dip

Plant Based Queso Dip

This golden hued Plant Based Queso Dip is silky smooth, slightly smokey and very easy to make. It starts with a some simple, nourishing ingredients and comes together in just a few minutes. Serve it with crispy tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole for the ultimate vegan appetizer!

I love making dairy-free cheese sauces like this classic Vegan Nacho Cheese and this Butternut and “Bacon” Mac and Cheese recipe. Both are delicious but when I want a great vegan appetizer recipe, I make this easy plant-based queso.

Not only is this queso dip made without animal products, it’s 100% plant based and it’s made from wholesome nourishing ingredients such as butternut squash, cashews and spices. It’s the kind of recipe you throw together in a blender, so it takes no time at all if you’ve remembered to soak the cashews ahead time. If not, no worries! You can simply boil them before blending for a smooth and creamy dip.

What do you need to make vegan queso?

Making vegan nacho cheese or queso dip is easier than you might think! And you’ll only need a few simple pantry and freezer ingredients.

  • Butternut squash – I like to use the frozen kind because it’s already peeled, deseeded and chopped. So easy!
  • Cashewsraw cashews create a rich and creamy base without the dairy
  • Nutritional Yeast – like this one provides a cheesy umami flavor when mixed with spices
  • Plant-Based Milk – I like soy or almond milk for this recipe. Just make sure it’s unsweetened!
  • Onion Granules, Turmeric and Cayenne Pepper – a tasty blend of spices that makes this plant-based sauce taste like authentic queso dip!
  • Cornstarch – the secret ingredient! This thickens the cheese sauce so that it perfectly coats the crispy tortilla chips.
  • Pickled Jalapeños – just a spoonful of the juice from the jar takes this queso to the next level!
  • Chipotle Salsa – a quick way to add lots of flavor and subtle smokiness
  • Salt – a magic ingredient that brings out all of the flavors in this rich and smokey queso dip! I like to use this kosher salt for my recipes.

How to Make Plant Based Queso Dip

The full recipe for vegan queso dip can be found on the recipe card below, but here’s a quick overview to give you an idea!

Start by gathering up all of your ingredients. You’ll want to soak the cashews in some boiling water beforehand so that they’re easy to blend.

raw cashews

Then just place the cashews, butternut squash, plant milk, spices and salt in the blender. Add the nutritional yeast and cornstarch and blend until smooth.

Transfer to a saucepan and adda spoonful of the juice from a jar of pickled jalapeños and smokey chipotle salsa. Mix well and simmer on medium heat.

The cornstarch will start to thicken the queso as it gently heats on the stove, creating the perfect dip-able consistency.

Once warm, transfer to a serving dish and serve with crispy, salty tortilla chips for dipping. I also love dunking veggies into this queso and it can be used for tacos, nachos, burritos and wraps!

More Vegan Mexican Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Vegan Chicken + Spicy Street Corn Tacos

Weeknight Chik’n Tacos with Mango Salsa

One Avocado Guacamole

Pumpkin Poblano Stuffed Shells

Green Quinoa Chili

Watch Me Make This Recipe Here

Plant Based Queso Dip

Nicole Vranjican
THE BEST chipotle queso dip recipe made with butternut squash, cashews and spices. Plant-based vegan and dairy free.
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dips
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings


For the Queso Dip

  • cup raw cashews
  • cups frozen butternut squash thawed
  • 1 cup unsweetened plant milk such as soy or almond milk
  • ½ tsp onion granules
  • ½ tsp kosher salt I use Mortons
  • tsp turmeric optional
  • 5 dashes cayenne pepper
  • cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp juice from a jar of pickled jalapeños
  • cup chipotle salsa



  • Before getting started, you'll want to soak the cashews. This can be done in one of two ways. My favorite option is to place the cashews in a bowl, cover with boiling water and let sit for 45 minutes. You can also soak the cashews overnight to soften.
    You'll also want to make sure the butternut squash is thawed. To do this, put the squash in the fridge to thaw for around 4 hours or place the bag on the counter for 1-2.


  • Drain the water from the cashews and add them to a blender. Then add the thawed butternut squash, plant milk, onion granules, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt, nutritional yeast and cornstarch and blend until very smooth. About 30-40 seconds.

Heat it Up!

  • Transfer the queso to a saucepan and set to medium heat. Add the juice from a jar of pickled jalapeños and stir in the chipotle salsa. Mix well and cook for 3-5 minutes or until warmed through. Stir often.


  • Serve warm with crispy tortilla chips and veggies for dipping!
Keyword Vegan Appetizers

Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

Find me on: Instagram

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