Vegan Queso with Spicy Caramelized Yellow Peppers

Tucson hangs heavy in my heart and very soon Francois and I will be migrating to the Midwest for summer. This means I want to soak up as much sun and local Tucson flavors as possible before we depart.

Homemade queso, chips, salsa, and margaritas is a tried and true quartet and also one of my favorite “dinners”. When it's brutally hot in the desert, the combination never fails. Today’s Vegan Queso with Spicy Caramelized Yellow Peppers recipe comes together quickly in a high-speed blender. Peeling the peppers is optional, but highly recommended. Smokey notes pair with sweet and spicy caramelized peppers — you’ll be hanging out in delight like our pepper pal in no time!

Vegan Queso with Spicy Caramelized Yellow Peppers

Make the queso – In a high speed blender add the roasted sweet potatoes, cashews, water, nutritional yeast and olive. Blend until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the serrano, lemon juice, salt and paprika and pulse until combined. Pour into a serving bowl.

Make the caramelized peppers – Peel the yellow pepper and cut into strips. In a large skillet, heat the grape seed oil over medium heat. Add the peppers, habanero and sliced onion. Turn the heat to medium low and cook for 30-40 minutes of evenly brown and caramelized, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, tomato and chilies. Sprinkle with Tajin. Serve with tortilla chips. 

serves 8


  • 1 cup roasted sweet potatoes
  • 4 oz raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large serrano, minced
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • a pinch of smoked paprika


  • 2 large yellow peppers
  • 1 habanero, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, peeled, cut in half and and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil


  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Fresno chili, sliced
  • Tajin


  • tortilla chips