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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 3¼ cups

This vegan queso will fool even hard-core cheese-lovers. A high-speed blender produces the thickest, creamiest cheesy sauce. Try it in our Mac and Cheese with Roasted Veggies, whip up your own mac and cheese mix, pour it over a baked potato, or serve it as a dip for chips!

vegan queso sauce - up close photo of spoon full of orange creamy cheesy vegan queso sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup regular rolled oats
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 7-oz. jar roasted red peppers, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons bottled hot pepper sauce

Instructions

  1. Bring 2 cups water to boiling. Meanwhile, in a regular or high-speed blender place the first four ingredients (through salt). Pulse to combine. Add the next four ingredients (through hot sauce). Add the boiling water. Cover and blend on low until combined. Increase speed to high and blend 5 minutes. Sauce will thicken as it blends. Serve immediately.
  2. Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Reheat sauce in a saucepan over low, stirring in water as needed to reach desired consistency.

Comments (85)

(4.85 from 26 votes)
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Su-Su4 weeks ago
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I got this recipe originally from a “Forks Over Knives” magazine. My kiddo, who is very picky, loves it!

Leeanne Fitzpatrick2 months ago
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There isn’t any water in the recipe ingredients but the instructions mention adding water? Maybe a typo? Thanks for clarifying 🙂

JPcali1 month ago
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2 cups of boiling water added to the blender right before the final 5 minute blend 🙂

serene2 months ago
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I think that’s for when you reheat it after it’s been stored in the refrigerator.

Elizabeth Allen2 months ago
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Wow! Usually me making any kind of cheese sauce goes like this: make recipe, taste, throw away.

THIS is the game changer! Thank you!

Mieke Riezebos2 months ago
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Lovely, but my sauce was much darker. I used red bell roasted peppers. Is that the same what you used? I live in the Netherlands. So sometimes the translation is difficult. Also oz, never heard of it.
But thank you fot these free recipes, really I love your site ❤️

Mieke Riezebos2 weeks ago
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Thanks for the explanation, I think I used to much red Bell pepers

Jeanne Rose2 months ago
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Mieke, oz is the abbreviation for ounces in the US. There are 8 ounces in one cup. The jar of roasted red peppers would be slightly less than one cup or 8 ounces. I hope this helps.

Gloria Guillen2 months ago
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I just made a double batch and I used it on my steamed veggies and potatoes and it is awesome…can I freeze some..

Lisa2 months ago
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Tasted good, but was too thin. Any suggestions to thicken it up for the second day? I’d like to add it to some pasta.

Dee Dee2 months ago
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How much boiling water? It is missing.

Wanda McCoy5 days ago
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How many total carbs? Thanks!

Sue2 months ago
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It says 2 cups in the written instructions.

Marchita Gilson2 months ago
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What are the nutritional factors such as protein, carbs, etc?

Steven, FOK Support2 months ago
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Hi Marchita, we have not included calorie/nutrition information in our recipes to avoid encouraging nutrient tallying and calorie counting, which can create more problems than they solve. With a whole-food, plant-based diet, it’s recommended to eat until comfortably satiated instead of counting calories. The higher water and fiber content of whole plant-based foods allows our bodies to more accurately gauge how much food we need to eat.

If your condition requires you to know specific nutrient information, we recommend entering our recipes into online nutritional software, like Cronometer or MyFitnessPal.

You may find Jeff Novick’s “The Caloric Density Approach to Nutrition and Lifelong Weight Management” article helpful: http://www.forksoverknives.com/the-calorie-density-approach-to-nutrition-and-lifelong-weight-management/

Colleen2 months ago
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This is the one I have been used for awhile, I believe Jill McKeever came up with the original recipe.

Sandra3 weeks ago
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You were close. Jill McKeever stated in her video that she got the recipe from Dr. McDougall and adapted it. It is a very tasty recipe!

Stephanie Waugh2 months ago
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How many calories?

Steven, FOK Support2 months ago
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Hi Stephanie, we have not included calorie/nutrition information in our recipes to avoid encouraging nutrient tallying and calorie counting, which can create more problems than they solve. With a whole-food, plant-based diet, it’s recommended to eat until comfortably satiated instead of counting calories. The higher water and fiber content of whole plant-based foods allows our bodies to more accurately gauge how much food we need to eat.

If your condition requires you to know specific nutrient information, we recommend entering our recipes into online nutritional software, like Cronometer or MyFitnessPal.

You may find Jeff Novick’s “The Caloric Density Approach to Nutrition and Lifelong Weight Management” article helpful: http://www.forksoverknives.com/the-calorie-density-approach-to-nutrition-and-lifelong-weight-management/

Julianne2 months ago
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Wow! Always on a cheese replacement quest sine I became vegan. This satisfies my nacho-taco quest cravings! So good!!!! Lol my dog loves it too

Mia2 months ago
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Please be mindful that dogs cannot eat onion. Its terrible for their blood, its a cumulative allergy, no shaming just informing.

Heather3 months ago
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Wow! Delicious. We love our dairy. Our whole family loved it! I finally found a plant based recipe EVERYONE will eat. Thank you FOK!

CJ2 months ago
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Please don’t feed it to your dog, onions are toxic to dogs.

Cait3 months ago
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Would it make a huge difference to omit the onion :)? I cannot eat onion but I’m wondering if it will impact it drastically consistency-wise

Thanks for the recipe xo

sherbsville3 months ago
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itd be amazing if ppl could leave comments that arent just attacking other ppl and countries over prefered systems of measurements :o(

Keshia Nicewander3 months ago
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Just a suggestion to people asking for metric, another option would be to measure it out how the recipe has it and use your scale to estimate measurements for a future time you make it. I do this with recipes, we aren’t baking in this recipe so weight isn’t AS important. This recipe, if you use what is basically given, can be adjusted to taste preference. I don’t use as much water because I don’t want it very watery, I like more of a “queso from the jar” texture.

Since I keep track of all my recipes in an app, I just measure as I go when using cups and other measurements.

Best

Keshia Nicewander2 months ago
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Hello, I use LoseIt. Works very well for me. I make “Recipes” on their and use them frequently to recreate prior meals.

Edie2 months ago
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Could you share the name of the app you use to track recipes? Thank you in advance

Mike Bishop3 months ago
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Hi there! Love this recipe, and want to continue making it as consistently as possible. In the future, would you consider including your recipes a weight-in-grams & the metric system conversion? I often try and use a conversion method, but it would feel reassuring coming from directly from the source. Cooking by weight has created such a consistent outcome for me!

No matter what, thank you so much for these free recipes! Working to maintain a whole-foods, plant-based diet has been life-changing for me, and recipes like this are a big help along the way.

Steven, FOK Support2 months ago
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Thank you for your comment, Mike! Your message has been received by the team 🙂 So glad you know you’re enjoying the free WFPB recipes!

Traclyn Barrett3 months ago
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I add a squeeze of lemon to give it some tang.

Andromeda3 months ago
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Please provide metric units for all recipes.

I’m an American but the metric system is so much easier to work — it feels like going backwards to deal with the imperial system again.

Metric units applies to everyone in the world so your traffic can only increase.

For those who are ignorant of the metric system and its benefits — literally try it.

You won’t want to go back because it makes no sense to continue with imperial measurements. It makes clean up so much easier. You don’t dirty as many dishes and utensils. And, because you weigh your ingredients — there’s never any ambiguity as with volumetric measuring.

Finally, for those Americans with a misguided allegiance to the imperial system: I hate to let you down hard but it’s British. It’s literally a British invention. It’s not American. Maybe learn to let go of a system that was never American to begin with.

EH4 weeks ago
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Despite the criticism of the criticism stated above the point about increasing traffic and making the recipes more accessible to a wider international audience is a good one. Most people from ‘metric countries’ are mystified by gallons, quarts, pints, pounds, ounces, cups, tablespoons and teaspoons and their respective fractions. It requires a lot of research to find out what is what and what is how much. Some of the measures of capacity can even convert into different metric measurements depending where you look them up (US and Imperial systems differ). If you’re not familiar with these units you’re sometimes not even sure whether you’re supposed to measure volume or weight (it’s a problem I have with ounces especially). Decades ago when I visited the US I bought a set of measuring cups and spoons. If i didn’t have those, I probably wouldn’t even attempt many of the recipes.

Sandra1 month ago
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I don’t care whether it’s American or British, whether I’m misguided or not, that’s what I use, I like it, and prefer it, has always worked for me. You do your thing and I’ll do mine, and see no need to criticize others for their preferences.

Steven, FOK Support2 months ago
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Thank you for your comment, Andromeda! It has been received by the team.

Peg3 months ago
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What could we sub for the nutritional yeast?

Jamaal Richardson3 months ago
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Just leave the nutritional yeast out or substitute with a variety of other spices.

Tess4 months ago
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This is the best I have ever made. It can be used for so many dishes. The whole family just loves it.

Danielle Feiger4 months ago
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Hi – Metric units too please. The USA isn’t the only country!

Scott3 months ago
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I often find recipes on non US sights that provide measurements in the metric system. I would never demand the author use another measurement system. I appreciate all the work the author did to create the recipe. It is minimal effort on my part to convert the measurements to another measurement system. We should be thankful these recipes are for us all to share no matter the measuring system because they measure up to a great plant based meal!

Ash3 months ago
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You can easily convert the units using Google. I believe forks over knives is based in the US, which would explain the method used.

Melissa4 months ago
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Try this

James4 months ago
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You can swap out cornstarch for Xanthan gum if you prefer. Xanthan is great because it doesn’t require heat to thicken. Also Agar-Agar can be used if you want a firmer cheese that you can pour into a bread pan or similar and then refrigerate. You can then slice it for “cheddar cheese slices”.

Kelly4 months ago
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This has become my go-to cheese sauce on the grounds it’s super easy to make. I don’t have to peel anything, the only thing I have to boil is water, and I have most of the ingredients on-hand and the ones I don’t are cheap to purchase. I do swap out the chopped onion for 2 tsp of onion powder to make it even easier on me. I will either measure out the roasted red pepper on a scale to get about 7 oz or I’ll just used a drained 10 to 12 oz jar.

This doesn’t taste anything like queso though! It reminds me more of Cheeze-Its (or at least vegan versions of them) than queso. It doesn’t make it any less delicious!

I’ve put it on pasta, chili, numerous rice dishes, and fries.

I’ve found it heats up the best when I can drizzle it on something and then just zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. For most dishes I can do that, but for pasta, I’m better off using it when it’s fresh or just slowly heating it up and stirring frequently.

Highly recommend!!

Irene Raymond4 months ago
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It’s great!!! It is eaten every day at our house! I’m hoping James can let us know how much agar-agar he used.

Lee Ellman5 months ago
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The best cheese sauce we have found since going vegan, bar none. I like that it does not have coconut milk, which I don’t mind but for the extra calories,. My substitution was to fire roast a red pepper, medium to large size, over the burner and put it in a covered bowl to steam. Remove the char and seeds and use the whole pepper and whatever liquids came from it. One less bottle to recycle.Poured over white beans sauteed with onions and garlic for “Cheesey Beans” enjoyed by the whole family

Patricia Sullivan5 months ago
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Please don’t convert to the metric system. Keep the current system of measurement. I live in the United States and do not plan to leave the country.

Mike Bishop3 months ago
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Why couldn’t they just include both?

Amanda4 months ago
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Yes please FOK include the metric units as well so that everyone around the world can follow the recipes just that little bit easier. This is a global website Patricia, not just created for Americans and it’s pretty weird to demand that they don’t do it because you won’t be leaving the USA anytime soon. Extremely selfish.

Frances5 months ago
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My daughter has to stay away from nightshades (ie peppers, cayenne, chili, etc), are there any suggestions on what I could replace the red peppers with? I will try to replace the hot pepper sauce with ginger but I’m not sure about the red peppers. I could add a little liquid smoke and maybe some zucchini as the replacement has anyone tried modifying to account for nightshade free?

deborah5 months ago
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i love this cheese sauce.. i will be making it often.. i am so glad it freezes well… thank-you.. oh by the way i added white beans to mine.. it is so creamy!!!

Becki Henderson5 months ago
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Someone asked if they could freeze this. Yes, I have successfully frozen batches of it and reheated it. However, it does get thicker when reheated, so you’ll have to adjust it with water.

Sue5 months ago
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Looks delicious! Could I use a different thickener than cornstarch?

VeggieTater3 months ago
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Potato or tapioca starch should work and make it kind of stretchy like melted cheese.

Jill4 months ago
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I use arrowroot and have never had an issue

Pd Ford5 months ago
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This was so easy and very tasty I just made mushroom spinach chimichangas in my air fryer and didn’t even miss the dairy or oil. I will be thinking of ways to use this all week!

Angel5 months ago
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I always use arrowroot powder. Same amount as called for for cornstarch.

Carolyn5 months ago
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This was great. It makes a lot, so I added it to everything for a week! It’s a yummy, not-too-fattening way to add extra flavor. Even without onion, it was awesome.

ALISON JOY STURDY5 months ago
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I love the colour and texture and it tastes great. Thank you from Spain.

Susan5 months ago
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This is the best!
Just made this, using 11.5 oz jar of peppers, with about 4 ounces pepper removed, used all the liquid. (I’m in Canada). I used my food processer.
It seemed too runny, but as it cooled, thickened up.
I added 1 tsp.siracha sauce.
Would give 6 stars if I could! Great cold too.

Paula5 months ago
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Is this one 7 oz jar of roasted red peppers or a 17 oz jar?

Susan5 months ago
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Paula, I think 17 oz.would be way too much.
I wondered about that too..
It’s a forgiving recipe, I just removed 1/2 a pepper, from an 11.5 oz. jar , went with that.
Worked out fine.

Wes5 months ago
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I made this using my immersion blender in a quart jar, barely big enough, I had to add the last half cup of water after blending it. I heated it for a minute or two in the microwave to thicken it more, maybe a mistake since it is getting thicker as it cools. I am contemplating toasting some tortillas to have nachos for breakfast.

heather5 months ago
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Wondering if you have a calorie/nutritional breakdown for this recipe?
I would dearly love to have that.

Wes5 months ago
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Just adding up the calories of the ingredients, the whole recipe is less than 600 calories.

Ruth H.5 months ago
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This is my go-to cheez sauce. Its quick and easy to whip up and makes a lot. I add cayenne pepper for more heat and queso flavor. It makes AWESOME Mac and Cheese!

Rosebud5 months ago
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I too would like to have the FOK recipes in both Metric and Imperial measurements. PLEASE!
I find metric much easier to work with. And I’m in the US.
Thank you.

Steven, FOK Support2 months ago
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Thank you for your comment, Rosebud! It has been received by the team.

Kathryn Odell3 months ago
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I totally agree! I live in the US, and prefer metric measurements!

Ellen5 months ago
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This sauce is so delightful I want to make a huge batch to freeze and/or can to have available at my beckon call. Does anyone know if either of these methods work?

Annette5 months ago
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HI, I have a converter app on my computer that I downloaded. I plug in the numbers either as I go about making the recipe… OR I convert the entire group of recipes and write then down to follow.

VeggieTater5 months ago
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I like to use miso in place of salt for more umami flavor, but this is a great guilt free sauce! Add in a spoonful of salsa for a southwestern nacho cheese sauce to use on tacos and whatever!

Dawna Lane5 months ago
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Great idea! Thanks for sharing

Naomi5 months ago
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Is there an alternative to the nutritional yeast if you can’t have yeast!?

Polly Warmuth5 months ago
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Do you need to use a dry ingredients blade when you first put the oats in the high speed blender or does it blend ok when you add the other ingredients and water?

Laurie5 months ago
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I never use my dry ingredient Vitamix container. I think my regular works better at making flours out of oats, etc.

Andy from Scotland5 months ago
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Dear FOK, I realise that you are based in the US and as such use the old imperial system of measurement. But the rest of the world uses metric (save I think for Liberia and Myanmar). Could you therefor also post metric measurements too?

LJ Grant5 months ago
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I would love measurements in metric! I have lived in the US for my entire life and it’s so much easier… just like 100 pennies to a USD, one hundred of any metric unit gets you to “the next size up.” 😀

I’m not sure if any of us know why the Imperial is still in use…? I’d love to know why, myself.

Stans S.5 months ago
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Metric is much easier and I convert all my recipes to grams. Cooking by weight is so much easier and more accurate than cooking by volume, which the US does! Fewer dirty dishes too, as you can zero the scale after each ingredient added.

Rosebud5 months ago
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I too would like to see a Recipes in both imperial and metric. I find metric much easier to work with, otherwise my end product is never the same.
Thank you, I look forward to having both imperial and metric measurements for your recipes.
And I am in the United States.

Sylvia Ball5 months ago
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What else could you use besides hot pepper sauce??

Ruth H.5 months ago
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Cayenne pepper. Just be careful and don’t add too much.

Shana5 months ago
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I now make this sauce weekly. I use it on tacos, nachos, taco salads, steamed veg and baked potatoes. It’s embarrassing how much of it I actually consume. It’s so delicious!! And I’ve never actually liked the “normal” queso.

Suzie5 months ago
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this is amazing

D5 months ago
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I have made this using a food processor, and although it does not come out as smooth in texture, it is delicious!

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