The king of all tortilla chip dips has to be chile con queso, and while I can’t get enough of the classic Velveeta-Rotel-tomato combo, I’ve devised this cashew-based, non-dairy version that satisfies vegans and carnivores alike. Before you roll your eyes and shout “internet lies!” at your screen, I’ll admit — I had my skepticism too. Then, I discovered this recipe that actually tastes pretty darn comparable to the classic. Still dubious, I presented this dip to a group of at least 20 people, all of whom gave it a fiesta-worthy two thumbs up. My guess as to why this dip tastes so good is that it doesn’t rely on a vegan cheese for the base but rather roasted and blended cashew nuts. Alright now; ready to be a convert?

Vegan Queso Dip

Adapted from Stepfanie Romine

(Serves 4)


  • 1 cup toasted, unsalted cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes or longer, then drained
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice, plus more if needed
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup hot water, plus more if needed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, juice drained and reserved
  • 1 can diced green chilis (we used hot!)
  • salt to taste
  • green onion, diced, for garnish
  • tortilla chips, for serving


  1. Place cashews, lime juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, black pepper, hot water, and juice from canned diced tomatoes into a blender. Pulse to combine, then purée until completely smooth. Add more hot water and blend if needed until a thick dip consistency is achieved.
  2. Pour into a small sauce pan and heat over the stove top, mixing in 1/2 can diced tomatoes (reserving some for garnish) and an entire can of green chilis. Stir continuously with a rubber spatula (so the dip does not scorch the bottom of the pot) until heated through. Try the dip with a chip. If needed, season to taste with salt and more lime juice.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with diced tomatoes and green onion. Serve with tortilla chips.

More vegan recipes and how-tos can be found on Brit + Co’s Pinterest page!

(Photos via Brittany Griffin / Brit + Co)