Vegan Queso Pasta Cups

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Vegan Queso Pasta Cups are made with  plant-based ingredients, packed with protein, and can be enjoyed as a meal or a side.

Pasta is a staple in my life but I can’t even remember the last time I shared a pasta recipe with you guys. Love me some pasta because it’s quick & versatile because can play with so many ingredients & flavors. I am so excited to share Vegan Queso Pasta Cups today because it’s 100% plant-based, packs protein, and flavors. It’s almost like a fusion pasta salad that can be enjoyed warm or cold, as a meal or a side dish. If you are hosting a party or want to serve as an appetizer, you can make little Vegan Queso Pasta Cups too.


Like most recipes I share here, Vegan Queso Pasta Cups are fairly easy to make. I am new to the world of plant-based cheeses and vegan queso was on my very top list of things to make. So adding vegan queso to pasta cups was a perfect opportunity because it makes the salad so creamy! Vegan queso is probably the only ‘difficult’ part about this recipe and even that only requires blending the ingredients. I’ve used soaked cashews as my base with nutritional yeast to give that cheesy flavor. Don’t get me wrong but living in Texas, I have become a little bit of a queso-snob…so obviously plant-based queso doesn’t exactly feel like your creamy cheesy queso but nevertheless it is very delicious, creamy and works great in this pasta cups!





Vegan Queso Pasta Cups calls for elbow pasta (I am using Barilla Elbow pasta which was purchased at my neighborhood Albertsons, go to the pasta, sauce, and grain section), black beans for protein, and other add-ons like chopped onions, tomatoes, green chili, finely chopped jalapeno, and cilantro for depth of flavors.

So let’s talk about Barilla elbow pasta for a hot second – it’s a staple in my pantry because it makes weeknight dinner possible in the form of  pasta (mix with tomato sauce or pesto with a side of steamed veggies), mac n’ cheese, one pot chicken noodle soup, and vegan pasta queso cups. Barilla elbow pasta is like a blank canvass for so many delicious possibilities and it’s “always al dente, always perfect”. 



10 Healthy Pantry Essentials



I can’t wait for you guys to enjoy Vegan Queso Pasta Cups as a side (or double the serving and call it a meal) or serve it as an appetizer to your guests or take it to your office potluck. It’s flavorful, creamy, and 100% plant-based.

Vegan Queso Pasta Cups

Serves: 4-6


For Vegan Queso:

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight)

  • 1 cup can diced red tomatoes with green chiles (including the liquid)

  • 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)

  • 1 cup Barilla elbow pasta, dry

  • 1 cup cooked black beans

  • 1/4 cup chopped onions

  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoon green chilies

  • 1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeno

  • optional : lemon juice & cilantro to garnish


  1. In a high speed blender, blend cashew with liquid from diced tomatoes and green chiles.

  2. Then slowly add yeast, salt, garlic powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice, and red chili powder.

  3. Depending on the powder of your blender, you may have to mix for a while to give queso that creamy consistency.

  4. You can blend red tomatoes and green chilies with the remaining ingredients or simply stir them with queso.

  5. In a medium sauce pan, bring water to a boil.

  6. Add pasta and little salt to the water, stir and let it boil until al dente.

  7. Drain water and put it a bowl.

  8. Add vegan queso (only needs about 1.5 cups), chopped onions, tomatoes, green chili, jalapeno and stir everything.

  9. Season with salt and garnish with cilantro (and more lemon juice) if desired.

  10. Serve warm or cold.


It makes about 2.5 cups of queso and you will only need about 1.5 cups. Save the remaining for other uses such as dip, spread for a sandwich, taco etc



If are you into fusion-inspired meals, here are more inspirations for your appetite and don’t forget to snag a coupon for your next Barilla purchase. Additionally, don’t forget to participate in the prize giveaway where you have the opportunity to win one of thousands of prizes available. Everyone wins! At a minimum, Barilla coupons will be distributed to those that spin the wheel (each device ID will be given 1 free spin, and additional spins can be earned).

I hope you guys will give Vegan Queso Pasta Cups a try very soon and if you do, please don’t forget to tag @foodpleasurehealth or pin for later.




Dixya Bhattarai

Dixya Bhattarai

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