This vegan queso is cheesy, slightly tangy and spicy, and lusciously creamy with little bits of tomato and green chile mixed in. This recipe is crazy easy, quick to make, and tastes very realistic despite the lack of dairy. I think some of you may even be shocked once you find out what the main ingredients are! Like all of my recipes, this vegan salsa con queso is exceptionally flavorful, and I think you will love it.
Vegan Queso Base = Potatoes and Carrots
Idaho potatoes and carrots make up most of the base of this vegan salsa con queso! Now, if you’re vegan, that may not seem all that shocking. But, if you’re new to this scene, then a cheese dip made of potatoes and carrots probably sounds like something super, well, not normal, haha. You may be thinking, wow, vegans will use ANYTHING to try and replicate something non-vegan. To that, I say, you’re not wrong! We, vegans, have to get SUPER creative with food, but I think that is an amazing thing!
Why Potatoes and Carrots?
Potatoes have such a plain neutral flavor that I promise no one can detect that it is in this vegan queso. The potatoes help give the dip substance and make it nice and creamy in texture since it is a starch. The carrots also do not give off enough flavor to be noticeable. Instead, they give the dip a bit more creaminess, color, and a touch of sweetness.
The potatoes and carrots create the dip base, with the help of soy milk and vegetable oil. The milk gives the queso more substance and thins it out, while the oil does the same thing while also emulsifying all of the ingredients together. The oil creates a lovely creamy and voluminous scoopable texture.
Quick and Easy
All I do is cook the potatoes and carrots until tender, drain them off, and blend them with most of the dip ingredients. Some other key ingredients are soy milk and vegetable oil, as I previously mentioned. A few other vital components are nutritional yeast, pickled jalapenos, and its brine. The nutritional yeast is what mainly gives the dip its cheesy flavor, while the pickled jalapenos give it a nice tang and spiciness. A few traditional spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and ground cumin also amp up the dip’s flavor. I finish it by pulsing in chopped tomatoes, canned green chiles, and fresh cilantro for a bit of texture and more flavor.
One may think making plant-based queso would be challenging to make, but it’s so simple. My recipe doesn’t contain any crazy, funky ingredients, and it takes a small amount of time and effort.
If you think this dip looks delicious, then I highly recommend you check out my Easy Vegan Jalapeno Popper Dip! It is thick and creamy, super cheesy, and slightly spicy. This dip is fabulous because it’s speedy and easy to make, and it tastes incredible, eaten cold or hot!
*The queso in the photos versus the TikTok look different in color simply because of the lighting.
If you make my vegan salsa con queso, don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, tag me @chefsummerstorm, and #gardengrub so I can see your recreation!
How to Make Homemade Vegan Salsa Con Queso
- 1 cup idaho potato, peeled and cut into roughly 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup carrot, peeled and cut into roughly 2 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp plain, unsweetened soy milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable/canola oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp pickled jalapenos
- 1 tbsp pickled jalapeno brine
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt, plus a large pinch for seasoning cooking water
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp canned green chiles
- 1/2 cup roma tomatoes, small diced, plus more for garnishing
- 2 tbsp cilantro, small chopped, plus more for garnishing
- Add the largely chopped potatoes and carrots into a large saucepot. Cover them with at least two inches of water. Season the cooking water with a large pinch of kosher salt. Place this over high heat and bring it up to a boil. Boil them until they are fork-tender. It will take around 15 minutes from start to finish to cook them until tender.
- In the meantime, add the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT for the canned green chiles, diced tomatoes, and cilantro) into a high powered blender.
- Once the potatoes and carrots are fork-tender, drain off all of the water, and add them into the blender as well.
- Gradually turn the blender up to the highest speed and blend the ingredients until extremely smooth. You may need to scrape down the edges of the blender with a rubber spatula here and there.
- Once smooth, add in the canned chiles, chopped tomatoes, and cilantro. Pulse the blender on a low speed a few times just to combine everything. Alternatively, you could blend until smooth if you want the flavor and no bits of texture.
- Place the salsa con queso into a dish and top it off with a little more diced tomatoes, a pinch of chopped cilantro, and even more green chiles if you'd like! Serve with tortilla chips, and enjoy!
Welcome to my tip section of the vegan salsa con queso recipe! Here I provide my top tips to help you perfect the recipe. Sometimes, I also give substitute suggestions that I think you may find helpful.
- You can use plain, unsweetened almond or cashew milk in place of the soy milk. I choose to use soy milk because it has a more neutral flavor, but either of the other two kinds of milk works great too!
- Feel free to blend the entire queso recipe until super smooth. I enjoy the little bit of texture the tomatoes and green chiles give the dip, but I know some people may prefer to eat it with a completely smooth texture. So, go for it!