Food & Drink Magazine

Vegan Green Chile Queso

By Chuck Underwood @brandnewvegan

First a HUGE shout out to The Hatch Chile Store for my box of Hatch Green Chiles!  As many of you know, I lived in the Land of Enchantment for 10 years and absolutely LOVE Hatch Chile!  So as I was eyeballing my first package of Chile, trying to decide what to make, it occurred to me I don’t have spicy, gooey, cheesy Queso Dip yet.

The rest – as they say – was easy.  So I give you my latest creation:  My Vegan Green Chile Queso Dip.

vegan green chile queso 2

I used it to make Nachos last night and it was good.  Like REALLY REALLY good. Like OMG I can’t stop eating this! good. 

And it’s super easy to make too and I’ll show you how in just a second….but first we need to clarify something.

GREEN CHILES.  What exactly are they?

SO in the photo, you might think I’m looking at the jar of Jalapenos when I say ‘chile’.  And although technically, jalapenos ARE a chile pepper – that’s not what I’m talking about.

And I’m not talking about those little cans of Green Chiles you see in the grocery store either.  Yes, those ARE chopped green chiles, but I’ve had Apples with more heat and flavor.  

I’m not talking about Anaheims or Guajillos or anything other than NEW MEXICAN Green Chile.  Specifically, I’m talking about HATCH.

You see, Hatch, New Mexico is actually a little town, and that’s where they grow more Chile Peppers than anywhere else in the world.   I don’t know if it’s their soil, their high elevation, or even their weather patterns….. but their Green Chile has this unique flavor you just won’t find anywhere else.

Is it Chile or Chili?

I’ve actually had someone try to correct my spelling on this one.

  • The ‘pepper’ is a Chile Pepper (with an E).
  • The traditional ‘meat and bean stew’ (like my award-winning chili) is CHILI with an I.

Got it?  Clear as mud?  Don’t ask me why it is – it just…is.

Is Hatch Green Chile spicy?  

It can be, yes.  They grow different varieties (Big Jim, Sandia, etc) that have different levels of heat.  So they do grow a mild, and a medium, and of course a hot & spicy variety too.

We’re not talking Ghost Pepper hot – but trust me – it’s enough to have you reach for your beverage (or the bottle of honey that’s on every table in a New Mexican Restaurant.  I know honey isn’t vegan – but it DOES cool off the heat of a hot chile pepper quickly).

Where do you GET Hatch Chiles?

Why New Mexico of course.

But even way out here in the Pacific Northwest, I can still find them once chile season begins (and that is coming up quickly!).

Every year our local Whole Foods roasts fresh Green Chiles right outside their door (oohhhh the smell of roasting chiles) but you need to buy them quickly as they run out FAST!   You see, you need to roast the outer skin until it blackens, then it will slip right off.  What’s left is the chile we eat.

Note:  Just a word of caution if you ever handle fresh Chiles (any kind).  The oils inside a chile contain the heat (capsicum) and it WILL burn your eyes, nose, or any other sensitive body part.  Wear gloves, or be very careful when handling chiles.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And of course, you can buy them year round from my new friends at the Hatch Chile Store.   Mine came shipped inside a cooler with dry ice and were still frozen solid when they arrived.  The cleaned and roasted chiles came packaged in convenient 1lb resealable bags, which makes it super easy to take out just a few for a recipe.

Like my Vegan Green Chile Queso for example!

I know you’ve been waiting patiently, maybe even skipped ahead {gasp}, but the Chile explanation was necessary.  

Ok – here we go.  Let’s make some QUESO!

Vegan Green Chile Queso

vegan green chile queso

Vegan Green Chile Queso | Brand New Vegan

We’re going to start by sauteeing about ½ a diced onion in a little veggie broth or water. When it begins to soften, we’ll toss in about 4 cloves of minced garlic and give it a stir.

Once the garlic becomes nice and fragrant (about 30 seconds) we’re going to add our spices.  Stir in the salt, smoked paprika, turmeric, chili powder, and cumin.  Give that a good stir and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Now we add in 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of cashews (no need to soak!), and about 2 cups of riced (or finely diced) cauliflower. I had some leftover cauliflower florets in my fridge and simply added them to my blender and pulsed them a few times.  Came out to about 2 cups.

Let that simmer for about 5 minutes or until the cauliflower begins to soften.

Now we carefully pour this into our blender and add our lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, and non-dairy plain yogurt (I used Forager’s Cashewgurt).

Blend on slow initially to get things mixed up, and then tun on high and blend until silky smooth.

Once blended, pour our ‘cheese’ back into that same pan and add 1 can of drained Fire Roasted Tomatoes, and about 8oz of chopped Green Chiles.

If you use canned green chiles, use an 8oz can.  If you’re using fresh green chiles, start with 2 or 3 fresh chiles and add more depending on your taste and the heat level you want.

Mix thoroughly and bring to a gentle simmer.  Adjust any seasonings if needed and you’re finished.


Go to town with your favorite oil-free chips, or you can even take oil-free corn tortillas and bake them in the oven to make your own chips.   I can see this as a baked potato topper, or maybe even poured over some steamed broccoli.

How do you like to use your Queso?  Leave me your ideas in the comments!

Thanks for hanging out with me, I hope you’ll enjoy the Queso and until next week…

Keep On Cookin’!


vegan green chile queso pin

vegan green chile queso

Vegan Green Chile Queso

  • Author: Brand New Vegan
  • Vegan Green Chile Queso
    appetizer, dip
  • Vegan Green Chile Queso
    vegan, mexican, plant-based
Vegan Green Chile Queso


This Vegan Green Chile Queso is velvety smooth with just the right amount of spice.  Perfect for Nachos, Burritos, Enchiladas, Baked Potatoes or even Pizza!


  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric (for color)
  • 2 cups Cauliflower (riced)
  • 1/2 cup Raw Cashews (no soaking required!)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 Tbs Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4 cup Non-Dairy Yogurt (cashewgurt)
  • 1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes, drained (15oz)
  • 8oz Green Chiles, chopped (about 1 cup – adjust if using fresh)


  1. Saute diced onion in a little water or veg broth until softened
  2. Add garlic and stir until fragrant (about 30 seconds)
  3. Add paprika, salt, chili powder, cumin, and turmeric.  Stir and simmer 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add cauliflower, cashews, and water and simmer for 5 minutes or until cauliflower has softened
  5. Carefully pour into a blender and add lemon juice, vinegar, nutritional yeast, and yogurt
  6. Blend until silky smooth
  7. Pour back into the pan and add drained tomatoes and green chiles
  8. Simmer until bubbly.  Adjust spices if needed.


Tips Are Always Welcome!

Keywords: vegan recipes, vegan queso, green chile queso,

Vegan Green Chile Queso

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