Spicy Nacho Dip

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This easy Spicy Nacho Dip is perfect for game night and any other occasion where you need a snack that is going to make everyone happy. It’s great for taking to parties too! It is completely dairy-free and gluten-free.

Recipe by: Kim Campbell, author of the PlantPure Kitchen Cookbook.

I absolutely love nachos and, at least a couple of times a month, I make my Nacho Bean Supreme recipe for dinner. But, sometimes I just want a nacho fix without creating a whole meal.

That’s why this nacho cheese dip recipe is so terrific! It’s easy to make, much lighter than a full plate (or bowl) of nachos with all the fixings, and it’s absolutely delicious. It can be ready in only about 15 minutes. You might also want to try my Vegan Nacho Cheese.

Recipe creator, Kim Campbell, says she likes to keep a container of this nacho sauce in the refrigerator so it’s always on hand for topping baked potatoes, tacos, pizza, or tortilla chips.

cast iron frying pan filled with vegan nacho cheese topped with peppers

What is in nacho dip?

This healthy nacho dip recipe is made with wholesome, high-fiber ingredients like raw cashews, garlic, jalapeño, lemon juice, green chiles, and warm spices that include smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder.

My husband isn’t particularly into spicy food, so it’s completely okay to reduce or leave out the jalapeño to suit your family’s taste preferences.

How to make nacho dip

You may want to soak your raw cashews in warm water for about 30 minutes before making this dip. The recipe author doesn’t mention it, but I’ve found that soaking cashews before making sauces can create a creamier texture, especially if you don’t have a high-power blender like my Vitamix 5200.

raw cashews soaking in a bowl of water on white background

Combine all of the ingredients, except the jalapeño and diced green chiles, in a high-powered blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth.

Add the jalapeño and diced green chiles and then transfer the mixture into a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until bubbly and thickened. This should take about 5 minutes.

Serve with homemade corn tortillas or fresh veggies like carrot sticks and celery sticks. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

white bowl of vegan nacho cheese with chip dipped into it

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

How to reheat dip

My guess is that there’s not going to be any of this dip leftover to reheat but if by some miracle you have a little extra, it can easily be reheated.

Simply place it in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in the microwave for about 1 minute. You may find that adding a tablespoon or two of water will help keep the consistency from getting too thick.

Tips and substitutions

  • Cashews- If you want to reduce the number of cashews, use 1/4 cup and add 1 tablespoon cornstarch to the blender.
  • Nut-free- For a completely nut-free version, replace the cashews with 2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes. Use unsweet plant-based milk instead of water, and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. You may find that this version does not pack the punch of the original.

More vegan dip recipes

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

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spicy nach dip in brown bowl surrounded by carrot sticks
4.50 from 6 votes

Spicy Nacho Dip

This easy Spicy Nacho Dip is perfect for game night and any other occasion where you need a snack that is going to make everyone happy. It's great for taking to parties too! It also happens to be dairy-free and gluten-free.
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1.5 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or more to taste
  • 1 jalapeño seeded and minced
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles, drained

Instructions

  • You may want to soak your raw cashews in warm water for about 30-minutes before making this dip. The recipe author doesn’t mention it, but I’ve found that soaking cashews before making sauces can create a creamier texture, especially if you don’t have a high-power blender like my Vitamix 5200.
  • Combine all of the ingredients, except the jalapeño and diced green chiles, in a high-powered blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth.
  • Add the jalapeño and diced green chiles and then transfer the mixture into a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until bubbly and thickened. This should take about 5-minutes.
  • Serve with homemade corn tortillas or fresh veggies like carrot sticks and celery sticks. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Video

Notes

Tips & substitutions:
  • Cashews- If you want to reduce the number of cashews, use 1/4 cup and add 1 tablespoon cornstarch to the blender.
  • Nut-free- For a completely nut-free version, replace the cashews with 2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes. Use unsweet plant-based milk instead of water, and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. You may find that this version does not pack the punch of the original.
  • Reheat- Simply place it in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in the microwave for about 1-minute. You may find that adding a tablespoon or two of water will help keep the consistency from getting too thick.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 cup | Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 280mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g

Disclaimer

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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About the Chef

Kim Campbell is the author of the PlantPure Nation and the PlantPure Kitchen cookbooks. She developed more than 250 delicious whole-food plant-based recipes using no processed oils

Kim is also the Director of Culinary Education and Development at PlantPure, where she works with her husband, Nelson, building an organization that promotes a whole foods plant-based diet.  Nelson directed and produced the groundbreaking movie, PlantPure Nation.

Kim graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Human Service Studies with a concentration in Nutrition and Child Development.  Her passion has always been nutrition education for children, families, and adults.  Kim has been a plant-based cook for more than 25 years cooking for her family and friends.  Her love of culinary goes back to her early childhood growing up in a large traditional family.  Kim is gifted at creating traditional American cuisine using 100% accessible plant-based ingredients.  She builds flavors and textures that are familiar to most people, helping to make the transition to a plant-based diet easier for people.

She is also the daughter-in-law of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, considered by many as the science ‘father’ of the rapidly growing plant-based nutrition movement.

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