What started as a quest to find a yummy vegan queso recipe for nachos led to a whole new recipe that can be a dip (with half the calories of hummus), a soup, and a sauce for pasta. I’ve even added it to scrambled eggs with great results. What does one call such a recipe? We’re not sure, but it’s delicious and easy to make. We’re going with Cauliflower Queso as the name!

This recipe is mainly made up of cauliflower and cashews with a heavy dose of spices and add-ins, and it makes quite a bit (11 cups!), but you can freeze it easily. You’ll need a high-powered blender to get the smooth results I recommend, but other than the ingredients, a large pan, and then a large pot, that’s all the equipment you’ll need.

This one basic recipe will allow you to make: a vegan/plant-based “queso,” cauliflower soup, and a pasta sauce.

Vegan Queso

This recipe was inspired by several different “vegan queso” recipes that really don’t taste anything like queso. But, it is delicious with chips, pico, and jalapenos, so it can be served very much that way. Pour it on nachos, yes, delicious, but, calling it queso is a bit of a stretch. Knowing it has half the calories of hummus makes it even more appealing.

cauliflower cashew soup

I eat this as a soup, and it’s easy to make. I simply thin out the dip/sauce to be 2/3 plus 1/3 water. If you aren’t vegan/vegetarian, you could make this whole thing with chicken stock for even more flavor. You can have a 12 oz serving of soup for under 200 calories, and it’s quite filling.

Vegan lasagna

Instead of marinara and ricotta, I used this recipe as a sauce to make gluten-free, vegan lasagna. Barilla makes gluten-free lasagna noodles that you can bake, and I get mine at Kroger in the pasta aisle. This also has some vegan mozzarella cheese on top. I’m not a fan of vegan cheese but heated in this way, it’s actually pretty good! Simply layer this “cauliflower queso” with a mixture of vegetables (I used zucchini, onion, shitake mushrooms, and tomatoes). Make three layers and cook in the oven at 425 degrees, covered in foil, for 40 minutes. Then, remove the foil and cook for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Vegan pasta with impossible burger ground beef.

My family LOVES this. This is made with gluten-free pasta (I prefer the Pasta Joy brown rice spirals pasta), this cauliflower “queso” sauce, black beans, pico, Impossible Burger vegan ground “beef,” chopped fresh spinach, and cilantro.

Cauliflower scrambled eggs

Since I’m not vegan, and just eat a lot of vegan food, I also want you to know that this sauce is so tasty in scrambled eggs! If you’ve ever added ricotta cheese to scrambled eggs while they are cooking, it’s kind of the same thing with yummy results.

This recipe does not take too long to make, but you will get a few things dirty: pot, pan, cutting board, blender. And, you’ll need to have some storage containers on hand as this recipe makes a lot: 11-12 cups.

Cauliflower Vegan Dip/Soup/Sauce

This can be used as a soup, as a dip, or as a sauce. The flavors pair well with southwestern flavors, which is why there are a few similar variations out there calling this type of thing a "vegan queso." While I wouldn't call it queso, it does taste mighty fine on nachos and tacos!
2.4 from 15 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Soup, Dip, Sauce
Cuisine TexMex
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 yellow onion cut up
  • 1 fresh jalapeno cut up
  • 3 garlic cloves cut up
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 40 oz riced cauliflower (Green Giant makes a large 40 oz bag of frozen Riced Cauliflower)
  • 1.5 cups raw cashews
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white miso
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup Simple Truth Organic™ Gluten Free Non-Dairy Sour Cream (You can find this at Kroger)

Instructions
 

Sautee with olive oil the cut-up onion, jalapeno, and garlic until soft, about 5-6 minutes.

  • Transfer cooked vegetables to a large stockpot and add all ingredients except the vegan sour cream. Bring to a soft boil for 20 minutes.
  • Work with two batches to blend in a high-powered blender. For each batch, add 1/2 cup of Simple Truth vegan sour cream (available at Kroger). Blend on low for 3 minutes and then on high for 7 more minutes. This provides a really creamy sauce.
  • To make this into a soup, use 2/3 portion of this sauce and 1/3 water (or broth).
  • To use this as a dip, serve with chips and top with pico, fresh jalapenos, and finishing salt.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup
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Cauliflower Vegan Queso

This photo shows while blending for 10 minutes is so important! The image on the left is after blending for 90 seconds; the one in the middle is after blending for 5 minutes; the one on the right is after blending for the full 10 minutes.

If you are interested in more plant-based recipes, check out: Two Easy Vegan Recipes We Recommend.

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