3/4cup (180g)PLAIN dairy-free yogurt (I used SO Delicious "Unsweetened" Plain coconut yogurt but Soy will work too, but it's slightly sweeter)
1tablespoon (15g)white distilled vinegar
1 1/4teaspoonssmoked paprika
4ozcan diced green chiles (use half or the whole can)
Optional: sliced jalapenos and cilantro
If you do not have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, then you will need to soak your cashews overnight in a bowl of water, drain, rinse and proceed. Otherwise, the cheese will be gritty. OR, you can sub the cashews with equal gram amount (150g) RAW oil-free cashew butter.
Using a medium heat salsa here will give a nice kick of spiciness. If you are serving this to kids or prefer mild, then sub with a mild salsa.
If wanting to make my oil-free chips, make those first. See the bottom of the directions.
Add all of the ingredients (except the chiles and tomatoes) to a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix. If using the soaked cashews, then a food processor tends to work better to smooth out sauces, versus a blender that is not very powerful. Blend a couple of minutes until 100% smooth. After blending, stir in the green chiles and tomatoes, but do not blend. I used the whole can of chiles but you can use less if you prefer.
Add the sauce to a pot and heat it over medium-low just for about 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until it slightly thickens. Be careful about overheating it or it will make it chunky.
Top with sliced jalapenos or cilantro if desired and serve right away. It will get a bit thicker as it sits and overnight in the fridge, so just give it a good stir.
This sauce is excellent as a dip at a party or over burritos or nachos!
Oil-free Chips: Preheat your oven to 400°F and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Cut your tortillas into 4ths. Spread them out evenly and brush lightly with lemon juice and season with salt. Bake for 8-10 mins or until they are getting crisp. Watch closely towards the end so they don't burn. Let them cool and crisp up.
CASHEWS SUB: I always get asked about subbing cashews from people who are low-fat or avoid fat. I am not fat-free or nut-free so I use nuts in my recipes because I want them to taste just as rich and creamy as the original dairy versions, so that is why fat is needed. However, if you want a lower fat version, you can sub up to 1/2 cup of the cashews with white beans. That will really reduce the amount of fat, but ONLY do this if you don't want the best version to serve and wow guests, as it will NOT be as rich, creamy or thick or taste the best. If you are nut-free completely, you can try subbing all white beans, but this is clearly not going to be nearly the same richness, creaminess or thickness as the cashew version. It will be runnier and have a bean taste, so if you are ok with that, give it a try!
FREEZING TIPS: While I have not tried freezing this personally, I think it would be just fine. Just thaw it overnight in the fridge and reheat it on a very low heat over the stove, whisking constantly to prevent sticking. Do not heat it in the microwave, as I do not think it would reheat as well.
Best Vegan Queso
Amount Per Serving (120 grams)
Calories 224Calories from Fat 140
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.