Vegan Queso Cheese

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All vegan say they miss cheese. All vegetarians say that they can’t give up cheese. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but these are common sentiments. Well, let me provide all of you with something that will satisfy that craving…Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Cashew Queso! Flavorful, smooth and satisfying. Try it!

Vegan Queso Cheese (Cashew Cheese)

Source: Isa Chandra Moskowitz at Post Punk Kitchen

1 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours or overnight
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons white miso (yellow works too)
2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot

1 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced (keeps seeds and ribs if you want more heat)
3 cloves garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ancho pepper (or any mild ground red chili)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  1. Drain the cashews.
  2. In a blender or food processor, puree them with vegetable broth, miso and cornstarch until very smooth. This could take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes depending on your device. Rub between your fingers to test; slight graininess is okay, but try to get it as smooth as possible.
  3. In the meantime, preheat a 4 quart pot over medium heat.
  4. Saute onion, red pepper, and jalapeno in oil with 1/8 teaspoon salt until soft, about 7 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and saute about a minute more.
  6. Transfer vegetables to the blender where the cashew mixture is.
  7. Add cumin, ancho, nutritional yeast and salt. Blend again until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender with a spatula to make sure you get everything.
  8. Transfer mixture back to the pot. Whisking often, turn heat up to medium until the queso comes to a slow rolling boil.
  9. Lower heat so that it doesn’t burn and cook for about 20 minutes.
  10. Whisk often and check to see that it’s thickening, if it’s not, then turn the heat up a bit. It should become nicely thickened but smooth and pourable.
  11. Stir in the lemon juice at the end.
  12. If the queso seems too thick, drizzle in a little water and whisk to desired consistency.
  13. Taste for salt, spices and lemon juice and adjust as you like.
  14. Serve hot!