I’ve been eating a lot of nachos lately. Like, a lot of nachos. A lot…of nachos. I think it’s because all of a sudden, dairy-free cheeses started actually tasting good. (My favorite specifically for nachos is Daiya, but for this recipe I used both Daiya and SoDelicious.) Not eating dairy, I’d basically given up on nachos as a thing I could do regularly—even though I LOVE them.
Not sure if anyone watches Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, but firstly, I recommend it. And secondly, one of my favorite moments is his visit with Obama and Seinfeld asks him what his favorite food is. “Nachos,” he says—so much so that he says the nachos need to be physically taken away from him in order to stop eating them. I hear that.
And then a couple weeks ago, wanna know what I saw a picture of that looked even better than nachos? Queso. I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I’d figured out a vegan version because I’ve got some makin’ up for lost time to do. So this recipe is a queso-ish dip inspired by my recent extra-strong obsession with nachos. It’s a little heartier than you’re typical queso, loaded up with roasted bell peppers and black beans to make it more meal-ish. It’s great for a party, but also reheats really nicely if you want to make a batch to enjoy for a few days! (I certainly did.)
Vegan Black Bean Nacho Dip
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 40 min | Ready in: 50 min
1 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup almond or rice milk
3 cups pico de gallo (I used Whole Foods, house-made variety)
1 teaspoon salt
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 14-ounce can black beans, drained
1-1/2 cups non-dairy cheese, shredded (I like Daiya and So Delicious brands)
3 green onions
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Chopped jalepeño, optional and to taste (I like a couple teaspoons)
Tortilla chips for dipping
- Soak cashews in water for at least one hour—up to three hours.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Toss sliced bell peppers in olive oil and pour in a large baking dish. Roast for 15 minutes.
- While the peppers are roasting, drain cashews and pour into a blender with almond/rice milk, salt, and half of the pico de gallo. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Once the peppers are done, remove them from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F. Stir remaining pico de gallo, cheese, black beans, jalepeño, and cashew-pico mixture.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until cheese is melted and dip is bubbling a bit.
- Chop green onions and cilantro.
- When dip is done, stir in green onions and cilantro.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
If you want to make it more of a legit meal, I like to top a bed of lettuce with a couple big scoops, making salad-type thing—YUM.