Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Faux Queso

Faux Queso - gluten-free and dairy-free

What is a faux queso?

Sometimes when you love to eat and cook, something magical can happen in the kitchen. Impromptu and divine.

While Brett and I were making King Ranch Chicken Casserole and waiting for it to bake, we snacked on the extra corn tortilla scraps and used them to wipe up some of the leftover sauce in the Dutch oven.

And he said “this totally tastes like queso!”  And it actually did!

His love of comfort food and ideas have propelled many of our efforts in the kitchen to recreate our favorite comfort foods while we deal with my dietary restrictions.

So I cut back the recipe and made a few adjustments to make way less of it and so much easier to prep.  It is a pretty small portion of queso but perfect for two.  So good.  So yum.

Next game night or party I throw – this will be on the table.  

And I’m not telling anyone (unless they have dietary restrictions and allergies because that is absolutely not okay because dietary restrictions can be life-threatening) that it isn’t real queso.   I’m so curious to see the reaction!

How will you do it?

The recipe is so flexible. The old school recipe we used for queso back in the day was usually a can of Rotel (tomatoes and green chilies), Velveeta and some sour cream.  

But not in this recipe!  

We took part of the recipe from the King Ranch Chicken Casserole for the sauce and modified it a little bit.

And it is so good you don’t even realize there isn’t any dairy in it or processed cheese.

My favorite part is that you can do anything with the green peppers or chile peppers.  

If you like poblanos, then add them.  

If you like jalapeños, then add one instead.  

Maybe a Hatch chile or Anaheim pepper.

 Or even half of a green bell pepper.  

It will change the flavors just a little depending on what you like.  So in the recipe I use a poblano but you can use anything.  

And if you want to use canned fire-roasted tomatoes then that is okay, too.  

Faux Queso | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

It might not be real queso without the cheese, but it sure tastes like it!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword faux queso
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2
Author Deana Larkin Evans


  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper (or sweet mini peppers)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped poblano pepper (or other green pepper or chile)
  • 1 tbsp GF flour
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1/2 cup fire roasted tomatoes (3 large Roma tomatoes)
  • Splash of lime juice
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash all the veggies in filtered water. Set the oven to broil on high. Cut the tomatoes in half and place on a baking dish under the broiler. Broil until the skins are blackened and fire-roasted. Remove from oven and let cool. Peel off the skins and remove the core and seeds then chop.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the ghee over medium heat in a small saucepan and add the chopped green onions and peppers/chiles. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the GF flour and spices (ancho chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder) and let cook for about 1 minute.

  4. Add the chicken (or vegetable) broth and lower the heat to medium low. Stir and let the sauce thicken for about 5 minutes.

  5. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes and cover the pot. Let cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often so the tomatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Remove from heat and stir so that everything is well incorporated. Add a splash of lime juice to taste then salt to taste, if needed.

  7. Serve with your favorite corn chips! I hope you enjoy.

Recipe Notes

All of the ingredients we used are organic or non-GMO, including the spices. 

spiced potato wedges with vegan nacho cheese and spicy jalapeño slices

Want More Recipes Like Faux Queso?

Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So hi, I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten-free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010, then cut dairy and casein (except for the occasional Parmesan) in 2014. We learned A2 casein (goat, sheep and buffalo milk) is easier to digest than the predominate A1 form in cow milk. So we brought back goat milk dairy into our recipes in 2016. Thank goodness, right! So I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course. Currently, I'm learning about the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with healthy recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.