This vegan cheese dip is perfect for any potluck, especially Super Bowl potlucks! Football is my favorite sport to watch on TV. I love the pace, the excitement, the last minute “this-is-for-the-win” plays. However, when the Super Bowl comes around, I tend to find myself watching the commercials more than the game. It’s the curse of being a Bears fan. Although, confession, I do also love the Packers. Dad, if you’re reading this I am sorry to cause you pain. Please still keep me in the will.
And I also love watching ex-Badgers like Russell Wilson and JJ Watt….
While I love watching football, for Super Bowl 50, I really have no interest since neither the Bears, Packers, nor any of my Badger loves are playing. Also, why no roman numerals? “L” would have been so easy for everyone to remember! There would have been so many good “L is for loser jokes” tomorrow! **Sigh** If I ran the show…
My attention will turn instead to the commercials and food. Super Bowl parties can actually be pretty great if you’re a vegan because of all the hummus and guacamole that people
buy at the store slave hours over making. But I’m here to present you a vegan cheese dip that will blow all the other dips right out of the water and make you the star of the night. The recipe is adapted from Thug Kitchen, and it is non-vegan tested and approved.
Now, you might be thinking, “Becca, I’m pretty sure cheese isn’t vegan. How the heck can you make a vegan cheese dip?” The secret?? Butternut squash and nutritional yeast! Butternut squash creates a creamy, velvety texture, akin to regular cheese dips. Nutritional yeast is a vegan godsend and lends a rich cheddar-like flavor to the dish. The result? Silky, spicy, vegan cheese dip.
Vegan Cheese Dip
First, make your butternut squash puree. I used 3 cups of boiled butternut squash to make about 1 1/2 cups of puree. Boil the butternut squash until you can easily stick a fork in the pieces.
You can use canned butternut squash, but I always prefer making it from a fresh squash. First of all, it’s cheaper. The butternut squash was 99 cents a pound and ended up costing me a grand total of $1.59, whereas a can of pureed butternut squash was $2.49. Second of all, it’s fresher, no chance of added sodium or any other factory gunk.
Once you’ve boiled and drained the squash, add it to a blender with the chopped onions, minced garlic and jalapeño. Pro tip: When you mince the jalapeño, make sure to remove the seeds. The seeds are actually what makes it so hot. Plus, who wants seeds in their cheese? If you want to go easy on the heat, use half of a jalapeño.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour and spices. Then in a medium sauce pan, heat up 2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat. We’re going to start making a roux- think thick doughy base. Pro tip: this part goes pretty quickly so have everything ready!
Add in your spice mix and stir until it thickens up.
Gradually pour in 1/2 cup of water or vegetable broth (I used water). While you stir, the sauce will start to thicken.
Then add in your diced tomatoes plus all their juices (you can also used canned diced tomatoes with the liquid). The juices are key to creating a smooth sauce. Stir, stir, stir, stir.
The cheese dip is starting to form! I kept my tomatoes pretty chunky, knowing that I also wanted to double this cheese sauce in some vegan quesadillas later in the week. If you prefer smaller, then obviously dice them accordingly.
The sauce will become a lot smoother now with the tomato juices. Add in the squash puree, lime juice, salt and pepper.
Stir a lot more. Then add in 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast. Fair warning, it will start to smell very cheesy and you will start to drool. Stir really well so everything is incorporated and then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes. This ensures that all the flavors play nice with each other and that the sauce thickens.
BOOM. TOUCHDOWN. VEGAN CHEESE DIP FOR THE WIN! CROWD GOES WILD!
Serve the dip warm with nacho chips and no one will even pay attention to the Super Bowl because they will be surrounding your dip. In fact, you might just want to just bring spoons. I’ve also used the cheese sauce for quesadillas, pizza sauce, and tacos. This vegan cheese dip is just an all around must have recipe for your vegan kitchen.