Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Nacho Cheese Dip

My good friend Linda shared this fantastic recipe with me. We were all delighted by this creamy, cheesy nacho dip; pour it on tortilla chips, tacos, and burritos, or serve it as a warm dip with carrots, celery, and bell pepper strips.

We believe the recipe is adapted from Something To Shout About (follow link and scroll down) by Donna Green-Goodman. The book chronicles her recovery from aggressive breast cancer by following a healthy, plant-based diet.

makes about 2 cups

2 cups water
¼ cup raw cashews
One 4 oz. jar pimentos, drained
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cumin, heaping


Combine all ingredients in a Vita-Mix or other blender and blend until completely smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium saucepan and whisk constantly over medium heat until thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Serve as a dip with tortilla chips and vegetables.

Variations:
Add some vegetarian burger crumbles, black olives, or salsa.

93 comments:

dollydlux said...

yum- can't wait to try it out!

Girl_Of_Melodies said...

this was really good!
I first ate it with chili and nachos, but as I had leftovers I made this soup http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=10273
and sprinkled the sauce over - was lovely, you should all try it ;-)
I sure wont be making any other uncheese for mexican food now!

Anonymous said...

I use a very similar recipe for the best mac & (not)cheese ever, though without the cumin and with soymilk instead of water. So yummy!

gaile said...

This was awesome! I made it tonight, and even posted about it on my blog. This is probably the only recipe for vegan cheeze that I've found that I actually like. I love it - thanks for the recipe!!

Jennifershmoo said...

Woo hoo! Glad you liked it! I really was surprised at how good it is -- one of the best vegan "cheeses" we've ever made!

Suzanne MacNeil said...

I have trouble finding certain kinds of raw nuts around here, cashews being among them. would roasted ones work, or is there another easy-to-find viable substitute?

Jennifershmoo said...

I would not substitute roasted cashews for the raw ones -- I think they have a stronger taste and would not blend in as creamily as raw.

Perhaps raw almonds could be substituted, but again I don't think they would have quite the creaminess of raw cashews.

I think ultimately it would be worth the effort to find some raw cashews or order them online -- they are used in so many vegan cheese and ice cream recipes.

Ruth said...

could you make this without pimentos? and if so, would you have to subsitute them for something, or could you just leave them out altogether?

Jennifershmoo said...

If you're worried because you don't like the taste of pimentos, the pimentos really don't taste pimento-ey in the sauce. They are the main ingredient that give it the color and body it has, though, so I really wouldn't recommend trying to leave them out. Perhaps you could substitute cooked carrots or roasted red peppers??

Really, try it first as is before experimenting -- you may be surprised!

Raphie said...

There's a very similar recipe in this cookbook, too...

http://www.pickle-publishing.com/books/country-life-cookbook.htm

It makes some VERY tasty vegan mac and cheese...

Mikaela said...

Ok. So, I'm sure you didn't buy a jar of olives and de-pimento them :) Where did you get a jar of pimentos? I can't find them online anywhere!

:) Mikaela

Jennifershmoo said...

Pimentos are available in jars in the condiment section of the grocery store; look for them next to the olives and pickles.

gaile said...

Ok. I have to comment again. My coworkers are raving about this - and they are the kind of people who eat bacon every day. It's that good.

~ V ~ said...

No pimentos in the house but I just had to try this now! I put in a bit of Spanish paprika and the color is lovely. Yummy!

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled! I have a milk allergy, and everyday I seem to get more sensitive to anything with milk in it. I was DYING not getting to have yummy nachos at least weekly. This recipe is heaven sent! Delicious, and it doesnt make me sick! (I had to keep my brother out of it, telling him he can eat regular cheese. He thought it was delicious too!)

Mary said...

Hi Jennifer. This obviously makes alot, so do you know how long it lasts in the fridge? Does it freeze well? Does it half well also?

Jennifershmoo said...

Hee hee. It was so yummy, we ate it ALL in one sitting, so we're not the best ones to tell you how long it will keep in the fridge! My guess is that it will keep in the fridge for a week.

I don't know how it would freeze, but most of the "uncheeses" I've frozen have separated and gotten yucky in the freezer, some recovering quickly with a little whir in the blender, others having to be thrown away. You might give it a try and see how it goes.

As far as halving the recipe, I'm sure it would work as long as you still had enough of a volume for your blender to run well. Although you would be left with half a jar of pimentos...

greengrammy said...

I make a similar 'cheese sauce' all the time and buy pimientos in large 28 ounce cans which I open and measure 1/2 cup amounts (my recipe calls for 1/2 cup) into ziplock bags and freeze. I just throw the frozen pimientos into the blender when making the sauce. My son said that with this cheese sauce, he will never need dairy again! :)

Mary said...

Hey Jennifer. I made the recipe, but I only had 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast. So I meant to halve the recipe but I didn't. It still came out good, but this is the only case where I felt like I needed more nutritional yeast, since I am not a fan of it. I used it as the cheese part in my mac and cheese and I added some mustard to it. It's really good!

jen said...

Made a 1/2 recipe (pimentos come in 2 oz jars where i shop), and added a bunch of pickeled jalapenos for a spicy sauce. It was amazing. My meat eating friend loved it and is dying to make this for his yearly Super Bowl party.

Ruth said...

Hmm, I don't think we have pimentos in Australia, or we call them by another name (or we do and I have just never come across them).

Wikipedia says:

The Pimento or Cherry Pepper is a variety of large, red, heart-shaped chile pepper (Capsicum annuum) that measures 3 to 4 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide (medium, elongate).

In the United States, pimento usually refers to the pimento-stuffed olive


Which are you referring to in your recipe?

Jennifershmoo said...

The recipe calls for just the pimentos -- no olives. You can find them in little jars in the condiments section here, usually right beside the olives and pickles.

I think sweet roasted red peppers would be a good substitute, if you can find those where you are.

hipflygirl said...

Mmmm very delicious!! Thank you Jennifer!! I, too, halved the recipe, using a 2 ounce jar of pimientos. It took about 15 minutes for the sauce to thicken on a very low simmer but it was well worth the wait. I recommend decreasing the amount of salt though. I ate it with baked tortilla chips.

StarGazerLily said...

Thank you for the Nacho Cheese Dip it is so good. ~I became intolerant to dairy about 8 months ago and it has been a nightmare to find things that do not contain dairy, whey & lactose.~ Thank you for This good tasting recipe.

speedwell said...

You can definitely substitute roasted red pepper for the pimentos. We do it all the time in our uncheeses. I have also used leftover broiled Roma tomatoes (deseeded) with a generous spoonful of paprika; a little different but still workable. SOME red pepper flavor is really necessary, I think.

amira said...

do u need everythn on there?

Anonymous said...

This looks SOOOOO good, but my daughter has several food sensitivities. Do you have any suggestions for substitutions for the lemon juice and onion powder? Thank you!! :)

bean said...

I'd love to try this, but I have a nut allergy. I'm finding it hard to eat vegan without nuts, is there anything you could substitute for them to get the texture etc?
Also, as I work in a school, I find it surprising your school allows kids to bring nut products in their lunch. The school I work in (and many others I know) are 100% peanut/nut free. Perhaps there's not as many kids with the allergy there (lucky you).

Steve said...

I'm looking forward to trying this recipe. When I do, I'll post a review of it on ILoveNachoCheese.com

Anonymous said...

Wow, this tastes amazing! I used it for dipping, but it will be super over corn chips, burritos, tacos... Thank you so much for the recipe!!

(BTW, I used roasted red pepper.)

Anonymous said...

I made this for a Super Bowl party and everyone loved it. I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty it is; even my omnivore-husband liked it!

Cherry said...

This is the first recipe I have tried by you Jennifer.. I have been slowly working on becoming vegan since october but was having a very hard time with cheese.

This was really good- I used roasted red peppers in place of the pimentos, but kept everything else the same and it was great. I am actually eating it with crackers, b/c I have no chips right now, but it is still yum-o!

This is the first vegan cheez I have tried after having some nutritional yeast in my cupboard for a couple months now- b/c I thought the stuff smelled awful.. but it works and it really is cheesy- who knew? Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Just wondering......what kind of yeast flakes do you use or would you reccommend?

Jennifershmoo said...

In recipes like these always use "nutritional yeast flakes", NOT brewer's yeast or active dry (bread) yeast. I use Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula Nutritional Yeast Flakes. Nutritional yeast flakes are also sometimes available in bulk at health food stores.

Betsy said...

smells gross, tastes fabulous. thanks jennifer!

Megan said...

Oh, I have a terrible problem! I went out and bought all the ingredients I didn't already have in the kitchen and I couldn't find the yeast flakes. So I went to Whole Foods, found them, but saw they were a striking $20 per bottle. There is no way I can afford to pay that kind of money for something I'm not sure I'll like. So now I have a delema.

I was wondering, is there any substitude? Or, what else can I do with pimentos and these other ingredients? Haha.

Jennifershmoo said...

Wow, are you sure Whole Foods didn't have the nutritional yeast flakes in bulk? I used to buy mine there in the bulk bins for not too much.

Unfortunately, there's really nothing else I know of that adds that certain "cheesy" taste. But make it without the nutritional yeast, if you like, and see what you think.

~DiZzY~ said...

Mmmm! I have a similar recipe of my own, but this was very yummy! I use arrowroot in place of the cornstarch.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer-

One of my friends told me about your blog and I am so excited. I have a child with many mild food allergies including Milk. Cheese seems to be such a staple in young children's foods that I have really struggled. I am excited to learn about using nutritional yeast for the cheesy flavor! I was wondering about how this recipe would taste without cashews though. He is too young to have nuts in his diet, especially since he has been shown to have other food sensitivities. Thanks for putting this website together!

Jennifershmoo said...

>>how this recipe would taste without cashews though.

Cashews add creaminess and richness to the recipe. If you can't use nuts, I would suggest adding some cooked white beans or some silken tofu. Good luck!

Sonia said...

Ooh, too good! We've been vegetarian for 3 years, but my 3-year-old daughter and I just went vegan about a month ago, and it's really been a struggle to put macaroni out of her mind lol. I tried another "cheese" sauce for mac a while back (it had silken tofu in it), I liked it, no one else did, so I'd kind of given up. But this was FANTASTIC! All those rich flavors..."what is this? cashew? pimento? nutritional yeast?" We only used half the batch for mac, so I'm saving the rest for baked potatoes (with bac O's, green onions, and better than sour cream, naturally). I'll definitely be making another batch for nacho salad later on this week...it was great! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Could a can of Rotel be used in place of the pimentos? I just happen to have it on hand and I think it might add a little kick to it...

Love Italian Cheese said...

I loved the recipe!I love everything that includes cheese, but my favorite is Italian cheese!

Anonymous said...

If you have a nut allergy you can use raw sunflower seeds instead of cashews, I also use red pepper instead of pimentos and everyone says its yummy.

Patricia said...

I can't believe how good this stuff is!!! I feel like I've been given a huge gift, I get to eat "cheese" again.
My brother even said, "To tell the truth..." (and I held my breath) "this tastes BETTER than cheese sauce!"

Anonymous said...

Great recipe! thanks!I love cooking with Italian cheese, but that recipe is just something amazing!

Sam said...

Hey I don't know if you guys know about "Follow Your Heart" cheeses-but they are AWESOME, they have a nacho cheese but you have to eat it while it's hot cuz it gets kinda chunky hehe

Anonymous said...

We use this type recipe for "mac n yease" as well. Only we always use oat milk (not soy). We didn't have pimentos one time so we used roasted red peppers and it was just as good - had a little bit of pepper flavor. Also, we've used almonds many times instead of the cashews....

Dena said...

Can you substitute Yeast powder for Yeast flakes?

Jennifershmoo said...

Yes, just use less -- I would say start out with less than half and adjust the taste from there.

Angi @ Peakmore Academy said...

I made this today. Overall- great! First time for a "substitute cheese sauce" for me and I was happy with the results. Changes for the future-- cut back on the lemon juice, it was too strong a taste for me. Changes to keep--- I added some Mrs. Dash Chipotle seasoning to it to punch up the heat and that was super!! I'd never had pimientos before so i was leery, but i took your advise to not get rid of them and they didn't even taste like anything in there. Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

Wow! & just when I was about ready to totally give up on vegan cheeses & sauces I find this. Thanks so much - it is truly delicious...and actually tastes like CHEESE!

jennifer said...

Speaking of macaroni and cheese - for my little guy, I use steamed/pureed cauliflower, seasoned with salt/pepper - I mix this "cheese" sauce with his favorite rice noodles and he loves it!

spa resorts said...

thanks..
was just hunting for this recipe for my family bbq.
will try later today.

danielle Baldino said...

just made this recipe & poured it over some organic crn chips with refried beans, olives, salsa, tofu sour cream & salsa. its just what ive been craving, and just in time for superbowl season....thank you!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found this site. I have been dealing with my daughter's dairy, nut and egg allergies for over 3 years. I am finding it very hard to make stuff that she can eat. I feel bad when we are eating food she can't have. Cheese is so hard to work around. I can't wait to try this dip with tofu. However, I have NEVER cooked with tofu before. How much should be added instead of the nuts?

Lori

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, Lori! Instead of using tofu, try substituting an equal amount of drained canned white beans for the nuts. We've tried this at home and it worked perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Love this recipe! There are a few versions of this recipe in John Mcdougall's book.

Meghan Pelley said...

I make a batch of this at least once a week. It's become a staple in our house. I've changed it so many ways to make it work as applicable to any meal. For instance I'll add a garlic clove, some miso paste, soy sauce and make it taste kind of cheddar like. Try mixing it w/ tomato sauce to give pasta a spaghetti-o-type flavor. Thank you so much for this recipe I honestly don't know how I lived life before it.

Amy said...

I have substituted the pimientos in this with roasted red peppers (the jarred kind) several times. It works great. Thanks for the great recipe.

Jen-Jen said...

I know of someone who got breast cancer as a vegan, and had to cut out soy based on the suggestion of her oncologist. So veganism doesn't automatically protect against breast cancer.

Anonymous said...

I made this today for lunch for my family. It was a HUGE hit. And this was amazing coming from my husband, who is very picky about vegan "cheese"! I've never made a vegan cheese dip that he's liked until NOW. He could not stop eating it and my 6 year old daughter was literally licking her bowl!

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and I were craving movie nachos so badly one night and made this dip in a few minutes. it was so simple and it really hit the spot!
to give it a little more kick we added some chopped jalapenos, which I highly recommend...
Thanks for the great recipe: quick, easy & delicious!

Hennifer said...

I made this for the first time this weekend and it was Fabulous! it totally deserves that capital F :-)

I used the canned beans, pocketbook friendlier. I only had a little flakes left so I used the rest yeast powder. It had a slightly weird after taste but I realized I'd been using my 1/2 Tblsp instead of 1/2 tsp so it was probably powder-ier than it should have been.

it was such a hit. My kids went back for 3rds (I didn't tell them it wasn't real cheese)

I can't stop thinking about it now.

Anonymous said...

Outstanding! I haven't eaten so many nachos in my life! I really enjoyed this dip...I did find it a little bland at first but that was solved with a few heaping table spoons of chili powder...mmmmm...delicious!

Kevin said...

I've made this stuff a total of 7 times! I can't get enough! Awesome recipe, I'd take this over real cheese any day.

Andrea said...

I haven't eaten dairy (or soy protein) in over a year because I'm nursing my son who is intolerant. The No. 1 thing I've missed the most is cheese! Thanks so much for posting this recipe, it was fantastic! I used a can of white beans instead of cashews with great results. I'm putting a link to it from my blog. Thanks again!

kat said...

it took me over a year to make the cheese dip, but i finally did! it's absolutely delicious - thank you so much for a nacho cheese sauce that really tastes like the real thing!
of course i have to order all the ingredients in bulk now, so i can eat it every day ;-)
(i used the white beans instead of cashews.)

Anonymous said...

This is so good! I made it with leftover almonds and spicy peanuts instead of cashews (I didn't have any, and with out the pimentos (Not a huge fan). It is so yummy! I poured it over steamed veggies and a baked potato. This is the best vegan cheese I have tried yet! I have recently developed a milk allergy and this really hit the spot! Thank you!

Brooke

bethy said...

Take this (you can leave out the cornstarch and not cook it, but may want to use less water) and rub it on kale leaves pulled of the stem. Bake at ~200 or dehydrate. Absurdly good.

Iron Chef said...

Here is one recipe that i wish you can try because its very delicious "Banana Bread Recipe" full recipe at Banana Bread Recipe

VEGirl said...

Sounds tasty! I have to try this! Thanks!!!!

-VEGirl
vegirlblog.blogspot.com

Hillary Langberg said...

phenomental recipe... thanks! I'm thinkin' vegan chili cheese fries!

Molly said...

Awesome recipe, Love the blog:)

Sohbetizm said...

Sohbet Sohbet odaları Sohbet istanbul Sohbet sitesi Sohbet siteleri chat chat sitesi chat siteleri chat odaları chat chat odaları

Timothy said...

This is sooo delicious. if one leves the pimentos out it's not a huge deal. you can also add like a half tbsp extra ocrn starch to make sure it thickens well. Just don't leave out the cumin! great recipe!

lla said...

china wholesale
cell phones
mobile phone
cheap cell phones wholesale

risky81 said...

I just made this and it did not thicken at all. The only changes I made were using soy milk instead of water, and I left out the cumin because I didn't have any. Any idea what the problem could be?

crazyloko said...

Chaussures puma de sport en magasin Livraison 24 H,Air ShoesVendre nike chaussures Nike Tn,requin tn,CHAUSSURES FEMME,Nike chaussures homme ,nike shox nz ,NIKE AIR MAX 360,NIKE SHOX TORCH,NIKE ShOX Rival,Nike Shox R4,wholesale polo shirtsNIKE AIR RIFT,NIKE requin tn Livraison 24H Shox R4,Jeans OnlineNIKE AIR RIFT,NIKE requin tn Livraison 24H Paypal Credit card Accept

nanchang said...

Your blog is wonderful, I like it very much, thank you!
By the way, do you like polo shirts, which are very chic, especially the polo t shirts, I love them very much. I also like playing tennis rackets, it can keep healthy, what do you like to do?
We are the outlet of polo t shirts women, polo t shirts on sale, polo t shirts for women, polo shirts on sale, these products are best-seller in our store online.besides we also sell polo shirts men, men's polo shirt, men polo shirt, mens polo shirts, mens polo shirt and cheap polo shirts, discount polo shirts, men's polo shirts, women's polo shirts We are also the outlet of cheap tennis racket, discount tennis racket and the main product is prince tennis racquet, head tennis rackets, wilson tennis racket, babolat tennis racquet. So if you love sports, you should not miss our store, we can meet what you want, and you can find many surprise in our store

tigris said...

I just made this using a 4-oz can of green chiles, and OMG it is unbelievable. Hits all the right notes. Thanks for sharing it!

men's clothing said...

Your article is great,here i tell you some discount online stores
Ralph Lauren polo shirts
discount polo shirts
cheap men's clothing
Columbia jackets
Spyder jackets
Burberry polo shirts
cheap polo Ralph Lauren

cheap polo shirts
nike air max tn
polo shirts on sale
nike air max
nike 360 air max
buy cheap polos
mens clothing
nike shox shoes
discount men's clothing
polo shirts
wholesale polo shirts
polo clothing
cheap polos
mens polo shirts
men's polo shirts

jacqueline said...

I have been making this recipe since I found it on this site 3 years ago. I am not vegan, I love cheese more than some people love their family but mostly avoid dairy for environmental reasons. I prefer this dip to any cheese dip I have eaten.

ball valves said...

I had never see a blog batter than this blog, I like this blog very very much.By the way, do you like my products: street lights, street lighting, street lamps, ball valves, butterfly valves, butterfly valve handles, check valves, sanitary fittings, butterfly valve handles, butterfly valve handles, solar street lights, street light, valve manufacturer, butterfly valve handles, valve manufacturers, butterfly valve handles, street lamp, solar street light, ball valve, butterfly valve handles, butterfly valve, check valve,valves manufacturers, butterfly valve handles

dnwu said...

Tennis Racquet
Tennis Racquet Shop
Chaussures Sport
cell phones
cheap ugg boots

Angie said...

Hi, I found a similar recipe on another website. That recipe says to soak the cashews for a few hours to make it "more smooth and less grainy", will this cheese recipe be very smooth without soaking the cashews? Thanks.

Jennifershmoo said...

Oh yes it's nice & creamy without soaking, especially if you have a powerful blender like a Vitamix. But soaking wouldn't hurt if you would like to try it.

Jacqueline said...

I used leftover butternut squash instead of cashews, roasted red peppers for pimentos and almond milk for water - it was wicked good :) i was skeptical but WOW - thanks Jennifer!!!

Maven said...

So, I've made this recipe jillions of times (usually halved, so that I don't eat QUITE as much in one sitting...) and wanted to note for anyone who is interested that it is just fine without pimientos--in fact, I don't know that I've ever used them. Everything else on the list is a pantry ingredient for me, so I'd rather not buy something special for what is otherwise a staple recipe. I also usually just use cashew butter instead of cashews.

Thanks--I have eaten gallons of this stuff!

Samuel Sullivan said...

I tried this using jarred, marinated nopales or nopalitos (cactus pads)and extra nutritional yeast. It made for wicked good vegan enchiladas!

thislittlechickpea said...

I LOVE THIS RECIPE! I use this for all kinds of delicious treats from vegan "mexi mac" to nachos to last night's black bean "taco pie" that was delicious! I would love to use this recipe and credit your blog on my blog if that would be okay with you! I would also like to provide a link to your "magical loaf studio" as both of these items are sources that have helped keep my family happy with the vegan meals I create! You can check out my brand new blog at www.thislittlechickpea.blogspot.com and email me at thislittlechickpea@gmail.com to let me know if you are okay with me sharing this delicious recipe! Thanks,
Casey

Anneka said...

I haven't tried this recipe, but I have a great tip for those of you who can't find cashews or don't have the patience for soaking. Use pine nuts! You can get em at costco and they blend so well. I'm looking forward to trying this recipe!

Jacki said...

fantastic, thanks!! if you want to make the velveeta/ro-tel dip, use an extra T of cornstarch before cooking so it will be thick enough before stirring in the ro-tel. Delish!