This vegan fried queso recipe is packed full of flavor and makes an amazing appetizer or snack. Can be deep fried or air fried.
We were just hanging out minding our own business when we saw a recipe from Tasty for queso chips pop up. There was nothing remotely vegan about it, but we were determined to make a vegan version. Insert: vegan fried queso.
Now, you likely have never had anything quite like this, although fried mozzarella sticks is somewhat similar.
We took the concept of this and turned it into something that we think is even better. Okay, hands down it’s better. And our version is 100% easier to make than their recipe too! Less dishes, better for you ingredients, and the taste and texture is 100% better!
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VEGAN FRIED QUESO INGREDIENTS:
Below are notes about the ingredients before we get into the full recipe located lower in this post on how to make these easy vegan fried queso:
- butter beans – this is the base of our queso. Not only does it give a delicious creamy texture, but it’s less expensive than nuts and allergen friendly
- jalapenos – this is how we are getting our spice.
- nutritional yeast – nutritional yeast gives us a cheesy flavor without any super processed ingredients
- vegan butter – adds a richness to the dish and also helps give a smooth texture
- oat flour – we are using this to thicken up our sauce to the perfect texture
- spices – we have a delicious combination of seasoning that make this recipe perfect
- flour and corn flour – when you combine these
- tortilla chips – use these instead of breadcrumbs for an even better texture and flavor
- vegetable or canola oil – a high heat oil for delicious fried texture and flavor
Substitutions and Variations:
- base – instead of butter beans, you can follow the steps to make our vegan cashew queso and then proceed with the freezing instructions from this recipe
- vegan butter – while we have not, we have heard others omitting the butter and adding more liquid in its place
- oat flour -other flours can be used, but if they are raw, you will need to heat your flour first. Follow the steps for heating flour here.
- flour – you can just use all all-purpose flour instead of a blend. Swap for GF also if need.
- tortilla chips – sub for sweet chili Doritos for an even more fun flavor. You could also use breadcrumbs, but we’d recommend adding more spices to the batter. Corn flakes could also be used
- vegetable or canola oil – you can air fry this recipe to omit the oil
Frequently Asked Questions:
We have tested this recipe with oat flour and almond flour. You could use other gluten free flours like chickpea also.
However, if you use all-purpose flour, we recommend that you make in a skillet instead of in a blender or food processor so that the flour actually gets cooked and you eliminate the risk of salmonella.
While we think a blender is the easiest and fastest way to make this dairy free nacho cheese recipe, it isn’t the only way to make it.
You could also use a food processor by adding all the ingredients together and blending until smooth and thickened.
Another alternative would be to make on the stovetop using a skillet. In order to do this, you would first need to melt the butter over medium heat and then add your flour. If you are use all-purpose flour, this is the method you want to use.
Whisk together the flour and butter. Then, pour in your milk and stir together. Finally add the remaining ingredients and let cook over medium low until thickened and well combined.
We love butter beans for this vegan nacho cheese recipe. However, any type of white bean would work – such as Great Northern or cannellini beans. Chickpeas are not the same and should not be used.
Yes! Just follow the air fryer instructions below for the recpe.
We’d recommend that you eat these within the first few hours. But it does technically last for at least 3-5 days, they just need to be reheated.
We’d recommend back in the air fryer to get crispy back. Alternatively you could do 20-30 seconds in the microwave.
Use gluten free flour blend, like a 1:1 blend (King Arthur or Bob’s). And then just make sure to use a soy free vegan butter like Flora or Earth Balance soy free.
Pin this vegan fried queso for later!
Vegan Fried Queso
For the Queso
- 1 15oz can Butter Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 4oz can diced jalapenos (see notes for spice level)
- 1 cup unsweetened dairy free milk
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup vegan butter
- 2 tablespoon oat flour
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
For the Batter
- 1 cup flour (use GF if needed)
- ½ cup corn flour
- 1 – ½ cups water (or unsweetened dairy free milk)
- 3-4 cups tortilla chips, finely crushed
- 1 qt vegetable or canola oil (omit if air frying)
- Pour all ingredients for queso into a high powered blender. *See notes if you do not have a blender.
- Blend for 5 minutes or until a thickened, creamy, well-combined sauce.
- Line 9×9 pan with parchment paper and pour queso into pan. Freeze for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- in a large bowl, whisk together flour and corn flour. Whisk in 1 cup of water. You want a thick pancake like batter. If you have more of a dough, add a little more dairy free milk at a time up to an additional ½ cup.
- In another bowl, add crushed tortilla chips.
- Remove queso from freezer and cut into squares- 5 rows of 5.
- Heat oil in a large pot to 350 degrees F.
- Dip a piece of queso into the wet better, then into the breadcrumbs. Add to the oil. *If using air fryer, add to tray or basket. Cook for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Do not overcrowd.
- Cook for 1 minute on each side or until golden brown. Remove and place on a paper towel lined rack.
- Repeat with remaining queso. Do not overcrowd pot.
- Best eaten with 4 hours.