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Home/Blog/Vegan Queso Fundido with Butternut Squash

Vegan Queso Fundido with Butternut Squash

By Holly Darnell, RD

February 15, 2024

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Queso is a Mexican-inspired appetizer or side dish that you may indulged in. It's considered one of the top game day snacks. The key word is "indulge," as it's thick and creamy melted cheese often made from a mixture of processed cheese, Monterey Jack, cream cheese and cream. And queso fundido? That also means chorizo.

So, as you may guess, it's not exactly healthy because it's loaded with ultra-processed foods. How can one create a vegan version with much better macros yet is still delicious? Welcome to our Butternut Squash Queso Fundido recipe. 

Key Ingredients

The star of this vegan queso is butternut squash. The incredible nutritional value of butternut squash is difficult to overstate, and butternut squash calories are very low considering how filling it can be.

With over four times the recommended daily value of vitamin A in just one serving, over half the recommended intake of vitamin C, an impressive list of other vitamins and minerals, and loads of dietary fiber, this orange squash is a highly recommended ingredient for making any type of recipe, including vegan queso.

In fact, this butternut squash vegan queso offers 264 calories per serving, with 15 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat and 18 grams of carbs. Is that a perfectly balanced macronutrient snack or what?

Pair with cut up veggies, some tortilla chips or drizzle on top of a Mexican dish. You won't be disappointed!

How to Make Vegan Queso

Preheat the oven to 425° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and place cut-side down on the prepared pan. Bake until tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Turn over and let cool slightly. 

Scoop out the squash and place in a high-speed blender. Add in salt and add in Bone Broth Protein Pure (remove if want only vegan ingredients); purée until smooth. Add in 1 tablespoon water at a time until fully blended. 

(You can also buy butternut squash already diced and cubed. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425 for 30 minutes or until fork tender.)

While the squash is cooking, caramelize the onions. In a medium-sized skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Place onion in the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until onions are brown and translucent. Add in chili powder and chipotle chili powder to the onions and remove from heat.

Reduce the oven to 325. Coat an oven-grade skillet or cast iron pan with cooking spray. 

Set aside 2 cups of butternut squash puree in a medium bowl. Add in ⅓ cup queso fresco, ⅓ cup mozzarella cheese, and ⅓ cup cheddar cheese to the squash puree. 

In the prepared pan, spread half of the remaining cheese blend. Top with squash. Spread half of the caramelized onions over the squash, and then top with remaining cheese and onions.

Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. 

Allow to cool for 10 minutes and top with pico de gallo and fresh cilantro. 

Other Game Day Snacks

Vegan Queso Fundido Recipe

Category

Appetizers

Servings

8

Time

1 hour 40 min (Prep time: 20 min; Cook time: 1 hour 30 min)

Calories

264

Author

Holly Darnell, RD

You want a game snack, and queso fundido is the request. But rather than going with that processed dairy and meat festival, make up this delicious butternut squash–based queso fundido. It'll be a guaranteed hit!

Ingredients
  • 2 pound butternut squash, halved and seeded

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon Bone Broth Protein Pure powder

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (can omit if less heat is preferred)

  • 1 cup vegan queso fresco, shredded

  • 1 cup almond milk mozzarella, shredded

  • 1 cup vegan cheddar cheese, shredded

  • ½ cup pico de gallo

  • cilantro, optional

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cut squash in half. Place squash cut-side down on the prepared pan. Bake until tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Turn over and let cool slightly.

  2. Scoop out the squash and place in a high speed blender. Add in salt and protein powder; puree until smooth. Add in one tablespoon water at a time until fully blended.

  3. While the squash is cooking, caramelize the onions. In a medium-sized skillet, heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Place onion in the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until onions are brown and translucent. Add in chili powder and chipotle chili powder to the onions and remove from heat.

  4. Reduce the oven to 325. Coat an oven-grade skillet or cast iron pan with cooking spray.

  5. Set aside two cups of butternut squash puree in a medium bowl. Add in ⅓ cup queso fresco, ⅓ cup mozzarella cheese and ⅓ cup cheddar cheese to the squash puree.

  6. In the prepared pan, spread half of the remaining cheese blend. Top with squash. Spread half of the caramelized onions over the squash, and then top with remaining cheese and onions.

  7. Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

  8. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and top with pico de gallo and cilantro.

  9. You can also buy butternut squash already diced and cubed. Add one tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425 for 30 minutes or until fork tender.

Nutrition

1 serving (206 g) contains:

  • Calories: 264

  • Total Carbohydrates: 18.1 g

  • Fiber: 2.9 g

  • Sugar: 4.9 g

  • Total Fat: 15.7 g

  • Saturated Fat: 8.3 g

  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.9 g

  • Monounsaturated Fat: 4.8 g

  • Trans Fat: 0.3 g

  • Protein: 15 g

  • Cholesterol: 45 mg

  • Sodium: 325 mg (22% DV*)

  • Vitamin A: 12,876 IU (552% DV)

*Daily Value: Percentages are based on a diet of 2,000 calories a day.

queso fundido | vegan queso fundido
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