April 5, 2019

Loaded Butternut Squash Queso

Recipe: Jeanine Donofrio

Try this Loaded Butternut Squash Queso recipe from the cookbook Love & Lemons Every Day.

Love & Lemons EverydayAs soon as I graduated from college, I moved to Austin (a.k.a. the land of queso) to be with my now-husband Jack. Whenever we’d get together with friends, there would always be queso, which was often the too-yellow, too-fake type of cheese that I don’t exactly gravitate toward. I couldn’t really complain because I’d fill up on chips, salsa and guacamole instead . . . but now I can have the best of both worlds with this oozy butternut queso loaded with all the toppings. Even though this recipe is vegan, every cheese lover I know loves this dip.



  • 2 cups peeled and diced Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 cup peeled and diced butternut squash
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1⁄2 cup raw cashews
  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tbsp water
  • 1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1⁄2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  • 1 avocado
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lime
  • Pinches of sea salt
  • 1⁄4 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1⁄4 cup diced tomato
  • 2 tbsp diced red onion
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Tortilla chips


Yield: Serves 4

  1. Place the diced potatoes and butternut squash in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water by about 1 inch. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until fork-tender, 8 to 12 minutes. Drain and transfer to a high-speed blender.
  2. In a small skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in a drizzle of olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. To the blender, add the sautéed onion, cashews, the 1⁄4 cup olive oil, water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, smoked paprika, cayenne and salt. Blend until smooth, using the blender baton to help keep the blade moving or pausing to stir as necessary. If the mixture is too thick, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and blend until smooth.
  4. Make a quick guacamole by mashing together the avocado, lime juice and sea salt in a small bowl with the back of a fork.
  5. Scoop the warm queso into a shallow serving dish and top with the guacamole, black beans, diced tomato, red onion, jalapeño and cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.

Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews


Excerpted from Love and Lemons Every Day: More than 100 Bright, Plant-Forward Recipes for Every Meal by Jeanine Donofrio. Copyright © 2019 Jeanine Donofrio. Photographs © 2019 by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.