Spicy Tex-Mex "Queso con Carne" w/ Cashew Potato Queso + Lentil Taco Meat

Spicy Tex-Mex "Queso con Carne" w/ Cashew Potato Queso + Lentil Taco Meat

Difficulty: 3/5 (5 being hardest)
Spice Level: 2/3 (3 being spiciest)

Prep & Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 cups

The Challenge: Chili con Queso

Queso con Carne. A perfect combination of queso cheese with taco meat. Very not vegan but an amazing dip. So, let's try and make this plant-based. Well not try. Let's kick its butt. Flex them muscles and make a delicious gooey cashew potato-based queso combined with spicy lentil taco meat. Mm, mm, mm.

One fun thing about building recipes is that I build them in parts. There are two parts to this recipe - queso + taco meat. Luckily, I have made these in two other recipes. The queso was part of our crunchwrap supreme recipe, while the taco meat was an early recipe for enchiladas. Those two are amazing on their own.

We are pulling those out, combining them together, and enjoying them together in Queso con Carne vegan-style.

First, we start with a potato + cashew-based queso. This queso really is truly the most spreadable, dippable, gooey queso I have ever made. I have made some that I could argue taste slightly better or are richer in flavor, but this one is excellent and has the perfect consistency one wants in a queso for dipping. Then, we cook lentils, spice them up, and mix them in with the queso for the ultimate dipping treat.

Let's get into it!


Cashew Potato Queso

  • 4 tbl palm oil (vegan shortening or butter work as well)
  • 1 small onion, fine diced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, deseeded, diced small
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbl nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 3/4 medium-to-large russet potato, peeled, diced small
  • 1 cup cashew or cashew pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 2 tsp liquid from a can pickled jalapeƱo peppers
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable broth

Lentil Taco Meat

  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbl avocado oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1/2 cup smoky tomato salsa
  • 2 tbsp nutrtional yeast
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt + black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Equipment You'll Need:

Cutting Board . Sharp Cutting Knife . Measuring Cups . Measuring Spoons . Castiron Pan . Medium Saucepan . Large Frying Pan . Food Processor . Mixing Spoons


Before You Cook:

  • Wash and cut all fresh ingredients
  • Combine lentils + vegetable broth, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cook for 15 minutes
 1. Start with the queso. Place palm oil in medium/large frying pan. Warm for 60 seconds over medium heat. Cook up onions and garlic for 4-5 minutes. Add in spices. Mix well. Cook another two minutes.

1. Start with the queso. Place palm oil in medium/large frying pan. Warm for 60 seconds over medium heat. Cook up onions and garlic for 4-5 minutes. Add in spices. Mix well. Cook another two minutes.

 2. In a castiron pan, place oil, shallots, and garlic. Heat over medium heat and cook for 6 minutes until shallots begin to become translucent.

2. In a castiron pan, place oil, shallots, and garlic. Heat over medium heat and cook for 6 minutes until shallots begin to become translucent.

 3. For the queso, next add the potatoes and cashews into the pan as well as milk and water. Coat well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cook for 8 minutes.

3. For the queso, next add the potatoes and cashews into the pan as well as milk and water. Coat well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cook for 8 minutes.

 4. Next place all spices for the taco meat into pan and cook for 30 seconds. Finally, add lentils, salsa, and nutritional yeast.

4. Next place all spices for the taco meat into pan and cook for 30 seconds. Finally, add lentils, salsa, and nutritional yeast.

 5. Place the queso ingredients into a pan plus the vegetable broth, hot sauce, and pickling liquid to a food processor and blend until smooth. If you want it more thinned out add a bit more liquid and broth. If you like it spicier, add more hot sauce.

5. Place the queso ingredients into a pan plus the vegetable broth, hot sauce, and pickling liquid to a food processor and blend until smooth. If you want it more thinned out add a bit more liquid and broth. If you like it spicier, add more hot sauce.

 6. Once queso and lentils are done, place into a large mixing bowl and slowly combine them together. I found a spatula works well.

6. Once queso and lentils are done, place into a large mixing bowl and slowly combine them together. I found a spatula works well.

 7. Serve with your favorite dippers and enjoy!

7. Serve with your favorite dippers and enjoy!

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