When I first went vegan, there were a few foods I really struggled to let go of. Cheese-covered nachos were one of them. You see, I grew up with Friday Family Nights where my dad and I would go to Blockbuster to pick out a movie rental (remember those?!) and then go home to chow down on a “treat meal” on the living room floor as a little family-of-three. Those evenings are one of my favorite childhood memories. And let me tell you, homemade nachos made frequent appearances on family nights! I mean, they’re the perfect meal for sharing! But when I recently decided to stay away from cheese, I thought the best part of nachos was gone. Bye nachos. Bye nostalgia.
Now I get that store-bought vegan cheese exists, but to be honest it’s just not my favorite. Enter: This homemade vegan queso.
To get that cheesy flavor this recipe uses nutritional yeast, which not only tastes amazing but is also iron-rich – great if you’re following a vegan diet! Soaked cashews help achieve a creamy texture and the jalapeno peppers and brine give it a little pop! This “cheese” is so good that you don’t even miss the melty cheddar that is normally on nachos. Not sure? Give it a try next Friday and I promise, you’ll be saving this recipe for weekends to come.
- 1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 6 pickled jalapeño slices
- 6-8 tbsp pickled jalapeño juice
- Hot water
- 2 bags vegan corn tortilla chips
- 1/2 cup black beans
- 1/4 cup green onions
- 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
- Jalapeño slices (as many as you want)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Quick soak cashews by placing them in very hot water for roughly 30-60 minutes.
- In a food processor, combine soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, chili powder, jalapeño slices, and jalapeño juice. Blend until smooth.
- If the sauce is too thick for drizzling, add hot water or more jalapeño juice a little bit at a time to thin.
- Arrange tortilla chips on a baking tray. Top with beans, tomatoes, green onions, and jalapeño slices. Drizzle generously with queso sauce.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until heated through. Serve hot!
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