Chili Queso Dip! (vegan)

Need a crowd-pleaser for your Super Bowl party?

Real chili con queso has ground meat, velveeta cheese, spices, onions, and lots of other secret ingredients. Well, I’m here to help steer you to a slightly healthier option, which also happens to taste amazing. I’ve worked with lots of variations of this recipe to get the color, flavor, and consistency just right. Why? Because I want to show you that you can make a remarkable dairy-free, cholesterol-free queso dip, no sweat.

Creamy, cheesy, spicy comfort in a bowl.

This creamy, hearty dip has all kinds of fun things going on to keep you interested. First off, the richness of texture added by the chili make this dip seem almost like a meal in itself. For the base, I decided to use raw cashews for their richness and inherent sweetness. The cheese flavor comes from the nutritional yeast and the color from the red bell pepper. To keep this as simple as possible, I used chili powder and smoked paprika, which gives the dip a flavor similar to chipotle chilies, but if you want something with chunks of chilies, try adding some roasted green chilies. The best part, you can have your very own bowl of plant-based Chili Queso in less than 10 minutes from stuff you probably have in your pantry.

Go ahead: bring this to a Superbowl party or potluck. Set the cheesy goodness down and watch your friends go bananas. The only thing people will ask you for is the recipe.

Oh, and don’t skimp on the chips—trust me, you’ll need them.


For the Queso:
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3-1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika

For the Chili:
15-ounce homemade or store bought veggie chili (I used Amy’s Organic Chili)

Optional Garnish: fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, avocado chunks, hot sauce, salsa fresca, lime, jalapenos, radish, red onion, tortilla chips (I use Late July Organic scoopers)

Blend all queso ingredients in your high speed blender until smooth and creamy. Be patient, this may take a few minutes. You can add water to reach your desired consistency (I used 1/2 cup water). Place queso mixture in a large serving bowl and mix in the veggie chili. Serve with plenty of chips and your desired garnishes.

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