I am a very big fan of Annie Oliverio and what she does at An Unrefined Vegan. She makes the kind of food – healthy, delicious, satisfying and nutrient-rich – that I actually eat day to day that enables me to dream up things like Doritos-Crusted Tofu and Green Bean Casserole Pizza without catching the diabeetus. So of course I jumped at the chance to take part in her blog tour and to share a recipe from her soon-to-be-released book Crave, Eat, Heal: Plant-based, Whole-food Recipes to Satisfy Every Appetite. (Pre-order it now!)

This simple recipe is vegan, oil-free, and gluten-free, but I think anyone who tries it, no matter their dietary restrictions, is going to love it. Mix it with pasta for mac n’ “cheese,” or toss it with veggies, or use it as a dip. Honestly, if you need me to tell you how to eat “cheese” I feel like we have bigger problems at hand. If you love this recipe be sure to pre-order Annie’s book, which will be released on May 4th.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Ann Oliverio and Front Table Books.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation. However, I only recommend products I have tested myself and approved of.

Butternut Squash Queso

butternut squash queso recipe

By BakeandDestroy Published: April 6, 2015

  • Yield: 2 cups
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Ready In: 15 mins

From the author: This recipe was inspired by an appetizer at Matthew Kenney’s now-defunct “plant-based Mexican kitchen,” Tamazul, in Oklahoma City. While everything I’ve eaten there has been delicious, fresh, and creative - their queso impressed me more than any other dish. I was too shy to ask how they made it, so I set about creating my own version.



  1. Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed or regular blender and process until very smooth. You will need to tamp down the ingredients and add water - just a little at a time - during processing to get a very smooth texture.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and gently heat. Serve warm with baked tortilla chips or fresh steamed vegetables. Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  3. Suggestions: Try using pumpkin puree or roasted sweet potato in place of the butternut squash. Reserve 1 cup of the queso to make Cheddar Cheez (recipe in book). If you like it spicy, stir in a 1/4 cup of fresh, diced jalapeño peppers (or pickled jalapeños) - or for milder flavor - stir in a 1/4 cup of roasted red bell pepper.
  4. *Here’s how I roast a butternut squash: Preheat the oven to 425-degrees and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut off the squash’s stem and pierce the skin a few times with a knife. Place the whole squash on the baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the flesh of the squash is very soft (I test it by inserting a knife). The skin will be shiny and dark brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before handling. Peel off the skin, then break open the squash and scoop out the seeds.

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