Forget the unhealthy fat laden dips of the past. This vegan chili cheese dip has all the flavor with all the healthy benefits! Only whole foods in this vegan queso!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of NOW Foods. The opinions and text are all mine.
Having the guys over for the big game? Or maybe you just feel like putting on some stretchy pants and digging in all by yourself. I don't judge, that sounds like a dream. Either way, this dip is it. It's made with all whole foods, no crap and tastes amazing. Realistically, you can call this dinner.
But How Do You Make Chili Without The Meat?!
Whole foods are the base of this vegan chili cheese dip. I'm talking veggies, beans, nuts...you can sit and eat the whole thing without regret. Well, you'd be quite full with all that whole food goodness, so perhaps share just a tad. Look at how this base reduces into legit looking chili!
I based this "meat" off of my vegan taco "meat" in my 7 Layer Taco Dip. The main ingredients are lentils and walnuts.
The walnuts I use are from NOW Foods, you need GOOD nuts. These are super flavorful, soft and perfect for this chili cheese dip. They are finely chopped in a blender before cooked to a soft tender perfection.
The other key is the lentils. I use french green lentils and I chop them in a blender BEFORE cooking. This helps achieve my chunky meaty texture. Texture is life.
But that cheese though?
This vegan queso dip also uses my fabulous whole foods based creamy cheese sauce from my mac and cheese balls. It is filled with veggies (WHAT?!), and has no nutritional yeast. I know, some of you are wondering if I even know vegan cheese. But, gasp, I am not a nutritional yeast fan.
And I don't think it is cheesy, more stinky socky. But the veggie cashew combo in my cheese sauce gives this chili cheese dip a gooey creamy consistency. And no stinky sock flavor!
So I'm thinking you really should try this vegan chili cheese dip out before you serve it to guests. You know, it's your job to test all foods first. It's what a good host would do. And also invite me over, because I should check it too.
This recipe was originally published on 2/1/2016
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Vegan Mexican Chili Cheese Dip
- ½ cup raw walnuts , soaked overnight (see note, I use NOW Foods brand)
- ½ cup French green dry uncooked lentils
- 1 ¾ cups veggie broth , low sodium if needed
- ½ cup veggie broth , low sodium if needed (to saute)
- ½ cup sweet or yellow onion , chopped
- 1 cup fresh tomatoes , chopped
- 4 ounces chopped green chiles (1 small can)
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (may need more or less depending on broth used)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for spice, adjust for preferred spice level)
- 4 cups vegan cheese sauce
- Using a food processor, pulse dry uncooked lentils until partially chopped and chunky. Set aside.
- Next pulse walnuts until chopped into small pieces. Set aside.
- In a large pan over medium heat, sauté chopped onion in ¼ cup veggie broth until onion begins to get translucent. About 5 minutes.
- Add walnuts and 2 more tablespoons broth and sauté 3 more minutes until mixture begins to caramelize.
- Add chopped lentils and 2 more tablespoons broth to the pan and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes and chopped green chiles and sauté 2 more minutes.
- Add 1 ¾ cups veggie broth and spices and mix well.
- Cook covered for 10-15 minutes until lentils have softened and broth is almost gone. Uncover and turn heat to low.
- Stir in cheese sauce and allow to bubble. Once bubbling, remove from heat and serve immediately.
- You can keep warm in a crockpot. Serve with chips or just eat with a spoon.
- Soaking the walnuts overnight helps soften them so they aren’t too crunchy in the overall recipe, however if you forget, you can also soak in hot water for 2-3 hours, boil for 30 minutes or not do anything and be okay with a slightly crunchier end result.
- You can use brown lentils instead of green but the green will cook a little more “al dente” than the brown.
- Make cheese sauce, chop onion, soak walnuts.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.