Just four ingredients stand between you and a blender batch of creamy chipotle cashew queso dip! Made with raw cashews, fresh lime juice, garlic and chipotle powder, you’d never know this queso was dairy-free!
There are so many food trends out there that I initially thought were ridiculous, but ended up falling in love with; zucchini “noodles”, cauli “rice”, cashew “cheese sauce”, etc. But there was never a reason for me to resist, these healthier-for-you swaps were not only here to stay, but really delicious. Please don’t get me wrong, real pasta, real rice, legit queso are all amazing and have their place, but as I have gotten older, I just can’t eat like I used to.
The first time I made a batch of cashew queso, was right after my last whole30 and we wanted a pan of nachos. I bought a jar of processed cheese as backup because I did not have high expectations for this cashew queso.
But hot damn, was it delicious. Believe it or not, that same jar of cheese sauce is still in the pantry, three months later. I’ve made so many variations of homemade cashew queso dip, that I don’t even miss the jarred stuff.
What is cashew queso?
Cashew queso is simply raw cashews blended with water. That’s it. You will get a smooth + creamy consistency that mimics cheese dip.
However, can you imagine eating a plain “dip” of cashews and water? No thank you. The trick to really making anything homemade taste as good as eating out, is in the seasoning bby.
You could use chilies, or jalapenos for this cashew queso dip. Or cilantro and cumin. Tabasco sauce for heat. You could blend in a little nutritional yeast for flavor -anything you like that tastes tex-mex works for this dairy-free cashew queso dip.
Jason loves heat, and I want to love it, but my tastebuds are wimpy. I once made this cashew queso with chipotles in adobo sauce and my mouth was on fire. Jason loved it though. The compromise for us is chipotle powder – and lime juice. The fresh lime juice balances the heat from the chipotle powder. It’s seriously addictive!
Do I need to soak my cashews in water before blending?
I have no idea who initially invented the cashew queso recipe, but it first called to soak your cashews in water for several hours, up to overnight. This is to soften the cashews before blending. If you have a high powered blender with at least 900-watts, you do not need to soak your cashews.
My blender works just fine at 900-watts. A ninja professional blender (1000 watts), Blendtec (1380+ watts), Vitamix (1300+ watts); these will all work beautifully to make this chipotle cashew queso dip.
Whether you’re vegan or not, this Chipotle Cashew Dip is creamy and flavorful, and perfect for anyone. It’s (obvi) gluten-free and paleo approved. Technically, it’s whole30 compliant, but I am going to discourage you from making any kind of party dip while on a whole30. Make this #foodfreedom vegan dip post-whole30 after your mind is right.
This vegan cashew queso comes in at 5-carbs for a three-tablespoon serving.
We love to make this Chipotle Cashew Queso Dip for chips, for tacos and tostadas, and if I have extra, I’ll even stir in ground beef or turkey for taco salad meal prep. It’s also clearly perfect for a Cinco de Mayo celebration this weekend!
The recipe below calls for the juice of one fresh lime, 1 tablespoon of chipotle powder, and salt and pepper, to taste. Please blend with fresh lime juice, and chipotle spice. Blend with cashews and garlic, before adjusting to taste with salt and pepper. You can also add additional lime juice after initial blend. You do you.
recipes to pair with cashew queso dip:
chipotle cashew queso dip
- 1 cup cashews - raw, unsalted cashews suggested
- 1/2 cup water - plus 2 tbsp to thin, if needed
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
- salt and pepper - to taste
- To a blender, add cashews, water, garlic, juice of 1 lime and chipotle powder. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. If queso is too thick, pour in additional water to thin out, 1 tbsp at a time.
- Taste cashew queso and add salt and pepper, to taste. Add additional lime juice, chipotle powder and/or garlic, if desired.
- Can be made in advance and stored in a mason jar, refrigerated up to 5 days.
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