While I love a good vegan cheese dip as much as the next person, what makes chili cheese dip extra special is that you get so much STUFF in every bite.
Whether it’s a bit of seitan chorizo, spicy beans, or chunks of fire-roasted tomatoes, there’s reason after reason to grab another chip and go dunking. Who knows what deliciousness you’ll get with the next mouthful?
It’s a cheesy treasure hunt. And every dive is a winner.
A great way to use leftover chili
For this vegan chili cheese dip, I used leftovers from my favorite chili recipe. My vegan three bean chili is a fan favorite around here.
I’ve heard from so many readers who have made it and loved it. (One person even won a chili competition with it!)
I’ve also made this chili cheese dip with lentil chili. And it’s amazing either way!
I’m a big believer in cooking once and eating multiple times – but not by leftovers alone (although that works too). By re-purposing a dish, it feels new but with very little added effort.
Extra cheesy by way of cashew queso
This protein-packed chili comes together with cashew queso.
Now, I have a regular cashew queso recipe on the blog that I use for things like fully loaded nachos, breakfast nachos, chili cheese tater tots, and breakfast nests. However, for this one I kept things simple since the chili already has so many spices in it.
So with this vegan cheese dip, now you get the velvety creaminess of cashew queso and the added heft of three bean chili.
It’s hearty enough that a person and her spouse could make a lunch of it along with some tortilla chips… Not that I know anyone who would do that. Cough, cough.
In fact, while David is typically not a chili fan because of his dislike for tomato-based stews and pinto beans, he was ALL IN on this vegan chili cheese dip. Every time I’ve made it he’s said, “This is the best vegan cheese dip I’ve ever had.”
So you’ll have to take David’s word that this dip is perfect for summer get-togethers, games nights, or as a starter for your next Taco Tuesday with your sweetheart.
Here’s how to make this vegan cheese dip:
Blend raw cashews in a high-speed blender with nutritional yeast flakes, white miso paste, and water. (Don’t have a high speed blender? I give a couple alternatives in the recipe below.)
Then add the cashew liquid to a pot with leftover chili, seitan chorizo, and hot sauce.
Feel free to use your preferred homemade or store-bought vegan chorizo. I used Upton’s Naturals chorizo seitan, which is already pre-crumbled in the package for easy use. Just heat and eat!
Stir the pot frequently over a medium heat until the liquid reduces, and the sauce becomes thick like a gravy. It should only take about ten minutes.
Which hot sauce to use?
I seriously have a whole basket of hot sauces in the bottom of my refrigerator and vary which one I pull from depending on the intended purpose. I have hot sauces that are great for stir-fries, some for tacos, some for buffalo sauce, some that stand out in a dish, and others that just add some background heat.
Here are the three top hot sauces in my kitchen.
For this dish, I reach for Trader Joe’s jalapeño hot sauce. It has a really nice, round flavor, and a bit of heat, but not so much that you’re running for a glass of water.
Feel free to use your favorite hot sauce, though. Vary the amount of hot sauce you use depending on the type you choose or your own heat proclivities.
Just add tortilla chips and get dipping!
Put this warm & melty vegan cheese dip in a bowl along with a generous amount of tortilla chips for dunking. Or air fry some french fries and pour them over the top.
Serve with an icy cold Mexican beer (with lime, of course) or a refreshing glass of peach rooibos tea.
This chili cheese dip also works beautifully with a vegan nacho bar!
In the spirit of “cook once, eat several times,” here are some other ways to use left over chili:
Pour it over a vegan chili dog.
Add it to a cornmeal crust with frankfurters for a vegan chili dog pizza.
Pour it over tater tots along with non-dairy queso for vegan chili cheese tater tots.