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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!

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 (166)

(4.79 from 57 votes)
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Pamela4 weeks ago
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Made this and then added some of my home made salsa making it a fabulous queso! Served it to my carnivorous friend (with store made tortilla chips as he won’t eat my oil free baked chips) without telling him it was vegan. He would have turned up his nose if I had. He loved it. After he had gobbled down quite a few chips, I told him the queso dip would not hurt his heart as it was vegan. He was shocked. I then encouraged him to try one of my baked corn chips which he did. Shook his head and said no, not good. Grabbed some more store bought tortilla chips and continued chowing down this dip. Baby steps.

Michele2 months ago
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Can arrowroot be subbed for cornstarch?

Sue Buling2 months ago
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Holy Cow this is good! I think I cried a little. My husband said, “Wait. This isn’t real cheese??” One question, mine didn’t thicken very much. Is there a way to thicken to dip consistency?

Tammy T2 months ago
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I made this queso tonight and had friends over who aren’t plant based. They loved it as much as I did.

Judy2 months ago
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Mine sure did thicken. Are you using a high-speed blender and blending it for 5 minutes? My blender (Ninja) turns itself off after a little bit; I have to set a timer for 5 minutes and turn the blender back on when it goes off. This sauce is highly approved by my picky husband.

Marie H3 months ago
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Holy cow, outstanding! No peeling potatoes and carrots and no expensive cashews but a superior taste to every other vegan queso I’ve ever had. I only used 1/2 tsp of the hot sauce because I figured I could add more if needed when done but like other people, I added a few slices (and a smidge of brine) from jarred jalapenos.

Veronica West3 months ago
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Amazing! So happy to have a “cheese” sauce that is compliant with a whole food plant based diet AND taste fantastic!
Thank you FOK!

Maret4 months ago
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I was fully expecting this to be ‘meh’, but I just made this and can’t stop eating it by the spoonful right out of the blender and saying “NO WAY!” To me, it tastes just like any spicy queso I’ve had at restaurants. I’m so excited to have the hubby try it when he gets home. I only used 1 teaspoon of tabasco for the hot sauce and it’s pretty spicy. Love it!

Marilyn4 months ago
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Is it safe to add boiling water to a blender?

Sharon4 months ago
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I wondered that myself, but it seemed to go OK since I was adding it to other ingredients that were already cool.

Diane5 months ago
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I am a former vegetarian/vegan and have never tried vegan queso before. I have nothing else to compare it to so it wasn’t bad! I look forward to incorporating more plants into my families’ meals.

Dorothy M.5 months ago
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This is definitely a keeper! Far superior to the MANY cashew based versions of queso I’ve tried. I read all the reviews first, and added a little garlic and few sliced jalapeños with their brine. The result was very much like a nacho sauce, which totally works for me! Can’t wait to try this over veggies and potatoes!

Shirley Hershberger5 months ago
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Great recipe! Did not have roasted red peppers so added little extra hot water and red peppers. After blended put in 1 Cup silken tofu and 2 tes. taco seasoning and blended till smooth. It was great on our taco’s and Enchilada’s.

peg5 months ago
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Would it work without the nutritional yeast?

Amy3 months ago
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Not if you want the cheesy flavor

Jenny R5 months 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!

Wendy5 months 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!

Dani5 months ago
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Anyone have a good substitute for oatmeal? I’m allergic

Jill4 months ago
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You can add a boiled potato, plus 1 small boiled onion, and 1 small boiled carrot. Comes out really good too. You probably would not need the cornstarch though.

Kelly6 months 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?

Lisa4 months ago
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No it’s not. This is basically “Jill’s game changer cheese sauce” which I have been making for years in my Vitamix. I even use frozen roasted red peppers (homemade), and the cheese sauce is smoking hot after 5 minutes.

Maryse5 months ago
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You can try blending all ingredients together until a smooth texture than heat the sauce on the stove top to thicken it. That’s how I do it with another recipe.

Tappi6 months 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 Stopyra6 months 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 Cowger6 months ago
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Where do you find a 7 oz jar of roasted red peppers?

Amy V6 months ago
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Trader Joes.

Skye Gibbins7 months 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).

Danna7 months 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.

Diane5 months ago
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It took me a while but eventually it will get thick. I was amazed at how it all came together!

Annamarie7 months 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.

Michael7 months 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 Swain6 months ago
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Can you send me your recipe . I’m having trouble finding one that my family will like .
[email protected]. Thanks

Deanne7 months ago
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Usually they’re packed in water

Robyn windeatt7 months 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

Toosca7 months 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

Judy7 months ago
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Maybe you would find them as pimentos.

Barbars7 months ago
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I buy them packed in water.

Kathleen Sherman7 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.

Char7 months ago
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What can the red pepper be substituted for?

Lina7 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 Toronto7 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.

St7 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 Lee7 months ago
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It’s one 7 ounce jar.

Jalfkin7 months ago
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Recipe calls for one 7 ounce jar of roasted red peppers…

Brenda Schnell7 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.

Lynn7 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 Sherman7 months ago
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I didn’t have hot sauce so I used Sriracha sauce and it turned out great.

Lori7 months ago
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I would use standard issue Tabasco for this recipe.

Theresa Preston7 months ago
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As much as you want?

Alejandrina Gonzalez8 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!

Claudia9 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!

Sue10 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.

Sam10 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-Louise10 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..?

Jenene1 month ago
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Hi Marie-Louise, I recently moved to Germany from the US. I found the brand Freshona of Paprika-Schoten gegrillt at Edeka. These would definitely work in this recipe.

Sue Buling2 months ago
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I used Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Red Peppers. They are in water and vinegar and the recipe wasn’t bitter at all.

Susan9 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 Bobbitt10 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 Thom10 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! 🙂

Rachel7 months ago
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Great idea! TY for sharing!

RonaV8 months ago
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If you took things out then you didn’t follow exactly the same.. ha

Karen10 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!!

Karen10 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. Vest10 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.

Kel10 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.

shinyam11 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!

Megan11 months ago
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What can I use instead of oats? I have an allergy to them. Chickpea flour?

Andrew10 months ago
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Barley, millet, or wheat berries would all have the desired effect.

Jeanne Brown11 months ago
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How much boiling water?

Maryg11 months ago
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2 cups boiling water
Best. Sauce. Ever!

Catherine ODonoughue1 year ago
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Mine was thin however I was able to thicken it by cooking.

Suzanne10 months ago
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Really good. I was surprised. Very cheesy tasting. Going to put mine over broccoli.

Kate1 year 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.

Coral1 year 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 G1 year 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-Su1 year 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 Fitzpatrick1 year 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 year ago
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2 cups of boiling water added to the blender right before the final 5 minute blend 🙂

serene1 year ago
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I think that’s for when you reheat it after it’s been stored in the refrigerator.

Elizabeth Allen1 year 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!

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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 DotDash Meredith. 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. McConnell loves to entertain and inspire, so when she’s not in her office, she’s usually in her kitchen. Find her on LinkedIn.

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