The most delicious and easiest Vegan Nut-free Queso ever! This vegan queso is creamy, rich, authentic, dairy-free, oil-free, no cashews and takes just a few minutes to make!
VEGAN NUT FREE QUESO
Everybody loves queso, am I right? Especially, here in Texas. Finally, a vegan queso that doesn’t call for cashews! There are actually several of these recipes online, but they all call for way too many ingredients and to cook a bunch of veggies (potatoes, carrots, etc). Nope! There is zero cooking involved, only 10 minutes, simple easy ingredients for this incredibly delicious nut-free vegan queso!
There is also no oil or butter. This queso is oil-free, made with inexpensive sunflower seeds, salsa, nutritional yeast, a few spices, vinegar and jalapeno slices. Doesn’t get any easier and so quick to make. If you are looking for a classic nut-free cheese sauce, check this one out!
Goes great on nachos, burritos, dipping chips in or dolloped on chili.
I have a reader favorite best vegan queso already that has been a go-to for years. It’s one of my all-time most popular recipes that calls for cashews, yogurt, salsa, spices, etc.
To make this queso without cashews and even easier, we are skipping the nuts and the yogurt!
KEY INGREDIENT DETAILS
- Sunflower seeds. To keep this queso nut-free, we are using sunflower seeds. I found them really inexpensive at Kroger. They were on sale for just $1.34 a bag and they were organic. I couldn’t believe it and bought 4 bags. Sunflower seeds can be quite bitter though, so we make up for that with the rest of the ingredients.
- Nutritional yeast. This helps to amp up the cheesy flavor. I recommend the Sari brand or the Foods Alive brand. They are both non-fortified and have the best flavor. I order them off Amazon.
- Salsa. Salsa is key here for that cheesy flavor and balance of the warm spices. It contains vinegar, which helps with the tang. Vegan cheese without any acidity is going to taste very flat. The salsa is also spicy, which helps greatly here in terms of flavor and a kick.
- Turmeric. A touch of turmeric helps give it that authentic queso color.
- Apple cider vinegar. This provides an extra boost of tang and flavor and drives home that cheesy flavor, so that it stands out when you add it to other recipes.
- Maple syrup. This may seem like an odd ingredient, but just a tiny amount helps to offset the bitterness that sunflower seeds give off. It does not leave any sweetness at all, but it does complete the flavor profile. You can also use agave.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN NUT FREE QUESO
Add all of the ingredients, starting with the liquids first, to a high-powered blender like a Vitamix. Blend starting on low and increasing to high. You will need to start several times in the beginning to scrape down the sides and stir from the bottom, as it is thick. Keep blending repeatedly and then once it’s smooth, let it run a minute or two to get it very creamy.
Try not to eat it all straight from the blender.
WAYS TO SERVE THIS QUESO
- Mexican Burrito Bowl
- Vegan cheese always taste great on chili: Hearty Vegan Chili, Pumpkin Chipotle Chili or 30 Minute Mexican Chili
- Chips and queso, of course. Just get some chips and go to town! If you want some oil-free tortilla chips, see how to make those here.
MORE VEGAN CHEESE RECIPES
- Vegan Mexican Cheese
- Smoky Baked Cashew Cheese
- Herbed Cashew Cheese
- Best Ever Vegan Mozzarella
- Ricotta Cheese
- Pimento Cheese
Vegan Nut-free Queso
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (100g) raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup (120g) HOT water
- 3/4 cup (180g) medium heat salsa (mine was rather chunky)
- 2 teaspoons (10g) apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave (this helps to balance out the bitterness of the sunflower seeds-you DON'T taste sweetness)
- 2 tablespoons (12g) nutritional yeast (I use and love the Sari or Foods Alive brands only, as they are non-fortified and have the best flavor)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1-2 teaspoons ground cumin, start with 1 if you aren't a huge fan
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 5 or more pickled jalapeno slices from a jar, add as much as you like, to taste
- I use this scale.
- If you don't have a high-powered blender, I suggest boiling the sunflower seeds for 10 minutes first to really soften then and make blending easier. I recommend a food processor to make the queso over a standard blender, because unless you have a Vitamix (or similar), regular blenders don't get things as smooth as a food processor will, with small amounts of liquid.
- Add all of the ingredients (except the jalapenos), starting with the liquids first, to a high-powered blender like a Vitamix. Blend starting on low and increasing to high. You will need to start several times in the beginning to scrape down the sides and stir from the bottom, as it is thick. Keep blending repeatedly and then once it's smooth, let it run a minute or two to get it very creamy.
- Add the jalapenos and briefly blend once more.
- I found these measurements to taste perfect, based on the heat level of my salsa, etc. But if you want it more spicy or more tangy, add more jalapeno slices and some of the jalapeno brine if you like. See the post for ways to serve this queso!
- This queso will last 4-5 days in the fridge. To reheat, heat on very low over the stove, stirring constantly, just until warm. I wouldn't recommend the microwave as it can get too thick.