fries on plate and small bowl of cheese sauce

Perfectly spicy, smoky, flavorful, and creamy cashew queso! Made quickly in a blender; perfect for meal prep, a party appetizer, or a sauce for your veggies at dinner!

It’s super versatile, easy to make, and made with a handful of wholesome ingredients. The secret ingredient (besides magical cashews)? A charred jalapeño! I had some jalapeños on hand to use up and decided to roast a couple, which gave me some inspo for this queso dip!

fries on plate and small bowl of cheese sauce

It’s got the perfect kick of heat, and the ultimate creamy texture.

Perfect for chips, fries, sweet potato fries, or even broccoli! You could serve this up in a dish as an appetizer, or just keep it in the fridge for the week to amp up your healthy meals!

I am all about a healthy dip/sauce in the kitchen. It takes any boring meal to the next level!

fries on plate and hand dipping fry in cheese sauce

It’s much easier to devour some veggies when you’ve got a spicy cheesy dip like this 😉

This queso dip is dairy free, paleo, and simple. It’s about to be a new staple! I love a slightly spicy sauce…and I’ve never met a cheese dip or sauce I didn’t like lol. SO good!!

fries on plate and hand dipping fry in cheese sauce

You’ll need a high speed blender or a food processor for this one to get the best texture results. You want to get the sauce as smooth as possible before serving to get that queso-like texture!

I foresee myself making this allll the time during football season with chips and crunchy veggies. But for now, I’m just over here dipping my sweet potato fries away!

I know you guys will love this one! I can’t wait to hear what you think, and how you use it!

If you make this, be sure to leave a rating below 🙂 It’s super helpful for me to keep the blog posts coming, and helpful for other readers as well! Thank you so much!

Enjoy! xo

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Spicy + Smokey Dairy Free Queso (vegan, paleo)

  • Author: Mia Zarlengo
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Sides


Easy vegan + paleo cashew queso! Spicy and smokey, with a kick from a roasted jalapeño! 


  • 1 cup of raw cashews, soaked in water overnight (or for at least 6 hours)
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/41/3 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • Dash of black pepper


  1. Soak cashews in filtered water for at least 6 hours. Drain and rinse cashews.
  2. Preheat oven to broil on high. Add your jalapeño to a baking dish, and broil for 4-7 minutes, until charred on both sides. Remove from oven and wrap in foil to steam for 4 minutes. Carefully remove skin, then slice off stem and remove all of the seeds.
  3. Add drained cashews, jalapeño, and remaining ingredients to a blender. Start with 1/4 cup filtered water, and add more as needed.
  4. Blend on high until super smooth and creamy.
  5. Serve immediately with chips or veggies, or store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 


If you would like to serve this warm, you can very gently heat it on the stove. Be careful not to overheat and scorch. 

Appetizers + Sides, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian


Jul 17, 2020

Spicy + Smokey Dairy Free Queso (vegan, paleo)

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to tag @gatherednutrition on INstagram so I can see what you made! Leaving a rating and review on the site is a huge help too!

  1. Jen says:

    My favorite Queso! So easy to make. I added a little leftover jarred marinara and it still came out amazing ????

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Simple. Attainable. Gathered Nutrition.