Morning made better

This is a spicy vegan dip inspired by the infamous cheese sauce that you can make right in a medium-sized skillet and then enjoy. If you’re new to vegan cooking or unfamiliar with Mexican-inspired dishes, here are some answers to questions you may have.

What Does This Recipe Use Instead of Cheese?
This recipe calls for one-quarter cup of nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute. If you’re familiar with brewer’s yeast, you have some idea of what nutritional yeast is like, but the latter has a natural cheese-like flavor that the former lacks, so don’t substitute one for the other. You should be able to find nutritional yeast in your local health foods store. Look in the bulk section.
What Purpose Does the Turmeric Serve?
You’re probably already familiar with turmeric if you’ve ever had a curry dish because it is often one of the main spices. Some people take it as a nutritional supplement because it contains a chemical called curcumin that may have anti-inflammatory properties. While it adds some flavor to this recipe, its primary function is to add a bright yellow color to the queso dish.
What does the Cilantro add?
Cilantro is an herb common in many Mexican dishes, as well as Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is rich in vitamins A, C and K, has purported sedative and antimicrobial properties and is very low in calories. It is related to parsley and sometimes gets confused with it. You can identify cilantro by its curved leaves compared to parsley’s pointed ones.
What if You Don’t Want Your Jalapeno Queso Too Hot?
Jalapeno peppers are generally considered hot but not too hot. However, some people have a low tolerance for them. You can substitute a red jalapeno, also called a huachinango, which is sweeter and milder than the unripe green variety. If you use a green jalapeno, you can reduce the heat by removing the seeds before cooking. These can then be added back in according to your tastes.


  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1  tomato
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Forager Project Sour Cream
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • Tortilla chips


  • Dice onion, tomato, and jalapeno. Remove jalapeno seeds if you prefer a milder heat.
  • In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and jalapeno along with a pinch of salt.  Cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomato, garlic, paprika, cayenne, turmeric, cumin, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes until spices are fragrant and tomatoes fall apart. Turn off the heat. Stir in Forager Project Sour Cream, ¼ cup of water and nutritional yeast.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and dig in with tortilla chips.
Vegan Queso Cheese Sauce