Pumpkin Queso Con Carne

A simple combination of puréed pumpkin and soaked cashews will transform into a creamy queso.

Mix that with sautéed beef, and you’ve got a Paleo queso con carne (“cheese with meat”). The slight sweetness from the pumpkin blends seamlessly with the savory beef for an irresistible snack.

First, savory grass-fed beef sets the stage for layers of flavor. Sauté the beef with onions, garlic, and cumin in a cast iron skillet until cooked through. Break the beef up as it cooks, scraping up any browned bits in the pan. You want it chunky, but small enough to be scooped up with some fresh veggies.

While that is cooking, make the queso in a blender. The creaminess of the queso comes from a combination of soaked cashews and pumpkin purée. The flavor is built by nutritional yeast and nutmeg. Make sure to purée until the texture is thick and velvety. Don’t rush it.

Add the queso to the beef along with half of the diced tomatoes and transfer it to the oven. This heats the mixture through and thickens it. Top it all off with the remaining diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro, and you’re ready to dip through the night. This is great served with raw veggies or chips!

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Pumpkin Queso Con Carne

Servings 6

Total Time: 36 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Passive Time: 6 minutes


  • 1/2 pound(s) beef ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) cumin
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 cup(s) pumpkin puréed
  • 1/4 cup(s) cashews soaked
  • 1 teaspoon(s) apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon(s) nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup(s) onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup(s) tomato(es) diced
  • 1/4 cup(s) cilantro chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon(s) nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a skillet, heat the ground beef, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste over medium-high heat. Cook 5-7 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until cooked through.
  3. In a blender, combine the pumpkin, drained cashews, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper to taste. Purée 3-4 minutes, until completely smooth and fluffy.
  4. Add the onions and garlic to the beef and cook 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add half of the tomatoes and all of the sauce to the beef and stir to combine. Transfer the skillet to the oven for 5-6 minutes, until warmed through.
  6. Garnish with remaining tomatoes and cilantro.