You’ll forget about cheese when you try this delicious dairy-free tomato queso dip. It’s purely plant-based, low-fat, gluten-fee, and soy-free, but it has a rich texture and full-bodied flavor. We like it as a star vegan dip with tortilla chips or baked zucchini fries, but you can also use it as a sauce on bowls or enchiladas. This recipe is intended for your crockpot, but it can also be cooked on the stovetop in minutes. I originally shared this recipe almost ten years ago, but just made it again and updated this post!
Plant-Based Tomato Queso Dip for Your Slow Cooker
I adapted this recipe from Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson. She’s the queen of easy vegan recipes (I think she has like 328 cookbooks or something), and this collection has 200 of them. Here is a quick rundown of the chapters / recipe types in Robin’s vegan crockpot arsenal.
- Chapter 1 Slow Cooker Basics
- Chapter 2 Snacks and Appetizers
- Chapter 3 Soups That Satisfy
- Chapter 4 Stews and Chili
- Chapter 5 Beans and Grains
- Chapter 6 Hearty Main Dishes
- Chapter 7 Simply Stuffed
- Chapter 8 Vegetable Love
- Chapter 9 Condiments from the Crock
- Chapter 10 Don’t Forget Dessert
- Chapter 11 Breakfast and Bread
- Chapter 12 Hot Drinks
Some of the recipes that immediately caught my eye in Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker included the Savory Mediterranean Cheesecake, Seven-Spice Cashews, Chipotle Corn Chowder, Slow Cooker Pho (vegan pho! I so want to try this), Creole-Style Jambalaya, Artichoke Risotto, Jerk Tempeh with Sweet Potatoes and Onions, Puttanesca Pizza, Just the Stuffing, Maple-Dijon Glazed Root Vegetables, Butternut Butter, and Chocolate–Peanut Butter Cheesecake.
I actually dog-earred all of the above mentioned recipes after I had already tried a recipe from this cookbook. I literally made it as far as the very first recipe when I said, “That looks easy and I have every ingredient on hand!” And off to the kitchen I went to make this dairy-free tomato queso dip …
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Tomato Queso Dip
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
- ¼ cup cashews
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained (Robin uses diced green chiles and less chili powder, but I only had plain diced tomatoes)
- ½ cup nutritional yeast (I use Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ tablespoon chili powder (mild, medium, or hot - your choice!)
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ to ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Grind the cashews in your spice grinder until powdered, about 30 seconds.
- Place the tomatoes with juice in your blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add the ground cashews, nutritional yeast, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and salt, and blend until smooth.
- Lightly oil the insert of the slow cooker or spray it with cooking spray, and transfer the queso mixture to the cooker.
- Stir in the water until well incorporated (use less for a thicker dip, you can add more later if it thickens too much).
- Cover and cook on Low, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours, or until the mixture is thick and hot. If the mixture isn’t thick after 2 hours, turn the setting to High, remove the lid, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes longer.
- When ready to serve, spoon about ⅓ cup of the queso into a small bowl, stir in the lemon juice, then stir the mixture back into the slow cooker.
- Taste, add pepper to taste, and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
Can You Freeze this Vegan Queso? Yes! It might separate when frozen and reheated, but simply place it in your blender and give it a quick blend.