Local Flavor: Vegan Queso

A ”cheesy” treat just in time for tailgating
vegan queso dip
Vegan queso photograph courtesy of Lexi Harrison

The mother-daughter team behind the recipe development site Crowded Kitchen cooks up plant-based dishes starring ingredients from local makers. With football season well underway, this cashew-based vegan queso is just the dip for all your tailgating party needs. Enjoy with a bag of 313 Urban Tortilla Chips ($4.50, plummarket.com.) 


2 cups cashews

1/2 -3/4 cup water

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. agave nectar

1/2 tsp. paprika

(smoked or sweet)

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/4 tsp. black pepper

2 chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, plus 1-3 tsp. of Adobo sauce

313 Urban Chips for serving


Soak cashews in a bowl of room-temperature water for approximately 2-3 hours. Then, drain and rinse well.

Add the soaked cashews to blender with a cup of water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, agave syrup, paprika, cumin, turmeric, and black pepper. Blend until everything is smooth and creamy. The mixture may take up to 90 seconds to reach an even consistency. Add the chipotle peppers and continue blending until the mixture takes on a reddish-golden tint.

Taste and drop anywhere between 1-3 teaspoons of Adobo sauce to achieve your desired spice level.

If needed, add between 1-4 more tablespoons of water, for your ideal consistency.

Serve with 313 Urban Chips and enjoy. 

For more recipes from Harrison and Sinclair, visit crowdedkitchen.com.

Content provided for Hour Detroit’s ongoing Local Flavor series is not influenced by Harrison and Sinclair’s business partnerships with local brands.