"Meaty" Cheddar Queso

In college I waited tables at popular casual dinning restaurant. Not naming names, but one of our jingles involved baby baby ribs, and customers thought it was hilarious to ask us to sing it. But hey, the job got me through college! One of our most popular appetizers was a chili queso dip in a skillet, and I probably ate my weight in this dip before I was vegan. I have not eaten that dip in forever, but I think of it often and knew I needed to try and create a vegan version. This one did not disappoint, and I can still eat my weight in it! You can use any store bought meatless crumble, vegan sausage, or you could even use your own vegan crumble recipe. I love to roll up warm flour tortillas and dip them into this cheesy, spicy, magic! It also makes a delicious enchilada or quesadilla filling!!

In college I waited tables at popular casual dinning restaurant. Not naming names, but one of our jingles involved baby baby ribs, and customers thought it was hilarious to ask us to sing it. But hey, the job got me through college! One of our most popular appetizers was a chili queso dip in a skillet, and I probably ate my weight in this dip before I was vegan. I have not eaten that dip in forever, but I think of it often and knew I needed to try and create a vegan version. This one did not disappoint, and I can still eat my weight in it! You can use any store bought meatless crumble, vegan sausage, or you could even use your own vegan crumble recipe. I love to roll up warm flour tortillas and dip them into this cheesy, spicy, magic! It also makes a delicious enchilada or quesadilla filling!!

INGREDIENTS:

Cashew Queso:

  • 1 bag of frozen spicy meatless crumbles or vegan sausage (we like Beyond Meat brand, but use your favorite)

  • 1 cup cashews soaked in hot water for one hour or microwaved for 3 minutes

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

  • 2 teaspoons of miso paste

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric

  • 1 - 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 1/4 cup of tapioca/corn starch or arrow root powder

  • 2 cups of water

  • 1 small can of chili peppers

  • a few shakes of favorite hot sauce

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add all ingredients except the, crumbles, chilis and hot sauce to a high speed blender or food processor.

  2. Process and blend on high until the mixture is completely smooth (no lumps at all).

  3. Transfer the mixture to a medium size pot and cook on medium heat, stirring with a whisk continually until the mixture thickens.

  4. Once the queso gets to a pudding like texture remove it from the heat and mix in the chilis and hot sauce.

  5. Heat the crumbles in a pan until cooked.

  6. In a baking dish or smalls cast iron skillet, combine the queso and cooked crumbles. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serve with chips, rolled tortillas, or veggies. Add to burritos or enchiladas. 

My favorite vegan cookbook is “Veganize It!” by Robin Robertson. I adapted her recipe for cashew “cheese” sauce and created this queso. If you omit the hot sauce and chiles, and meat you will be left with a very versatile cheddar “cheese” sauce.