Loaded Nachos with Vegan Queso
Nachos are important to us. And the most important thing about our nachos is our queso.
When we first went vegan 4 years ago, we knew we needed a queso recipe as soon as possible. We tried several different recipes that almost hit the mark, but didn’t quite do it. Gaining tips throughout the process of trial and error, we finally came to a queso recipe that satisfies flavor, consistency and versatility. . Aka it made our queso dreams come true.
The base of the queso, which makes it thick and creamy, is a blend of boiled vegetables and raw cashews. Back to the basics! No strange additives or oils, just wholesome ingredients from the earth. Makes you feel good about eating lots of it. The vegetables we use are Yukon gold potatoes, white onion and carrots. As the vegetables boil they create a liquid that becomes starchy and relatively flavorful, which is why it is important to SAVE THE WATER for blending. Cashews contribute nutty, subtly sweet flavor and a level of thickness that gets the consistency just right.
The rest of the flavor comes from nutritional yeast and a blend of spices. This is our classic queso - no heat or specific flavor other than bold, ‘cheesy' goodness. It can also be used for mac-no-cheese, broccoli cheddah soup, loaded baked potatoes, baked dishes or casseroles and the obvious tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, etc. It is extremely versatile and lovable. Our non-vegan friends agree! Sometimes we make it without even knowing what we are having it with because no matter what we havin’ queso and that’s all that really matters.
Occasionally we play around with this recipe depending on the heat level and flavor profile of our dish. A few successful additions are :
fresh jalapeño / any spicy pepper
adobo chipotle peppers
As for the rest of our nachos, we do like to think the more the merrier with this one. Beans, spinach, olives, cilantro are a must. Sautéed corn and jalapeño add a nice sweet, spicy, roasted flavor that we’re really into right now. Topped lastly with fresh tomato, avocado, and a squirt of lime. That will land you a solid, crowd pleasing - or personal - pan of nachos!!
2 medium yukon gold potatoes
1/4 white onion
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 heaping tsp garlic powder
1 heaping tsp onion powder
1 heaping tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 1/2 cup water (from boiled vegetables)
Peel and cube yukon gold potatoes, carrot and slice 1/4 wedge of white onion.
Add cubed potatoes to water, bring to boil
Boil about 5 minutes, then add carrot
Boil another 3 minutes, then add onion
Cook until tender
Use a slotted spoon to transfer vegetables to high-speed blender
Add 1 1/2 cup of the boiled water and remaining ingredients
Blend until smooth
Taste test and adjust seasoning as needed / add spice or special ingredients as desired