Updated: Oct 3
The smokey, spicy, cheesy TEX-MEX staple, but VEGAN!
Growing up in California, I never had Queso like the kind you get in Texas, but my Texan girlfriend gave this Vegan Queso a thumbs up, so I feel like it's probably a winner!
This is a pretty easy cheese sauce to make, and to be honest, it's fairly close to my other cheese sauce recipe, but this time, we're gonna add a lot of spicy and smokey ingredients to elevate it beyond a mere cheese sauce. You can obviously use this as a dip, but I love adding it to dishes. I've had it with some refried beans, burgers, baked potatoes, broccoli, you name it! I'm pretty sure you can put queso on everything!
This Queso pairs well with Takis Fuegos too as you can see!
You can store this in the fridge and it should be good for 3 days or so. It might stay good longer, but it's never lasted that long in our house!
Regarding the plant milk, I've made this a few times, and I've found that different vegan cheeses will give you a different texture. So I recommend starting with 1 cup of plant milk and then after you melt your cheese, adding in some if needed until you get your desired consistency.
If you're using Ro-Tel or canned tomatoes, make sure you drain them too! Otherwise it'll be too much liquid!
It's also worth noting that I loosely based this off a recipe by Chef John at Foodwishes, but his is very much not vegan!
Here's a video for the Queso too!
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8 oz vegan cheese (grated)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp vegan butter
2 cloves garlic (minced)
3 green onions (sliced)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Dash of turmeric
1 tsp garlic salt
2 Tbsp diced chipotles in adobo
5 oz Ro-tel or canned fire roasted tomatoes (drained)
2 Tbsp jalapeño brine
2 Tbsp green chiles (Hatch if possible)
1-2 cups plant milk (unsweetened)
I highly suggest grating some blocks of cheese, but if you can't do that, then pre-grated cheese is fine too. Mix up your cheese and the cornstarch in a bowl and set aside.
In a pot over medium heat, melt your vegan butter.
Stir in the garlic and green onions and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add in the paprika, nutritional yeast, turmeric, and garlic salt and stir to combine. Cook for a minute
Then add in the diced chipotles, Ro-tel (or tomatoes), jalapeño brine, and green chiles, and stir to combine.
Next add in 1 cup of the plant milk, and stir to combine. Bring this to a boil, then lower the heat and add in your cheese.
Whisk the cheese until melted. If your queso is too thick, add in more milk a little a time and whisk in until you get your desired thickness. Likewise if your queso is too thin, you can make a cornstarch slurry to thicken. For a slurry, mix 2 parts cold water to 1 part cornstarch (so start with 2 Tbsp cold water and 1 Tbsp cornstarch. Stir to combine then whisk into your queso. The heat should activate the cornstarch to thicken).
Taste and adjust for seasoning.
The Cheese can be stored in the fridge for about 3 days but is best served right away.