I made this instant pot vegan queso for a Superbowl party over the weekend and “forgot” to mention that it was vegan. Everyone ate it and loved it, and had no idea that it was dairy-free. Jordan really likes this dip too and I like to think that if he likes it then you know it’s a good vegan substitution haha. He hates when I try and replace favorites with healthy versions.
I love finding nutritious replacements for some of my favorite unhealthy foods. I never stress too much about splurging on something that doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value too it because it all balances out in the end. However, if I can make something that satisfies my cravings while still being healthy, then I will choose the healthy version any day. Queso dip is seriously my weakness. Put a jar of it with some chips in front of me and it’ll be gone in no time. This dip is the perfect replacement to satisfy my queso cravings and it is freakin’ loaded with nutrients and vitamins.
The base of this dip is cauliflower and cashews… I know, weird right? You’d be surprised by how creamy this blends up though, and cauliflower is one of those veggies that takes on the taste of whatever you spice it with so well. I feel like cauliflower doesn’t get enough attention, and even in my house I rarely make it on it’s own. I feel like the flavor is somewhat uneventful on its own, but I love adding it to other things. Cauliflower is full of phytochemicals, which are antioxidants. Antioxidants help decrease inflammation and fight off heart disease. This month is heart health month, and this recipe is a great one for supporting heart health.
This vegan queso dip is perfectly spicy, creamy, and addictive. The recipe makes quite a bit of dip because it goes so fast! No worries if you don’t have an instant pot, this queso can be made without one too. I’ve included directions for making it sans instant pot at the end of the recipe.
Instant Pot Vegan Queso
This vegan queso dip requires minimal effort and is the perfect appetizer to serve at a party. It can be made in the instant pot or on the stove top and comes together to make a deliciously spicy, creamy dip that can be enjoyed with chips or chopped veggies.
Instant pot ingredients:
- ¼ C diced red onion
- 1 jalapeno seeded and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic diced
- ½ T avocado oil
- 1 small head of cauliflower
- 1 ½ C water
- ½ C raw cashews
- ½ C nutritional yeast
- ¼ C plain unsweetened almond milk or milk of your choice
- 1 10 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilis I used Rotel
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp chili powder
Instant pot instructions:
Sauté the red onion, garlic and jalapeno in avocado oil for 3 minutes in the instant pot. Add in the cauliflower, cashews, and water and cook on manual for 5 minutes. Use the quick release to let out the steam when the time is up.
Pour the cooked ingredients into a strainer over the sink to drain the water.
Add the mixture to the blender along with the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder and blend until completely smooth. You might have to add half at a time, depending on the size of your blender.
Transfer to a serving dish and top with bell pepper, lime, cilantro, diced onion, or toppings of your choosing. Serve with tortilla chips or veggies
You can put the mixture back into your instant pot on the warm setting to keep it warm.
Stove top instructions:
If you don't have an instant pot, no worries. First, be sure to soak your cashews in water for a few hours to soften them up. Drain the water before using.
Sautee the red onion, garlic and jalapeno in avocado oil in a pot until the onions start becoming translucent (5-7 minutes). Add in the cauliflower, cashews, and water. Cover the pot and reduce heat to low, allowing the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is fork tender.
Drain the cooked ingredients and follow the instructions above for blending and serving.