Dairy-Free Queso (Plant-Based)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
There are many vegan and dairy-free cheese sauce and queso recipes, but most have nuts and/or oil. This one has neither—instead, it has pumpkin seeds, which gave it its name! Plus, it’s made straight in the blender. It’s rich and flavorful, and will for sure become a keeper.
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
  • 1¼ cups plain unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage, divided
  • 1 cup cooked red or Yukon Gold potato flesh, cooled
  • ⅓ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped carrot
  • 2½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons canned coconut milk (see Coconut Milk note below)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 medium-large garlic clove
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon mild chili powder, to taste
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
Add-Ins for Heat (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons brine from jar of jalapeños or 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped jarred jalapeños (see Jalapeño Note below)
  • Few pinches crushed red pepper
  • Few splashes chipotle hot sauce or other hot sauce
Toppings (optional)
  • Your favorite salsa or pico de gallo
  • Sliced fresh jalapeños
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  1. Pour about half of the milk beverage into your high-speed blender (see Blender Note below for standard blender). Add the potato, pumpkin seeds, bell pepper, carrot, lime juice, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, garlic, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and cumin seeds to your blender. Puree, and as the mixture becomes smooth, pour in the remaining milk beverage. Puree for a couple of minutes, to heat through (use the “soup” feature on your blender if you have one).
  2. Taste, and season the queso with more salt and/or more chili powder, and blend in any optional add-ins, as desired.
  3. Serve the queso with any optional toppings, if desired.
Coconut Milk Note: Choose thick canned coconut milk; it need not be refrigerated. If you don’t have coconut milk on hand, use more plain dairy-free milk beverage.
Jalapeño Note: If you’re adding jalapeño brine, you can blend it with the other ingredients. Stir in the chopped jalapeños after blending.
Blender Note: If using a standard blender, puree the mixture until very smooth, then transfer it to a saucepan. Heat the queso over low to medium-low heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until the mixture begins to slowly bubble and thicken, stirring frequently as it thickens to prevent scorching

This recipe is reprinted with permissions from Dreena's Kind Kitchen by Dreena Burton.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙ recipe Calories: 90 Fat: 5.7g Saturated fat: 1.8g Carbohydrates: 7.6g Sugar: 1g Sodium: 204mg Fiber: 2.1g Protein: 4.2g
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at https://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/plant-based-dairy-free-queso