Looking for the best vegan chili cheese dip? Look no further!
This savory dip is loaded with three bean chili, seitan chorizo, and creamy cashew queso.
It’s a crowd-pleasing appetizer that everyone will love!
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.
For this vegan chili cheese dip, I use leftovers from my favorite chili recipe. My vegan three bean chili is beloved around here.
But you can use any vegan chili that you like. (Even canned chili!)
It comes together with creamy cashew cheese sauce. That’s what gives this decadent sauce body and flavor.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this recipe.
Raw cashews: Raw cashews give this sauce creamy thickness. Look for it near other nuts at the grocery store.
White miso paste: This fermented soybean paste adds salt and umami. Look for it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. It’s often near the tofu.
Nutritional yeast flakes: This vegan pantry staple adds cheesiness to this dip.
I often buy it at Trader Joe’s. You can also find it in some natural grocery store bulk bins, or near alternative flours.
(Read more about it in this post explaining what is nutritional yeast.)
Vegan chili: This recipe is a great way to repurpose leftover 3 bean chili.
It can easily be replaced with whatever chili you have on hand, even canned chili.
Seitan chorizo: This meatless chorizo adds bite, protein, and spice.
Look for it with other vegan meats in the refrigerated section. I usually buy Upton’s Naturals chorizo.
Hot sauce: Hot sauce adds kick to this flavorful dip. Add more, less, or omit completely, depending on your heat preferences.
Red jalapeno pepper sauce is my favorite here.
Salt: A little salt brings it all together.
Because the miso paste, hot sauce, and chorizo are salty, remember to adjust to your own tastes.
Step by step instructions
Here’s how to make this recipe at a glance. For complete ingredient amounts & instructions, keep scrolling to the recipe card below.
Blend the following in a high speed blender:
- Raw cashews
- Nutritional yeast flakes
- White miso paste
Then add the cashew liquid to a pot with the following:
- Leftover chili
- Seitan chorizo
- Hot sauce
Stir the pot frequently over a medium heat until the liquid reduces.
The sauce will become thick like a gravy.
It should only take about ten minutes.
Then it’s ready to serve with tortilla chips for dipping.
Standard blender instructions
If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you’ll need to soften the raw cashews before blending.
You have three options for this workaround.
Choose ONE of the following:
- Soak raw cashews in water for several hours. Then drain & continue with the recipe as written.
- Grind dry raw cashews in a clean coffee grinder. Then add them to your standard blender along with the other blender ingredients.
- Cover raw cashews in hot water for 10 to 30 minutes to soften them. Then drain and continue with the recipe as written.
This melty vegan cheese dip goes well with tortilla chips or baked fries for dunking.
It also works beautifully as part of a vegan nacho bar!
Finally, you could serve this dairy free cheese dip with any of these main courses:
Make it your own
You can make this mouthwatering dip your own by varying the ingredients.
Vary the type of chili
Vary the vegan meat
Vegan chorizo adds toothsome bite & protein. But it can easily be replaced with a different type of meatless chorizo, or a different plant-based meat altogether.
Use any of the following:
- Seitan-style chorizo
- Impossible burger (Brown in a skillet before adding)
- Beefless crumbles
Omit miso paste
Miso adds cheesy umami and salt.
However, if you’d prefer to leave it out, add a pinch of salt, if necessary.
Storing & reheating
Store vegan chili cheese dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for about 4 days.
Note that the dip will thicken in the refrigerator. So when reheating, you may need to add up to ¼ cup of water to bring it back to the right thickness.
Reheat in a pot on the stove on a low medium heat, or in the microwave. Remember to stir often.
This dip also freezes well in a freezer-proof container. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Simply move it to the refrigerator to thaw before reheating.
More vegan dips
The BEST vegan chili cheese dip
- In a high speed blender, blend raw cashew pieces, water, white miso paste, and nutritional yeast flakes until smooth.
- Pour the cashew mixture into a medium-sized pot along with vegan three bean chili, crumbled seitan chorizo, 1 to 2 teaspoons of hot sauce depending on your heat preference, and up to ¼ teaspoon salt. (Depending on your chili and chorizo, you may need more or less salt, as those things vary in saltiness.)
- Bring the pot to a medium heat, stirring often. (The cashew mixture has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan, and so you want to prevent burning by stirring regularly.)
- Cook for about 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced, leaving a thick, velvety queso. If the mixture gets too hot and starts to bubble, lower the heat. If it gets too thick, add up to ¼ cup water.
- Serve hot with chips for dipping.