Rich, spicy and flavorful, this vegan chile con queso with soy chorizo is incredibly delicious! Perfect for taco night, game day or nachos, you're going to love this dairy-free choriqueso dip recipe.
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This recipe is a richer, more flavorful version of my healthy low-fat vegan rotel dip without cashews but still has sneaky hidden veggies. The addition of cashews and soy chorizo to the sauce take it to the next level!
Serve this vegan take on queso fundido, queso flameado (minus the flames) for company, at parties or when you want to a rich, super tasty dip.
🧄 Ingredient notes
This vegan choriqueso dip is made with potatoes, carrots and cashews as the base! This means the dip is lower in calories and fat than dips made only with cashews.
- Soy chorizo - The best, most flavorful soy chorizo for this recipe is from Trader Joe's. You can also use Frieda's soyrizo. If you make your own soy chorizo, use that! You'll need a whole package of it.
- Rotel - a brand name popular in America for their canned petite diced tomatoes with spicy green chiles. It adds instant flavor and heat to this nacho cheese dip. You can buy it in mild or original (spicier) versions. Look for this in the canned vegetable aisle by the canned tomatoes. If they don't have Rotel brand, get the store-brand.
- Potatoes - Use russet or gold potatoes and be sure to peel them. Humble and nutritious potatoes make this sauce so thick and silky, thanks to their starchiness. It really is amazing. If you've never tried a potato/carrot based cheese sauce, give it a try! It's not going to taste exactly like Velveeta, but it looks the part, behaves like meltable cheese and tastes great.
- Carrots - Gives the cheese sauce color and a little bit of sweetness.
- Cashews - Use raw, unsalted cashews, if you can, for this recipe. The boiled, softened cashews blend into the sauce and make it rich, creamy and thick.
- Nutritional yeast - Makes the queso taste cheesy.
- Ground turmeric - Gives the cheese sauce color. Don't overdo it or add too much, as it will give the sauce a bitter flavor.
📋 Substitutions and variations
Here are some substitutions you can try for this recipe:
- Soy chorizo - If you can't find Trader Joe's or Frieda's soy chorizo, use whatever soy-based chorizo you can find. Or, make your own. Or, you can use another plant-based crumble you like, but it will not taste the same if it's not chorizo, since chorizo has lots of chiles and spices blended into it.
- Rotel - use off-brand or store-brand petite diced tomatoes with spicy green chiles instead of the Rotel brand. (Aldi's version is half the price and just as good!) Rotel is basically petite diced tomatoes with spicy green chiles and a few seasonings. So, you can also substitute mild, medium or spicy tomato salsa! Another option is canned chopped green chiles or jalapeños (canned, pickled, fresh raw or roasted) instead.
- Potatoes - Up to ½ of the potatoes can be substituted with cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen) in this recipe. The more cauliflower you use, the less thick and starchy the cheese sauce will be.
- Carrot - Instead of fresh carrot, you can use frozen carrot. While I have not personally tested this substitution, you could possibly use butternut squash instead of carrot in this sauce.
- Cashews - Instead of raw cashews, use plain roasted cashews instead. Or, you can use raw sunflower seeds as you would the cashews. Another option is almond flour (add the almond flour directly to the blender, do not boil it).
- Onion - Instead of using fresh onion, you can use frozen onion. Or, if you're in a pinch, use ½ teaspoon onion powder (add it straight to the blender). Do not use red/purple onion, it will make the cheese sauce change colors.
- Garlic - Instead of fresh garlic cloves, use jarred 2 teaspoons minced or crushed garlic (add it straight to the blender). Or, if you're in a pinch, use ½ teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic.
- Almond milk - Instead of almond milk, you can use another plant-based milk that is unsweetened and unflavored, such as: soy milk or cashew milk.
- Lemon juice - Instead of lemon juice, use 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, white vinegar or white wine vinegar.
Want to switch up the flavors? Here are some variations to try with this recipe:
- Salsa - Mix in 1 cup of your favorite salsa instead of the canned Rotel
- Taco Seasoning - Mix in one packet (or 1-2 tablespoons) of taco seasoning to the cheese sauce instead of the Rotel.
- Jalapeños - Blend in ¼ cup of canned jalapeños when blending the cheese sauce. Or, mix in diced raw, roasted or sautéed jalapeños and onions instead of the Rotel
- Chile con queso con carne vegano - Use these vegan meat recipes to switch out the chorizo and make a queso with whole food beef crumbles (oil-free and homemade!)
Step-by-step instructions for how to make vegan chile con queso with soy chorizo. This dairy-free choriqueso dip is worth the effort!
In a medium pot, add cut potatoes, carrots, cashews, onion and garlic. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil the veggies until they are fork tender, then drain.
Add drained, cooked veggies and cashews to blender with nutritional yeast, turmeric, salt, almond milk and optional (but recommended!) smoked paprika and lemon juice, if using. You may need to do this in more than one batch, depending on your blender size.
Blend until completely smooth (I use a Blendtec and press the smoothie or soup button). If it will not blend, you may need to add a bit more almond milk. Taste the sauce and adjust salt, as needed.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, then add soy chorizo to the pan (be sure to remove and throw away the plastic casing first!)
Using a wooden spoon or spatula, break up the chorizo into small pieces in the pan while it is cooking. You want to heat and pan-sear the chorizo for about 2-3 minutes. Then, remove from heat.
Add blended cheese sauce, pan-seared soy chorizo, the UNdrained can of Rotel (spicy tomatoes with green chiles) and fresh chopped cilantro in medium sauce pan. Stir together.
Heat over medium low heat for 5-8 minutes until hot and bubbly, stirring frequently to prevent burning the bottom.
Serve hot with tortilla chips (store-bought or homemade oil-free chips).
- High speed blender - for blending a completely smooth vegan liquid cheese
- Medium saucepan
- Non-stick skillet
🚦 Calorie density score
🟡 This recipe gets a yellow light on the calorie density chart. Some of the ingredients (the cashews and soy chorizo) are higher than 600 calories per pound, so eating richer meals like this regularly may prevent you from losing body fat or may even cause you to gain weight. Learn more about calorie density from Jeff Novick, MS, RDN.
Get your own printable calorie density chart for your refrigerator and free ebook explaining calorie density in simple terms.
👨👩👦👦 Serving suggestions
- Choriqueso Dip and Chips - Devour this spicy vegan choriqueso with tortilla chips as a dip or appetizer.
- Pair with homemade oil-free tortilla chips - If you're looking for an oil-free, fat-free option for tortilla chips, you can bake your own in about 20 minutes! Here's my recipe for homemade baked tortilla chips.
- Sauce for enchiladas, flautas, taquitos or tacos
- Make Loaded Vegan Nachos
- Pour over a homemade plant-based burrito bowl
- Drizzle over tostadas
For another boldly flavored appetizer perfect for game days, try these Loaded Dill Pickle Vegan Potato Skins!
🥡 Make ahead and storage tips
All cooked foods are perishable, so please use your good judgment about how long to store something. We comfortably keep this vegan chile con queso with soy chorizo stored in an airtight container or mason jar in our refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Or, you can defrost it in the microwave using your defrost setting. Once it's thawed, place it in a small saucepan over medium low heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until it becomes smooth again, all the ice crystals have dissolved and it's bubbly.
It depends on the ingredients, for sure, but typically it is healthier than the traditional option. For example, this plant-based queso is made with whole foods, such as potato, carrot, cashew, onion, garlic and seasonings. The soy chorizo has 0 cholesterol, about half the fat as pork chorizo and half the calories.
Check the ingredients. If it contains milk, dairy, butter, eggs or meat, then it is not vegan.
Queso is always best served hot, so yes heat up your plant-based queso. If you try it cold and like the texture and flavor of it cold, then you can enjoy it that temperature as well.
The best thing to eat with plant-based queso is tortilla chips! But, don't stop there. It's delicious drizzled over tacos, nachos, enchiladas, burrito bowls, flautas, salad bowls, rice bowls and more.
🗺 Cultural influences
This recipe is inspired by my background as a native of Houston, Texas, where TexMex cuisine is abundant, authentic and celebrated. It's a vegan take on chile con queso with chorizo, queso fundido and queso flameado.
What is the difference between chile con queso and queso fundido?
Chile con queso is typically made of melted cheese, along with onions, green chiles (jalapeño, serrano, etc.) and cilantro. It may or may not have tomato, spices, ground meat or chorizo. It is normally served with corn tortilla chips.
Queso fundido or queso flameado is a dish of hot melted cheese and spicy chorizo that is often served flambé. Often compared to cheese fondue, it is a party dish; it is popular at cookouts and in restaurants as an appetizer. It is served with flour tortillas as a filling instead of a dip often.
Both are eaten throughout Texas and Mexico.
See About for more information on my cultural influences and how I attribute recipes.
💜 More recipes you'll love
If you loved this vegan queso fundido dip, then check out my other plant-based TexMex condiments, appetizers and game day faves!
Vegan Chile con Queso with Soy Chorizo (choriqueso)
- 3 cups yukon gold or russet potatoes about 5 medium potatoes (or 530 grams), peeled and cut into large squares
- 1 ½ cups carrot about 5 medium carrots (or 210 grams carrot), peeled and cut into large pieces the same size at the potatoes
- 1 small onion (or 175 grams), quartered
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- 5 cloves garlic (20 grams), whole
- 1.5 cups almond milk unsweetened, unflavored
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika optional but highly recommended
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice optional but highly recommended
- 12 ounces soy chorizo casing removed, from Trader Joe's or Frieda's
- 10 ounces Rotel with liquid, do not drain = spicy diced tomatoes with green chiles, Rotel brand or similar
- 1 jalapeño stem removed and sliced (optional)
- ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped (optional)
- tortilla chips store-bought or homemade, for serving
Make potato cashew cheese sauce
- In a medium pot, add cut potatoes, carrots, cashews, onion and garlic. Cover with water. Then, boil the veggies until they are fork tender, then drain.3 cups yukon gold or russet potatoes, 1 ½ cups carrot, 1 small onion, 5 cloves garlic, ¼ cup raw cashews
- Add drained, cooked veggies to high speed blender with nutritional yeast, turmeric, salt, almond milk and optional (but recommended!) smoked paprika and lemon juice, if using. You may need to do this in more than one batch, depending on your blender size.1.5 cups almond milk, 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Blend until completely smooth (I use a Blendtec and press the smoothie or soup button). If it will not blend, you may need to add a bit more almond milk.
- Taste the sauce and adjust salt, as needed.
Cooking the soy chorizo
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, then add soy chorizo to the pan (be sure to remove and throw away the plastic casing first!) Using a wooden spoon or spatula, break up the chorizo into small pieces in the pan while it is cooking. You want to heat and pan-sear the chorizo for about 2-3 minutes. Then, remove from heat.12 ounces soy chorizo
Finish making the queso
- Add blended cheese sauce, pan-seared soy chorizo, the UNdrained can of Rotel (spicy tomatoes with green chiles), jalapeño and fresh chopped cilantro (if using) in medium sauce pan. Stir together.10 ounces Rotel, ½ cup fresh cilantro
- Heat over medium low heat for 5-8 minutes until hot and bubbly, stirring frequently to prevent burning the bottom.
- Serve hot with tortilla chips.tortilla chips