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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 (146)

(4.77 from 48 votes)
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peg4 days ago
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Would it work without the nutritional yeast?

Jenny R4 days ago
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This is amazing. I added some chopped jalapeños for additional spice and texture and it is delicious! I am so excited to have a true replacement for queso in my diet!

Wendy4 days ago
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Choose what does agree with you and use the same way as oatmeal!- worth a try! Just being adventurous is how we discover new things we love!

Dani4 days ago
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Anyone have a good substitute for oatmeal? I’m allergic

Kelly2 weeks ago
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My high speed blender will heat the sauce if blending for 5 minutes, so is it necessary to boil the water?

Tappi2 weeks ago
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This is really good. The closes to cheese I’ve found. I can’t stop dipping celery sticks in it.

Sarah Stopyra2 weeks ago
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Good recipe and a staple in my house now on Mexican food nights. A lighter cheese sauce option than the cashew varieties so we eat this up guilt free. I’ve made this several times with adjustments after the first time. I found the amount of red pepper to be far too much as listed in the recipe for my taste. Now I do a large piece or two only, not the whole jar. I also add some Mexican spices to taste- cumin, chili pepper and a dash of turmeric for color. A few Jarred jalepenos are also fabulous in this with a tablespoon or so of the brine thrown in as well.

Jan Cowger1 month ago
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Where do you find a 7 oz jar of roasted red peppers?

Amy V2 weeks ago
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Trader Joes.

Skye Gibbins1 month ago
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OOPS! I followed the recipe, but added a jar of peppers that turned out to be 12 oz. instead of 7 oz. A little more “liquidy” I guess, but still very tasty. I will put it on my black bean burger and then save some for rice, veggies, whatever. Very nice recipe. I did use WAY less Frank’s Hot Sauce, but I’m a delicate little flower (haha).

Danna1 month ago
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Did everything asked for but items are NOT getting thick. What can I do? I thought about adding more corn startch?? It tastes great but very runny.

Annamarie1 month ago
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High-speed blender plus boiling water should generate enough heat to cook and thicken the sauce. If your sauce is thin, try cooking it in a saucepan after blending, like white sauce: moderate heat, constant stirring.

Michael1 month ago
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I’ve been making a recipe very similar to this. I’ve had the “hard core” non vegan people swear that there was milk or cheese in this until I gave them the recipe and the made it. Great stuff!!!

Laurie Swain3 weeks ago
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Can you send me your recipe . I’m having trouble finding one that my family will like .
Laurie.swain1964@gmail.com. Thanks

Deanne1 month ago
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Usually they’re packed in water

Robyn windeatt1 month ago
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Can someone tell me what the roasted red peppers are packed in? Here in Australia they are usually packed in oil. The recipe says don’t drain red peppers which would make for a very high oil recipe

Toosca1 month ago
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I buy them in water from Woolworths or Coles. Don’t get them at the deli counter – everything is always in oil there – get a jar off the shelves in the vegetable sections

Judy1 month ago
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Maybe you would find them as pimentos.

Barbars1 month ago
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I buy them packed in water.

Kathleen Sherman2 months ago
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This stuff is absolutely amazing! I’ve made pant-based queso sauce before with raw cashews and although it was good, it wasn’t nearly as good as this – plus the cashews are much more caloric than rolled oats. It truly tastes like you just melted a block of cheese. My only question is how you came up with the color shown. Mine was a much darker color, almost like an orange red. Of course that was due to the roasted red peppers. Not sure how your color came out the way it did unless you used roasted orange peppers. Just curious. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

Char2 months ago
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What can the red pepper be substituted for?

Lina2 months ago
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By far my favourite vegan cheese like sauce, and my second favourite has 3/4 cup cashews per similar quantity, so happy to find a low fat version for more regular use. Kids loved it too, including one who hates peppers in any other form than raw.

Irene McDonald in Toronto2 months ago
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I just made this and was amazed at how good it is. Am going to have it on a large potato with sauted onions, mushrooms, red pepper stripes and steamed broccoli. I am so looking forward to supper tonight. I made it with only 1 cup water as I make way too much for 1 person.

St2 months ago
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Is the recipe missing a comma between 1 and 7, or is it a 17oz jar of roasted red peppers?

Peggy Lee2 months ago
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It’s one 7 ounce jar.

Jalfkin2 months ago
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Recipe calls for one 7 ounce jar of roasted red peppers…

Brenda Schnell2 months ago
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If you can get some Canadian measuring tools they generally have both measurements. We switched to metric while I was in school (long ago). And I use both. Does that make me bilingual?? Also if I need to convert ounces to ml as for canned goods I just ask Siri and she tells me. Canned goods are similarly sized enough that it doesn’t matter. But in all fairness a big company like FOK should be providing both to a world wide audience IMOP.

Lynn2 months ago
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What kind of hot pepper sauce do I use? I don’t know much about hot pepper sauce

Kathleen Sherman2 months ago
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I didn’t have hot sauce so I used Sriracha sauce and it turned out great.

Lori2 months ago
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I would use standard issue Tabasco for this recipe.

Theresa Preston2 months ago
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As much as you want?

Alejandrina Gonzalez3 months ago
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Finally found a recipe that didn’t require cashews, although I like them—but not in every recipe. One new favorite queso recipe just added!

Claudia4 months ago
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I tried this recipe for the first time – it was delicious! I made some mashed sweet potato and pour the vegan queso and it was delightful! Since this batch made a lot, I am going to use over veggies, rice, etc. Wonderful recipe!

Sue5 months ago
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Wow! I made this exactly per the recipe for the Super Bowl and it is delicious! Super creamy and great flavor. Definitely as good or better than any store bought queso, vegan or not.

Sam4 months ago
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Wow Sue! That sounds delicious. My mom was just telling me about this recipe, I’ll have to try it!

Marie-Louise5 months ago
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I live in Germany and have only found roasted red peppers in oil or vinegar (the vinegar made the queso very bitter). Are the roasted red peppers in this recipe in a brine or..?

Susan4 months ago
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They are in water. Could you roast some fresh red bell peppers? I would add them to the rest of the ingredients and after blending, add more water to get the right consistency.

Bonnie Bobbitt5 months ago
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I really like the flavor – quite different from the cheese sauces made from raw cashews (which I also like). I excluded the hot sauce, and it still had some tang from the roasted red peppers. Substituted arrowroot for the corn starch – the result wasn’t very thick, but it was pourable and worked.

Daniela Thom5 months ago
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A few tweaks and this also makes a lovely Béchamel Sauce for potatoes, steamed veggies, etc.
I followed all the steps the same, except I left out the peppers, vinegar and hot sauce and added one big clove of garlic, black pepper, a little nutmeg and an extra splash of nut milk instead – it’s fantastic! 🙂

Rachel2 months ago
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Great idea! TY for sharing!

RonaV2 months ago
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If you took things out then you didn’t follow exactly the same.. ha

Karen5 months ago
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Holy Hannah!! I like to go through the annual tradition of telling my husband that I am going to try a new cheeze recipe, he rolls his eyes, I try, he makes fun of me, we have a good laugh and then we have the annual “throw it in the bin” party. It’s like tradition! Well, happily that tradition came to an end tonight…I actually had to limit intake so we have something left for Super Bowl!! Thank you, thank you, a million thank yous!!

Karen5 months ago
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Okay, update, I couldn’t stay out of it. I warmed it up and poured it over baked sweet potato and steamed broccoli… OMG!!! It was JUST as good on day 2!

Della J. Vest5 months ago
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Oh, man! This is GENUINELY GOOD! Cheesy texture; tastes just like the “real” queso from the grocery store! 10/10, will make again! I personally can’t have too many oats, as I am allergic, but this works for my husband! I used the cider vinegar option, and Tabasco’s Chipotle hot sauce.

Kel5 months ago
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Great cheese sauce. I like a spicier and smokier cheese sauce, especially for chili or tortilla chips. I added some garlic and a bit more onion, as well as some guajillo chile and smoked paprika to bolster the flavor. It definitely hit the queso spot.

shinyam5 months ago
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I would drain the water from the jar of bell peppers as it’s full of salt. Best to add a pinch of salt instead. Not tried this yet but definitely will!

Megan6 months ago
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What can I use instead of oats? I have an allergy to them. Chickpea flour?

Andrew5 months ago
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Barley, millet, or wheat berries would all have the desired effect.

Jeanne Brown6 months ago
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How much boiling water?

Maryg5 months ago
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2 cups boiling water
Best. Sauce. Ever!

Catherine ODonoughue8 months ago
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Mine was thin however I was able to thicken it by cooking.

Suzanne4 months ago
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Really good. I was surprised. Very cheesy tasting. Going to put mine over broccoli.

Kate8 months ago
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Kind of don’t think you have to finely chop the onion if you’re gonna blend it for five minutes on high.

Coral8 months ago
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Wow! I’ve made this recipe a few times now. Just had to substitute tomato sauce for the roasted red peppers. Delicious!

Jessica G9 months ago
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This was great! A bit thin at first, but thickened with standing. I might add 1.75 c water or a touch more corn starch for next batch. We used ours as a crudité dip and with tortilla chips, beans and roasted veggies for football Sunday, and my usually picky, anti-veggie family gobbled it right up. Thank you! Will definitely make this again.

Su-Su10 months 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 Fitzpatrick11 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 🙂

JPcali11 months ago
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2 cups of boiling water added to the blender right before the final 5 minute blend 🙂

serene11 months ago
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I think that’s for when you reheat it after it’s been stored in the refrigerator.

Elizabeth Allen11 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 Riezebos11 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 Riezebos10 months ago
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Thanks for the explanation, I think I used to much red Bell pepers

Jeanne Rose11 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 Guillen11 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..

Lisa11 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.

Shari T3 weeks ago
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bring it to a boil over low heat; it will thicken right up

Marilyn5 months ago
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I am going to try adding less water. Someone suggested 1 3/4 c.

Dee Dee11 months ago
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How much boiling water? It is missing.

Wanda McCoy9 months ago
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How many total carbs? Thanks!

Sue11 months ago
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It says 2 cups in the written instructions.

Marchita Gilson11 months ago
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What are the nutritional factors such as protein, carbs, etc?

Steven, FOK Support11 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/

Colleen11 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.

Sandra10 months 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 Waugh11 months ago
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How many calories?

Steven, FOK Support11 months ago
Do you want to report this comment as inappropriate?

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/

Julianne12 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

Mia11 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.

Heather1 year 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!

CJ11 months ago
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Please don’t feed it to your dog, onions are toxic to dogs.

Cait1 year 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

sherbsville1 year 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(

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about the author

Shelli McConnell

Shelli McConnell graduated with a bachelor of science in consumer food science and a minor in journalism from Iowa State University. She began her career as a home economist in the Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen before moving into an editorial position within Meredith Corporation. She has since freelanced for 25 years and has served as an editorial project manager for many books and magazines, including three editions of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. She has also developed thousands of recipes for publications including Forks Over Knives magazine; Eat This, Not That!; Diabetic Living; Better Homes & Gardens; The Magnolia Journal; and more. Shelli loves to entertain and inspire, so when she’s not in her office, she’s usually in her kitchen.

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