This past weekend was a Halloween whirlwind…and yet Halloween is still two days away! It’s making me feel topsy-turvy, and I think my son is fast approaching Halloween overload. Regarding the latter, my fingers are crossed that he will not want to go–and will not want me to go!–to the haunted house “experience” hosted in town.
Nacho Cheese Dip Made with Vegetables
Whether you are still in Halloween mode (honestly, I am–love the trick-or-treaters!) or already gearing up for Thanksgiving, I have a simple dip to share that will thrill and delight. It is delicious, cheese-y, super healthy, and the bright orange color celebrates the season.
It’s a surprise, too. Specifically, it is my Vegetable Nacho Cheese Dip (Don’t tell the children–they may scream)!
The Many Benefits of this Healthy Nacho Cheese
The dip is:
- Quick & easy
- Packed with nutrition
- Low in calories
How to Make Vegetable Nacho Cheese Dip
Begin by steaming the carrots and cauliflower in a steam basket until both are very tender.
If you don’t want to fuss with prepping and steaming the vegetables, or are in a last-minute crunch, I have a solution: use frozen vegetables. Simply defrost, drain, and then measure the amount you need. Flash-frozen vegetables maintain their nutrition (often more so than what is “fresh” in the produce aisle) so do not feel guilty about taking a shortcut.
Next, cook the onion, spices, jalapeno and garlic in the oil until softened and fragrant.
The hard part, if you can call it that, is over! Next, add the cauliflower & carrots, onion mixture, diced tomatoes, nutritional yeast and salt to a blender. If you are new to creating “cheesey” foods without cheese, nutritional yeast is the key ingredient for delivering a distinctive cheese-y, umami flavor to nondairy foods.
Blend on high speed, stopping occasionally to scrape down the blender, until the mixture is completley smooth and velvety. Like this:
Taste the dip and add more salt or spices, to your taste. If the dip is too thick, add a little bit of water or nondairy milk until it reaches your desired consistency.
If the dip is too loose, use one of my favorite tricks: stir in about a tablespoon of coconut flour. Coconut flour is tremendously absorbent, so a little bit thickens the dip instantly. Add more or less, as needed; you will not taste it!
Serve the dip warm, cold or at room temperature with any and all of your favorite dippers. It also makes a great sauce (think baked potatoes, pasta, broccoli, or as the sauce on a pizza) and spread for breads and crackers.
More Delicious & Easy Vegan Cheese Recipes to Try:Print
Just in time for your next snack attack: Vegetable Nacho Cheese Dip ! It is vegan, keto, oil-free and only 33 calories per 2 tablespoons.
- 1 and 1/4 cups (85 g) coarsely chopped cauliflower
- 1 cup (50 g) coarsely chopped, peeled carrots
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) vegetable oil of choice (e.g., olive, coconut, avocado)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon (5 to 7 g) minced jalapeno pepper (seeds & ribs removed)
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cup (250 mL) canned diced tomatoes (drained of excess juice)
- 3 tablespoons (15 g) nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (more or less to taste)
- Optional: 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- In a steamer basket, steam the cauliflower and carrots until tender (see notes for shortcut). Pat dry.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion; cook and stir for 6 to 7 minutes until softened. Reduce the heat to medium and add the jalapeno, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and turmeric. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes longer until very fragrant.
- Transfer the cauliflower, carrots, onion mixture, tomatoes, nutritional yeast, and salt to a blender. Puree, stopping to scrapes side of blender, until completley smooth. If a thicker texture is desired, blend in the coconut flour. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Serve warm (rewarm on low in microwave), room temperature, or cold as a dip or spread.
Storage: Store the cooled dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Shortcut Vegetable Tip: Skip the chopping and steaming and use frozen carrots and cauliflower in place of the fresh. Defrost and drain of excess moisture before measuring.
Jalapeno Tip: In place of the fresh jalapeno, consider using 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add with the spices; use more or less according to desired heat level). Alternatively, season the finished dip, to taste, with hot sauce (e.g., sriracha, tabasco).
- Category: Dip or Spread
- Method: Blender
- Serving Size: 2 tablespoons (30 mL)
- Calories: 33
- Sugar: 1.3 g
- Sodium: 101.5 mg
- Fat: 1.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 3.2 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 1.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg