Truly amazing cashew queso sauce // Choosing Raw

Don’t you just love hyperbolic titles? Seriously, though. This sauce is incredible. A little sweet, a little spicy, a little sassy. It’s everything I crave in a dressing.

There was a time when I would have called dressings my culinary specialty; nowadays, I think to think that I’ve become a little more well rounded as a cook! Nevertheless, I think that a great dressing or sauce is pure magic; it can elevate a grain bowl or a salad or any sort of vegetable dish to new heights. As I was first getting into raw food, I remember how amazed I was to discover how versatile and creative and nutritious dressings could be, how excited I was to infuse them with all sorts of herbs and spices and superfoods. Since then, I’ve made it a weekend tradition to prepare at least two dressings that I love (usually one that’s creamy, like a tahini dressing, and one that’s closer to a vinaigrette) for the week ahead. And when I was writing my book, dressings were one of my main focuses. The 15 dressings, dips, and sauces I included are some of my faves.

So, too, is this cashew queso sauce. Nothing shocking, nothing new — there are plenty of cashew queso recipes out there. But, judging from how many folks asked me to post the recipe when I mentioned it on Instagram, it seems that there’s plenty of interest in another solid queso creation.

And this one is solid indeed. When I whipped this one up last weekend, I tasted it and thought, “this is perfect.” It’s not often that any recipe feels so immediately right. I hope you’ll agree.

Truly Amazing Cashew Queso Sauce // Choosing Raw

Truly Amazing Cashew Queso Sauce
Serves: 1½ - 2 cups

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 3 hours, drained, and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor or a high speed blender till smooth. If you use a food processor, stop frequently while blending to scrape the sides of the machine down. The queso sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 The queso sauce is a fabulous dip, a perfect topper for nachos, a great sauce to smother your burritos or tacos with, and it would be so awesome with my raw, vegan taco salad.  It’s also a tasty salad dressing, as evidenced by this recent lunch creation:

Truly Amazing Cashew Queso Sauce // Choosing Raw

A simple mix, mostly leftovers, like many of my work-from-home lunches. Leftover arugula salad from dinner the night before, leftover jicama and mango salsa, and a crumbled leftover veggie burger, based loosely on this recipe, but with some toasted and ground pecans thrown in. Tasty stuff.

Truly Amazing Cashew Queso Sauce // Choosing Raw

I hope you enjoy the long weekend — especially if you happen to have Monday off! Either way, I’ll return for weekend reading on Sunday, a ritual I so look forward to.