Hands down the best dairy-free cheese sauce I’ve ever tasted. Spicy, meaty and cheesy, this is a dip to win over even the biggest chili cheese dip fans. Vegan, gluten-free and soy-free.
My marriage may only be 5 months old, but I think I’ve figured out the secret.
This dip —> ready by 11AM on football Sundays.
That, along with a consoling backrub when BL’s team loses might put me in the running for wife-of-the-year.
I take my role of “football snacks creator” very seriously. Thursday afternoon is usually when I get the text from BL asking, as sweetly as possible, what food I have lined up for the weekend. Even though it’s usually only him watching the game on our small living room TV, I need to prepare at least one appetizer and one heavier meal. Bonus points for drinks and/or dessert.
While BL is usually content with plain chips and salsa, I have been craving something a bit… cheesier.
This dip was everything I wanted it to be and more. Sure, it’s gluten-free, vegan, and soy free, but it doesn’t taste like it– you know what I mean? It’s perfectly spicy, meaty, and creamy- without the usual suspects.
Instead of making a traditional cheese sauce, we start with a base of blended cashews, peppers, and nutritional yeast. If you haven’t had a cashew-base sauce before, let me first assure you that a.) it will not taste like cashews and b.) the results are mind-blowing.
We then make a quick chili base by simmering canned black beans, fresh salsa, and a little onion. If you crave more heat, add in a few jalapeños. Stir in the cheese sauce and you are done. Just be prepared for the temptation of wanting to pour this sauce on just about everything you can get your hands on… chips, bowls of chili, veggie burgers. No judgement for wanting to convert this into a cheesy chili soup and indulge with only a spoon.
Nutritionally, this dip is a total game changer compared to regular cheese dips. Zero cholesterol, low in saturated fat, and high in protein, fiber, and zinc. Sorry, Ro*tel. No hard feelings, but we totally upped the ante.
- 1½ cups cashews, soaked for at least an 1 hour, drained
- 1 orange bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk (I used almond)
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup minced onion
- 2 tbsp. taco seasoning (I make this recipe and store it in a airtight jar)
- 2 15 oz. cans, black beans, rinsed an drained
- 12 oz. fresh salsa (I used the fresh homestyle salsa container from Trader Joe's)
- Optional garnishes: cilantro, sliced green onions.
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
- Place the cashews, orange bell pepper, milk, chili powder, and nutritional yeast in a high powered blender (I use my Blend-Tec). Puree until thick and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.
- In a large saucepan, add the minced onion, taco seasoning, black beans and fresh salsa over medium heat. Stir constantly until heated through, about 7-8 minutes.
- Add in the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
- Season to taste with salt/pepper if needed.
- Garnish as desired and serve.