The Raw & The Cooked: Red Pepper Cashew Queso Two Ways

Raw Cashew Queso

I have been making this raw recipe for over a decade. It’s one of my most popular and requested dishes! It’s a hit at dinner parties, potlucks, school lunches, and everywhere in between. Warning: if you make it you may end up licking the bowl clean!

Recently, I made a cooked version using roasted red peppers instead of raw, adding tapioca starch and some extra liquid, and cooking on the stove until gooey and cheese-like.

I am working on a third version adding agar agar for a sliceable version, so check back soon!

Variation: I have clients who are avoiding fat. Cashews contain fat, but if you don’t lick the bowl clean and are only using this as a garnish on your tostada or burrito, then I think it’s fine. You can also make it with silken tofu, but it will be a little more liquid, and less creamy. I haven’t tried yet, but perhaps it could work with baked potato or white beans. If you try those, please report back!

print recipe

The Raw & The Cooked: Red Pepper Cashew Queso Two Ways

recipe from Lisa Rice's Kitchen Plantastic


2 red bell peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
1 cup *raw cashews or cashew pieces
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 limes, juiced
1-2 garlic cloves
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp ground cumin
optional: 1 tsp sea salt

*if you don’t have a high speed blender, soak the cashews in boilng water for 15 minutes and drain before blending.

Cooked version:

-replace raw red bell peppers with roasted (from the jar or roast your own)

-add 2.5 T tapioca flour

-add 1/2-1 cup water or broth (start with 1/2 and add as needed as you cook on the stove to get a smooth consistency)

-blend all the ingredients, pour into a pan, heat on medium stirring frequently until the mixture gets hot and gooey.


Place all your ingredients (the peppers first, on the bottom) in your high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Tip: blend long enough for the queso to get slightly warm to mimic a cooked queso.

Lisa Rice

Sr. Health Mentor & Director of Content and Promotion