Spicy Vegan Mac & Cheese Sauce / Queso

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This dairy-free and vegan cheese sauce truly tastes just like queso. The secret to the magic is the addition of smoky chipotle and pickled jalapeño brine. You could (and should) enjoy this like traditional queso, with your favorite tortilla chips…OR…you could pour it on your favorite gluten free pasta and make an insanely good mac & cheese. I make a big batch, and use it for both, often!



2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)

2 carrots, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)

1/3 cup raw cashews

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

2/3 cup filtered water

2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo

1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño brine

6 pickled jalapeños

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar

**For the Mac & Cheese

1 package of gluten free pasta (I like red lentil or brown rice elbows)

extra pickled jalapenos, green onions, and everything bagel seasoning for serving** optional


  • if you’re allergic to nuts, you can sub the cashews for 1 tablespoon of olive oil




Bring around 2 cups of water to a boil and add the potato, carrot, and cashews. Boil until potatoes and carrots are fork tender, around 10 minutes.

**If you’re making mac & cheese– I recommend simultaneously boiling water for the pasta.

Strain the potatoes, carrots, and cashews and add to a high speed blender. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend on high for about 30 seconds or until a smooth creamy sauce is formed.

Toss with pasta or pour into a bowl and serve with tortilla chips. Feel free to garnish with extra pickled jalapeños, a sprinkle of smoked paprika, green onions, and everything bagel seasoning. Enjoy!





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