Smokey Cashew Queso Dip | Nutrition Stripped
Eat Well Oct. 12. 2021
Flavor Factor

Vegan Smokey Cashew Queso Dip

Oct. 12. 2021
Flavor Factor
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

Spice up your next snack session with this delightfully-dippable Vegan Smokey Cashew Queso Dip!

It’s no secret at this point that we here at NS are big-time fans of snacking. We also believe that the best healthy snacks include recipes that not only taste delicious but also check some of the nutritional boxes. Using lightly toasted raw cashews and almond milk gives this Smokey Cashew Queso dip a boost of protein.

Finding substitutes for dairy isn’t always easy. Especially when it comes to mimicking the texture of a perfectly creamy cheese sauce. In our home, we’ve personally tried numerous store-bought options, most of which were packed with extra oil and preservatives.

By adding a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast, you get a big boost of B vitamins, while adding the perfect “cheesy” flavor. The real game-changer came from a recipe created by chef and author Kenji López-Alt where he uses a potato to improve texture. Once cooked, the natural starches from the potato give this dip a smooth “cheesy” texture, without the use of dairy. 



























Why Smokey Cashew Queso Dip is a Nourishing Snack Option

Whenever you make yourself a snack, we always say to include at least 2 elements of our Foundational Five system.

Our Foundational Five system is an easy way to know you have a nourishing and well-balanced meal, and it’s made up of five elements: protein, starchy carbohydrates, non-starchy carbohydrates, fat, and flavor factor.

By choosing two of those plus the flavor factor, you’ll always have a well-balanced snack that will give you the energy you need plus keep you satiated until your next meal.

The two main ingredients in this Vegan Smokey Cashew Queso Dip are cashews, which are a healthy source of fat and plant-based protein, and potatoes, which provide a starchy carbohydrate.

Cashews also contain minerals such as zinc, manganese, copper, and selenium, all of which are important for our immune system and overall health.

With a side of veggies for dipping, this cashew queso dip is a great option for a snack or alongside a meal.

What is the Foundational Five Flavor Factor? 

In case you’re new to the NS Community and the Mindful Nutrition Method, the Foundational Five system is part of how we teach you to build balanced meals. It makes it easy for you to give your body the nourishment you need while having the flexibility to enjoy the foods you love without stressing about food.

The Foundational Five is made up of five elements of nutrition including Protein, Fat, Non-starchy Carbohydrates, starchy & Sugary Carbohydrates, and the Flavor Factor (which brings vibrancy, deliciousness, and enjoyment to your meals). 

You can download our free guide that walks you through our Foundational Five system for creating balanced meals that you can use to meal prep or cook fresh this week!

The Recipe

Serves makes about 3 cups



1 cup raw cashews

1 medium-sized russet potato, peeled and thinly chopped

1 cup canned white beans (cannellini), rinsed

1 onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic

1 chipotle pepper packed in adobo, with 1 teaspoon of the sauce

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

2 tablespoons avocado oil

3/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

salt and pepper to taste

Top with more paprika, fresh jalapeno, and green onions for garnish


Here are some of our favorite ingredients that take this dip to the next level.

  • Chopped peppers and red onion
  • Diced avocado and tomatoes
  • Black beans
  • Crumbled tempeh
  • Fresh cilantro


Step 1

in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook until translucent and slightly browned on the edges, about 6 minutes.

Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, add cumin, paprika, and coriander and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds.

Step 2

Add cashews, potatoes, and chipotle adobo pepper (with sauce) and cook until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Add almond milk and water, and bring to a simmer.

Reduce heat to low, cover pan and simmer until potatoes and cashews are tender, about 10 minutes.

Step 3

Add contents of skillet to a Vitamix blender, add apple cider vinegar, beans, and nutritional yeast, and all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Add additional almond milk if necessary until the desired texture is achieved. Salt and pepper to taste.


Have Leftovers? Here’s What To Do With Them:

As always, store in an airtight glass container that we recommend from the NS Shop. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for 2 months.

Can’t wait to see you try it!

This recipe is heavily inspired and adapted from the vegan nacho cheese by Kenji López-Alt.

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